Blog 1 Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza strip; It’s poverty impact on the economy.

NAME: Frank Kwapong                                                      STUDENT I.D M00556702

Gaza strip has been under movement restriction by the Israeli authorities since the early 1990s. The restriction intensified in June 2007,when the Hamas militant group took over that part being occupied by the Palestinian territory at present .

Israel has since then imposed a very serious restriction and blockade on the land, sea and air of Gaza, citing security concerns for its citizens. Despite relaxations of some blockade-related restrictions in recent years, according to a UN report, an estimate of  1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza remain locked in or are denied free access to the remainder of the territory and the outside world.(UN, OCHA’s, Gaza crossings activities database).

Following reports released on the 11th of October 2017, on the total number of people allowed in and out of Gaza, there has been further declination since the beginning of 2017 as compared to the previous years. Particularly, on the amount of people who cross the Israeli-controlled crossing points and also through the Egyptian controlled crossing, it’s indeed an indication of severe low levels. This has infuriate the situation and has secluded Gaza from the remainder part of the occupied Palestinian territory and the outside world. Hence, the restrictions imposed on Gaza by the Israeli authorities had led to  limited access to medical treatment and facilities, higher education, family, social life, economic opportunities and to employment as a whole.

The rigidity of the restrictions in recent months has prevented the movement of national staff employed by the United Union and international NGOs and has also, hindered humanitarian operations. The situation keeps getting out of hand day in day out and has led to the humanitarian agencies working in the area calling upon the international community to be of great help.In view of this, the humanitarian agencies working in the area has submitted a petition to the international community to provide them with a sum of  US$25 million in their humanitarian funding, for urgent lifesaving interventions to help stabilize the situation at Gaza strip.

As part of the blockade imposed on Gaza in 2007, by the Israelis, following the take over of the Gaza strip by the Hamas, Israel completely banned exports. This seriously led to a sudden decline in their manufacturing endeavors and  increase unemployment. In the year 2010, the export ban slightly eased off to allow the exit of small quantities of goods, primarily cut flowers and strawberries to the international markets alone. Following the 2014 conflict, commercial transfers from Gaza to the west bank resumed, allowing in agriculture produce for the first time and later for textiles and furniture. Limited exports were also permitted from Gaza to Israel in 2015(UN staff, report, 2015) The rate of  denial for permit applications by UN national staff to enter or leave Gaza increased from an average of 4% in 2015 to 26% in 2016 that is from January to September. Access to areas within 300 meters of perimeter fence with Israel is restricted , making it very hard for fishing, fishermen are only allowed to access less than a third of the fishing areas allocated under the oslo Accords.The unemployment rate in the middle of 2016 was almost 42% among the global highs,whiles among youth it stood at 60% and among females at over 65%. Looking at its households, 47% in Gaza’s population suffer from moderate or severe food insecurity leading to more than 70% of its population relying on international aid, the bulk of which is food assistance.

According to an Israeli government spokesperson about 15,000 tons of humanitarian aid is allowed or flows into Gaza each week ,saying it allows enough aid- including food and medicine .But there are no evidence to support this claims by the government. The U.N says 80% the population rely on some form of humanitarian aid. The United Nations has described the blockade imposed on Gaza by Israel as the “collective punishment “of the Palestinian people living in that part of the territory.The United Nations has repeatedly criticized the the blockade and the insufficient flow of materials into the area for basic needs reconstruction. The former UN Secretary – General Ban Ki-moon warned the closure ” creates unacceptable suffering, hurts forces of moderation and empowers extremists.BBC.co.uk. The restrictions imposed has undermined the economy, resulting in high levels of unemployment, food insecurity and aid dependent. Restrictions on the marketing of goods in the West Bank and Israel; on the import of certain goods ,the access of land for agriculture and fishing,the energy crisis and the recurrent hostilities which result in assets lose and some left with long-term disabilities.

The blockade must be lifted, which contravenes article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibiting collective penalties and prevents the realization of a broad range of human rights.

By, Frank A.Kwapong

 

WHITE SUPREMACY IN THE USA

NAME:FRANK KWAPONG                                           STUDENT ID M00556702

WHITE SUPREMACY IN THE UNITED STATES IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICA

          

 

white supremacy PIC The electing of Donald Trump into the white house as been cited as a factor of the          re- energisation of activities and groups in America that reject both left-wing ideology and mainstream conservatism.

Social media is also said to be playing  a large part in promoting these ideologies. A prominent US civil rights group, the southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) says that it is currently tracking more than 1,600 extremist groups in the country.

The question is , who are these groups, how popular have they become ,and what do they hope to achieve? Here is a look at the most visible of the white supremacist movement in the history of the US till today.

44Virginia governor tells white supremacists: Go home’

Alternative right (alt-right)

The alternative right is a disperate group of provocateurs who hate political correctness and love president Trump, although critics say they are biogoted with nationalists.

In the broadest sense, white supremacy is a populist movement.They belief in the superiority of the white race, especially in matters of intelligence and culture—achieved the height of its popularity during the period of European colonial expansion to the Western Hemisphere, Africa, and Asia stretching from the late 1800s to the first half of the twentieth century. White supremacists have based their ideas on a variety of theories and supposedly proven facts; the most prominent of these include the claims of pseudoscientific racist academic research that attempted to correlate inferiority and pathological behavior with categories of racial phenotypes, especially head size in the case of eugenics. White supremacist belief has also been justified by the Biblical Hamitic hypothesis, which viewed blacks as the descendants of Ham who would be cursed for life. There is a direct correlation between the rise of imperialism and colonialism and the expansion of white supremacist ideology justifying the changing of international order, which increasingly saw Europeans assuming political control over black skin color through military force and ideological means, such as religion and education. It is important to note that the range of those considered “white” expanded considerably in the twentith century

The conspiracy for leftists is an elite-driven globalization that creates inequality and makes minorities and poor people suffer inordinately, whereas the conspiracy for white supremacists today is the New World Order that operates through a centuries-old chain of international bankers and is determined to end the purity of the white race. The logic in each instance — the conspiracy on the left and the right — is parallel, and leads to similar resentment of elites, who have access to special knowledge not available to the ordinary person. On the extreme right it is a mythology of battle and leverage, of heroism and valor, of Robin Hoods and dark cabals, of the Illuminati and Freemasons, of the heartland American values of liberty and individualism under assault by a globalist conspiracy to introduce monotony and conformism. In a way, the grand narrative is simply a much exaggerated version of yeoman values such as a founding father like Jefferson would have advocated.

As the reality of the industrialized economy throughout the 20th century eroded the possibility of independent freeholding such as was possible during 19th-century America and earlier, the grand narrative became more and more powerful in shaping imaginations. We can hardly claim that the emphasis on race is an innovation, because this was a constant throughout the history of oppression of Native Americans (were the Mathers and other New England luminaries of the 17th century any less racist than those we wish to condemn to perdition today?), African-American slaves, and then Catholic and Asian immigrants, except that each of America’s entanglements in foreign wars has provided increasing depth and circumstantial providence to the grand narrative.

I find it not coincidental that the KKK’s great rebirth came in the 1920s, after America had “won” World War I, and that the peak of Bircherism occurred in the 1950s, soon after they had claimed victory in World War II. Each major war is seen to have been brought about by international conspiracy, leading to the progressive diminishment of the rights of white Americans. It is perhaps easier to condemn a government that has been taken over by a secret cabal (as set out in the influential “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” which were vigorously disseminated by Henry Ford, the leading founder of American industrialization, and which have in turn shaped the conspiratorial view of the Zionist Occupation Government, or ZOG, followed by those caught up in industrial decline) than to condemn the whole system of government, because to do the latter is to leave no way out, whereas to believe in a conspiracy is to set oneself up as a hero with a shot at salvation.

The persistence of white privilege, even in societies where nonwhites are the majority, has meant that white supremacy and its consequences have not ceased to be sources of social scientific research. A notable event in the growth of “white studies” was the conference “The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness,” held at the University of California, Berkeley in April 1997. This yielded, four years later, a volume of the same name published by Duke University Press.

In my opinion it think is has always been part of the American people, where they have an ideology which justifies the supremacy of the white race. With this in mind ,there is no other way for it to be out of sight soon. We have got a long way to go if we want to be accepted into the society as part of it.

 

 

Bibiography

Boas, Franz. [1945] 1969. Race and Democratic Society. New York: Biblo & Tannen

Brander Rasmussen, Birgit, ed. 2001. The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Montagu, Ashley. 1972. Statement on Race. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University press

TRUMP’S NATIONALISM

NAME:FRANK KWAPONG        STUDENT I.D M00556702

TRUMP’S NATIONALISM:

“FOR ME, IT’S AMERICA FIRST”TrumpPopulism

In a recent interview with President Trump, he did make an exceptional annotation on foreign assistance.

President Trump unhappily, underestimated its impact and overestimated its expense.

The feedback and answers brought up upon him been questioned as to why he would prefer to put to an end to US foreign assistance is as follows, “For me, it’s America first. We have been doing that so long that we owe $20 trillion, okay?” This response conveys a clear advice that the president doubtlessly,  attributes the on-going national debt of the United states, to the exact effect brought about by the rate of its foreign aid spending. And as long as it perpetually remains an immaculate talking point, it’s at a great distance from  it been true.

The verifiable truth is that, according to a statistic based on United States spendings, it’s clear the United States spends approximately 0.8 percent of its federal budget on humanitarian and developmental assistance every year, and only 1.5% percent of their planned disbursement if you combine all of it’s international affairs pay out, like the financial backing for US diplomacy.

Closely examine in contrast that to the 6.1 percent that is paid out entirely on US debt interest every year. These settlements made solely on just US debt interest only, is even over and above seven times it’s foreign aid spending. Therefore, President Trump’s allegations about the fact that foreign support is holding back US debt is unjustifiable and counterfactual.

However, President Trump eradicating US contributions towards foreign aid and support would genuinely have minor influence on US debt. And hence, at the same time generating a calamitous repercussion for the poor and needy communities all over the world, and extremely impeding US guidance and in the near future affluence.

 

Data source : Congressional Budget office, FY 2015 US Federal Budget. http://bit.ly/109j9by

Foreign assistance is being used as a scapegoat for a rising deficit instead of things like tax cuts for corporations and richest among us, which are core to the administration’s policy agenda and are shown to contribute to the national debt. The Washington Post’s analysis on this front brings some important context.

Foreign aid contributes to global poverty reduction and helps to protect basic rights and liberties, and benefits America’s interest. All for less than one percent of the US federal budget. Since 1990, the world has made an exceptional advancement-elevating millions of people and communities out of poverty faster than any other time in history. Over the same period, foreign assistance has changed greatly, progressing into more innovative ,more transparent , and more aligned to partner country first concerns. The role of aid is changing, as household taxes and private investments mature more into significant financial resources for developing countries. An approximate calculation of 766 million people still live in extreme poverty, and uncompromising humanitarian crisis threatening the reverse of the gains made.

Worldwide poverty acts as a big challenge to future safety, its development, and the values of United States. Therefore, parting ways with it is not the best option, as foreign assistance has a very valuable part to play globally. The number of people who are in poverty are not just numbers, but they are real people, and most of them are women and girls all over the world, who rely solely upon USAID from everyday’s provisions for survival to providing a better life for themselves and their families,(Oxfam.co.uk).

An example is Aligaesha a succesful Tanzanian farmer and community leader, who formed the union known as the farmers cooperative in the karagwe District of northwest Tanzania in 2007. After getting a great support from the US Agency for international Development (USAID), her cooperative, the Kaderes Peasant Development Ltd., was awarded a big contract to supply beans to the rest of the world as part of the World’s Food Programme (WFP). However, this partnership with the local farmers helped saved money as well as time, and made the channel that the WFP might have taken to supply these same goods to and from other parts of the world during humanitarian crises much easier and faster.

US’s foreign assistance is moving outside limits, other than just providing food supply to women like Aligaesha, the US is doing better by supporting their efforts to produce more and escape poverty for good. She and her fellow farmers stand to benefit if changes to US policy enable more local and regional purchases of food aid for people facing food insecurity.

Reference

SLAVE TRADE IN LIBYA

NAME: FRANK KWAPONG                                                          STUDENT I.DM00556702

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Recent news that black Africans are been sold at an auction house in Libya has sparked outrage across the globe. The existence of Libya’s slave trade goes way back when the subjugation and overt dehumanization of Africans was common in Libya.

Some analysts have argured that, the slave trade taking place in recent months in Libya is a result of power vaccum left after the fall of Libya’s long term leader Mummer Gaddaffi and the ensuing lawlessness and giving way to some criminals in Libya to operate a black market  in which the trafficking of black Africans becoming their main export.

Others have focused on the failing of America’s foreign policy and the humanitarian efforts to stop the operational of the slave market. But the main player of it all ,the anti-black sentiment that brought about Libyan slave trade itself, and its historical context, has been given a less attention.

The Libyan people has been plagued by overtones of racial discrimination against black Africans for decades. An examples is what happened in 2000, when the International Confederation of the Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) released statement condemning a wave of attacks that targeted black African migrants who were living and working in the country,while in 2006 and again in 2009. Human Rights Watch orgarnizations has documented that attacks on black African migrants and asylum seekers were very common in Libya.

Muslim smugglers are taking countless Africans as slaves, with many instances of people being starved to death and women being raped. Under Gaddafi, blacks in Libya were protected, but as soon as he was toppled, the Libyans began to enslave them and put them in cages. This was all thanks to American policy, a policy that I fear is continuing unchanged.  As we read in one report:

After the overthrow of Mummar Gaddafi, reports emerged of the mass abduction and killings of African migrants and the black Libyans who were falsely accused by the new government of being figthers under Gaddafi’s regime. Human rigths groups came out to report that such claims were baseless and there were no evidence to support their claims and for a matter of fact , the attacks against the blacks were racially motivated.

Some people being in support of the Arab spring have come out and critised these attacks and saying, such attacks were betraying the revolutionary aspirations of the coup because of the refusal to recognise black libyans as part of the Libyan society.Though Libya is an African country ,the ill-treatmeent that has been exhibited towards towards black Africans has been in existance for soo many years which has led to tensions between the Arab world and the Sub-Suharan region.

As a result of the seperation between two regions, regardles of their close geography, is caused by a perceived difference in culture and racial superiority. These should not be a surprise that such sentiments in the Arab world were established through the times of colonial rule and thought.

The source of Libya’s anti-black sentiment lies with the colonial tradition of racial superiority – the Hamitic hypothesis.These hypothesis is a genetic anthropological theory stating that  anything good was made by the Hamites, a subgroup of the Caucasian race.This theory dates back to the book of Genesis in which Noah has three sons-Ham,Japheth and Shem. It has been understood that Ham was a direct descent of the black race, while Japheth represnted the European Caucasians, and Shem also represented the Arabs or the Hamites.

It was with these perception that influenced colonial feelings towards the African people and was used to determine which ethnic group was superior and based on their physical feature that best resembled Western standards.

This thought has eventually spread along the Arab world and influenced their perceptions of black Africans throughout North Africa. In present day, the influence of the Hamitic hypothesis can seen throughout the racially charged aggression towards black Africans throughout North Africa, in places like Algeria, Libya and Morocco. The factors of the existence of the Libyan slave trade can be traced ways back before the socio-economic collapse Libya after the American led military intervention.

References

“Muslims Are Taking Countless Africans As Slaves, Starving Them To Death, Selling Them And Taking The Women To Rape Them”. 13 April 2017.

TRT World (12 April 2017). “Libya Slave Trade: Rights group says migrants sold off in markets” – via YouTube.

TRT World (26 April 2017). “Profiting off the misery of others: Libya’s migrant

 “African refugees bought, sold and murdered in Libya”. Al-Jazeer tv

Italian doctor laments Libya’s ‘concentration camps’ for migrants

‘They use black men as slaves’: Migrants tell of brutality in Libya.cnn.com

Migrant slavery in Libya: Nigerians tell of being used as slaves bbc.com