03 March 2009 - Subsidizing terror
Hillary Clinton and several other no doubt well-meaning foreign emissaries gathered in Sharm-El-Sheikh recently to discuss the future of Gaza. They pledged a staggering $4.5 billion in aid for the "rebuilding" of Gaza, $900 million of which will come from the US--in the midst of a profound economic crisis, mind you.
Amazing. Hamas provokes a war by launching rockets at Israeli civilians, then continues to do so at war's end, and instead of bearing the cost of repairing the damage--to Gaza and to Israel--the world rewards it with a massive sum of cash.
How much of that money will actually be spent on the needs of ordinary Palestinians? Hardly any, if the past is any indication. What's even more amazing is that $4.5 billion is more than twice the sum ($1.9 billion) that Palestinians themselves estimated they needed--and that figure is likely on the high end. This report by Yvonne Green suggests Gaza may not need much help at all: "From what I saw and was told in Gaza, Operation Cast Lead pinpointed a totalitarian regime's power bases and largely neutralized Hamas's plans to make Israel its tool for the sacrifice of civilian life," she writes. It was not a war that targeted civilian infrastructure.
The international community has pledged exactly $0, by the way, to fund the rebuilding of Sderot and Ashkelon and Beersheva , in Israel.
I'm not opposed to pumping billions of dollars in investment into a nascent Palestinian state. But to do so while terrorists are in charge--terrorists who, moreover, have a long track record of misappropriating aid for violent purposes--is simply stupid.
We are subsidizing terror with our tax dollars. And we will continue to do so until we demand that the Palestinian regime--whether Hamas or Fatah--bear responsibility for its actions and for the future of the people it governs.