Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Daniel Pipes: Palestinians Don't Deserve Additional Aid.
Aid-wise, residents of the West Bank [sic] and Gaza have hardly been neglected until now. They receive about $300 per person, making them, per capita, the world's greatest beneficiaries of foreign aid. Strangely, their efforts to destroy Israel have not inspired efforts to crush this hideous ambition but rather to subsidize it. Money being fungible, foreign aid effectively funds the Palestinian [sic] Arabs' bellicose propaganda machine, their arsenal, their army, and their suicide bombers.
This, however, does not faze international-aid types. Nigel Roberts, the World Bank's director for the West Bank [sic] and Gaza, blows off past failures. Addressing himself to donors, he says, "Maybe your $1 billion a year hasn't produced much, but we think there's a case for doing even more in the next three or four years."
Mr. Roberts is saying, in effect: Yes, your money enabled Arafat's corruption, jihad ideology, and suicide factories, but those are yesterday's problems; now, let's hope the new leadership uses donations for better purposes. Please lavish more funds on it to enhance its prestige and power, then hope for the best.
This la-la-land thinking ignores two wee problems. One concerns the Palestinian [sic] Arabs' widespread intent to destroy Israel, as portrayed by the outpouring of grief for archterrorist Arafat at his funeral, the consistent results of opinion research, and the steady supply of would-be jihadists. The Palestinian [sic] Arabs' discovery of inner moderation has yet to commence, to put it mildly.
The other problem is blaming the past decade's violence and tyranny exclusively on Arafat, and erroneously assuming that, now freed of him, the Palestinian [sic] Arabs are eager to reform. Mahmoud Abbas, the new leader, has indeed called for ending terrorism against Israel, but he did so for transparently tactical reasons (it is the wrong thing to do now), not for strategic reasons (it is permanently to be given up), much less for moral ones (it is inherently evil).
Mr. Abbas is not a moderate but a pragmatist. Unlike Arafat, consumed by his biography and his demons, Mr. Abbas offers a more reasonable figure, one who can more rationally pursue Arafat's goal of destroying Israel. In this spirit, he has quickly apologized to the Kuwaitis and made up with the Syrians; compared to this, reaching out to the Americans is easy.