Amid international condemnation of Israel, one would never guess that humanitarian aid and even cash is flowing into Hamas coffers, while its rockets continue to hit Israel.
Aid is given ostensibly for humanitarian reasons — you know, those destitute Gazans you see in pictures. But for years, the rulers have benefited from the billions given and the poor have continued to suffer. That’s what happened with Yasser Arafat and the PLO and that’s what’s happening with Hamas.
The $7 billion to $10 billion that the Palestinian Authority has received since 1993 has come from the European Union, the U.N., the U.S., Saudi Arabia and other Arab League countries. France alone has sent more than $3 billion. This influx of cash has done little to advance the development of a viable Palestinian state or of peace in the region. Rather, it has helped to fuel the Palestinian leadership’s terrorist agenda, and kept the Palestinian people oppressed and disenfranchised.
In the mid-1990s–shortly after the Palestinian Authority came into existence–the Palestinian writer Fawaz Turki described the regime as “the dissolution of civilized society, of all civil norms and all hope.” Despite all of this, most international organizations and the world community at large continue to ignore the ongoing human and civil rights violations perpetrated against the Palestinians by their own leadership, including the destruction of Gaza and the death of hundreds of its citizens.
Here are some of the ways eager donor nations have been spending their citizens’ money lately:
In a meeting hosted by Abu Dhabi on Jan. 12, representatives from the Palestinian Authority and several donor countries, including Egypt, Britain and the U.S., met to discuss efforts to raise and send undisclosed amounts of money to help Palestinians in Gaza. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) also pledged to rebuild schools, mosques, hospitals and 1,300 damaged Gaza houses. In addition, the Emirates raised more than $87 million in a nationwide telethon on Jan. 9.
And there’s more.
Supplies and cash for Hamas have been pledged from all over the world, not merely from Iran, On Jan. 3, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz donated $8 million of the more than $26.7 million raised in a national fundraising telethon for the “Relief of the Palestinian People in Gaza.” Qatar, which pledged $50 million when Hamas was elected in 2006, promised to send more.
Wait, there’s more.
While condemning Israel, the European Union pledged more than $4 million in “humanitarian aid” to Gaza. In 2008, it provided Gaza with $55.6 million. In addition, European Union member states pledged more than $41 million, including $10.5 million from the British government’s Department for International Development. Japan pledged $10 million, and terror-struck India said it would send $1 million. Norway has announced a pledge of about $4.5 million, while Australia is adding $3.5 million in addition to the $32 million it gave in 2008. Additionally, other countries sent tons of medical and humanitarian supplies. This more than meets the UNRWA emergency appeal for $34 million.
And more! For convoluted and misbegotten reasons, Israel has been shoveling tens of millions of dollars into Gaza since Hamas took over there (violently) in mid-2007. And read this carefully; it’s unbelievable:
In December 2008, under U.S. and international pressure, Israel delivered between $64 million and $77 million in cash to Gaza. When Hamas rocket attacks intensified, Israeli banks started refusing to transfer cash to Gaza. World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and Tony Blair, who is now Mideast envoy for the E.U., Russia, the U.N. and the U.S., sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert complaining that such refusals are “counterproductive and ultimately harm Palestinian moderates.” Clearly, the world community is set on seeing the terrorist group Hamas as legitimate. But demanding that Israel pay its own executioners goes way too far.
A note on Rachel Ehrenfeld, off the subject but very important: She was sued in Britain under their chilling libel laws for her book, Funding Evil, How Terrorism is Financed and How To Stop It, by a Saudi billionaire financier mentioned in the book. In order that she could fight the case in New York instead of in Britain, the New York State legislature passed a law last year, “The Libel Terrorism Protection Act,” popularly known as Rachel’s law. The story is here and here. It was a wonderful blow for free speech. A similar bill is being introduced in Congress by a bipartisan group of legislators to extend the same protection nationwide.