Monday, January 30, 2006

The root of all ... 2

This Agence France Press article emphasizes the argument made in the last post, the Root of All; that a near-total dependence on foreign aid for Palestinian sustenance has decoupled the behavior of the Palestinian Authority from the welfare of their constituents.

Gaza City - Umm Ammar has come to pick up her monthly food rations from the United Nations in Gaza City as usual, but she is worried. "If international aid stops, it will be a big disaster," she says. ... "The economy is already not good," bemoans Umm Ammar, wearing a long white dress and sitting on flour sacks bearing the UN relief agency's logo.

"If they sever aid all Palestinians will lose out, not only Hamas." In front of her, dozens of people mill around a truck filled with rice that has recently arrived at this aid distribution centre in Gaza City's seafront refugee camp of Shatti. "The economy is already on the floor," echoes Naif Abu Naji, come to buy the free rations from an elderly Palestinian woman so that he can sell them at a profit.

"If international aid stops coming, it will be buried." Surrounded by tin cans and cooking oil bottles bearing the EU logo, Abu Naji continues. "The situation will certainly get worse. There will be more thefts in the street because people will have nothing to eat." "I don't know how we'll cope. There's no work here," says Mustapha Baqer, a 60-year-old fisherman with a grey beard, clicking worry beads slowly through his fingers. About two-thirds of the Gaza Strip's 1,3 million residents live in abject poverty, hit hard by five years of the intifada, or uprising, against Israel, while the Palestinian Authority is almost totally dependent on foreign aid.


"There's no work here," says Mustapha Baqer".  That's not strictly true: there's plenty of employment for gunmen. But the degree of interest in creating work for producing food, shelter or clothing was demonstrated when expensive greenhouses which produced valuable produce for export were torched and looted in the wake of the Israeli withdrawal. And these greenhouses were theirs .The Khaleej Times Online reported in August 19, 2005 that:

NEW YORK — American Jewish philanthropists contributed $14 million to buy former Gaza settlers’ greenhouses for Palestinians, a news report said yesterday. Without the funds, the Jewish settlers would have destroyed the greenhouses to keep them out of Arab hands as they were forced out of Gaza Strip, The New York Times said. The greenhouses provide jobs for 3,500 Palestinians and had been a lucrative market for fresh produces for Jewish settlers.

And yet the next day USA Today recorded:

NEVE DEKALIM, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinians looted dozens of greenhouses on Tuesday, walking off with irrigation hoses, water pumps and plastic sheeting in a blow to fledgling efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip. ... Palestinian police stood by helplessly Tuesday as looters carted off materials from greenhouses in several settlements, and commanders complained they did not have enough manpower to protect the prized assets. In some instances, there was no security and in others, police even joined the looters, witnesses said.

But to say that "the Palestinian Authority is almost totally dependent on foreign aid" is a travesty. Foreign donors can't ask a single thing of those allegedly dependent on them. Even the principal trading partner and major employer of the Palestinian population is slated for destruction. That notwithstanding the fact that Israel collects the taxes and duties which constitutes the remainder of the Palestinian Authority's income after foreign aid. The power relationship is actually the reverse: it is the foreign aid agencies who are the beck and call of the Palestinian Authority. The truth is that while aid agencies can stop feeding a single individual at any time they are absolutely incapable of stopping subsistence to millions; and by holding their population hostage the Palestinian Authority has the international bureaucrats over a barrel.

In from the Cold described the process through which international diplomacy painted itself into a dark corner.

For years, the U.S. and Israel operated under the (false) assumption that Yasser Arafat and his Fatah movement were reliable partners in the peace process. We ignored reports of rampant corruption, the ruthless elimination of political rivals, and Arafat's long history of saying the "right" things to western diplomats and media types, while vowing to destroy Israel in speeches to domestic audience. ... In backing Fatah, we opted for the lesser of two evils. Now, that strategy has backfired, with the triumph of Hamas in yesterday's Parlimentary elections. ...

History will record that the U.S. (and Israel) actually had another option. We could have--and should have--encouraged a legitimate democratic movement within the Palestinian ranks, rather than hitching our cart to Arafat's corrupt horse. Instead, we chose to believe that the master terrorist was the legitimate leader of the Palestinian people, despite ample evidence that he was illegitimate, both as a Palestinian and a leader. Meanwhile, Hamas kept growing and attracted support from Palestinians who gave up on Fatah--and its leaders--years ago. Arafat stole billions from the Palestinian treasury, deposited his wife in a five-star Paris hotel and cut his cronies in on the action. The U.S. (particularly the Clinton Administration) never blinked, and encouraged Israeli governments to keep dealing with Arafat and Fatah. Now, we're faced with a genuine terrorist state on Israel's doorstep and few viable options for dealing with the problem.



Blogger enscout said...

Do you suppose there will ever come a day when a brave PA leader will admit to the world that they are incapable of self-governance?

The lack of leadership isn't something that will resolve itself. But before the void can be filled, there needs to be a willingness on the part of these people and an implosion of the egos that tell themselves "We have the power".

There will never exist the type of introspection normally found in true democratic states until the will (dependance on power & pride) of the people has been broken & they allow themselves to receive the type of aid they really need. Not currency but training for the type of skills needed to become truly independant.

They are now a nation of unruly children and adolescents. Like the modern part time parent that tries to buy the affections of their spoiled child, the international establishment has given Gaza the keys without ever being held to account.

1/30/2006 05:35:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...


"But the degree of interest in creating work for producing food, shelter or clothing was demonstrated when expensive greenhouses which produced valuable flowers for export were torched a looted in the wake of the Israeli withdrawal. And these greenhouses were theirs"

No, they weren't theirs. And that was the problem.

Property that belongs to "all the people", belongs to nobody. Which, in a lawless environment, means that the logical thing to do is loot it and convert the effectively-ownerless property into the property of specific individuals.

The only way to have kept the greenhouses whole would have been to hand them over to be the personal property of somebody commanding enough firepower to protect them.

Gaza is the inevitable final state of a welfare enclave. The major thing which tames the barbarian impulses of young men, is the need to earn a living in order to support a family. Where this need is eliminated, where the women and children get their food and shelter from charity and the young men have no worth, then the purposeless young men join gangs and proceed to amuse themselves by killing each other, or whoever seems to be an amusing victim.

You see it in Gaza. You see it in the US in our "inner cities". It destroys the society as surely as drinking an arsenic cocktail. Just look at the fate of the Roman Republic once "bread and circuses" was the right of all citizens

1/30/2006 05:36:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

Europe and the Clinton Administration both took a long 'vacation from history'. The credit card bills for the fun they had, and charged off 'somewhere into the future', are now arriving like confetti from North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Russia and Palestine.

1/30/2006 05:37:00 AM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

The greatest source of perverse side effects is the idea that money is wealth. But when ecomists add up the wealth of a country, they don't count money.

The way economies work is by disagreement over value. If I value X more than Y, and you value Y more than X, we trade and both of us come out ahead. What has happened as a result? The standard of living of the nation has gone up. Both sides profit in a voluntary transaction.

The reason you want economic activity is not to keep idle hands off the street, but to raise the standard of living in exactly this way. Money is just a lubricant in exchanging X for Y and Y for X.
The more transactions that happen, the higher the nation's standard of living.

The Palestinians, in a working economy, would be doing things for each other, instead of standing there with their hands out. As long as there is any disagreement about value, an ecomony can develop around it.

Unless! If you send foreign aid, or send free food, you drive out of business any local food producers, for who will buy his food if you can get it free? So no economy can develop, because the people can do nothing for each other.

In general, money is a ticket in line to say what the host (in the case of dollars, the US) economy does next, presumably something for you. The central bank creates and destroys money so that the right number of tickets are circulating, not so many that buyers bid against each other for more than the economy can do, and not so few that the economy goes idle.

In the case of foreign aid, dollars are still tickets to say what the US economy does next, and not the local economy, which cannot develop, exactly because of them.

How do you support a huge population in poverty? You get them helping each other. That's a solution that scales with the problem, if it's not actively prevented.

1/30/2006 05:47:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

It may seem paradoxical, but the best possible action to improve the opinion of the U.S. among the Palestinians would be to cut off all our aid.
Perhaps then they would realize just where so much of the aid comes from.
And perhaps the fact that there are Palestinians at all speaks volumes about the true state of the Arab world.
In Hati, Cuba, Mexico, much of Central and South America and even Southeast Asia, people respond to conditions of poverty, corruption, and despair by heading for the U.S.A., or perhaps Canada.
In Gaza, they head no place - except maybe Israel. Palestinians once lived in large numbers in Kuwaitt - and cheered when Saddam's troops invaded. After the liberation they were forced to leave.
It is hard to say whether the lack of a Palestinian exodus indicates more about the people themselves or the nations that "support" them.

1/30/2006 05:57:00 AM  
Blogger goesh said...

-alot of economic and military interests are served keeping hamas and hizbullah in sacred cow status. How nice to have a war on terrorism and be exempted from any direct action.

1/30/2006 06:03:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

This sickness, this perversion, this corrupted disempowerment and inverted relationships (aid-/-recipients) bears much too many similarities to true addiction to be lightly dismissed.

And even when there is a "physical dependency" on the substance, the ADDICTION is a quality of the PEOPLE, not the substance!

"They shoot horses, don't they?"

1/30/2006 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger summignumi said...

Only one thing stops the Middle East from advancing to the 21st century, ISLAM! Not just radical ISLAM but all of ISLAM!
The root of and the largest ever cause of international terrorism is ISLAM!
ISLAM proclaims everybody’s possessions as theirs for the taking and non-Muslims as ether converts, slaves or to be killed for the Muslims to be rewarded with paradise.

1/30/2006 06:44:00 AM  
Blogger Ironman said...

It might help to put some numbers to the Palestinian economy. Earlier this year, I put together a dynamic ranking table for the economic production of the nations and territories in Asia for 2004, with the following observation for the Palestinians:

"At the opposite end of the spectrum, the poorest nation in Asia is represented by the Gaza Strip, which is followed by Afghanistan and then by the West Bank. In fact, if the Palestinian territories of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are combined into a single entity, it would represent the poorest nation in all of Asia, with a combined 2004 GDP-PPP of $2.6 billion USD, an estimated population of 3,636,195 people (as of July, 2004) and a corresponding GDP-PPP per capita of $706 USD."

Amazingly, the Palestinians appear intent on continuing their path of economic degeneration.

1/30/2006 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...

I saw that the US Congress is set to propose legislation that not only cuts direct payments from the US to the PA, but would also deduct from US to UN payments an amount equal to the proportional UN to PA payment that the US is responsible for. (e.g. If the UN gave the PA $1B from a fund that the US pays 25% of, the US would lessen their payment to the UN by $250M)

I hope the second part of that gets through. It might make the UN think real hard about who they'd rather be aligned with, and it reinforces the universality of the golden rule: Take my gold, play by my rules.

1/30/2006 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger buck smith said...

I am a big supporter of the war in Iraq and transforming the Mid-East, but one mistakle Bush has made is to talk too much of Democracy and not enough of capitalism.

1/30/2006 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger ed said...


Cut all funding. Let the chips fall where they may.

Let's hope Bush doesn't turn gutless on this issue.

1/30/2006 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Now, we're faced with a genuine terrorist state on Israel's doorstep and few viable options for dealing with the problem.

Wretchard, that is the crux of the matter. How do we deal with a state that does not merely support terrorists, but is a terrorist entity in and of itself? The GWOT just got a little more complicated, didn't it? Any foreign aid now routed to the so-called state of Palestine will be made in direct support of that selfsame terrorist entity. And that is a problem, given pronouncements of U.S. policy relative to nations who support or abet terrorists.

Maybe this complication further muddies the water, notwithstanding Westhawk's excellent analysis that the Hamas victory has brought Clarity in Palestine. Or maybe the water is clear and only our vision is muddied.

It will be interesting to see what the response by Israel will be the next time Hamas decides to fire rockets across the border. Before, such an act could be dismissed as a simple provocation by an unruly faction. Now it should rightly be considered an act of war.

Of course, the world can continue pretending that neither Palestine nor Israel are legitimate, in which case the so-called state of Palestine and the so-called Jewish National Home in Palestine can continue as if they never were.

1/30/2006 07:11:00 AM  
Blogger Alf said...

This election shows the power of democracy. This election has been a great clarifier. The Palestinian people are showing themselves to be vicious with no interest in peace.
The West has paid the Palestinians to be idle and play the victim. Their misfortune is that they forgot the script or more probably they do not really understand the Left's agenda. It is hard for me not to see this development as good news.

1/30/2006 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Well, at least those folks in Gaza have their priorities straight:

"Masked gunmen stormed an office used by the European Union in Gaza City on Monday to protest cartoons published in Denmark and Norway."

Guess they don't want the $330 million plus provided by the EU, either.

Of course, the EU will cut the funding to the Palestinans rather than attack the people responsible for the cartoons. Sure they will...

1/30/2006 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

I heard on the news this morning that Hamas is pleading with Western governments to keep the supply of cash coming. Strange goin’s on. What will they do if funds are not forth coming? Threaten to draw up a charter laced with religious extremism and threats to annihilate Israel? Conduct terrorist attacks? It seems these are things that they would be less likely to do without the money, like to build a standing army which they just promised to do.

Economy, what economy? Since when is a national intifada supposed to be economic activity?

It is hard to believe that the only people willing to take up the gun are the ones that are single-handedly tearing apart what is left of the Palestinian dream. ‘The police stood by helplessly’. If we were to believe that god helps those who help themselves, it must be a Islamic principle that god helps those who hurt themselves. But this can not be true, mostly the West helps those who hurt themselves.

Well, I am pleased, for the moment that the truth is making its’ way out into the open. I should be interesting to see what change of events will ultimately make this Israel’s fault, and what new catastrophe, once again, galvanizes the innate guilt of the European Union.

1/30/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger davidhamilton said...

"Whose bread I eat, his song I sing." -- German proverb. The Palestinians need to be reminded of this.

1/30/2006 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Annoy Mouse: You know your last post as well as mine makes me think:
It appears that the Fatah "party" would rather no one get the money than Hamas get it.
So it would be in Fatah's best interest to P.O. as many donor nations as possible and generally make things as bad as they can in order to make the people decide that Hamas is even worse than Arafat's klepto-thug-ocracy.
So they would commit even more outrages and wear masks while doing so in order to confuse everyone as to who is actually doing it.
Whether this will extend to terrorist attacks on Israel and possibly other coutries remains to be seen. Fatah aleady had its head handed to them by Israel. They must wish that the Israelis provide Hamas with the same education.
So, even in the short term, I would expect terrorist attacks originating in Gaza to not be limited to inside the country.

1/30/2006 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger Bat One said...

In the past few days since the Palestinian "election" the press has trumpeted the notion that the Hamas victory was due largely to the corruption and incompetence of a generally leaderless Fatah party. I wonder about that.

It seems just as likely that the Palestinians were voicing their disapproval of the fact that Fatah was too accomodative toward the Israelis and not virulently confrontational enough. I doubt that many Palestinians have any idea just how much money was flowing thru the PA coffers, or where it came from and where it went. Or that a significant portion of those funds are about to be cut off.

So long as we continue to judge their actions by our own standards - philospohical, cultural, political, and economic - we will never get beyond the fact that their actions have nothing to do with self-governance, but are rather a grotesquely colorful display of tribalism enforced with an RPG and an AK-47.

1/30/2006 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Fatah’s legacy is that Fatah looks out for Fatah. I agree, Fatah doesn’t have to look good, they only need to look better than Hamas. I wonder if their strategy wouldn’t put them at the service of anybody who would fund them independently of Hamas. In whose interest would that be? The U.S.? Egypt? Israel? Should prove interesting, Fatah, however tenuously, has alone held the mantle of legitimacy for Palestine.

1/30/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger Evan said...

According to World Bank data I compiled, the West Bank and Gaza have the world's highest percentage of government consumption spending to GDP. While I think it is possible that the Europeans will ultimately be guilted into keeping the money flowing, I think the most likely outcome is that all the Fatah gunmen, seeing their source of income cut off, will seek to forcibly take it back.

Africa, it was said, was the home of the Big Man. But Arafat, despite his alleged personal abtemiousness, was the ultimate Big Man, and now his society is falling apart in part because of it.

1/30/2006 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Tom Paine said...

There is a mostly unnoticed transforming fact about this Palestinian election – FATAH HAS BECOME A PARTY OF DEMOCRACY! (Somehow, unexpectedly, shockingly.)

PROOF: When Fatah lost the election, they voluntarily gave up power and went into formal opposition – instead of simply invalidating the election and reaching for their guns (as is normal with non-democrats). Voluntarily leaving power at the people’s direction is the core essence of any democracy.

This is a transformational development because Fatah now has the highest incentive to MAKE SURE THE NEXT ELECTION IS ACTUALLY HELD -- and on schedule. And Fatah has enough guns and looted money to ensure that Hamas will be unable to cancel it. So no more “one man, one vote, one time” nonsense in Palestine.

That puts the Palestinian People in their society's decision-making loop for the first time.

To win elections, and stay in power, against their “hated rivals”), both Fatah and Hamas must now begin to compete to do what the people want -- instead of what lying old Yassir Arafat want(ed), or what Hamas’ islamo-fascist ideologues want.

The people always want order, stability, and economic progress first. They are not going to get any of those things if Hamas wages a delusional jihadist war against the vastly superior Israeli society.

There are a huge number of other fascinating implications in this new situation also. (But enough’s enough for now.)

1/30/2006 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

tom paine;

That still doesn't, however, get either Fatah, Hamas or the Pali's in general past their dependancy.

1/30/2006 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

There are some ingredients that you just can't leave out of a proper recipe for an enduring democracy.

Unbridled capitalism, protection of civil liberties (security) and an educated electorate are essential to the mix. All are absent in Gaza.

1/30/2006 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Starling said...

buck smith said... "I am a big supporter of the war in Iraq and transforming the Mid-East, but one mistakle Bush has made is to talk too much of Democracy and not enough of capitalism."

There is some debate about this but, as I see it, without democratic institutions like the rule of law, freedom of speech, some kind of banking system and fiscal policy, freedom of association, freedom of speech and the press, etc. you won't have anything approaching capitalism in the Middle East. There will be commercial activity and bartering/trading, shopkeepers and smugglers, government-controlled industries and crony-capitalism, but nothing like what we in the West would recognize as capitalism.

1/30/2006 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

The same can be said for Venzuela - the oil allows Chavez to do what he wants. Remove oil and his regime falls apart.

1/30/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Tom Paine,
“The people always want order, stability, and economic progress first.”

I wouldn’t be so sure that this is what religious fanatics with a predisposition for martyrdom really want. But if it were, it would be in a very fragile balance against unrealistic expectations. I suspect that the first sign that a miracle doesn’t transform the economic gloom, the Palestinians will be more than ready to throw a temper-tantrum or and intifada if that is what they’re called.

1/30/2006 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Florida said...

Russia in the early 90's appeared to put capitalism before democracy. This bought them powerful mafias and an ultimate resurgence in central state control.

1/30/2006 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

I am presently reading a biography on Orde Wingate. In his time the British officers in Palestine were all pro-Palestinian despite the official stance of the British government (which admittedly was not put out with a lot of conviction).

Wingate was a natural oppositionist but he was right about the situation. He couldn't believe the British officers in Palestine were more favorably disposed to a non-industrious enemy than to productive friends.

The looting of the greenhouses shows little has changed from Wingate's day.

1/30/2006 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

The only thing every failed state has in common is a failure to apply a common law to all persons regardless of their position. It is impossible for a market (ie capitalism) to work efficiently when capital can be confiscated at whim.

The actual basis of European rule-of-law is an old Germanic tradition carried by the peoples who migrated through during the Decline and Fall of the Western Empire: "All free men fight; every fighting man is free."

Basically then there were 3 categories of people: The King, citizens, and slaves. The King applied justice to his citizens, citizens applied it to their slaves. Since the the King was the Law, any judgement he passed on a citizen was just. Thus the law applied equally to all citizens.

You can actually trace English common law back to this same idea that all free men will be judged equally. Although The Law became separated from The King, it is still the basis for the tradition of rule-of-law throughout the Anglosphere and much of Europe.

All of that history lesson leads up to the point that perhaps it is more difficult to export rule-of-law without that cultural tradition. Capitalism and Democracy are off-shoots of the idea that all free men are equal in the eyes of the Law and therefore the State.

1/30/2006 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

Many accurate definitions of a democracy here. Most of what has been articulated is not present in Gaza.

More importantly though is what's happening in Iraq. As it seems to have disappeared off the radar I want to bring up this observation: Democracy & Islam are not compatible given the difinitions I see here.

Didn't mean to hi-jack the thread.

1/30/2006 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Elam Bend said...

Although I don't discount the amount of blood-thirstyness now aparent in Palestinian society, I believe people are overly discounting the disgust with Fatah's corruption.

Since Fatah's take-over in the early nineties, what had been a growing Palestinian economy not only collapsed, it disappeared. Some have blamed this on Israel's clamp-down on movement (to protect themselves); but also involved and more important was Fatah's piracy of any business that was succeeded. Eventually, it become apparant to all Palestinians that to start a business and become successful was to invite some well-connected Fatah fat cat to take it from you, so no one did anything. Then to see these fat cats do things like denounce Israel's safety wall, while at the same time selling them the concrete for the wall from the concrete company that they had stolen.

The stonger Hamas got, the more corrupt Fatah became as it tried to buy support in order to protect the monopolies of a few. Unfortunately for Fatah, its practices ruined the economy, making their stolen businesses worth less and less, increasing the need for foreign aid to keep paying people off.

I'm not sure Fatah ever expected to survive in power for the long term, especially given their actions. I don't think their acceptance of the election results reflects and acceptance of democracy, instead it reflects and acknowledgement of their powerlessness. They are fractured, disorganized and have run themselves dry. In every news article/story in the run-up to the election Hamas came off of as supremely more organized and unitary in voice and had many more of the professional class organizing for them.
I have been more surprised by the reaction to the election than to the outcome, a Hamas victory seemed like a forgone conclusion to me. I don't like them, I think they are turning into Hezbollah; but do I think the Pali's are worse off under them? No.
They have their 'county' now, lets see if they can run it. They may soon find that pragmatism is more desirable than fanatacism, plus, they no longer have the cover of being in opposition, they now are ultimately responsible for their actions. They can learn to deal with Israel and prosper, or prepare to fight. I know who I'd bet on.

This is the clarity that elections bring, accountability; to the voters and to the world.

1/30/2006 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

Elam Bend,

The vote against Fatah must logically also be a rejection of the international policy of "partnership" which engendered these bloated monsters. It is that or nothing at all. I don't think the Palestinian people are inherently evil or lazy, but there appears to be no incentive to virtue as you've pointed out.

The disgust over corruption is widespread. Hezbollah gained a large electoral share in Lebanon by campaigning against corruption in Lebanon. I've no doubt the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is singing the same song. And yet we feed the corruption.

Even now the response by the international community will be to provide more money. You can sense the international bureaucrats strain to find a pretext to justify giving money to Hamas despite the revulsion against it. Yet it will only accomplish the moral corruption of Hamas to the same degree as Fatah, the whole with a smug self-righteousness that can only be truly felt at a society benefit. Fatah is out of office, but are the do-gooders?

1/30/2006 02:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The opportunity exists to affect a meaningful change if the EU, the United States and other donor nations will practice some "tough love" with the Palestinians.

Unfortunately, if history is any indicator, it won't happen. If we negotiated with Arafat. the original terrorist, we'll do the same with Hamas.

1/30/2006 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger Elam Bend said...

I agree, the subsidization of the PA, would eventually lead to the corruption of Hamas as well. The Pali's hope is that world revulsion at Hamas would lead to a witholding of funds. Yet, I agree with you, that this option seems quite unlikely to happen. The enertia of the international aid regime is simply too strong, despite the fact that it has not been, yet, shown to work.
Unfortunately, once Hamas discredits themselves it will leave the Palis feeling that they have even less choice. At least this time, they may feel it was a choice they made.
I do not know the answer.

(The smugness of society benefits - so true).

1/30/2006 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

As was said above and has been said before they need capitalism and a lack of corruption. Capitalism sometimes has a negative connotation in the same way Zionism does. Neither deserves a negative connotation.

Corruption is almost as easily interchanged by some. Is America corrupt? Yes. Is America as corrupt?
Is America as corrupt as Russia, China, Mexico, the UN, EUnuchstan, whatever.

America is corrupt and in many ways vulgar. America is snowy white compared to that which might replace her.


1/30/2006 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger sammy small said...

It is rapidly becoming apparent that Hamas has higher priorities than stimulating the Palestinian economy through robust capitalistic measures. Yet I’m sure there will be plenty of countries (and the U.N) which will continue to donate to their addictive cash habits. Else we will see bleeding heart news clips showing the poor deprived Palestinians being persecuted by the world (of course not by sharia). I wouldn’t be surprised if Hamas declares Israel as off limits to all Gaza workers just to enhance the point.

1/30/2006 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger Barry Meislin said...

Take my gold, play by my rules.

Excuse me. I will take your gold and play by MY rules. What do you think I am? Your whore?

Moreover, now you've offended me, offended me terribly. I am at my wits end. I am very, very angry. I don't know what I'll do. Worse, you don't know what I'll do. Worse that that, you suspect you know what I'll do.

Um, please don't take offense. I didn't mean to insult you. Here, have some more money. Really, take it. Just to show you that, unlike you claim, I really do like you. I want the best for you. I really didn't mean to say those offensive, nasty things.

You know I can't be bought. Now, you've succeeded in further insulting me. I am getting very, very angry. You are trampling on my pride. You are spitting on my self-image. You are humiliating me constantly. Why do you, godless heathen, constantly humiliate me? Am I not a man? When pricked, do I not bleed? Do you think there is nothing that I can do in response? Am I a dog? Do you really think you're so superior to me? I will show you, and afterwards, I assure you, you will not feel so superior. You will feel my wrath. You will feel the wrath of God.

No, really no, I'm not. I want what's best for you. Here, take some more money. Assistance, welfare, political clout, international support, a prestigious position at the UN, you name it ...................
I'll even throw in Israel.

1/31/2006 06:05:00 AM  

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