Palestinian war machine
Every so often — usually as a sweetener for peace talks — Western nations pledge ever more money in support of the Palestinians. Foreign aid flows in — but where do those billions of dollars go? And why are Palestinians continually hungry and destitute (or so we are told), yet somehow there’s money enough for guns to fight a civil war and thousands of rockets to fire into Israel? We know that Iran (and other regimes) help bankroll Hamas and other Islamist groups. But that’s just part of the story.
The other day I came across an article in the Middle East Quarterly that studies available data relevant to this issue. Its title raises this urgent question: Does Foreign Aid Fuel Palestinian Violence? The main finding reveals
a troubling correlation between the number of homicides committed by Palestinians and the level of funding provided to the Palestinian Authority. As aid to the Palestinian government increased, there was a corresponding increase in the number of people, both Israeli and Palestinian, killed by Palestinians.
The almost lock-step correlation is truly is horrifying. For example:
The correlation between aid and terrorism murders becomes even stronger when the amount of aid given in one year is compared to the number of terrorist murders the following year (Figure 2). The lag between increased aid and increased homicides suggests a cause and effect association. However, when comparing the number of attempted terrorist attacks against Israelis with the level of aid, the correlation is stronger, without introducing any time lag (Figure 3).
Giving aid to the Palestinians, in my view, has always been wrong (even if they were to use it to build schools and hospitals). It is perverse for the United States (and other Western countries) to ignore this pattern of aggression and continue arming a hostile people.
If, as I believe, there’s been a progressive worsening in the militancy of the Palestinians over the last two decades, then a share of the blame lies with the many nations, including ours, that have facilitated Palestinian aggression.