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June 1, 2006
UN: Rescue Palestinians From Themselves

The UN again demonstrates its fecklessness by insisting that the world owes the Palestinians refuge from their own bad choices, requesting emergency aid donations to stave of a financial crisis of their own making. The UN wants almost $400 million to replace what the Palestinians threw away when they elected terrorists to control their protostate:

The UN has appealed for a near doubling of emergency aid to the Palestinian territories to alleviate a crippling economic crisis after the freezing of foreign funds to the Hamas government and Israeli sanctions against the Palestinians. It has revised the amount it wants foreign governments to donate this year from $215m (£115m) to $385m to prevent the collapse of services such as health and education, and to provide food and medicines.

The appeal document said the UN had taken the unprecedented step of asking for more money because of the "extremely bleak" humanitarian outlook for the occupied territories that is "predicted to worsen dramatically in coming months". "We're seeing people cut back on food and basic expenses," said David Shearer, head of the UN's office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs. "The situation in Gaza is the most acute."

An existing economic crisis has been compounded by the freezing of about $1bn in foreign aid from the EU and US after the Hamas election victory in January, and Israel withholding taxes it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

When we say that the UN exists only to ensure that change never occurs, this is exactly what we mean. The Palestinian elections gave the Palestinians an opportunity to decide whether they wanted to move forward in peace, or whether they wanted to endorse more terrorism. They chose the latter, despite knowing that their Western benefactors would not engage Hamas while the terrorist group refused to recognize Israel. It got worse once their government took power, as Hamas announced that they would not recognize any previous agreements with Israel or anyone else, and that any negotiations had to start from scratch.

The Palestinians know what they need to do to restart aid; they need to have Hamas recognize Israel, forswear terrorism and violence, and agree that previous agreements are binding. The last is especially important. If we had to renegotiate agreements from scratch every time a government changed hands, we would have no basis of trust on which to proceed. If the Palestinians want to argue that their word is worthless, then let them do so. It's only that much more reason not to support them economically or politically.

The Palestinian approach will not change while groups like the UN insist on buffering them from the consequences of their choices. They elected Hamas freely -- more freely than they elected Mahmoud Abbas as president -- and that choice carries consequences. If they do not like those consequences, it is up to them to pressure their government to respond in such a way that the international community can re-engage them economically. If we keep treating them as helpless children, they will continue to act that way. When they grow up, then we can lend a helping hand.

We've spent most of the last two decades pouring money into the Palestinian protostate, and it has resulted in nothing but two intifadas and the election of Hamas. Having them fend for themselves can hardly produce worse results than an election victory by an Islamist terrorist group.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 1, 2006 6:50 AM

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