March 21, 2007

What A Tough Sanctions Regime!

The Palestinians have demanded an end to the aid embargo now that they have created a unity government between Hamas and Fatah, regardless of the fact that the new government still has not met any of the conditions the West set for resumption of support. One might think that the sanctions might have convinced the Palestinians to change their policies, since they are so dependent on outside economic assistance -- but that would take actual sanctions. As it turns out, the Palestinians got more Western aid money than ever after the declaration of sanctions:

Despite the international embargo on aid to the Palestinian Authority since Hamas came to power a year ago, significantly more aid was delivered to the Palestinians in 2006 than in 2005, according to official figures from the United Nations, United States, European Union and International Monetary Fund.

Instead of going to the Palestinian Authority, much of the money was given directly to individuals or through independent agencies like the World Food Program.

The International Monetary Fund and the United Nations say the Palestinians received $1.2 billion in aid and budgetary support in 2006, about $300 per capita, compared with $1 billion in 2005.

While the United States and the European Union have led the boycott, they, too, provided more aid to the Palestinians in 2006 than 2005. Washington increased its aid to $468 million in 2006, from $400 million in 2005.

The European Union and its member states alone are subsidizing one million people in the West Bank and Gaza, a quarter of the population, as part of their effort to avoid creating a catastrophe from the embargo.

Two thoughts come to mind from this report. First, this is how the aid should have been distributed from the beginning. Instead of supporting terrorist organizations, and Fatah certainly qualifies in spades as one, we should have bypassed the ridiculous PA altogether and sent the aid directly to the people -- at least to the extent the PA allowed it to reach them. For too many years, we supported the Palestinian terror structure directly, and all we got in return were intifadas and, in one case, a direct attack on American diplomats in Gaza.

Second, and more importantly, the continuation of aid has kept the sanctions from doing their job. The idea of sanctions is to place pressure on a governmemt to change their policy, as well in this instance not to be seen funding terrorists. That pressure comes from the people who support the government -- and the Palestinian people clearly elected Hamas to govern them. Their privations ceased being our problem when they elected Islamist terrorists to run their government.

Their support for terrorists and terrorism, which is quite open and explicit, is the problem. If the West wants to change the situation in the territories, they have to begin by changing the attitude of the people. Instead, in 2006, they continued to support them while they supported Hamas, while Hamas conducted abductions of an Israeli soldier and allowed Islamic Jihad to launch continuous rocket attacks against Israel all year long.

I understand the impulse behind this -- the West wants to be seen as "nice", so that the sanctions don't seem aimed at the people. That may make sense in Iran, where the people are more pro-Western, and it certainly made sense in Iraq, even if the sanctions regime got so thoroughly corrupted. The Iraqis didn't elect Saddam Hussein to the position of Most Brutal Dictator. That's not the case with the Palestinian Authority, where the people freely elect terrorists of one stripe or another.

We're not going to stop terrorism by buying it off. All we do is pay for more terrorism. If the Palestinians do not explicitly renounce violence, agree to abide by prior agreements of the PA, and recognize Israel's right to exist, then we should stop all aid, and let the Palestinians fend for themselves.


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Comments (6)

Posted by stackja1945 [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 21, 2007 5:55 AM

"That's not the case with the Palestinian Authority, where the people freely elect terrorists of one stripe or another. "
Did Jimmi say so? No hanging bits of paper? No threats or bribes?
Who knows. We only see PA elections through the prism of the MSM. Since when do we trust the MSM? Orwell in 1984 told us that Big Brother was loved. Like that other lovable Muggerbe.

Posted by Davod [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 21, 2007 6:38 AM

All of the camps are run by the terrorist groups.

Posted by Lew [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 21, 2007 9:07 AM

The Captain's point is exactly right, its all about looking good!

No law will ever be enforced and no policy will ever be carried out unless the so-called "leaders" can look good on TV doing it. The sanctions against Iraq could not be enforced because he made sure every news outlet with a camera got to see starving children - thus "Oil-for-Food". Immigration law on our southern border is a standing joke because cuffing poor mexican laborers just doesn't make good campaign coverage (Ai Pobrecito!). The law against publishing classified information will never be enforced because nobody wants to pick a fight with anyone who buys ink by the barrel. We'll never negotiate with terrorists, unless of course it makes us look bad. And it just goes on and on and on......!

The Executive keeps requesting, and Congress keeps passing, laws that everybody knows will never be enforced. Policies keep being proclaimed and lines in the sand keep being drawn and then quietly being ignored. And its all just to look good on camera.

Posted by akak [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 21, 2007 12:49 PM

yet the US breaks the PA boycott? oh yeah men of peace and Fatah are not terrorists and George will strike at those harbouring terrorists? people in Bajour and Waziristan, West Bank, Gaza & Lebanon await your response Mr Presisident!

Posted by akak [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 21, 2007 1:31 PM

President ^^^ pimf

Posted by pilsener [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 21, 2007 1:34 PM

Let me speculate:

1. The money did not go directly to the Palestinian people.

2. The money will never be cut off.

3. Hamas, Fatah, and the several other Palestinian groups will use a significant portion of the foreign aid to buy weapons.

4. The Palestinian government has no intention of trying to buld an aconomy of their own, so they will remain completely dependent upon foreign aid (see 1.2. 3 above).