Subsidizing Palestinians

The Los Angeles Times endorses a recent Rand Corporation analysis calling  for $33 billion in international aid for the Palestinians over ten years, to build or rebuild their society. The history of providing money to the Palestinian Authority since Olso is that the money came and went, and no new job creating infrastructure appeared as a result.

The money was used for beachfront villas, deposits to personal foreign bank accounts, luxury cars (several hundred foreign cars were just ordered by the PA), weapons, and salaries for the tens of thousands of gunmen and militia members (security forces, as they are called). In a functioning civil society, where there is some history of productive work effort and economic development in the past, huge infusions of cash can make a substantive economic difference: think Japan and Germany after World War II. But those nations first had to defeated in war and their aggressive intentions crushed. Under military occupation, they embarked on a peaceful path, unable and unwilling to threaten their neighbors.

Regrettably, the Palestinian population has been repeatedly told that any settlement with Israel is merely a way station to further conflict leading to Israel's demise: victory in stages. That type of thinking ensures that the population's energies , and resources will remain devoted to war and conflict, not reconstruction. For far too many Palestinians, national success does not mean higher GDP and better lives but destruction of Israel. The Palestinians have been cultivated as a weapon by their Arab brothers.

There is no other explanation for why the Arabs hosting Palestinian populations have allowed refugee camps to remain in existence for over 50 years, when every other refugee population in the world has been resettled in far less time. Nowhere else in the world are people born for multiple generations as "refugees". The Palestinians speak Arabic, and share a broad culture with their "hosts." Yet they are kept apart and in poverty in "camps" which consist not of tents and sheds, but which have the appearance of cities. These camps breed hatred of Israel, and Jews, and sustain the victim mentality so vital to producing new generations of killers.

Rand's study is what one expects of think tanks:  it is totally divorced from the emotional reality  and seething on the ground,  a hatred nourished not primarily by poverty, but by a mythology of dispossession that has been fed to successive generations of Palestinians. Never has there been any Palestinian admission of responsibility for their own fate, their own missed opportunities.

When a Palestinian leader is really committed to ending the struggle with Israel and improving the lives of his people, things could change. Maybe Rand has some ideas on this problem. So long as Palestinians see gain only from Israel's destruction, pouring new billions into this hothouse of hate is not a win—win approach for both peoples, but a recipe for more war.

Until the Palestinians establish a real civil society, and emerge from their current state of nature with tribal gunmen running the streets, foreign donors should hold onto their wallets.

The Los Angeles Times endorses a recent Rand Corporation analysis calling  for $33 billion in international aid for the Palestinians over ten years, to build or rebuild their society. The history of providing money to the Palestinian Authority since Olso is that the money came and went, and no new job creating infrastructure appeared as a result.

The money was used for beachfront villas, deposits to personal foreign bank accounts, luxury cars (several hundred foreign cars were just ordered by the PA), weapons, and salaries for the tens of thousands of gunmen and militia members (security forces, as they are called). In a functioning civil society, where there is some history of productive work effort and economic development in the past, huge infusions of cash can make a substantive economic difference: think Japan and Germany after World War II. But those nations first had to defeated in war and their aggressive intentions crushed. Under military occupation, they embarked on a peaceful path, unable and unwilling to threaten their neighbors.

Regrettably, the Palestinian population has been repeatedly told that any settlement with Israel is merely a way station to further conflict leading to Israel's demise: victory in stages. That type of thinking ensures that the population's energies , and resources will remain devoted to war and conflict, not reconstruction. For far too many Palestinians, national success does not mean higher GDP and better lives but destruction of Israel. The Palestinians have been cultivated as a weapon by their Arab brothers.

There is no other explanation for why the Arabs hosting Palestinian populations have allowed refugee camps to remain in existence for over 50 years, when every other refugee population in the world has been resettled in far less time. Nowhere else in the world are people born for multiple generations as "refugees". The Palestinians speak Arabic, and share a broad culture with their "hosts." Yet they are kept apart and in poverty in "camps" which consist not of tents and sheds, but which have the appearance of cities. These camps breed hatred of Israel, and Jews, and sustain the victim mentality so vital to producing new generations of killers.

Rand's study is what one expects of think tanks:  it is totally divorced from the emotional reality  and seething on the ground,  a hatred nourished not primarily by poverty, but by a mythology of dispossession that has been fed to successive generations of Palestinians. Never has there been any Palestinian admission of responsibility for their own fate, their own missed opportunities.

When a Palestinian leader is really committed to ending the struggle with Israel and improving the lives of his people, things could change. Maybe Rand has some ideas on this problem. So long as Palestinians see gain only from Israel's destruction, pouring new billions into this hothouse of hate is not a win—win approach for both peoples, but a recipe for more war.

Until the Palestinians establish a real civil society, and emerge from their current state of nature with tribal gunmen running the streets, foreign donors should hold onto their wallets.