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January 19, 2009
War in Gaza a windfall for Hamas (Updated)
Writing in Forbes , Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, director of the American Center for Democracy and author of Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It, explains that despite those pictures of pitiful, poverty stricken Arabs in Gaza, Hamas has plenty of money for its people.
Although piously proclaiming to stop funding Hamas, international aid organizations continue to send so called humanitarian aid to Gaza which is funded through...Hamas.
UNWRA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency), the UN agency that has kept the Gazans as refugees for over 60 years, unlike other refugee resettlement agencies and employs Hamas members, has a budget of $400 million plus additional money that pours in via its web site. Since 1993 the European Union, the UN, the US, Saudi Arabia and other Arab League countries have acknowledged contributing $7-$10 billion to the Palestinian Authority which governed Gaza until Hamas violently overthrew them.
Wait! They even have more! War has been very good for Hamas in Gaza, if not for the Gazans themselves.
In a meeting hosted by Abu Dhabi on Jan. 12, representatives from the Palestinian Authority and several donor countries, including Egypt, Britain and the U.S., met to discuss efforts to raise and send undisclosed amounts of money to help Palestinians in Gaza. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) also pledged to rebuild schools, mosques, hospitals and 1,300 damaged Gaza houses. In addition, the Emirates raised more than $87 million in a nationwide telethon on Jan. 9.
A few weeks ago oil rich Saudi Arabia hosted a telethon for Gaza raising nearly $27 million; $8 million came from the nation's king himself. Qatar promised to increase its $50 million donation, first promised to Hamas in Gaza over two years ago.
And more! more! more!
While condemning Israel, the European Union pledged more than $4 million in "humanitarian aid" to Gaza. In 2008, it provided Gaza with $55.6 million. In addition, European Union member states pledged more than $41 million, including $10.5 million from the British government's Department for International Development. Japan pledged $10 million, and terror-struck India said it would send $1 million. Norway has announced a pledge of about $4.5 million, while Australia is adding $3.5 million in addition to the $32 million it gave in 2008. Additionally, other countries sent tons of medical and humanitarian supplies. This more than meets the UNRWA emergency appeal for $34 million.
Even Fatah, the former Palestinian Authority government in Gaza, promised last year to give its enemy Hamas $3.1 billion in aid from international donors. This is in addition to the PA's funding the salaries of 77,000 "employees" in Gaza.
In December 2008, under U.S. and international pressure, Israel delivered between $64 million and $77 million in cash to Gaza.
And how has Hamas used this bounty to help its people in Gaza increase their standard of living so they can have more than the minimums for a healthy and functioning society such as food, education, jobs, housing?
Well, it hasn't. According to Ehrenfeld
This influx of cash has done little to advance the development of a viable Palestinian state or of peace in the region. Rather, it has helped to fuel the Palestinian leadership's terrorist agenda, and kept the Palestinian people oppressed and disenfranchised. (skip) Despite all of this, most international organizations and the world community at large continue to ignore the ongoing human and civil rights violations perpetrated against the Palestinians by their own leadership, including the destruction of Gaza and the death of hundreds of its citizens.
Listen to one of their own describe his society.
In the mid-1990s--shortly after the Palestinian Authority came into existence--the Palestinian writer Fawaz Turki described the regime as "the dissolution of civilized society, of all civil norms and all hope."
Providing their citizens with a civilized society would turn the people away from Hamas' terrorist raison d'etre--destroying Israel. A productive, educated people would have a stake in perpetuating their society; a poverty stricken one with no jobs, no future raised on hate does not. Hamas, like Arafat before, keeps the money for its own enrichment, for "permanent revolution." So Gaza will continue to smolder and explode. Any peace treaty, without fundamental changes, is a treaty for continuing war and terror.
And fundamental changes just aren't there. More war and terror by Hamas are.
According to the AP, Saudi Arabia has promised another $1 billion to rebuild Gaza. How much will go to the residents themselves beyond a few showy improvements is questionable. Will much of this money line the pockets of Hamas officials directly or indirectly as they require bribes from international firms eager to bid for projects remains to be seen.
Will Hamas continue to rocket Israel with bombs? Even during the current so-called peace talks they are.
Saudi Arabia threatened Israel that its peace initiative to Israel--give up everything and live as a dhimmi (subservient) state among Arabs--will be withdrawn unless Israel agrees.