Should the U.S. Stop Foreign Aid to Palestinians?

By Ambassador Yoram Ettinger

The 11 year non-scrutinized annual US foreign aid to Palestinians has been counter-productive. It has not moderated the Palestinian Authority, has not averted PA anti-US hate education and incitement, has not produced a compliant PA, has not stopped homicide bombing (which have generated PA homicide-bombing family allowances) and has not caused Abu Mazen to end PA terrorism and stop harboring Hamas terrorists. Non-scrutinized US foreign aid to Palestinians has – unintentionally – nurtured the largest terrorist base in the Middle East, the Palestinian Authority.

1. 57% OF AMERICANS OPPOSE FOREIGN AID TO PALESTINIANS, according to a February 2006 Gallup poll.

2. STOPPING FOREIGN AID TO PALESTINIANS WOULD NOT HARM INNOCENT BYSTANDERS, because US foreign aid has never trickled down to the Palestinian People. It is evidenced by PA corruption, human rights violations, and by the increasing gap between the have (PA officials and their network) and the have-not (most other Palestinians). US foreign aid to Palestinian NGOs is fully-controlled by the PA.

3. MOST PALESTINIANS ARE NOT INNOCENT BYSTANDERS. They identify with Hamas terrorism, as evidenced by the outcome of the recent PA election. At stake is not US foreign aid to a rogue regime, but US foreign aid to a rogue society. The US did not extend foreign aid to the innocent bystanders in Iraq and Afghanistan, as long as they were ruled by a rogue regime and conducted themselves as rogue societies.

4. "SUPPORT THE INNOCENT BYSTANDERS" WISHFUL THINKING has been crashed by Mideast reality (PA and Hamas terrorism) since 1993. It has failed to moderate the Palestinian rogue society. It has signaled to the PA that it could get away with – and be rewarded for – murder. It has enhanced legitimacy of the rogue PA, thus causing a setback to moderate Palestinians.

5. NON-SCRUTINIZED U.S. FOREIGN AID to the Palestinians facilitated – unintentionally – the creation of the largest terrorist base in the Mideast, closely aligned with Iran, Syria, pro-Saddam elements, Sudan, Russia, China, North Korea and Cuba, a lethal threat to the pro-US Hashemite regime. It has, thus, undermined the anti-terrorist posture of the US, serving as a tailwind to anti-US terrorism. It has bolstered the most oppressive and corrupt Arab regime, with the highest per capita (in the world) internal security personnel. It has constituted an incentive for a systematic and a brutal (yet unpunished) violation of commitments, thus setting the region farther from peace and closer to an all out war.

6. HAS ABU MAZEN’s PERFORMANCE COMPLIED WITH U.S. EXPECTATIONS? Abu Mazen – whose nick name is "Mr. 20%" – has provided a platform for Hamas indoctrination, recruitment, training and terrorism. He is the architect of PA incitement (in PA schools, mosques and media), depicting the US as a blood thirsty occupier in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is the engineer of PA’s ties with Iran and Syria (his first two stops following his election in 2005) and the chief negotiator of a series of PA-Hamas understandings since 1993. He has mentored PA hate-education, the manufacturing line of homicide bombers, and has highlighted the "claim of return", a code name for Israel’s destruction.

7. U.S. FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE IS PERFORMANCE-BASED. Would the US government extend loans, grants and subsidies to students and farmers who repeatedly flunk school and spend government subsidies on gambling?! Should the US be more lenient on Abu Mazen than it has been on its own citizens?!

8. Sustaining foreign aid to the Palestinian authority – or to Palestinian NGOs – would constitute disincentive for compliance with commitments and for abandoning terrorism, at the expense of peace and vital US interests.