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The West Must Refuse Aid to Palestinians

By David Warren

No one has made much of an argument for the Palestinians lately, but if someone should try, point at Jericho. The Israel Defence Forces were put this week to the trouble of surrounding a prison there, and extracting its inmates, after the Palestinian Authority announced it would release them. The prison housed men wanted for the murder of an Israeli cabinet minister in 2001. The PA had signed the most watertight international agreement to keep those men in jail, but it meant nothing to them. No international agreement they have signed has ever been kept. How do you negotiate with that?

Our mainstream media insinuate that Israel's new prime minister, Ehud Olmert, ordered the capture of these "militants" (the current euphemism for terrorists) because he was sinking in the polls, a fortnight before a general election. The operation certainly helped him, and the Kadima Party he inherited from Ariel Sharon, but the suggestion is nonsense. Any Israeli party of Left or Right would have sent in the IDF to secure those prisoners. No government of Israel can afford to let the murder of a cabinet minister go unpunished.

Moreover, regardless of the result of the Israeli election (which Kadima should win with, most likely, Likud in second place despite its leader Binyamin Netanyahu's increasing unpopularity), no Israeli government will listen to Palestinian demands. The "peace process" ended when the Palestinians elected Hamas. The entire Israeli electorate knows that.

According to the World Bank, if Israel and the West withhold their aid money from the Palestinian Authority, unemployment in the West Bank and Gaza will climb from just below one-quarter to two-fifths of the workforce, and the proportion of Palestinians living in dire poverty will grow to nearly two-thirds. The PA's alternative sources of revenue, being the same sources in Iran and Saudi Arabia that are the primary funders of international terrorism, give money for arms but not for food or economic development.

There is already a shriek for humanitarian assistance, which is what the West provides. But as in Saddam Hussein's Iraq, such aid will be diverted from the intended recipients, and used to free up other revenue for weapons.

Palestinians might hypothetically argue their only choice was between two fanatic Islamist parties -- so why punish them for choosing the one that was more honest about its goal of annihilating Israel?

But the destruction of Palestinian society, and its replacement with a satanic order in which mothers raise children to be suicide bombers, goes deeper into history. So great has been the success of psychopathic thugs, from Grand Mufti Haj Muhammed Amin al-Husseini (who banked on Hitler), through Yasser Arafat (who banked on Saddam), to Sheikh Ahmed Yassin's political progeny (who now bank on Iran's murderous ayatollahs), that Palestinians today have openly embraced clinical paranoia. Most actually think all of their problems were externally caused. They are thus beyond arguing with. They have become, in effect, four million inmates in the world's most incompetently-administered lunatic asylum.

Here is where the West must have the stomach to refuse aid, in the full knowledge that it will have humanitarian consequences. For every shekel of aid prolongs the agony, and postpones the day of reckoning for Fatah and Hamas. At some point, the Arabs must learn that there are horrible consequences to horrible acts, that archangels and djinns are not going to save them. They must learn that the only way forward, out of violence and ruin, is to rid themselves of the fanatics who prey upon their vitals. For if you don't want to be held hostage, you must find a way to eliminate your keeper.

I am not without sympathy for the many Arabs who do understand all this. Alas, they are far from representative of their society. Many seek emigration. At home, they are silent from the threat of reprisal against themselves and their families; abroad, they leave hostages back home. That is why we seldom hear from them. In Palestine, no sincere "peace advocate" can stand, publicly, and expect to live. He will be immediately arrested as an "Israeli agent", and a painful, humiliating, public death will follow within hours. Hundreds have been lynched in this way.

That is the reality. We cannot negotiate with it, we can only try to find the way to overcome it, that is least costly in human lives and suffering. Subsidizing the enemy doesn't work, nor appeasement in any subtler form. The only message we can fairly convey to the real enemy of the Palestinian people -- the thugs who rule them, whether confirmed by elections or no -- is, "Come out with your hands up."

otiosus@sympatico.ca

© Ottawa Citizen


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