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Thursday, March 30, 2006

The "Humanitarian Aid" dodge

The Quartet has spoken:
International peace mediators said on Thursday the new Hamas-led Palestinian government had failed to commit itself to peace and warned that aid would inevitably be affected.

The Quartet of the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations "noted with grave concern that the new government has not committed to the principles spelled out on Jan. 30," a joint statement said, referring to demands that it recognise Israel, renounce violence and accept past peace deals.

"There inevitably will be an effect on direct assistance to that government and its ministries," the statement said.

It added that humanitarian assistance to meet the basic needs of the Palestinian people should continue.


OK, are the Palestinian Arabs starving? Do they live in thatched huts? Is there a comparison in "humanitarian aid" needed between these two groups of people?


The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development divides countries up by per-capita Gross National Income. It puts the Palestinian territories in the "Lower Middle Income" category of countries and territories. Lower on the list are:

Afghanistan
Angola
Bangladesh
Benin
Bhutan
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cambodia
Cape Verde
Central African Rep.
Chad
Comoros
Congo, Dem. Rep.
Djibouti
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gambia
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Haiti
Kiribati
Laos
Lesotho
Liberia
Madagascar
Malawi
Maldives
Mali
Mauritania
Mozambique
Myanmar
Nepal
Niger
Rwanda
Samoa
Sao Tome & Principe
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Solomon Islands
Somalia
Sudan
Tanzania
Timor-Leste
Togo
Tuvalu
Uganda
Vanuatu
Yemen
Zambia
Cameroon
Congo, Rep.
Côte d'Ivoire
Ghana
India
Kenya
Korea, Dem.Rep.
Kyrgyz Rep.
Moldova
Mongolia
Nicaragua
Nigeria
Pakistan
Papua New Guinea
Tajikistan
Uzbekistan
Viet Nam
Zimbabwe

Not to mention the dozens of other countries at the same rough level economically as the Palestinian territories.

So, when the Quartet "talks tough" to Hamas and still allows "humanitarian aid" into the terrortories, how much of it is really meant to be humanitarian and how much is just to get around the pesky fact that Hamas refuses to accept Israel and renounce terror? How much concern does the Quartet show for the humanitarian crises in sub-Saharan Africa compared to the well-dressed rock-throwing Palestinian youths?

The Palestinian Arabs are well-educated and healthy. They have electricity and clean water courtesy of Israel. They have a monetary and psychological support system of Arabs and Muslims worldwide. There is no humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian Arab territories.

They have taken in hundreds of millions in aid and have zero to show for it. Their major industries remain olives and building bombs. They've had sixty years to build themselves an economy and a future and they have consistently chosen to whine and seethe instead.

At some point, one has to wonder why exactly the West, in the triage of humanitarian aid dollars, decides that Palestinian Arabs are one of their top priorities.