When I first read about Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asking the world for a four billion dollar handout to rebuild the damage done by the Hamas initiated war in Gaza, I was skeptical of his math skills.
That is a lot of money. How did he arrive at that figure? What reconstruction methodology did he use to determine this stunning figure? What experts did he rely on? Did he hire specialists, like insurance adjusters, to arrive at this princely sum? Will his government provide the necessary documentation to the world to prove these figures are accurate, or will the donor nations—like the United States—simply take his word for it and write out mind-boggling checks?
My natural pessimism over how things are done in the Middle East, and particularly among Muslim governments, made me immediately suspicious of this gargantuan figure. To say I doubt the accuracy of his figures is an understatement.
When I read that Kerry pledged an immediate 212 million dollars to the “reconstruction effort,” I had to click off the page before I read the article in its entirety due to the fact my anger was getting the best of me. That $212 million (added on top of the already almost $200 million given this year) is tax-payer money—my money— that will be going into the coffers of an anti-Israel Islamic government that hopes for the destruction of the Jewish State.
Then, I read that the begging fest for Gaza raised an astonishing 5.4 billion dollars, well over the figure that Abbas seemingly pulled out of thin air. It seems that the war Hamas started was the best thing that could have happened to Gaza—as far as raising money for this corrupt, anti-Semitic government. And if a few thousand homes were destroyed in the process as well as a few thousand Palestinian lives lost , this was a necessary small sacrifice in order to replenish the war coffers depleted by Israel’s sworn enemies. Terrorism never paid so well.
The corruption, graft and vice that is endemic in Middle Eastern politics is legendary; Yasir Arafat is an exemplary example. Diversion of donor funds used to personally feather the nests of the PLO is as common as the millions of donated funds that regularly pour into this corrupt organization. Yet the money spigot is never shut off: millions of dollars—even billions—never cease to make their way into the hands of the Palestinian government.
The current leader of the Palestinian people, Mahmoud Abbas, seems to govern in virtual lock-step with his ignoble predecessor Arafat: corruption for Abbas and his government is just a way of life…business as usual.
The clear lesson to Hamas and those intent on the annihilation of the Jewish State is unmistakeable: any terrorist attacks against Israel will be richly rewarded by kingly sums from donor nations. As a matter of fact, the return on terrorist investments—war against Israel—will be huge, now tabulated at 5.4 billion.
Perhaps this “donor conference” is all merely a shell game for the PLO and Hamas. Will the 5.4 billion pledged ever be realized? Probably not, at least not the entire sum. But these pledges might just be part of the con for extracting immediate aid out of gullible Western nations, predominantly the United States, who will write out huge checks that will immediately and eventually find their way into the hands of both the PLO and Hamas. As time passes, the other nations will conveniently find ways to forget about their previous pledges, knowing that America and the other Western nations will have already picked up the enormous tab.
For now, the pledges make the donor nations appear to be unusually caring and concerned about the plight of the disadvantaged Palestinians, but whether the money is ever given to the “reconstruction efforts” will be another matter.
As long as terrorism against Israel reaps such spectacular monetary rewards, the endless “build, destroy and rebuild” syndrome will certainly continue. And why not? The rewards cannot be matched by any other legitimate means thought up by the Palestinian authorities.