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Islamikazi War and Palestinian Poverty By: David Meir-Levi
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Agence France-Presse article on Palestinian poverty (Sept 7, 04) makes a mockery of journalistic ethics. The article movingly describes the suffering of the Palestinian people. But by blaming this suffering on Israel, the writer reveals either extreme myopia, abysmal ignorance, or anti-Israel bias.

 Here are some critical facts that the writer fails to mention:

  1. Chronic malnutrition was not a problem during the 25 years of Israeli control. From 1967-1993 the economy of the West Bank thrived, tourism sky-rocketed, universities increased in number from one to seven, infant mortality plummeted, life expectancy increased, and the lives of the Palestinian Arabs improved by objective World Bank measures. At one point almost 300,000 Palestinians were working in the Israeli economy, with earnings well ahead of their counterparts in neighboring states.

    Only after Arafat took over in 1993, with his Palestinian Authority gaining autonomous control of 96% of the Palestinians living in Israel, did the Palestinian people suffer the collapse of their economy and the spread of poverty and malnutrition.

  2. After Oslo, billions of dollars in international aid flowed into the PA, from the EU, the US, and a number of Arab countries. Yet the Palestinian people have nothing to show for this largesse. It is now obvious that rather than using that aid to build his state, with schools, hospitals, roads, and social services, Arafat created a massive kleptocracy that siphoned off vast fortunes to personal accounts, and squandering the rest on the terror war against Israel. Suha Arafat lives in luxury in Paris, on a stipend of $100,000 per month, while the average Palestinian earns $2.00 per day.

  3. Hundreds of tons of humanitarian supplies enter the West Bank and Gaza regularly, but never reach the starving Palestinians. As we know now from Jordanian and Palestinian sources, Arafat and the PA have created a monopoly on the transfer of food to Arab cities in the West Bank. Food entering the West Bank goes only to designated PA officials who then sell it to selected merchants. Thus Arafat and the PA reap financial reward by intensifying the food shortage at the expense of the starving Palestinians.

  4. Some medical treatment has indeed been disrupted by Israeli blockades. If the terrorists would refrain from using medical personnel and vehicles for their terrorism, there would be no need to detain ambulances.

    The Palestinian terrorists' utilization of civilians and ambulances as foils for their attacks is what creates the need for the curfews and road-blocks. These Machiavellian tactics force Israel to make a choice that no civilized nation should be forced to make: Israel must decide where it wants the casualties. The curfews and roadblocks create tragic consequences for the Palestinian people. Those innocent victims are the casualties on their side of the road-block. But lifting those blockades ineluctably causes horrendous casualties on the Israeli side as Islamekazi homicide bombers and other terrorists claim the lives of more and more innocent Israelis. So, the roadblocks and curfews are necessary to stop or reduce the carnage.

  5. It is irrational to assert that the "illegal occupation" is at cause in the conflict. Israel ended its military control over most of the West  Bank and Gaza strip in 1993. The last tank left Ramallah on 9/28/95. Arafat  was then supposed to create his new Palestinian State. Instead he created a terrorist army, and waged a terrorist war of annihilation. If the "occupation" were the cause of the conflict, the conflict would have ended in 1993 with the Oslo Accords and the end of the "occupation.”

The cause of the conflict is the unrelenting commitment of the Palestinian terrorists to the total destruction of Israel and the butchering of its Jewish inhabitants. Arafat made that commitment first in 1953 when he founded el-Fatah, and repeated it often during the past 5 decades, even most recently when he was under house arrest.

The "occupied territory" to which Arafat and his terrorists refer is the entire state of Israel. Since 1937, Palestinian leadership has rejected a total of fifteen attempts, by the UK, UN, US and Israel, to create a Palestinian state alongside of Israel. Instead, that leadership has chosen violence, murder, war, and terrorism in the belief that they could bring about the destruction of Israel and the creation of their Palestinian state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean sea.

The Palestinian people are suffering today because they made the mistake of following a terrorist leader whose commitment to violence and genocide vastly overshadows his concerns for his electorate.

They will continue to suffer needlessly, innocent victims trapped in an insane kamikaze war, until a Palestinian leadership emerges that can commit to the creation of a Palestinian state alongside of Israel, not instead of Israel.

David Meir-Levi lectures in English, Hebrew, and Spanish and is a contributor to Frontpagemag.com.

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