What’s missing from this story?


See if you can spot what crucial fact is missing from this Reuters piece on how the Palestinians are appealing to surrounding Arab states for aid money:

Saudi Arabia and other Arab states are expected to speed money to the Palestinian Authority within days to help it pay its employees after Israel halted tax payments, Palestinian officials said.

[ . . . ]

Hamas, which has carried out nearly 60 suicide bombings since a Palestinian uprising began in 2000, trounced Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s long-dominant Fatah movement in the January 25 parliamentary election.

In a joint statement issued in Islamabad, Islamic allies Pakistan and Saudi Arabia urged the world to accept Hamas’s victory and “avoid premature judgments and hasty conclusions.”

Hamas has urged foreign donors to maintain aid but says it could still find other sources of funding in the Arab world. It has sent a delegation on a tour of Arab countries to urge them to keep the money flowing.

Unemployment in the Palestinian territories runs high, at 22 percent, and half the Palestinian population lives in poverty. In Gaza, many Palestinians live on an average of $2 a day.

Let’s see… we’ve got the requisite reference to Palestinian poverty, to Israel’s withholding of financial transfers, and to the election results and their aftermath. The implication, of course, is that it’s Israel’s fault that the Palestinians are living in poverty.

What’s missing? That’s right: no reference whatsoever to the fact that the billions of dollars of aid that have poured into the Palestinian coffers to-date used to finance terrorism, urge suicide attacks, build explosives and rockets, purchase weapons, and train militias. Oh yeah, and to line the pockets of the Palestinian Authority, and to finance Suha Arafat’s shopping habits. And no mention of the fact that Israel, if it were to release the money, would be contributing financially to attacks on its own citizens.

And the high Palestinian unemployment? No mention of the fact that, prior to 2000, unemployment was much lower because so many Palestinians were working in Israel and crossing the border daily without any problems. Nothing about how the chosen strategy of violence forced Israel to close these borders and therefore cost so many Palestinians their livelihood. No reference to how all the jobs were in Israel because the Palestinians haven’t built any industry, infrastructure or opportunity – in short, necessary ingredients for a sustainable state. Or how, despite claiming to want statehood, it doesn’t seem to have occurred to the Palestinians that a viable state can’t live forever on handouts. It’s so much easier to talk about destroying Israel than to talk about actually building a state, isn’t it?

And it’s more convenient to imply that Israel is to blame for Palestinian poverty than it is to tell the truth, I guess.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DaninVan 11.30.-1 at 12:00 AM
2 Tré 02.02.06 at 3:48 PM

Your version also obscures one important fact which is directly related to the economic conditions of the Palestinian people: Occupation. I agree with your analysis concerning the quoted article. But if you are demanding the whole truth, speak the whole truth.


3 segacs 02.02.06 at 9:06 PM

Occupation isn’t a fact. It’s a fiction invented by the pro-Palestinian lobby. The territories are “disputed”, not “occupied”, because Israel captured them in a defensive war and they did not belong to the Palestinians as part of any independent Palestinian state prior to 1967, either.


4 Tré 02.02.06 at 9:34 PM

I can’t believe you would actually resort to that lame argument. Without even getting into international law, and arguments of defensive wars and pre-emptive attacks this argument is spurious. Even Israel does not claim sovereignty on the Occupied Territories. I don’t believe that this is your argument, Sari. And if you are simply playing the devil’s advocate, its not necessary. I think we, along with most of the world, have moved beyond that position.

A side effect of that argument is that there is no room for a Palestinian state. I don’t think that this is your position. If so, why would you whinme about not having a partner for peace when clearly, your position would negate any chance of peace?

Moreover, even if you choose dispense with occupation on a theoretical level, on a practical level, the facts-on-the-ground, Palestinians are living under military occupation from a foreign government.


5 cliff from montreal 02.03.06 at 4:16 AM

A conversation my friend sent me that he overheard today at work.

person: Hi tre..how are you today?
tre: Terrible, I have a headache,it’s that occupation coming up on me again!

person:Did you have a nice lunch today tre?
tre: no dammit, it’s the occupation.They wouldn’t give me a free meal.

person: How come you can’t drive a car tre?
tre: Those damn Zionists are occupiers and the Jews control the oil.

person: don’t you have a busy productive life tre?
tre: no I’m too occupied with the occupation.

person: did you hear about the fraud in the government?
tre: I support fraud where it’s occupied you know.You should know that.

person:tre the woman’s washroom is to your right, not the left
tre: It doesn’t matter, it’s occupied so I can go where I want.

person: tre, why is it ok for you to take something that isn’t yours?
Using your logic, then you should give all your vast earnings to anyone who demands it.
tre:What logic are you talking about? I’m right even when I’m wrong.. and it’s the occupation you racist fool.Anything goes.

person: tre, I hear you live on a huge tract of undeveloped land..Any chance you can sell 1/10’th of 1% of it to some returning refugees? You know that putrid swamp land that no decent human would want to live in?
tre: sure, no problem,BUT true to my nature and the fact that I can change the rules of life as I go along..I can ask for the land back at anytime..because my G_D is better than yours.



6 Peter 02.03.06 at 4:59 AM

Al Reuters


7 DaninVan 02.03.06 at 6:26 AM



8 Malia 02.03.06 at 9:43 PM

Tre can’t even prove that a “Palestinian” people existed before the late 1960’s so how can anyone take her seriously?


9 DaninVan 02.04.06 at 1:00 AM

Did someone take her seriously?! OMG…


10 jonny 02.05.06 at 10:35 PM

Suha Arafat has expensive taste.

And tre, isn’t there something in resolution 242 about the arabs recognising Israel’s right to live within safe and secure borders?


11 cliff from montreal 02.06.06 at 6:01 PM

tre doesn’t believe in the ‘rights’ of Jews period!


12 Tré 02.06.06 at 9:34 PM

Jonny, Israel’s right to exist is implicit in that document and explicit in others prior.

Malia, you are out to lunch.


13 cliff from montreal 02.06.06 at 11:22 PM

Huh? Oh I see tre, another creative way of saying Jews have no rights!


14 jonny 02.07.06 at 5:45 AM

Tre, I’m glad to hear it.


15 John Palubiski 02.07.06 at 5:46 PM

Well Tré, I,ve a grudging admiration for your tenacity, but the arguments you present don’t hold water.

Were Israel to slacken up on security, the Palestinains would merely perceive it as weakness and the attacks would increase in both frequency and intensity.

And what do you say of the recent news that 700,000,000 (US) has gone missing from Palestinian coffers?

Someone somewhere has expensive tastes…..


16 DaninVan 02.08.06 at 1:30 AM

They’re probably more concerned about the OTHER $300M that REALLY went missing…I mean we’re talkin’ round numbers here, right?


17 DaninVan 02.08.06 at 1:32 AM

Tre should really be getting a paycheck from them for all the hard work she’s doing on their behalf. Seems fair, right? It’s not like it’s coming out of any pal’s pockets.


18 Tré 02.08.06 at 4:50 PM

‘Were Israel to slacken up on security, the Palestinains would merely perceive it as weakness and the attacks would increase in both frequency and intensity.’

That’s a convenient response but it can’t be supported by any evidence. The only evidence points to the contrary. Before the current intifada, when the Palestinians believed Israel’s sincerity in the peace process (that is before they realized that while Israel talked peace it continued to build settlements which would eventually render a viable Palestinian state impossible to establish), attacks decreased in number and intensity.


19 John Palubiski 02.09.06 at 8:30 PM

Tré, your analysis lacks a critical factor that I believe plays a morjor role in all of this, and that factor is radical Islam and mulsim supremacist attitudes.

Do you remember some months back when I mentioned the forced expulsion of Jews from Hebron back in the 1920’s? There was no occupation then, but still the aggression was there.

Examining the expulsion of tens of thousands of Greeks from Istanbul back in the 1950’s ( a forgotten episode!) may provide some insight as to why Palestinians are reluctant to conclude a deal.

Why did the Muslims Turks kick them out? What impulse pushed to Turks to drive out the last remaining remnants of a people who’d inhabited the area since time immemorial?


20 Anonymous 02.09.06 at 9:37 PM

Yes John, Islamic fundamentalism, as Jewish fundamentalism, plays a role in this.


21 DaninVan 02.09.06 at 11:02 PM

John P; I just recently finished L.de Bernieres’ ‘Birds Without Wings’ (softcover)
I can’t remember whether I recommended it earlier, but if not I am now, highly.
It’s about that whole Turk – Greek thing.

The guy’s a consummate craftsman with words; I’d read anything he wrote just for the enjoyment of his language skills.


22 John Palubiski 02.10.06 at 3:40 PM

Anonymous ( what an imaginative moniker!), it isn’t “fundamentalist” to want to live in what is your historical homeland.

It is, on the other hand, a basic right.

As a Christian, I’m hardly in a position to admonish the Arab world for its outrageous anti-semitism…..we’ve engaged in an awful lot of it ourselves….however the fact that the Palestinians cannot even bring themselves to draw Israel on a friggin’ map may just perhaps…maybe… have something to do with the Arab world’s inability to even recognise the existence of the Jewish state.

The ultimate form of racism, anon, is to behave as though “the other” doesn’t even exist, to refuse to acknowledge the presence of the other even though they may be standing right in front of you and may have just bid you “good morning”.

What can I say, Anon? The Jews are a vibrant and thriving people who have a right to their historical holy places.

The current Arabo/Muslim “ownership” of the Temple Mount is little more than a colonialist occupation akin to French imperialism in Algeria or Indochina.

To be fair, there have been other occupiers as well, such as the Romans and the Byzantines, but the site most definately belongs to the Jewish people.

The historical evidence for this is both ample and irrefutable


23 Tré 02.10.06 at 9:33 PM

The ultimate form of racism, anon, is to behave as though “the other” doesn’t even exist, to refuse to acknowledge the presence of the other even though they may be standing right in front of you and may have just bid you “good morning”.

Yes, as in “A land without a people for a people without a land.”


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