Jan. 24, 2016
An outsize share of per capita international aid, even as the Palestinian Authority funds terrorists.
- There seems to be broad agreement about the importance of extending development aid to help the Palestinians build the physical and social infrastructure that will enable the emergence of a sustainable, prosperous society. But such assistance will only promote peace if it is spent to foster tolerance and coexistence.
- If it is used to strengthen intransigence, it does more harm than good – and the more aid that comes in, the worse the outcome. This is exactly what has been transpiring over the past few decades. Large amounts of foreign aid to the Palestinians are spent to support terrorists and deepen hostility.
- For years the most senior figures in the Palestinian Authority have supported, condoned and glorified terror. Countless Palestinian officials and state-run television have repeatedly hailed the murder of Jews. The Palestinian regime in Ramallah pays monthly stipends of between $400 and $3,500 to terrorists and their families. In 2014, the PA’s annual budget for supporting Palestinian terrorists was $75 million, amounting to 16% of the foreign donations the PA received annually.
- This situation is particularly disturbing given the disproportionate share of development assistance the Palestinians receive, which comes at the expense of needy populations elsewhere. In 2013 the Palestinians received $176 of assistance per capita, by far the highest in the world. Syria, where more than 250,000 people have been killed and 6.5 million refugees displaced, received only $106 per capita.
- The remaining eight countries in the top 10 – Sudan, South Sudan, Jordan, Lebanon, Somalia, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo – received an average of $15.30. The Palestinians, who are more than twice as wealthy on average as these eight countries, receive 11 times as much foreign aid per person.
- Donors to the Palestinians who support peace would do well to rethink the way they extend assistance. Money should go to economic and civic empowerment, not to perpetuate a false sense of victimhood and unconditional entitlement. It should foster values of tolerance and nonviolence, not the glorification and financing of terrorism.
The writer is the deputy foreign minister of Israel.