New Study By Harvard Professor Finds: Poverty Is Not The Cause Of Terrorism
November 24, 2004

NEW YORK – A new study by a Harvard University professor has found that terrorism is not caused by poverty — thus further undermining the main premise behind international aid to the Palestinian Arabs.

The Harvard University Gazette reports that Alberto Abadie, associate professor at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, “examined data on terrorism and variables such as wealth, political freedom, geography, and ethnic fractionalization for nations that have been targets of terrorist attacks … Before analyzing the data, Abadie believed it was a reasonable assumption that terrorism has its roots in poverty, especially since studies have linked civil war to economic factors. However, once the data was corrected for the influence of other factors studied, Abadie said he found no significant relationship between a nation’s wealth and the level of terrorism it experiences… (New York Sun, Nov.10, 2994)

Palestinian Arab journalist Khalid Amayreh has likewise written that it “is simply nonsense” to “claim that Islamic terrorism in Israel, as elsewhere, is the product of poverty, backwardness, and ignorance … Islamic fundamentalism is not a product or by-product of poverty. Several studies have shown that a substantial majority of Islamists and their supporters come from the middle and upper socio-economic strata … The fact that city-dwellers [in Judea-Samaria], who are generally more educated and better off economically, have consistently lent more support to Islamists refutes the widely held assumption that Islamist popularity thrives on economic misery.” (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 21, 1995)

Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), commented: “Poverty is not the problem; hatred is the problem. An entire generation of Palestinian Arabs has been raised to hate Jews and Israel. Giving them American money will not solve the problem — in fact, it will have the opposite effect, but sending a message to them they need not change their ways. Like German society after World War II, Palestinian Arab society will require a lengthy and intensive period of de-Nazification, to wean them away from their hatred and violence. What they need is years and years of education towards peace, democracy, and coexistence. As long as the PA educates its people for hatred, in the official PA schools, summer camps, television, radio, newspapers, speeches, and religious sermons, peace will not be possible.”

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