ZOA Praises E.U. MP Daniel Hannan For Criticizing E.U. Funding Of The PA
September 5, 2008


The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has praised the European Union (EU) Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Daniel Hannan for declaring that increased European Union (EU) aid to Hamas workers for the Palestinian Authority (PA) is illegal and an obstacle to peace. Hannan, who is is a Daily Telegraph [London] leader writer and Conservative MEP for South East England, wrote in his Daily Telegraph blog a piece ‘EU aid to Palestine is funding the conflict,’ in which he said that:


“The EU’s generosity with our money – it has paid the Palestinian Authority €256 [about $365 million] so far this year – creates two problems. First, the PA is run by Hamas, which is on the EU’s list of designated terrorist operations. Under Brussels rules, funding such an organisation is a criminal offence. Euro-lawyers have sought to circumvent the letter of the law by funnelling aid money through NGOs, but this is sheer sophistry. Many of the PA’s officials are Hamas militants, whose salaries are being paid while they serve their sentences in Israeli jails.


Second, it is becoming increasingly clear that overseas aid is arresting a political settlement in the region. Palestinians receive more assistance, per capita, than any other people on Earth, and live in one of its most violent spaces. The two facts are connected. The idea that aggression can be buried under a landslide of euros sounds reasonable, but it is based on a false premise, namely that political violence is caused by economic deprivation. This notion derives ultimately from Marx and, like many of his ideas, it looks plausible on the page, but turns out to be specious.


Most of the world’s revolutions have taken place, not at times of rising poverty, but at times of rising wealth and aspirations. Put bluntly, people who are worried about food and shelter have little time to go on demos. It is when they have time to sit and brood that their thoughts turn to bloodshed.


A welfare state is thus the perfect terrorist habitat. Think of the two London Tube bombers who had been living on income support and housing benefit. Had this option been closed, perhaps they might have had to go out and get jobs, and so been too busy to work themselves into a suicidal rage (Damiel Hannan, ‘EU aid to Palestine is funding the conflictDaily Telegraph [London], August 22, 2008).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “It is all too rare to read a piece about the funding of the PA that is informed by logic and knowledge of the fact that PA terror, like terrorism in general, is not the product of economic deprivation and poverty, an argument the ZOA has made on several occasions.


“Palestinian economic privation does not lie at the root of terrorism – the misconception that it does has been rebutted by numerous studies. To name four:


1. A 2001 report by Nasra Hassan, a Pakistani relief worker, based on 250 interviews with aspiring Palestinian suicide bombers and their recruiters concluded that “None were uneducated, desperately poor, simple-minded or depressed … They all seemed to be entirely normal members of their families.”

2. A poll the same year by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research indicated that Palestinians with more than 12 years’ education were far more likely to support terror attacks than illiterate Palestinians.

3. A 2002 study by Alan Krueger, the distinguished Princeton University economist, showed that members of the Lebanese terror group Hizballah were less likely than other Lebanese to come from poor homes and more likely to have received a secondary school education; &

4. A 2004 study by Dr. Marc Sageman, a psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania and a former CIA case office in Afghanistan during the late 1980s, concluded that “Most Arab terrorists … were well-educated, married men from middle-or upper-class families, in their mid-20s and psychologically stable.”


“The Palestinians’ economic well-being has never been the issue. In neither 1948 nor 1967 did Arabs go to war with Israel on account of economic issues. Moreover, the Palestinians of Judea, Samaria and Gaza were in better economic shape under Israeli rule. Their economic well-being slid steeply under PA rule, and even more so after the PA unleashed hostilities in 2000. The priority Palestinians have given and continue to give to eliminating Israel means they have been willing to sacrifice stability and prosperity to achieve their aims.


“Accordingly, international funding of the PA is feeding the violence and death toll. We repeat our strong urging of the Bush Administration to cease the financial and other support of the PA that has characterized its policy in recent years and thereby end the tragedy of American taxpayer’s money funding jihadist suicide bombers and other murderers of Jews.”

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