Top Israeli Arab Journalist: U.S. & World Funding For Palestinians Will Not Moderate Palestinians
March 24, 2009


Top Israeli Arab journalist, the Jerusalem Post’s Khaled Abu Toameh, has criticized the U.S. and the European governments for pouring billions of dollars into the Palestinian Authority (PA) regime of Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas in the hope of “empowering the moderates and undermining the radicals” among the Palestinians. Toameh said that, in the aftermath of Hamas’s rise to power in the January 2006 parliamentary election and its subsequent takeover of the entire Gaza Strip in 2007, the West had pursued such a policy without producing any of the desired results. As proof, Toameh referred to a recent Palestinian opinion poll, aspects of which were highlighted last week by ZOA, showing growing Palestinian support for Hamas, despite U.S. funding of Abbas’ PA.


Toameh analyzed the situation as follows:


“…anti-Israel incitement in the Palestinian media in particular and the Arab media in general, as well as in the mosques and educational institutions [cause Palestinians to support Hamas in increasing numbers]. This is in addition to the fiery rhetoric of Palestinian spokesmen – from both Fatah and Hamas.

“The money coming mostly from the Americans and Europeans cannot have a moderating effect on the Palestinians when they are being told, on a daily basis, that Israel is evil, does not want peace and should not  be allowed to exist in the Middle East … If anything, the results of the public opinion polls show that, more than 15 years after the beginning of the peace process between Israel and the PLO, there is still a majority of Palestinians who support Hamas and its radical ideology. The results also show that a majority of Palestinians are still not prepared to make far-reaching concessions for the sake of a peace treaty with Israel.

“The notion that economic prosperity and “bribes” can buy moderation has again proved to be untrue. American and European money will never turn the Palestinians into Israel-lovers. The change has to come from the Palestinians themselves. Ironically, with the help of the American and European funding, the Palestinians have raised an entire generation on the glorification of suicide bombers and hatred for Israel and Western values. (Khaled Abu Toameh, ‘Why Palestinians Prefer Hamas,’ Hudson Institute (New York), March 16, 2009).



ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Khaled Abu Toameh has drawn attention to a subject widely neglected in Israel and America – the futility and avoidable tragedy of funding Mahmoud Abbas and the PA in the belief that these are moderate peace makers who will be duly empowered and extremists weakened.


“ZOA has drawn attention repeatedly to the fact that innumerable Palestinian polls show majority Palestinian unwillingness to accept Israel or condemn terrorism routinely used against its citizens. Just as persistently, we have drawn attention to the extremism and immoderation of Abbas and the PA over the years, their protection and sponsorship of terrorism and the incitement to hatred and murder against Jews in their media, mosques, schools and youth camps. Under such conditions, the idea that the funding Abbas and the PA would produce moderation has proved a tragic mistake which has simply served to permit Palestinian society to be radicalized while the PA is accepted the world over as moderates and peace-makes while taking on actual moves towards peace.


“The ZOA renews its call on the Obama Administration to make all future funding for the PA conditional on its arresting and jailing terrorists, confiscating illegal weaponry and ending the incitement to hatred and murder that permeates its society.”


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