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  KD MAGAZINE! 
Posted: May 17, 2006 - יום
רביעי, י"ט באייר, תשס"ו
 
 

Financial Terror
Rabbi Shea Hecht
About the Author
 

When the British Mandate ended on May 15, 1948, it opened the door for the establishment of the State of Israel. The Arabs of the Palestinian Authority commemorate this “terrible event” with Nakba Day or Day of Catastrophe. The Hamas terrorist movement, which now controls the Palestinian Authority, issued its Nakba Day proclamation emphasizing the legitimacy of terrorism against Israel, as well as the demand for the return of millions of Arabs to Israel. Additionally, it repeated the claim that the Arabs were thrown out of their homes by Israel in 1948.The historical facts prove, though, that the largest number of Arab refugees fled at the urging of their own leaders, who promised them a quick victory over the fledgling Jewish state and a quick return to their homes. The Nakba Day proclamation killed any chance for peace with Israel. 

A while ago there was a chance for the US and the rest of the world community to use financial means to exert some kind of control over the Hamas - control that would have left the Nakba Day announcement as an unrealized dream. 

When Hamas took control of the Palestinian Authority in March, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice told the House of Representatives that the United States wants to stop all funding to the Palestinian Authority because of the American policy not to fund terrorist groups. Rice demanded that the PA recognize Israel's right to exist, disarm its terror group and renounce Jihad in order to continue giving Hamas financial aid. She strongly encouraged other nations to similarly cease paying the PA since the money helps perpetuate the Hamas terror regime. Many nations complied triggering a freeze in foreign aid. 

Hamas leaders tried to keep the flow of international funding running. However, it wasn’t easy. Many local, regional and international banks stopped dealing with the Palestinian Authority because they were afraid of sanctions by the United States. The United States is powerful enough in the world community that we could have used our clout and financial pressure to affect a change in the Middle East. 

Though Hamas was publicly declaring that they would never change their charter, the terrorist group was in fact trying to tone down their anti-Semitic rhetoric. The current charter, written when Hamas was founded in 1988 declares that “so-called peaceful solutions contradict the principles of Hamas” and calls for “Jihad” to liberate all lands owned by the Jewish people. After Rice’s announcement that financial aid would be cut off Hamas officials secretly worked at developing a more moderate charter which would carry a non-anti-Semitic image.  The threat of losing financially seemed to be doing the trick. 

Yet the US dropped the ball, when they recently  bowed to pressure from the other Quartet members - Russia, the European Union and the  United Nations - that an aid deal was needed to avoid financial collapse of the PA and more violence. Rice agreed to send ten-million of dollars of direct medical aid to the Hamas led PA for a three-month trial period.  

It is unconscionable for the US and the rest of the Quartet to give money to the PA and help keep Hamas in power as they have not given up their terrorist aims against Israel. At the same time that Rice was sitting with the Quartet and deciding to send funds to the PA, Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal was meeting with his colleagues in Qatar. He called on the Arab and Islamic world to send Hamas "weapons, money and men." Mashaal reassured his audience, explaining that their  “donations” would be a force for good in the world because Hamas is engaged in "resistance, not terrorism." 

To Hamas's calls for the destruction of Israel, Rice answered that the goal of the Quartet meeting was "to provide assistance to the Palestinian people so that they do not suffer deprivation and do not suffer a humanitarian crisis." The Quartet incorrectly claims that the hundreds of millions of dollars they are about to provide the Palestinians will not benefit the Hamas. It’s already clear that some of the “direct medical aid” will pay the overdue salaries of PA employees who are supposed to be getting paid by Hamas. That means, the money will be paying Hamas's bills directly.

Even worse, every cent transferred in "direct aid" to the Palestinians is money that will prevent Hamas from failing. Not every PA citizen is aware that Hamas is surviving on Western charity. In fact, the notorious lies that cycle in Muslim circles would lead me to believe that PA citizens will claim the money came from their supporters to strengthen and continue the Jihad against the West. 

Incredibly, even after the “Quartet” agreed to send aid, Hamas leaders said they still had problems accepting Western demands to recognize Israel and renounce violence. Though they clearly want and need foreign aid to stay in power they want the money to come with no strings attached! 

"The Quartet have conditions. They aim to push the Palestinian government to make concessions that harm (Palestinian) rights and red lines and give the (Israeli) occupation legitimacy," Ismail Haniyeh, Prime Ministerof the PA told reporters in Gaza. 

What a loss of opportunity! Had the international community “stuck to their guns” the PA could have been “pushed in the right direction.” Additionally they would have sent a strong and clear message to the rest of the world that terror can’t rule. As it is, the aid from the international community, will help Hamas stay in power and continue their violence and destruction, clearly sending a message that all terror groups need to do is take over the government and the aid will pour in to help them stay afloat. 

The US seems to feel comfortable supporting a government bent on the destruction of Israel. I wonder how the USA would feel and what they would say if the rest of the “Quartet” decided to send money that could be used to fight the USA - even under the guise of humanitarian aid - to the rebels in Afghanistan, the defense fund for Sadaam Hussein, to Osama bin Laden or to Iran.

Read more articles by Rabbi Hecht 

 

 
     
 
 
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