If he's right - and we think the case he presents is well put together - the donor conference ("Paris donor nations pledge billions for Palestinians") that gathered yesterday and pledged upwards of $7 billion to the Mahmoud Abbas regime has conspired to create a humanitarian disaster.
Have a look at the chart on the right. It shows the relationship between the number of terrorist murders of Israelis carried out by the Palestinian Arabs, and the scale of foreign aid delivered to the Palestinian Arabs a year earlier. The fit is remarkable.
Here are the references that go with the chart:
- Correlating Palestinian Aid and Homicides 2000-2007 (Stephen Stotsky, 2007)
- Will Massive Infusions of Aid Rescue the Palestinian Economy? (Stephen Stotsky, 2007)
- Aid and the Delegated Fight against Terrorism (Jean-Paul Azam, University of Toulouse and Alexandra Delacroix, SGAM, Paris, 2005)
- Palestinian Authority's tax payer-funded open spigot must be closed now (Daniel Pipes, 2007)
In 2006, the European Union and its member states gave US$815 million to the Palestinian Authority; the United States gave $468 million. Other donors brought the total haul to $1.5 billion. This week's Donors' Conference for the Palestinian Authority aimed to pull in a further $5 billion or more. No matter how many millions of Palestinians there are in the West Bank and/or the Gaza Strip (you can take your pick of guesstimates), we're talking of a vast windfall for each Pal-Arab man, woman and child. "Well, it's a bargain if it works, right? [says Pipes] A few billion to end a dangerous, century-old conflict - it's actually a steal." But he refers to the innovative research done by Steven Stotsky, relying on World Bank, International Monetary Fund and other official statistics. Stotsky demonstrates that every $1.25 million of budgetary support aid translates into one death that year. So does foreign aid cause violence? No. But can it seriously be said, in light of this, that foreign aid is the way to promote moderation and combat terrorism? At least let's be ready to ask the question. Azam and Delacroix's article "Aid and the Delegated Fight Against Terrorism" finds a "robust empirical result showing that the supply of terrorist activity by any country is positively correlated with the amount of foreign aid received by that country". Theirs is a statistical analysis, not a political one; it says that the more foreign aid, the more terrorism.Or in terms that we here in Israel cannot ignore: the better funded the Pal-Arabs are, the stronger they become -- and the more inspired to engaged in armed terror. We're perfectly aware that some might disagree with our conclusion, and we're not arguing that we're right though we clearly do believe we are. But here's the point: people's lives depend on understanding that financial aid to the Pal-Arabs has to be far more carefully monitored than in the blood-soaked past. Doing it the same way as it is being done at present and in the past decade and a half is going to produce another catastrophe.
One death (as we've learned) is unbearable. Hundreds, thousands - that's beyond unthinkable. Who (from among the politicians, the journalists, the analysts) can confidently say we're not on the verge of exactly that sort of disaster?