Where to Draw the Line on International Assistance to the Palestinians?

(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) David Makovsky, Michael Herzog, and Elizabeth Young - In the aftermath of Hamas' parliamentary victory, the Quartet set clear criteria for funding the PA under Hamas' leadership. Funding would be a function of the new government's "commitment to the principles of nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Roadmap." Indeed, there is no other example of taxpayers subsidizing a government run by an organization that appears on State Department and EU terror lists. The purpose of withholding aid is to compel Hamas to make a choice about whether it will continue to advocate unacceptable policies if it wants to have the economic wherewithal to govern the PA, and to underscore to Palestinian voters, a plurality of whom supported Hamas, that the international community can respect Palestinian democracy but not remain indifferent to the choices that Palestinians make. Except for humanitarian assistance, there is no such thing as a Palestinian entitlement to development aid and budget support. The most important point is to show Palestinians that their economy will suffer as a result of choosing a leadership that rejects the very premises of peacemaking.

2006-03-03 00:00:00

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