The Corner

Rebuilding Gaza

As the Obama administration promises almost $1 billion for Gaza, and as international donors pledge almost $5 billion, I’m reminded of this important piece by Steven Stotsky corrolating increases in donor aid to the Palestinians to an increase in terrorism. The fact of the matter is that money is fungible. Hamas was elected, but by bailing them out for their bad decisions (e.g., scrapping previous Palestinian Authority agreement upon which previous aid was based, launching war against their neighbor), Secretary Clinton and President Obama are basically acknowledging that they do not believe in fundamental accountability. Hamas can pursue its popular and populist terrorist actions, knowing that Clinton will bail out the Gazan constituents from whom Hamas leaders diverted money.

Rereading Stotsky’s piece, I’m reminded of one of the first pieces I did for NRO years ago, a “modest proposal” taking the principle of indirect responsibility about which many human-rights organizations are fond, and applying the same logic to Mary Robinson, for providing the funding which enabled an earlier wave of Palestinian terrorism.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.