Monday, February 13, 2006

Drive the Palestinians into Iran's Hands?

Interesting idea in last week's New Republic. Joseph Braude argues (I'd link, but it's pay-only) that the west should cut off the Palestinian Authority, to which it provides billions of dollars in aid each year, and let the PA's Hamas leadership turn to Iran to make up the lost cash. That sounds on the face of it like a bad idea, but Braude argues that the Iranian public would notice the expenditure and not necessarily approve, as Iran has plenty of its own fish to fry. Not only that but forcing the PA to turn to the Arab world just to cover its operating expenses would prevent it from using that money for its terrorist operations. Don't forget that Hamas was elected because of concerns about PA corruption, not because it's anti-Israel, so bread and butter issues should be their top concern if they expect to stay in power long.

There may be few other options. One cannot continue to give the PA its current sweetheart deal in international aid if its government is not even going to recognize Israel's right to exist -- that's simply not morally acceptable. Let's force them to make the hard choices between trying to build an acceptable standard of living and fighting to push Israel into the sea. It looks like the United States and Israel are already working on it.


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