Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Palestinians Outraged That U.S. Has Cut Back On Its Jizya

Jizya document from the 17th Century Ottoman Empire (Source)

         The actual headline from The Independent is "'Trump - he wants us to die': Palestinians fear US aid cuts could ignite Gaza tinderbox." And, rather melodramatically, the author writes: "Aid workers have stark warnings for the US President, after he slashed American funding for the UN agency here. 'They have seen the peace efforts fall apart and their own leadership divided. But nobody has ever taken away their bread'." The cut of which they are complaining is a reduction of U.S. aid to the UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for Palestinian "refugees." The U.S. had initially promised $195 million in aid for the first quarter of 2018, but that amount was cut to only $60 million. So they are still getting $60 million they don't deserve (plus whatever other nations contribute to the fund).

       The article goes on to report:
        With their horses and carts and beaten-up cars, the refugees of Gaza’s Beach camp arrived early on Monday for their quarterly food boxes, given out on a rota system by UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees. 
          Some had come several days before their designated pick-up day, fearing that soon the free flour, lentils, sardines and oil on which their lives depend, would be gone.
           “Trump – he wants us to die,” they cried angrily, as huge flour sacks thumped on the ground. They were talking of the US President’s shock decision last week to slash US funding to UNRWA by more than half, a move which threatens food aid to Palestinian refugees not only in Gaza but in camps in the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan – where five million refugees rely on UNRWA for basic services, including health and education. 
          “They have tried with the bombs and now they want us to starve,” said Rihab Abu Sharifa, a 45-year-old widow, who shares her breeze block and asbestos home with 18 others, including her 12 grandchildren.
           Anger about Mr Trump’s cuts to UNRWA spilled out in Gaza on the same day as Mike Pence, the US Vice President, held talks in Jerusalem with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, about a new “peace plan”.
      This reaction evidences an entitlement mentality. These people have never expressed thankfulness for the food and money provided by the United States; on 9/11, they danced in the street and gave out candy to celebrate the deaths in America. Many of their political parties, including Hamas, are terrorist groups, and although Famas claims to have forsaken terrorism, the Palestinian Authority continues a practice of paying stipends to terrorists or their families--and it seems clear that the money for these stipends comes from U.S. aid. I'm not aware of the United States having ever bombed Palestinian territory, as one woman states in The Independent's article, but Palestinian terrorists certainly have killed their share of Americans. (See, e.g., this article). And now they are angry at the United States, and threatening that the result of the cuts will be another Palestinian uprising and children pushed out of schools onto the street. Basically, they want to blackmail the United States into continuing the same level of aid.

       There is the saying to avoid throwing good money after bad. This seems appropriate to the issue of U.S. aid to the Palestinians.

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