Running the numbers on the Palestinian Authority

Austin Bay (correction: Wretchard of Belmont Club) has an excellent two-part piece up right now (so what else is new?) discussing Hamas’ victory in the recent Palestine elections, and the possible effect it will have on the Palestinian economy. (Part I, Part II). In Part I, he looks at the $1.06 billion the PA receives annually from other nations, and where it comes from.

It’s astonishing.

The Palestinians are always being championed by their Arab and Muslim brothers, those nations that are practically swimming in oil and oil revenues. Meanwhile, they denounce the United States as “puppets of the Jews” and enemies of the Palestinian people.

But the numbers tell a different story.

Of that 1.06 billion, 368 million comes straight from the US. Another 338 billion comes from the European Union collectively, while five EU member nations pony up a total of $159 million. That’s roughly 85% of the total money from the West.

Meanwhile, the Arab League kicks in under $200 million dollars a year.

I see three possible explanations for this:

1) The Arab League is a hell of a lot better at PR than the West, and consequently gets more “bang for the buck” for their money.

2) The Palestinians are just congenitally incapable of acknowledging the West’s contributions and support.

3) The Arab League is providing a hell of a lot more support than direct cash infusions — such as, perhaps, aid and support for terrorism? It seems to me that guns, bombs, and training would be a lot more valued by groups such as Hamas and Fatah than plain old boring money.

Now that Hamas is poised to take over the PA, I fully expect the US and other nations to stand by their earlier declarations that Hamas is a terrorist organization, and US law explicitly forbids giving money to terrorist organizations.

No matter what ex-President Peanuthead says.

(Thanks to Scott T. for catching my error.)

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