« Words we use (and eat) | Main | Reasserting the laws of physics »

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

That's gotta be a new record!

I'm referring, of course, to the elapsed time between when the EU threatened to cut off all PA funding if the Palestinians were to throw in their lot with Hamas, and when they totally caved and announced that they would, in fact, continue sending the monthly blood money, er, funding.

Look, I'm a relative political neophyte so don't take anything you read here too seriously... but I think I'm sophisticated enough to understand that cutting off funding to the PA 'cold turkey' would probably create a humanitarian disaster on the ground.  And the Europeans are nothing if not big humanitarians.

But at what point do the Palestinians stop being the world's responsibility?

The outgoing Fatah cleptocracy had no reserves (not counting their personal reserves in Swiss bank accounts, of course), on which the 'governing administration' could draw during a transition.  So come the first of the month all the lackeys, relatives and thugs who have been given patronage jobs in the PA's civil administration and/or security forces will all start rioting.

The Palestinians are like a welfare mother who squanders the monthly government hand-out on beer and cigarettes and then hauls her puppy-eyed kids in front of the TV cameras to demonstrate who was going to starve if some supplementary funding isn't immediately forthcoming.

The PA is not responsible for providing any of the usual stuff that a civil administration is supposed to oversee such as electricity, running water, medical services, or a host of other basic infrastructure needs.  All of these things are provided free of charge by Israel or one of the external sponsoring agencies (UN, EU, US, etc.). 

So the question that nobody seems willing to ask is 'what have they been doing with the billions of dollars in foreign aid that have been flowing into their coffers for decades'?  When anyone does hint at this sensitive topic the Palestinians and their supporters shout "How dare you ask such an insensitive and accusatory question?  Don't you see those starving kids over there with the big puppy-dog eyes?"

I'm not saying I'm surprised that the EU caved and is going to remove the only consequence that loomed over the Palestinian electorate for having defied the word's warnings about Hamas.  I'm just surprised it happened so quickly.  I really figured that the Europeans would have at least had the good graces to funnel the money through some third party under the guise of emergency humanitarian aid.

Robin Williams used to have a funny bit about the British police (back when they were unarmed) where he would imitate the uniformed 'Bobbies' shouting "Stop, or I'll say 'stop' again!"

Sad as it is to say, that is exactly the comically sad state to which the EU has reduced itself.

Reminder:  Less than 2 voting days left in the JIBs.  If you haven't voted in the last 3 days, you can go to the main page here to vote in all the categories... or go directly to the two categories in which treppenwitz is a finalist here and here. You are allowed to vote every three days.

219_25

Posted by David Bogner on January 31, 2006 | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c581e53ef00e550522c0d8834

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference That's gotta be a new record!:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

"Robin Williams used to have a funny bit about the British police (back when they were unarmed) where he would imitate the uniformed 'Bobbies' shouting "Stop, or I'll say 'stop' again!""


Ha!! They're still unarmed, apart from some special firearms units who, by the time they get to an incident, can only deal with those armed lunatics who have been crazy enough to wait for the police to arrive! :-)

I don't share your surprise that they capitulated so quickly. Europeans have a wonderful way of ignoring facts until they hit them in the face.

Posted by: Frummer????? | Jan 31, 2006 2:32:44 PM

The EU has been un-comically sad for a long time now. The so far not approved European Constitution delivers power into the hands of those countries w the most inhabitants. Everyone who wants to see Germany and, ha!, funny!, Turkey rule Europe raise their hands. Countries like my very own armpit will diappear even faster. Granted, we are doing brilliantly without exterior help, your metaphor applies, should the EU ever ask us what we have been doing w their money there'll be hand-wringing and soulfoul big dark eyes and nothing more. I don't think that parasites should be fed, after they prove being such. that goes for all parasites everywhere, us included.

But the crux of the matter isn't even that, I think. Do you think the EU doesn't know what the Palestinians are doing, or failing to do? They are fully aware of it. I think the bigger picture is so big we can't really comprehend it but I sniff oil. I think that if Arab countries didn't control so much of it, the Palestinians would be a n on-entity, as were the East-Timorese for decades, while Indonesia wiped out 2/3 of them and the world did nothing. Eas Timor, sadly, has rocks and trees but no oil. But Koweit was saved, and Iraq is being freed, yes? Oh yes.

I no longer know how to participate in political optimism, and I LOATHE it.

Posted by: Lioness | Jan 31, 2006 3:12:25 PM

Lioness,

Remove oil and the rest of the world would treat the ME with the same concern that they show Africa.

If Israel suddenly developed an affordable and economical alternative to oil it would change the complexion of the region.

Posted by: Jack | Jan 31, 2006 4:36:06 PM

Jack - if Israel developed an affordable and economical alternative to oil the rest of the world would be kissing its a$$ forever. It would be one rich country.

Posted by: Lisoosh | Jan 31, 2006 5:32:25 PM

Frummer... They seem to have already been hit in the face several times... so why haven't they woken up?

Lioness... I used to scoff at the 'it's all about the oil' line, but lately I'm warming up to it.

Jack... I saw this article linked over at Israpundit. It will blow your mind if you are seriously interested in an alternative energy source that is already available and quite practical.

Lisoosh... See my comment to Jack.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jan 31, 2006 5:41:19 PM

How incredibly frustrating. Btw, speaking of oil, did you see Syriana?

Posted by: jaime | Jan 31, 2006 6:00:30 PM

Hollow threats from Europe? What a surprise.

Posted by: Stacey | Jan 31, 2006 6:27:12 PM

That was a very interesting article, quite intriguing.

Posted by: Jack | Jan 31, 2006 6:35:58 PM

Ethanol won't help Israel, it just doesn't have the land mass for that much production. Need to think outside the box and come up with something completely new and Israel certainly has creative brainpower.

Posted by: Lisoosh | Jan 31, 2006 6:56:09 PM

For a self-proclaimed political neophyte you have an excellent grasp on the situation and the ridiculousness of aid to the PA. My biggest beef with anti-Israeli westerners is that the first thing they complain about is U.S. aid to Israel. They NEVER mention the huge sums of money the Europeans send to the Palestinians, only to have half of it fund terrorist attacks and the other half end up in Swiss Bank Accounts held by Arafat's wife and cronies.

Posted by: katieb | Jan 31, 2006 8:49:55 PM

For a self-proclaimed political neophyte you have an excellent grasp on the situation and the ridiculousness of aid to the PA. My biggest beef with anti-Israeli westerners is that the first thing they complain about is U.S. aid to Israel. They NEVER mention the huge sums of money the Europeans send to the Palestinians, only to have half of it fund terrorist attacks and the other half end up in Swiss Bank Accounts held by Arafat's wife and cronies.

Posted by: katieb | Jan 31, 2006 8:50:19 PM

Ack! Double comments! I only verified my comment once! **Sheepish** Sorry!

Posted by: katieb | Jan 31, 2006 8:51:02 PM

Not surprised. It won't take the US all that long to capitulate either.

Anybody over there note the Oscar nominations yet? Hollyweird has gone completely pro-terrorism.

http://www.debbieschlussel.com/

Posted by: Scott | Jan 31, 2006 9:46:39 PM

Let them eat cake.

Posted by: Irina | Jan 31, 2006 10:32:35 PM

You are right: But be reassured that this aid isn't *all* going into corrupt coffers and decorating Suha's Parisian residence- Spare a thought for the many very worthy Palestinian NGO's (which work in Anti-Violence/Education/Civil Society/Human Rights etc etc)largely ignored by the PA leadership and more importantly which would be severely crippled without this EU aid. The Palestinian NGO sector is, it seems, now biting its fingernails to see to what extent Hamas' election pledge to enable these funds to go directly to the grassroots will come to fruition...

Posted by: PP | Jan 31, 2006 10:51:06 PM

Oy! After a discouraging day perusing the various media outlets in the US and Europe, I can report that the reason Hamas won, and the PA is bankrupt, is because of Israel. Of course. We knew that, right?

Posted by: sarah | Feb 1, 2006 6:31:18 AM

I am also surprised by the quick capitulation. The only upside is it resulted in Treppenwitz featuring a great Robin Williams quote and employing my new favorite word cleptocracy.

Posted by: mcaryeh | Feb 1, 2006 10:07:13 AM

While all the hate on EU, I have the feeling that many forgot that the US are sitting in the same boat and, for 2006, plan to pay into the same gold pot, despite Bush's recent statement. The difference, in my eyes, is that Bush has two other sick children to nurse, uh, finance (Iraq & Afghanistan), and that he failed to put threats for chopping off aides to Palestine in a diplomatic tone (what's new?).
While Europe spent $600+ million in 2005, the US budgeted $234 million for 2006. That's quite some pocket money.

Just where goes the influence and power when the West will chop off financial aides? There is a point in continuing aides, and it's a very bitter compromise to just know ahead that some of it will still be misused. Continuing aides by no means equals anti-Israel attitudes.
Alternatively to financial aides, I was wondering what should be offered to the Palestinians as a basis to continue talks, especially now that Condoleeza, along with the Quartett, has congratulated the Palestinians for fair and democratic elections? Solutions, please!

Turkey is far from becoming a member of the EU - before that happens, our East European neighbours will be making everyone happy. The scenario with Germany is likewise questionable - up 'til now, the ratification, however pro EU Constitution as proposed to ratify, has yet to be approved by the federal president. And we're yet waiting for more than the half of EU member states to ratify the proposal (Portugal included).

Talking about over-generalization.

Posted by: mlle a. | Feb 1, 2006 12:18:25 PM

Mlle. A., I don't really believe Turkey is that far from becoming a member, I think it will come to pass sooner than we would expect it considering its development, Turkey badly wants and is very much working towards it. Our East European members already ARE making everyone happy, some of them already show development numbers that far surpass older members', so it's not as though it was proven a mistake to allow them to join, on the whole. I was very happy with the European "No's" so far but surely it is only a matter of time, look at the ones who are in favour, the trend is towards uniting Europe and having a prevailing European constitution, it will ultimately come to pass. When it does small, weak countries willl be rendered even more ineffective, which in our case serves us right for failing to achieve any negotiating power - it's still a dismal perspective though.

Posted by: Lioness | Feb 1, 2006 12:48:38 PM

Israel should be working on nuclear *fusion*. This would replace the large proportion of petroleum used to generate electricity - and in some cases, heat. It promises to be much safer than current nuclear plants which are based on nuclear *fission*.

There is already promising progress towards small-scale fusion power plants - but the research is woefully underfunded (guess why?)

We certainly have the physicists.

Posted by: Ben-David | Feb 1, 2006 12:54:14 PM

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In