Do you want your hard-earned cash to underpin Hizbullah sympathizers, Hamas-boosters or Ahmadinejad's admirers?
Odds are that overseas Jewish contributors - most of whom are hardly loaded - have Israel's good and the future of the ever-vulnerable Jewish people at heart.
If that's your priority, please don't contribute to large institutionalized, establishment-affiliated Jewish funds associated in any way with official Israel, especially if their pitch is rehabilitating Israel's war-scarred North.
Admittedly this appeal is politically incorrect, but the time has come for all good Jews to violate the bon-ton of self-destructive, sanctimonious syrupy sentimentality and tell it like it is - especially during these Days of Awe, which oblige us to engage in soul searching and course correction.
And this is how it is: The Olmert government plans to earmark at least a third of its "northern rehabilitation" outlay to appease (and possibly even desperately court support in) Israel's increasingly disloyal Arab sector.
To be sure, one-third of the summer war's damage wasn't inflicted on the Arab sector, which wasn't targeted. Whichever Katyushas slammed into Arab towns were those that missed their declared Jewish marks only because these rockets are notoriously inaccurate.
Nasrallah went so far as to apologize for "inadvertent stray shells" which hit what they weren't intended to. Galilee Arabs, holding Israeli citizenship and demanding all the perks accruing therefrom (with none of the obligations), not only accepted such apologies and forgave the assailant who killed some of their own, but also condemned Israel's self-defense.
Not only did Nasrallah escape censure, he was lauded as a hero. A number of instances were reported (including in this newspaper) of Israeli Arabs standing on rooftops and cheering Katyusha explosions in nearby Jewish villages.
The father of two Nazareth tots slain by Nasrallah applauded him as "our brother," and blamed "Israeli aggression" for his tragedy.
Israel's Arabs feigned overnight conversions to pacifism and took Israel to task for waging war. Who instigated hostilities was immaterial. The broad bottom-line consensus: Israel's self-preservation is illegitimate.
LAST WEEK Haaretz's Uzi Benziman, certainly no right-winger, revealed that even Israel's self-congratulatory guardians of righteousness and relentless leftist do-gooders (who make nice even to those who consistently thumb their noses at that matchless Jewish obsequiousness which parades as enlightened liberality) feel uneasy.
"Organizations which further Jewish-Arab ties are exposed as of July 12 to an escalating emotional confrontation between the two nations," Benziman wrote with remarkable understatement. "Jewish activists in joint organizations are gripped with trepidation in light of the identification of Israel's Arabs with Hizbullah and Syria."
Benziman concludes that "in the recent war a line was crossed: Israel's Arabs didn't hesitate to overtly reveal their identification with the enemy, and preferred their links with it to their duties to the state whose citizens they are; and they did so in circumstances of an unprovoked Hizbullah onslaught on Israel."
BUT WHAT Benziman notices, and what agonizes others well to his left, seems to wash right off the Olmert hierarchy's back.
This cognitively-challenged government has announced - belatedly - some of its blueprints for repairing the damage its incompetence helped augment in Israel's northern third. PM's Office Director-General Ra'anan Dinur proclaimed last week that a billion shekels (one-third of the rehabilitation budget for the north) would go to the Arabs, who - as even someone like Benziman admits - identified with the enemy that caused the destruction and necessitated the reconstruction. The Jewish population - the one that suffered most and constituted the primary and deliberate target - will also get a third. The rest will be spent on infrastructure.
This is nothing but a disguised bail-out scheme for chronically mismanaged and perpetually destitute Arab municipalities, where nepotism and corruption are rife. Since it wasn't possible to pay them off legally without cogent criteria for reform, the funds would be funneled through an alternative fiscal pipeline called "repairing war damage."
At least NIS 450m. of the "rehabilitation" largesse will be automatically swallowed up by Israel's sleaziest and shadiest local administrations, which are almost ex-territorial to Israeli officialdom. The police, Income Tax and VAT agents fear to operate there or enforce any law. Illegal construction is rampant and unpunished. Scant court decrees go unimplemented.
Local rates aren't collected because it's patently unpopular for Arab politicians to vex their voters, and for Arab clan-members/mayors to alienate their kin/sponsors. Cheating the state of any revenue, as well as milking the Zionist government of resources, are both rewarding/desirable objectives.
ISRAELI ARAB political careers thrive on antagonism to the Jewish majority and the Jewish character of the state. The more radical the message, the greater its vote-getting efficacy. Politically lucrative inflammatory rhetoric further radicalizes the electorate in an exceedingly vicious cycle.
Not only aren't Knesset member Azmi Bishara and fellow Balad parliamentarians penalized for their recurring excursions to enemy states and their public exhortations there for the likes of Nasrallah and Bashar Assad to defeat Israel (whose taxpayers foot Arab legislators' bills, thereby facilitating junkets to prohibited destinations), the sedition-mongers' electoral prospects are actually enhanced in the very localities where Israel's government aims to squander Jewish money raised overseas.
Israel's Arabs have their own monetary sources abroad, which they exploit and often channel to Gaza and Hamas. Raed Salah, head of Israel's Northern Branch Islamic Movement, has even been charged with financing terror. Last week he informed us that Jerusalem "will soon become the capital of Islam's caliphate."
Do you want your contributions to reach him? Remember, your money too is fungible. If you want to contribute to the welfare of Israel's north, do so via private associations, whose aims and records you examine.