‘Deal of the Century’ and the choosy beggars

The Palestinians are beggars, you could even say professional beggars

July 9, 2019 20:56
3 minute read.
Anti-Israel Germany

Demonstrators take part in a pro-Palestine march in Berlin January 10, 2009. More that 6000 people shouted anti-Israel slogans to protest against the air strikes and the military action in the Gaza Strip, police said on Saturday. (photo credit: REUTERS/PAWEL KOPCZYNSKI)

With the hint of a smile on his kind face, my father would frequently refer to four intolerable things: an arrogant pauper, a rich fraud, an old lech, and a public servant who misuses his authority. The old lech is clearly the juiciest, and may warrant a column of its own someday. But for now I want to concentrate on the pauper, the unfortunate individual who is dependent on others, yet still has delusions of grandeur and behaves like a prima donna.

The Palestinians are beggars, you could even say professional beggars – supported by funds from Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, Europe, the US, Canada, Japan, UNWRA, and anyone else they can squeeze money out of – who don’t they live off of? They’re always the victims, never to blame for anything. Like little kids, they don’t take an ounce of responsibility for their situation.

And now the Americans have come up with a proposal: Instead of sitting on our hands and doing nothing while we wait for a peace agreement (which nobody has managed to hammer out in more than a quarter-century), we’ll develop the region. We’ll invest tens of billions of dollars, create jobs, dramatically lower the Palestinian unemployment rate and improve their lives. Why should they suffer until an agreement is reached? And what if it never happens?

How did the choosy beggars respond? “Absolutely not,” they said. “We have conditions. Honorable people like ourselves will not agree to accept handouts unless our conditions are met.”

Throughout its existence, leaders of the Palestinian Authority have set standards of corruption unmatched by any crooked country, infamous junta or unelected dictatorship anywhere in the world. These “public servants” in the impoverished PA have become rich beyond words. How? By stealing from their brothers. Rejecting the assistance being offered is no skin off their back. They have everything they could want. So what if the citizens are suffering? The cries for help won’t reach their corrupt ears.

They also refuse to accept the tax revenues transferred by Israel. Why? Because of the sacred principle they uphold: to pay the people who blow up buses and stab elderly women and children. Israel deducts a small percentage of the tax monies, only the amount designated for murderers and their accomplices through the PA “pay-to-slay” policy. And what do the choosy beggars say? “All or nothing.”

This same century-old attitude has led them to where they are today. But that doesn’t matter to the head of the PA. He has already looted the funds meant for his destitute citizens, and lined his own pockets with enough for himself and his own, down to his great-great-grandchildren. He and his family are certainly not going to pay any price for peace.

“Palestinian honor is not for sale,” say the corrupt leaders. What honor are they talking about? Within a sea of poverty and deprivation, a small, filthy-rich cadre speaks eloquently about “honor” that can’t be bought. But they’re not the ones who will suffer the consequences.

However bad we may feel about what could have been and will never be – whatever sense of missed opportunity about the potential blossoming that quickly became a desolate wasteland before the first seed was ever planted – it is what it is. This offer of prosperity will never materialize because of one simple, immutable fact: Our neighbors don’t recognize our right to live here in Israel, within any borders whatsoever. As long as their desire to destroy us is stronger than a desire to improve their own lives, nothing will change – and no economic or political plan can alter that fact.

Translated from Hebrew by Sara Kitai, skitai@kardis.co.il.

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