March 5, 2007

Palestinian sense of entitlement

According to Associated Press reporting, Palestinians are upset that aid dollars from the United States are drying up in the wake of the election that put a Hamas-led government in place. Numerous water and sewage treatment projects have been halted after the 2006 elections. Since Hamas has refused to recognize the state of Israel and ro renounce the use of violence against the Jewish state (or, as they call it, "the Zionist entity"), American sanctions have choked off the flow of American aid to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Not only have aid projects been halted, foreign aid earmarked for the Palestinian Authority has been cut as well. That prevents the government from paying salaries to its employees, who now find it difficult to afford higher prices for clean drinking water. Of course, the lack of adequate clean water and proper sanitation will ultimately lead to health problems.

On the West Bank, the blame for the problems is directed at the United States. The common complaint is that the United States pushed for free elections in the territories. When those elections were held, the people chose to give the reins of power to a terrorist organization, Hamas. People claim they are being punished for exercising their choice - it should not be surprising to them that the U.S. would not continue foreign aid to a terrorist-led administration.

The Palestinians made their choice and we respect that, as we should. The United States also made its choice - it is not obligated to provide money to a terrorist organization. Somewhere along the line, American past largess has now become a Palestinian entitlement. By electing Hamas, they have opted out of American financial support.

Ya Filistiniyin - Want American aid projects and financial support? Get rid of Hamas. Otherwise, clean up your own sewage.