I saw the news on Reuters right after I noticed in Ha'aretz that Qatar, one of the world's wealthiest countries, was contributing
the handsome sum of $40 million to its suffering brothers and sisters
in Gaza. That won't break Qatar's bank. It's tip money for them.
But America's bank is already broken. Or at least that's what the president is telling us. And no one can say that he's lying.
Hillary Clinton is going to Egypt to meet with our Quartet partners in cohort with a conference especially convened to plan assistance for the Strip and its people. Now, $900 million is a lot of money for Gaza to absorb. But first there will be the usual rake-off to the slimy middle men in the bazaar and among the sanctimonious relief NGOs. The bigger the appropriation the bigger the take.
The real issue is: where will the cash go? The administration is assuring us that it will not go to Hamas, as if anyone can assure that materiel and money can be siphoned off just to the desired parties. This, frankly, is a joke...and Mrs. Clinton knows it. So should President Obama.
But the promise that putting our donation through the Palestinian Authority--which is to say, Fatah--will guarantee that it will arrive where it is addressed may be even a bigger joke. It's hard to judge these matters in the Arab world. Who can tell which ruling group is more corrupt than another? Still, Fatah is widely held to be the most depraved and debauched among its fraternity. That's one of the reason's that Fatah lost the last parliamentary elections. It's another reason that Hamas won the bloody civil war with Fatah in Gaza.
An unnamed State Department official said that other "existing, trusted mechanisms" would be used to distribute American help. This certainly means United Nations Relief and Works Agency which has done more to keep the refugee problem alive for six decades than any agency or government in the area. And that's what U.N.R.W.A will want to do deep into eternity.
The administration's announcement that it's going to add nearly $1 billion to the country's deficit will have to be approved by the Congress. Since this money can't be wisely spent, I hope the House and Senate keep it at home