Bad to Worse, Part II
The US is cutting off aid to the Palestinian Authority and demanding our money back, to keep it out of the mitts of Hamas. It had to be done, obviously; we can't bankroll a gang of admitted terrorists. A cutoff of foreign aid will hurt the fragile Palestinian economy; but if Israel closes its borders, the Authority's economy will disintegrate. Ironically, of course, a bad economy was part of what led to Hamas' victory in the first place, along with the endemic corruption and incompetence of the Fatah movement. In the past, Hamas (and other terrorist organizations) have been bankrolled by Saudi Arabia. In fact, it was Yasir Arafat's foolish decision to back Saddam Hussein in Gul War I that caused the Saudis to cut their funding to the PLO, bringing them to the negotiations that created the Palestinian Authority in the first place. Now, frankly, I have a hard time imagining a good ending to any of this. Israel is not going to negotiate with Hamas (and who can blame them?) and Hamas is loudly proclaiming that it will not negotiate with Israel. Sadly, it may well be that the best thing we can hope for is a rapid economic downturn that will lead to Hamas being thrown out of the office as quickly as possible.