Sunday, July 12, 2020 -
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Congress wants to invest in the Palestinians

A number of lawmakers in the House and Senate have introduced bills that would invest in businesses in the Palestinian areas. The bipartisan bills, one of whose sponsors in the Senate is Cory Cardner of Colorado, would contribute $50 million a year and seek partners in the private sector for additional investments.

On the surface, the idea sounds terrific. The Palestinian leadership has squandered billions of dollars in aid, pocketing the funds for themselves, diverting them to military purposes (Hamas famously diverts aid to build terror tunnels, for example), or simply gives them away under the guise of “salaries.”  But investment. Now that sounds likes a good idea, a different idea. The American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs back the bills.

Pardon our skepticism. By what mechanism, precisely, are the proposed $50 million to be guaranteed to be invested? The Palestinian Authority, not to mention Hamas, have already manufactured and perfected every manner of subterfuge for steering billions of dollars in aid away from their intended purposes. Why should “investment” be any different?

For Congress’ idea to work, it will have to play the heavy with the PA and Hamas. It will have to dispatch a phalanx of accountants and economists, not to mention specialists in the particular type of investments envisioned, be they construction engineers, high-tech engineers, etc. Is Congress prepared to do that? Is Congress able to do that? Color us skeptical.

Copyright © 2018 by the Intermountain Jewish News

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