Mahmoud Abbas (Yuri Kochetkov/Pool via AP, File; AP/HO) (Yuri Kochetkov/Pool via AP, File; AP/HO)
Mahmoud Abbas

Unlike people in 100 other countries, who never know what the next year’s national income will look like, the Palestinians can always count on billions in aid, year after year.

By Hugh Fitzgerald, FrontPage Magazine

Elder of Ziyon has a piece on the latest UN report on poverty in countries around the world. This “Multidimensional Poverty Index” is arrived at by studying health, education, and the standard of living, based on ten weighted indicators. It turns out that in the “State of Palestine,” there is less poverty than in more than one hundred other countries.

We were once assured, just after 9/11/2001, that terrorism was a function of poverty. Alberto Abadie, a researcher for the National Bureau of Economic Research, in 2005 published the first detailed study of the relationship of poverty to terrorism, demonstrating that the incidence of terrorism was the same in poor as in rich countries.

Others then pointed out that the most famous terrorist in the world, Osama bin Laden, was the multi-millionaire son of a billionaire; that Al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, was a well-off doctor from one of the most prominent Egyptian families; his mother was related to Azzam Pasha, the Secretary-General of the Arab League and his wife, Azza Nowair, was from one of the richest Egyptian families; that Mohamed Atta was from an upper middle-class family; that Nidal Hassan was a doctor in the American army earning $90,000 a year; that Maher “Mike” Hawash had been earning $300,000 a year as an Intel engineer; that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called “underwear bomber,” was the son of one of the richest men in Nigeria.

And there are many more examples of millionaire Muslim terrorists.

Now the UN Multidimensional Poverty Index makes clear that the incidence of terrorism by nation is unrelated to poverty. It turns out that there very little or no terrorism in the 100-odd countries whose people are poorer, and in some cases, much poorer (see Niger, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Chad) than the Palestinians.

There must be some other explanation for the Palestinians having the highest incidence of terrorism in the world. Might it have something to do with Islam? More on this just-released UN study of “multidimensional poverty” can be found here: “‘Palestine’ ranks better than most countries in ‘multidimensional poverty’ and ‘human development index,’” Elder of Ziyon, April 2, 2023:

The UN Human Development Reports of the UN Development Program defines a “Multidimensional Poverty Index” (MPI.)

The MPI looks beyond income to understand how people experience poverty in multiple and simultaneous ways. It identifies how people are being left behind across three key dimensions: health, education and standard of living, comprising 10 indicators. People who experience deprivation in at least one third of these weighted indicators fall into the category of multidimensionally poor.

The MPI score is based on these metrics:

How do Palestinians do?

Pretty good, actually.

While Western nations are not listed in this chart, the Palestinians are shown to be in far better shape than over 100 countries that are listed. I call out some of them.

Anti-Israel activists like to pretend that Palestinians have “no choice” but to turn to terror, and one of the reasons they like to trot out is how impoverished they are.

If that was the case, then why are we not seeing the same support for terror in the 100 countries who have a higher poverty score than they do?

Until COVID, Palestinians had also been steadily getting better scores every year in UNDP’s Human Development Index, but even after a brief setback they are ranked “high” in various metrics….

If the Palestinians are doing this well, think of how much better they would be doing if only they did not suffer from colossal corruption by their leaders.

Just two leaders of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal and Mousa bin Marzouk, have each managed to help themselves to $2.5 billion from the aid donors intended to be provided to the people of Gaza. And in the West Bank, President-for-Life Mahmoud Abbas has, with his sons Tarek and Yasser, managed to accumulate a family fortune of $400 million. And both in Gaza and in the Palestinian Authority, hundreds of loyalists of the top leaders have been allowed to help themselves as well to a few million dollars apiece.

It adds up. A billion here, and a billion there, and as Senator Everett Dirksen famously said, it begins to add up “to real money.”

But say this for the Palestinians: they have managed to convince almost everyone that the world owes them a living. Though they are far richer than many others, they continue to receive billions of dollars in aid from donors who give both directly to the Palestinian Authority, and indirectly, through UNRWA.

Unlike people in 100 other countries, who never know what the next year’s national income will look like, the Palestinians can always count on billions in aid, year after year.

Only the “State of Palestine” is in that position. Not Niger, not Chad, not Ethiopia or India or Jamaica. Only “Palestine” — uber alles.

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