London recognizes Palestine. And billions pour into Hamas’ coffers

The Palestinians are in an extremely upbeat mood these days because, in the supermarket of history, they have bought some great achievements, and they had to give nothing in return. And “nothing” is not an item you can exchange on the negotiating table.

If you ask for four billion dollars to repair the damage you have caused in the first place, without even offering a guarantee of operation, and fifty or so States in Cairo immediately line up to give you five and a half billion dollars for the reconstruction of Gaza, why should you engage in a peace negotiation? You can have everything, while giving nothing in return.

Besides, these really seem to be golden days: if the Parliament of a country as the UK votes and recognizes a Palestinian state, a non-democratic state that preaches violence, which borders and obligations were never defined, why should the Palestinians negotiate about the 1967 borders that the UK is establishing for them? And why should they renounce to violence, and help to dissolve Hamas, a terrorist organization that has no problems in declaring that it will destroy Israel? By the way, just a few days ago, the Swedish government did the same.

There are already 138 coutries that recognize the Palestinian state, but Sweden and the UK are the first ones in Europe. One thing is for certain: it is more likely that a war will come out from this than peace. Again, America, followed by Europe, took the wrong way, just as when Obama withdrew his troops from Iraq, in a pacifist gesture that ultimately allowed a group like ISIS to arise.

Of course, no one wants to admit that those billion dollars will be eventually managed by Hamas, the real ruler of the Strip, the terrorist organization that actually caused the catastrophe in Gaza and that, despite the destruction and the victims, is still keeping its keys. The world wants, as we all do, the protection of the population, but not of Hamas: but, in the end, both Abu Mazen and Fatah, the guardian of the treasure that will control the flow of money and building materials, are part of a coalition government together with Hamas, disguised as technical executive branch. But none speaks about it.

Nevertheless, one billion and a half of those five billion dollars are a gift from Qatar, and that money will surely end up in Hamas’ hands, which is financed and hosted by that country. The rest will go to Fatah, but Hamas is the one that actually reigns in Gaza, and that actually owns the infrastructures, the mosques, the military structures that will be reconstructed. And Hamas will buy more rockets, and build other tunnels. In 2012, after the Operation Pillar of Defense, Gaza received five billion and four hundred thousand dollars: the number of war-related infrastructures, and especially the endless network of tunnels built with that money in order to bring terrorists in are what is essentially shaping the future. The money that will be donated, included Italy’s eighty million euros, will probably be managed by OCHA, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or through Echo, the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department, or through Pegase, the ad hoc EU’s support program for the Palestinians: last year, thirty one million euros have been paid, twenty three of them went to Gaza.

The UN’s Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) is one of the major recipients of that money, and, despite its educational purposes, is a gargantuan system of recruitment and militancy: its workers belong to Hamas and Fatah, it has anti-Israeli educational systems, structures and secret shelters. The regular distribution of huge amounts of money has been deemed as “corrupted” and “sloppy” by a commission of the EU itself.

The millions paid for Fatah’s civil servants ended up uncontrollably also in the hands of Hamas’ men. A lot of money is being used to pay wages of three or four thousand euros to terrorists in the Palestinians prisons. Furthermore, NGOs funded by Europe are often bases that, instead of helping women and children, incite their hatred. In other words, a context that portends war, not peace.

The same applies to the UK Parliament’s vote: it is really sad to see the world’s oldest democracy treat this way the most heroic one amid the current turmoil of the Middle East.

This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (October 15, 2014)


About the Author
Fiamma Nirenstein is a journalist, author, former Deputy President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and member of the Italian delegation at the Council of Europe.