The Bad Investment

I cannot help but wonder now and then what I, as a future American taxpayer, will be paying for my government to do. Especially being that no matter what side of the political spectrum you identify with, the truth of the matter is that the United States government is about as good at managing money as the 5-year-old who lives across the street from me. I cannot possibly be the only one who raises his eyebrows and has an invisible question mark hovering over their heads when they hear the words “American foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority.” Especially since a 15-second search on YouTube of “Palestinian Authority incitement,” is a sure way to get your blood boiling.

Now, picture yourself as a very successful business person. You have hit it big with many different startups, and now, you want to make an investment, but not just any investment that would make you rich, but rather one that will help better the lives of others in this world. A moral investment, you could call it.

One day, an investor comes into your office for a meeting with you and to sum it all up, tells you he is looking for someone to partner up with on a project that involves giving money to the Palestinian Authority. Supposedly, this capital he is investing is going to be used to help build a school in Ramallah to improve access to education for thousands of Palestinian children. Education is priceless, right? What could be more morally beautiful than investing some of your money into helping children learn how to make their dreams a reality.

If any financial advisors are reading this, I am sure you know that you need to be a genuinely soft-headed fool to consider investing money in a country with a government that is about as stable as a marble tabletop supported by a base made of eggshells. If you are looking for a more appropriate phrase than soft-headed fool, “United States government” is a perfect substitute!

As you two shake hands and end the meeting, you tell this investor you will consider his investment proposal and exchange information. You start to do research in the same way that any smart person considering investing money would do. You spend the night on your computer researching the Palestinian education system; you can almost picture breaking ground on the new school already!

However, as you dig deeper and deeper into this topic, your smile and confidence in this project start to fade away. You read about all of the Palestinian schools named after terrorists with the blood of innocent Jews on their hands. You are left aghast by videos of Palestinian children reciting poems on television stating how they want to become martyrs by killing the Jewish “apes and pigs” who are occupying the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

Left shocked and disgusted by what you found in a matter of minutes during a Google search, you not only question the moral soundness of this investment, but also the legality of it! How can, in essence, providing money to a foreign government to provide pensions for terrorists, teach children hatred, and enrage their population to carry out terror attacks, be considered acceptable by any standard?

It is this shocking revelation that leaves me and millions of others baffled as to why Washington has, for many years, consistently provided hundreds of millions in foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority. Washington can assure us all they want that this money is being used strictly for humanitarian purposes. Let’s be realistic, though; giving foreign aid the Palestinian Authority and not expecting them to use these funds for terrorism is akin to giving a career arsonist a box of matches and not expecting him to use it to light fires. Sure, you could tell yourself that education for Palestinian children is the best way to prevent them from growing up wanting to become terrorists, but keep in mind that the same government responsible for building this school is also in charge of what gets taught in the classrooms. Based on what we see on Palestinian children cartoons, I cannot say that I have very high expectations for their curriculum.

The Palestinian Authority is in essence, nothing more than a fancy and more official-sounding name of the organization that preceded it: the PLO, which was a brutal terrorist organization that had a hand in planning hundreds of attacks against Jews and Israelis throughout the better half of the twentieth century. The only difference between now and forty years ago is that instead of sending and training the terrorists themselves, the Palestinian Authority simply encourages them to carry out their acts of evil and then pays them in prison if they get arrested.

Now, surely not ALL of the PA’s funds are used for public services, such as maintaining roads named after suicide bombers, or paying Palestinian terrorists. As a matter of fact, I even have a few questions for Mahmoud Abbas, such as where his son, Yasser, found the money to purchase multiple luxury apartments in Ramallah. While we are talking about Mahmoud Abbas, I cannot possibly be the only one who would like to know how he has managed to accumulate a net worth that according to his former aide, Mohammed Rashid, exceeded 100-million dollars. Now to be fair, it would be illogical to expect Abbas, as president, to be living off of a pittance; But the fact that his net worth exceeds that of the past four United States presidents put together, you cannot help but smell something fishy. We should not be allowing our tax money to be used for terror-related purposes or to be embezzled by corrupt Palestinian politicians.

We should be honest with ourselves and ask “Do we really know where our money is going?” Maybe it is about time we start holding the Palestinian Authority accountable for how our hard-earned tax dollars that are being sent to him are spent. After all, it is OUR money.

About the Author
Benjamin Jaffe currently lives in Israel with his family and is a soldier in the Armored Corps of the Israel Defense Forces.