Eyal Yakoby
Student at UPenn

The unseen side: Hamas, tax dollars, and the Gaza conflict

The frequent defense of why the “pro-Palestinian” protests across the West seek only to protest Israel and not Hamas, is because it’s the West’s tax dollars funding the bombing of Gaza.

Only a fraction of Israel’s military budget comes from foreign governments. Not to mention that the vast majority of this aid is not funding bombs, but rather purely defense systems such as the Iron Dome.

To make a quick point, the Iron Dome actually saves more lives on the Palestinian side of the conflict than on the Israeli side. Mark Lavie, an American journalist, explains how this is by answering, “What would be Israel’s response today if 8,000 rockets were fired at Israel and exploded in Israeli cities, and there was no Iron Dome?” If it were the case that the thousands of rockets that Hamas launched towards Israeli civilians began exploding, the IDF would have no other choice than to immediately bomb nearly all of Gaza, to destroy any capability of firing rockets and murdering thousands of civilians. The Iron Dome gives Israel the luxury of time to plan targeted bombings and gather intelligence on precisely where the rocket launchers are in Gaza. I must also mention that if the Iron Dome did not exist, then the Al Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam would have been in ruins, as the rocket fired by Hamas would have landed both murdering Muslims praying at the site, and razing the entire complex.

So far we have established that only a fraction of Israel’s foreign aid funds offensive weaponry and overall, protects all civilians, not just Israelis.

While these protests continue in the streets of nearly every major city, why is there no mention of the tax dollars that fund Hamas infrastructure?

As Bill Ackman stated, money is fungible. With the adoption of cryptocurrency, the fungibility of money has been exponentially increased. We know that Gaza has received the most foreign aid per capita in the world, meaning billions have been poured into a terrorist-run entity. Where has this money gone?

UNWRA has been granted billions by foreign governments to help create schools, hospitals, and general civilian infrastructure in Gaza. However, the sad reality is that much of this infrastructure is either shared or solely dedicated to terror.

Moreover, the vast tunnel network in Gaza is not cheap. Gaza’s GDP cannot even begin to cover a fraction of the vast tunnel network that has been erected underneath Gaza. The tunnels are not created by digging holes in the ground, these tunnels are tens of meters below the surface, reinforced with premium concrete, steel, electricity, plumbing, and every other amenity that would be needed to sustain a terrorist empire below the surface.

The leaders of Hamas, are worth billions of dollars. And while they say they are fighting for Palestinian liberation, they live a luxurious lifestyle in Qatar. The average Israeli has more in common with a Gazan than Palestinian leadership.

All this to say, that if you want to protest American and European tax dollars funding a war between Israel and Gaza, then that conversation should begin with Hamas. Your tax dollars are directly and indirectly being used by Hamas to continue to take advantage of Palestinians and erect a vast terror network, putting Gazan and Israeli lives in danger.

Your tax dollars are being despoiled by Hamas, to be used to take on wars that put all at risk. So while these protests across the West purport they don’t want their tax dollars being used to kill civilians, they neglect that their tax dollars are being used by Hamas for terror, and by Israel for defense.

About the Author
Eyal Yakoby is a student at the University of Pennsylvania studying political science and modern Middle East studies.
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