running dry

the palestinian authority, led by hamas, has now officially gone broke, having missed the april 1st payroll. this leaves thousands of palestinian public service workers without pay. usually, the palestinian authority would recieve about 1.1 billion dollars a year in foreign aid. money, which is now cut off due to hamas' refusal to give up violence and recognize israel. canada and the united states have already severed ties with the new government, and the european union is set to review their aid policy to the government soon. israel has already frozen tax money it normally collects on behalf of the palestinians. the palestinian authority is still waiting on about $93 million from saudi arabia, kuwait and the united arab emirates, which they're hoping to use to pay off their public service workers by the middle of the month. the problem is, how long can they last going on this route, especially with 44 percent of palestinian people living under the poverty line?

the problem with aid, for the most part, is that no aid is free. just ask all the south american countries under the foot of the world bank and the international monetary fund. in hamas' case, they cannot hope to run a government with a platform that basically endorses violence against israel. that is state sanctioned violence, and let's face it, terrorism. (most of the victims of suicide bombing tend to be civilians, which makes it terrorism.) as much sympathy as i have for the palestinian people and what they've gone through, i don't really feel too bad about foreign aid being pulled until hamas renounces violence. hamas has to understand that the shortest rout to peace is non-violence. really it is. the palestinian people have to ask themselves, are their lives better off today then before? clearly violence isn't working. the same goes for the israeli people. the problem is that it's hard to think straight when you're seeing your friends blown up by suicide bombers or you watch your family home be demolished by israeli tanks. so i empathyse. but i don't have to agree, and i certainly don't have to have my tax money going to support a government that basically commits state sanctioned violence.
the palestinians that voted for hamas had to have known what they were getting into, or if they didn't, they are now paying for their naievity. the problem with democracy is that as a voter, you are somewhat accountable to the actions of the government you voted into office. if the government you voted in does wrong, or intends to do wrong, it is your responsibility as a voter to hold the government accountable (or at least punish them in the next election). if you don't do anything, or even go so far as to re-elect the criminal or corrupt government, then you must bare some of that responsibility. (*cough* *cough* bush! *cough* *cough* iraq war! *cough* *cough* illegal wire taps! *cough* *cough*)