Sweeping in a Hurricane: Pipes on the Donor’s Conference in Taba

As Phyllis Diller once said, cleaning up your kids room before they go to college is like trying to sweep up in a hurricane.”

heroin gaza
Dry Bones H/T: NB

That Surreal Gaza Reconstruction Conference
By Daniel Pipes
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Was I the only one rubbing my eyes in disbelief yesterday, as the Egyptian government hosted an “International Conference for the Reconstruction of Gaza”?

It took place in Sharm El-Sheikh, attended by delegations from 71 states, plus 16 regional, international, and financial organizations. Its stated goal was to raise US$2.8 billion, of which $1.3 was for rebuilding what had been destroyed in the course of Israel’s recent war on Hamas (the rest would be sent to the Palestinian Authority to help improve its standing). The actual amount raised at the conference was $4.5 billion which, when added to previously committed funds, means the grant total for Gaza and the PA comes to $5.2 billion, to be disbursed over a two-year period. A delighted Egyptian foreign minister called the amount “beyond our expectations.” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called it “a very productive conference”

Among the larger donations included a Gulf Cooperation Council contribution of $1.65 billion over five years and a U.S. government pledge of $900 million from the American taxpayer (of which $300 million will go for Gaza rebuilding).

Husni Mubarak of Egypt, Nicholas Sarkozy of France, Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations, Amr Moussa of the Arab League, and Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority gave speeches.

Why my disbelief at this spectacle: I wonder if those eminentoes and worthies really believe that warfare in Gaza is a thing of the past, and that the time for reconstruction is nigh?

They must not read dispatches from southern Israel, which report the daily warfare that continues there. Take a representative news item from Yedi’ot Aharonot, dated February 28, “Experts: Grads in Ashkelon were advanced.”

    the two Grad rockets that landed in Ashkelon Saturday morning[, Feb. 28,] were new and improved models, capable of greater destruction than those usually fired from Gaza. One of the rockets hit a school in the southern city, and succeeded in penetrating the fortification used to protect it from projectiles. … The Grad rockets that hit Ashkelon were two of only five or six locally manufactured 170 mm rockets ever fired at Israel, experts say. The rarely used rockets have a range of 14 km (8.6 miles) and are capable of massive damage, evident from the destruction witnesses described on the scene of Saturday’s attack.

In an official protest to the United Nations, the Israel’s Ambassador Gabriela Shalev noted that “there have been nearly 100 rocket and mortar attacks from the Gaza Strip” since the ceasefire on January 18, or over two per day. These have been increasing in number, with 12 rockets fired at Sderot on March 1 alone.

Responding to these attacks, the Israeli cabinet resolved on March 1 that “should the firing from the Gaza Strip continue, it would be met by a painful, sharp, strong and uncompromising response by the security forces.” Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu echoed this bellicosity, reportedly telling a European leader that he would not sacrifice Israel’s security “for a smile.”

(Saudi foreign minister Saud Al-Faisal, in unexpected agreement, noted that rebuilding Gaza would be “difficult and fool-hardy, so long as peace and security do not prevail” there.)

What the hell are the donor countries doing, getting in the middle of an on-going war with their high-profile supposed reconstruction effort? My best guess: this permits them subtly to signal Jerusalem that it better not attack Gaza again, because doing so will confront it with a lot of very angry donor governments – including, of course, the Obama administration.

Adding to the surreal quality is a blithe disregard for Israel’s security needs. Consider the attitude of Douglas Alexander, international development secretary for Britain’s Labour government, who pledged £30 million of his taxpayers’ funds to rebuild houses, schools, and hospitals in Gaza. “There is a desperate need for tough restrictions on the supply of goods to be relaxed,” he said, demanding next that “Israel must do the right thing and allow much-needed goods to get through to those men, women and children who continue to suffer.”

That’s very humanitarian of Mr. Alexander, but he willfully ignored Israeli expectations that Hamas will confiscate steel, concrete, and other imported construction materials to build more tunnels, bunkers, and rockets. After all, Hamas appropriated prior deliveries intended for civilians, and so blatantly that even the usually docile United Nations Relief and Works Agency protested.

Husni Mubarak might warn Hamas not to treat the donors’ pledges as a “conquest of war,” but it will assuredly do precisely that. U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (Republican of Illinois) got it right: “To route $900 million to this area, and let’s say Hamas was only able to steal 10 percent of that, we would still become Hamas’ second-largest funder after Iran.”

So, under the cheery banner of building, in Clinton’s words, “a comprehensive peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors,” donor states are not only defying Israel to protect itself from rocket fire but they are funneling matériel to Hamas.

Is this ignorance or mendacity? I suspect the latter; no one is that dumb.

Yes they are. It’s the power of cognitive dissonance, or, as Miracle Max (Billy Crystal) says in the Princess Bride, “I’m not listening! Nobody’s hearing nothing!”

I heard Hillary on the radio yesterday. She was genuinely enthused. Remember, one of the smartest people in the world, George Bernard Shaw, was a useful idiot. Hillary’s got a third that wattage.

8 Responses to Sweeping in a Hurricane: Pipes on the Donor’s Conference in Taba

  1. Eliyahu says:

    Let me give credit to two “Leftists” here, both women, curiously enough. Elke Schroeder and Pilar Rohola could see through the lies of the EuroLeft. Schroeder understood that the billions that the EU was giving the Palest Authority was going to kill Jews, as well as lining the pockets of the PA insiders [like Abu Mazen & Abu Ala]. We don’t hear from these two anymore. The EuroLeft seems to have purged its dissenters on the Jewish Question.

    Maybe we ought to see the Sharm ash-Shaykh conference as just a recent, more sophisticated manifestation of EuroJudeophobia. But it is surprising that they give that money when money is in short supply in their countries, when unemployment is growing, banks are failing, etc. Where does Hilary get the hutspah to give away &900 million to the when Americans are out of work, banks are failing, etc.

  2. JD says:

    They don’t care about the 10% to Hamas because what matters is where the other 90% goes. Does it purchase Egyptian rice? American wheat? Other American products? European? And if not, do some citizens of the donor countries get a transactional skim anyway? Is it routed through the UN and who do they kickback to?

    Hillary’s excited because new money will go to her team’s financial interests. With military aid it’s just more apparent, i.e. F-16s…Lockheed.

    Stealth economic aid is not reported on very much. Take where the Iraqi “reconstruction” money is going.

  3. oao says:

    Where does Hilary get the hutspah to give away &900 million to the when Americans are out of work, banks are failing, etc.

    same where she got the one to run for president. she and her hubby are in only for themselves and do not care for anybody else. her husband is in the pocket of the arabs and she probably resented that she had to tow the jewish line while a senator for NY (fuck the jews).

    however, I predicted that anybody who would get elected in the US would go against israel. there is little choice: the US is in free fall on all possible dimensions: its army and ability to support are nowhere to be found, it is bankrupt and burried to its ass in debt, all of its institutions are corrupt and in disarray; it is undermined internally by a growing and increasingly active and violent islamic minority. it is scared shitless of global shihad, the islamization of europe and the gradual imposition of sharia in asia.
    it is essentially in exactly the same position as rome facing the barbarians.

    its only strategy is to appease and bribe. the election of alibama and shrillary are indicators of total collapse. they will dismantle whatever is left of it.

  4. Eliyahu says:

    …where does Hilary get the hutspah to give away $900 million to the PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY AND HAMAS when…

  5. Cynic says:


    #4 But that is the budgeted cost of the proxy war!

  6. […] government that has brought disaster on them. Nothing like making sure history will repeat itself. Dan Pipes has asked if the donor nations — especially the Western ones, but even the Arab ones, can be so stupid, […]

  7. Cynic says:

    Heh. Here’s a Khaled Abu Toameh article

    New Palestinian TV – To Broadcast What?

    American and European taxpayers are now being asked to fund a new TV station that will broadcast from Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinians that is controlled by the Palestinian Authority. ……
    The last thing the international community needs to do is to fund yet another Palestinian media outlet that promotes hatred, violence and anti-Western sentiments. The new Fatah TV station is not going to be much different than the other Fatah-run media organizations. If anything, it will help raise another regeneration of Palestinians on hatred and glorification of suicide bombers.

    Go tell that to Biliary. Ah, but she doesn’t understand logic which is what Toameh uses in full.
    Read the whole article.

  8. oao says:

    Go tell that to Biliary. Ah, but she doesn’t understand logic which is what Toameh uses in full.

    oh, she does use logic. it’s the logic of eliminating israel. she owes something for those 10mill. which built her hubby’s library, plus the other zillions he lives on without having much to show for.

    she realizes how devoid of leverage america is now, part. with respect to islam, so she goes around doing what america does best: bribing and appeasing those who threaten the worst, because they are the ones who can expose the failure that she is.

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