Press "Enter" to skip to content

Aid donors perpetuate Palestinian hate

Countries and aid agencies offering aid and assistance to Gaza have blood on their hands. While food and other humanitarian assistance has been pouring into Gaza, the democratically elected ruling party Hamas, has been funneling funds and huge resources into manufacturing and acquiring rockets.

Palestinians, and Gazans in particular, have carefully cultivated an image of themselves as poverty stricken victims of Israeli aggression. They portray themselves as harmless refugees, living in impoverished conditions without access to basic foodstuff and medicines due to an Israeli blockade of their borders.

They claim to be hemmed into a large open air prison. Yet they share a border with a friendly country, Egypt. While on the so-called hostile border with Israel, even during the exchange of rockets, many Gaza children were being treated in Israeli hospitals.

“We at Rambam Medical Centre are taking care of sick children and adults, and we are not looking at their religion or where they come from. At the moment, we have four – a baby girl in the nephrology department, two children in oncology and an adult in urology,” Rambam director-general Prof. Rafael Beyar said.

“Family members accompanied them,” he said. “It’s absurd that we are doing this at the same time Israelis are being attacked, but there is no other way. We are used to it. We are very far from politics.”

Between January – October 2012, approximately 14 500 patients and their accompanying chaperones entered Israel from Gaza for medical treatment.

99% of the medical requests by Palestinian residents of Gaza were approved by Israel.

Even during the time of active warfare, Gaza was not experiencing any food scarcity. Israel did not block the entry of goods into Gaza, except for weaponry and dual-use materials.

Construction materials could be imported to Gaza under the supervision of international organizations.

Israel continued with its annual supply of five million cubic metres of water to Gaza, despite the rocket attacks on Israeli cities and towns and continued to supply electricity to Gaza.

International aid to Palestinians has been justified by the donors as a means to keep the peace process going. It is apparent that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have, over the years since 1948, received the highest levels of aid in the world.

Aid has been offered to the Palestinian National Authority and other Palestinian non-governmental organisations.
Aid to the Palestinians from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) has, since 1949, provided health, education and social services to over 5-million descendants of the original 650 000 refugees.

It is the largest UN agency and is the only agency dedicated to a specific group of refugees. The institutionalisation of UNWRA has served the political agenda of the Arab cause, by perpetuating the victimhood of future generations of Palestinians.

Arab states, namely Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, by deliberately separating the Palestinians into camps and restricting their movement and work opportunities, have been guilty of perpetrating ‘apartheid-type’ policies and practices.

These policies which have been in place since 1948, have no plans to terminate the refugee status, which has already persisted for longer than ‘apartheid’ did in South Africa.

Even in other Arab States, such as the Emirates, where Palestinians have been lured by the job opportunities, Palestinians experience discrimination and have not been granted the rights of citizens.

In a critique of UNWRA in January 2009, James G. Lindsay, a former UNRWA general counsel asserted that there have been insufficient steps to remove terrorists from the organisation, and that “no justification exists for millions of dollars in humanitarian aid going to those who can afford to pay for UNRWA services.”

Lindsay also stated that UNRWA’s failure to match United Nations Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) success in resettling refugees “obviously represents a political decision on the part of the agency” and “seems to favour the strain of Palestinian political thought espoused by those who are intent on a ‘return’ to the land that is now Israel”.

He argued that UNRWA’s education system is highly problematic, the schools’ curriculum is “highly nationalistic” and “not a ‘peace curriculum'”, and stated that the textbooks fail “to identify Israel on maps”, and that they avoid “discussing Jews or Israelis as individuals, thereby dehumanising them.

Subsequent to Parliamentary elections for the Palestinian National Authority in 2006, a Donor Conference was held in Paris in 2007 followed shortly thereafter by the Annapolis Conference, where the two state solution was presented as the most viable solution to the intractable Palestine-Israel conflict.

In Paris the international community pledged over $7.7-billion for 2008–2010 in support of the Palestinian Reform and Development Program (PRDP).

The World Bank estimated that the Palestinian Authority received over one-billion dollars of international aid in 2010, $1.4-billion in 2009 and $1.8-billion in 2008. Last month Qatar alone promised another $400-million.


  • Ben studied at Wits, the Hebrew University, London School of Economics and University of Pretoria. He has two master’s degrees and has written four books on anthropology. He was the founding member of Jews for Justice, which took a stand against apartheid and provided assistance to victims of violence in Crossroads. He started Boston House College, a multiracial school in 1979. He currently serves as chairperson of the SA Zionist Federation in the Cape Council. He is married with four children.


  1. Apartheid is still here Apartheid is still here 24 November 2012

    Why is every hate anti-Palestine commentary always from the previous elitist class.

    So my question to you sir is the following:
    1) how do you explain that all the checkpoint for Palestinians are in their own areas. If I wanted security then I would have checkpoints in the Isreali suburbs – so its not a case of security but more of humiliation.
    2) the Emirates doesn’t allow any expats to get citizenship not even the beloved Americans – so your comment holds no water.
    3) As of 2005, no private Palestinian cars were permitted on the road although public transport was still allowed – smells of a period in time in which you benefited
    4) Israelis in the west bank control 80% of the water resources but are only 15% of the population – leading to regular water shortages for Palestinians
    5) Palestinians are forced to carry passes with them – sound familiar – probably not – only something u heard of and dont have any experience of.

    I could go on and on – but only previous elitists wil not be able to see the other sides point of view. You were probably forced into change and still to this day don’t agree with the current government and reminisce about the ” good old days”.

    I”lll wait for a response so I can comment.

  2. Wildcat Wildcat 24 November 2012

    “The Case For Israel” written by Alan Dershowitz is quite an eye opener to the doubters. He lays out the accusation, the accusers, the reality and the proof on various topics.

    Sadly, the extremists among us will not read with open minds.

  3. Mr. Direct Mr. Direct 25 November 2012

    “We are not looking at their religion or where they come from. At the moment, we have four…”

    How do you know you have 4 without looking? How do you know you had 14 500 if you did not look?

    Then: ““It’s absurd that we are doing this at the same time Israelis are being attacked….”.

    Love this one, what is absurd exactly? Absurd that you would treat people that are hurt, or absurd that you would help Palestinians? Or absurd you would let civilians with injured children into Israel?

    Sounds really neutral…

  4. Apartheid is still here Apartheid is still here 25 November 2012

    When you ended your article you should have displayed the following:

    Ben Levitas is the chairman of the Cape council of the SA Zionist Federation.

    Now we all know its a badly written biased article. It is standard practice to put in disclosure. But not to worry – I’m sure you will forget next time as well.

  5. Larry Lachman Larry Lachman 25 November 2012

    Palestinians perpetuate their occupation in the West Bank, siege in Gaza, and the perpetuate their own oppression and victimhood.

    We must all acknowledge that the ‘fight’ against occupation, to the Palestinian understanding, is not about Israel withdrawing from the West Bank and Gaza siege back to the 1967 borders. As demonstrated by Gaza and its terrorist rulers, the fight against occupation is meant to be the fight against Israel’s entire existance.

    So let us not be fooled by smoke and mirrors. The true intentions of the Arab Middle East and Muslims is to assuage their humiliation by the destruction of Israel which will also mean the intention of committing another holocaust on the Jewish people who call it their home.

  6. Steve Steve 25 November 2012

    the Jewish-Israeli population are bloated with a false sense of security as they stand behind a very well armed army. So, when for the first time in many, many years, the army of Gaza successfully delivers a rocket into Tel-Aviv and in addition, delivers a bomb outside the ministry of defence in Tel Aviv, there is a collective sense of fear at what they think is unthinkable. After the invasion of Gaza in 2008 there were scenes of jubilation including the flying of the Israeli fag in cities accross Israel. This time however, we saw the face of a defeated looking Nthenyahu and Ehud Barak at the news conference announcing a cease fire. There were no victory celebrations in Israel, yet there were in Gaza.
    The cease-fire included some very heavy compromises for Israel: NO more assasinations of Hamas resistance fighters. NO, more firing on anyone in Gaza. The allowing of the free flow of people from Gaza etc.
    Hamas is the democratically elected representative of Palestinians in the West Ban and Gaza and the Israeli government will negotiate with them sooner than one thinks. Remember that during apartheid, the ANC were labelled as ‘terrorists’ before being unbanned and then negotiated with? No-one could ever imagine that would happen. A similar state of affairs exists in Israel and the same thing will happen with Hamas. They will be de-listed as ‘terrorists’ and negotiated with. End of story.

  7. Steve Steve 25 November 2012

    armed struggle is a precursor to negotiations for peace. If Israel was not occupying Palestinain land and building illegal settlements on it, there would be no need for armed struggle.

  8. Alexo Alexo 25 November 2012

    You are simply wrong: 1. Israel controls the Gaza-Israel border so yes Gaza is an open air penal colony. 2. UNRWA is the only dedicated refugee organisation but because one in three refugees globally is Palestinian – in fact no event since world war II has created more refugees (not Afghanistan or Iraq or any other horror), 3. While Israel treats Palestinians, it also kills them – this latest conflict resulted in 30 dead Palestinians for every Israeli killed….still it shows restraint since last time Israel killed 100 for every Israeli (30 of which are children).

    The most prescient fact is that until Israel’s Jewish lobby starts paying attention to the facts, it is the Jewish diaspora itself that gives cover for simply monstrous acts. Remember 80% of Gaza are Palestinians that left Israel in 1948. And of the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority controls only 15% of the land – the rest is settlements, East Jerusalem or areas where Palestinians cannot go (area C and militarised zones).

    Fundamentally what is most sick is that mainstream Jews are more inclined to blame Palestinians when innocent people are killed rather than express sympathy. We become monsters of our worst nightmares when we cannot simply express regret for children being killed.

    It does not matter if terrorists attack Israel from kindergartens – it matters that Israel thinks it OK to retaliate with aerial bombardments regardless.

  9. Juan Juan 25 November 2012

    Can a Palestiniain (not necessarily one directly targeted by the Israeli wehrmacht) please have its views published?

  10. Tofolux Tofolux 25 November 2012

    What a biased view. Not only is this argument illogical it certainly makes no sense. If this writer felt that this argument was based on common sense, he certainly would not have made wild accusations. The fact of the matter is that Israel has been getting away with murder (literally) for far too long. If Israel thinks that the ‘old’ way of doing things will allow them blanket acquittal for all the human rights abuses they have perpetrated then clearly any regard for human life, respect or at the very least tolerance has been replaced by their sheer arrogance. It is most disgusting and patronising for this writer to even consider appealing to South Africans that they are in the right. We do agree that you have a right to exist and we do agree that you have a right to protect yourself. But these rights must be extended to Palestinians as well. WE ARE ALL EQUAL and this is where israel gets it wrong. it is unpalatable to watch the extend of their murderous rage on Palestinians on TV. There is some abhorrent about the random acts of murder. I put it to you Mr Levitas, that the acts perpetrated against Palestinians is no different to the acts perpetrated by Nazi Germany. Your argument and conclusion borders on the inhumane.

  11. The Realist The Realist 25 November 2012

    @Ben Levitas

    Why the double standards?

    You took a stand against apartheid (in South Africa) and provided assistance to victims of violence in Crossroads. You started Boston House College, a multiracial school in 1979.

    Why not do the same for Israel/Palestine?

  12. Hugh Robinson Hugh Robinson 25 November 2012

    Sad that so many who have never visited Palestine or may have done do do but only showed the politically correct have opinions never reading between the lines or trying to read/ listen / learn alternative opinion based on fact.

    An item of fact conveniently ignored – ‘…While food and other humanitarian assistance has been pouring into Gaza, the democratically elected ruling party Hamas, has been funneling funds and huge resources into manufacturing and acquiring rockets….” is an accurate and true comment particularly when applied to Africa as well this country. The rulers spend money on arms and other waste while the rest of the world feeds and nurtures the citizens.

    Has anyone ever asked how these Governments with so called weak or non existent economies can afford arms, and vehicles of war when their first objective should be looking after the populace?

  13. jandr0 jandr0 25 November 2012

    I’m with Wildcat on this. Too many one-sided viewpoints here.

    I admit I may have some empathy for the Israeli state, having perused history and read about the pogroms, Balfour declaration, Auschwitz and the like, the Jewish initial (and consistent) outreach to Palestinians (from pre-WWII already), which has been mostly been answered by gunfire from the Palestinians over the last century – so this is not an easy problem to solve.

    My suspicion is that, if all Palestinians engaged with Israel on an unambiguous commitment to peace, the Israelis will respond in kind.

    However, there is apparently an element of Palestinians who harbour too much enmity for this to happen – and when peace-seeking factions engage, they undermine the progress (typically putting children in the front-line and then wailing victim status).

    There are good Palestinians and not-so-good Palestinians. There are good Israelis and not-so-good Israelis.

    The blinkered, biased one-eyed view responses of many comments above is of no help.

  14. Momma Cyndi Momma Cyndi 25 November 2012

    I often wonder if people who comment about Gaza, the West Bank and Israel have ever set foot in the area. I especially wonder if Ben has ever been there

  15. Piet Boerie Piet Boerie 26 November 2012

    The war will not stop until Israel returns the stolen and occupied land recognised by International law.
    We have seen the Israeli propaganda machince running full steam and fake bloggers come out in droves.

    What would you do if some shot missiles at your house?

    What would you do if someone stole your house?

    This writer is very blantantly biased against Muslims and must decided if he is South African or Israeli?

  16. Netanbabu Netanbabu 26 November 2012

    I think this is the third piece of recent by this biased author. Seems very desperate to stem the tide of the world no longer accepting Israeli barbarism.

    I personally know many Palestinians. The scariest thing about them is their willingness to die to protect their land. It is not because they love death as Ben would have us believe, or because they are a bloodthirst bunch. It is rather a symptom of a desperate nation that death will bring about some respectful relief from Israeli aggression.

    I have challenged this author many times before, but he has failed to deliver. I eagerly await an essay on the place for Zionism in an otherwise beautiful religion like Judaisim.

  17. Rory Short Rory Short 26 November 2012

    Palestinians and Israelis are human beings just like you and I and any behaviour which attempts to deny that reality is wrong. Equally wrong are any attempts to justify such behaviour.

  18. The Realist The Realist 26 November 2012

    @Ben Levitas

    As the founding member of Jews for Justice, which took a stand against apartheid in South Africa and currently chairperson of the SA Zionist Federation in the Cape Council, what is your opinion on this?

    “Over 10,000 Palestinian men, women, and children are held in Israeli prisons. Few of them have had a legitimate trial; Physical abuse and torture are frequent. Palestinian borders (even internal ones) are controlled by Israeli forces. Periodically men, women, and children are strip searched; people are beaten; women in labor are prevented from reaching hospitals (at times resulting in death); food and medicine are blocked from entering Gaza, producing an escalating humanitarian crisis. Israeli forces invade almost daily, injuring, kidnapping, and sometimes killing inhabitants.”

    I look forward to your response.

  19. The Realist The Realist 26 November 2012

    @Ben Levitas

    You say “Countries and aid agencies offering aid and assistance to Gaza have blood on their hands.”

    However, the U.S. is providing Israel with at least $8.5 million each day in military aid during Fiscal Year 2012……………… Total direct U.S. aid to Israel amounts to well over $140 billion in 2003 dollars. Israel receives about $3 billion in direct foreign assistance each year, which is roughly one-fifth of America’s entire foreign aid budget. In per capita terms, the United States gives each Israeli a direct subsidy worth about $500 per year.

    That looks like aid from one Rogue State to another Rogue State to me, and who has blood on their hands?

    I look forward to your comment.

  20. The Creator The Creator 26 November 2012

    The trouble is that there are over a million people in Gaza who have absolutely no access to an economy. There is no potable water, so they can’t practice agriculture. There is no reliable electricity, so they can’t operate light industry. There are no natural resources, so there’s no heavy industry. Also, of course, there is no capital, and the Israeli blockade means that there is no trade. And the Israelis won’t let the Gazans fish. Effectively, the Gazans now have no prospect of survival except handouts from foreigners.

    It’s usually described as an open-air prison, although in a prison the prison guards usually act to keep the prisoners alive; in Gaza the prison guards — the Israeli government — starve and ill-treat the prisoners and occasionally butcher them. It’s a bit like the situation in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Nazi occupation.

    Technically speaking, Gaza is a part of Israel. Hence, when the Israelis blockade Gaza or refuse access to employment or health care or education, they are discriminating against their own people and can justly be accused of racial abuse comparable to what happened in the more disastrous Bantustans like the Ciskei. It.s rather like what Saddam Hussein did to the Marsh Arabs, which everyone agrees was a crime.

    Levitas wants everyone to stop feeding the people of Gaza. Unless I’m mistaken, this is a call for genocide. IThis is not unusual in Zionist termks — several of the more extreme Zionists in Israel support it.

  21. Chopper4 Chopper4 26 November 2012

    @ Realist…I would love to see where you gt your figures from…as the excel spreadsheets available on the USAID website for economic and military aid only comes to roughly $4-5 billion so maybe you can tell us where that other $130 + billion disappeared to and how come USAID agency never bothered putting that really “small” figure in the spreadsheet?

    Where do you get that $3 billion per year in direct assistance? Because in 2010 it was $36.6 million that is a shortfall of $2.96 billion…you see what happens when you are up against facts in black and white…

    Maybe you should look at the spreadsheet under West Bank/Gaza and there you will get a nice surprise…do you know that in 2009 the PA receive almost $1 billion in direct financial support and that included monies for refugee and migration assistance. In the same year Israel got $30 milllion.

    Then another amazing thing which you will be happy to hear is that every year the amount of US financial aid to Israel is decreasing and it is decreasing at quite the rate…however when you look at West Bank and Gaza those numbers are not even stablising they are just increasing every year. oops yet another so called fact of yours debunked.

    Oh so you want more??? All military aid has to be spent on US arms and ammo…therefore ISrael can not use that money to buy weapons from others therefore Israeli arms deals boost the US economy…bet you did not like hearing that.


  22. Enough Said Enough Said 27 November 2012

    I love Noam Chomsky. He has taught me more about how the world really works than most people. He cuts through the media and political spin and tells it how it really is.

    The next book I am going to buy will be “Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel’s War Against the Palestinians”

  23. Brent Brent 27 November 2012

    The Creator and the Realist, please read that article that Hugh Robinson highlights and give your comments and advise us if everything you read about Hamas (who have probably killed more Palestinians that Israel) and the poor Palestinians is true.


  24. Akmat Akmat 27 November 2012

    @ Chopper4
    according to the following link on USAID:
    your fgures do not add up.
    total economic and military assistance to Israel: nearly 3 billion as at 2010 (varies between 2.5 billion to 3 billion over a 10 year period)
    total economic and military assitance to West Bank/Gaza: 693 million as at 2010
    look at the 10 year history and see which country has been getting more total aid especially military assistance!
    the 36 million refers to only economic assistance
    Total US assistance to all countries (economic and military) is roughly 52.8 billion in 2010!
    before accusing others of checking facts maybe you should do the same!

  25. Enough Said Enough Said 28 November 2012

    [Q: do you think the Palestinian suicide bombers are freedom fighters or terrorists?]

    They’re terrorists – they’re both, actually. They’re trying to fight for freedom, but doing it in a totally unacceptable immoral way. Of course they’re terrorists. And there’s been Palestinian terrorism all the way through. I have always opposed it, I oppose it now. But it’s very small as compared with the US-backed Israeli terrorism. Quite typically, violence reflects the means of violence. It’s not unusual. State terror is almost always much more extreme than retail terror, and this is no exception.

    Noam Chomsky interviewed by Tony Jones on Lateline, April 8, 2002.

  26. george orwell george orwell 30 November 2012

    Levitas writes that “elected ruling party Hamas, has been funneling funds and huge resources into manufacturing and acquiring rockets.”

    But let us not forget that the Israelis have been funneling funds (including $3-billion of American taxpayers’ money) into manufacturing and acquiring bomber jets, Predator drones, missiles, night-vision equipment, state-of-the-art guns, tanks and the like.

    The behemoth Israel army is Goliath to the Palestinian David.

  27. Ben Levitas Ben Levitas 30 November 2012

    To Notanbabu-Palestinians don’t need to die to be free. They have an open invitation to talk peace to become independent.
    Yes Zionism and Judaism are very closely connected. Since Abraham was pointed out the land designated by G-D for the Jews. Over 100 ‘good deeds’ that are required every day can only occur in Israel. Jews face Jerusalem when they pray and pray 3 times daily for peace in Israel. Festivals are related to seasons in Israel.
    To Realist; no food or medicine witheld from Gaza, or visits to hospitals. Prisoners and soldiers are subject to the law and all complaints can be brought before the freest Supreme Court in the World.
    Yes, I support Israel because it is the freest society in the region-all the others practice religious and gender discrimination.
    Yes I have lived in the West Bank and in Israel.

  28. george orwell george orwell 1 December 2012

    Levitas: “Since Abraham was pointed out the land designated by G-D for the Jews”

    Red Indian chiefs pointed out the land designated by G-D for the Native Americans, but that didn;t help them when Columbus and Co arrived.

    G-D, unfortunately, makes a dubious Estate Agent.

  29. Chopper4 Chopper4 3 December 2012


    If only you could think before you talk. I never added anything up. All that $3 billion has to be used on the US economy, There are rules to receiving military aid. Economic Aid is like free money on the other hand. It does not need to be used on bolstering the US economy just the opposite, if you want to use the money to pay salaries, purchase whatever, you can.

    The difference between the aid the Palestinians get and the Israelis get are that the Palestinians do not bolster the US economy and Israel does. Do you even understand the ramifications of an input of $3 billion into an economy? Compare that to the nearly $1 billion in financial aid which does not return to the US ever and Palestinians do not get military aid because they do not have a military. So all their aid is financial, do not try and confuse people to forward your own agenda.

    Israel over the past 10 years has been given less and less financial aid, in other words it can depend on itself. However the Financial aid to the Palestinians gets larger and larger each year…now what does that say about the Palestinians? They cant even fend for themselves and if they could financial aid would drop…do not blame this on Israel.

    Israel while under constant threats has become a self sustaining country. Under the same and even worse threats than the Palestinians face. If the Palestinians especially in Gaza had to smuggle in less rockets and more stuff they need then the situation would be a lot…

  30. Chopper4 Chopper4 3 December 2012

    @George Orwell, as for your comments about funneling funds by Israel…that is blatant lies. All the $3 billion of military aid keeps many jobs afloat in the US, do you even know the ramifications of an input of $3 billion into the US economy does? No funds are funneled anywhere into Israel. Financial Aid to Israel has dropped to almost insignificant figures compared to other countries that have been in existence longer than Israel. Then again the financial aid does not get used on military or defense budgets.

    As for the Palestinians no military aid is given to them. They do not have a recognised military to receive military aid. Therefore all aid given to the Palestinians is financial. That money never gets put back into the economy from which it came…unlike the aid Israel gets.

    You see what happens when you try go up against FACTS?

    You call Israel the Goliath and Palestine the David…from the UN vote which goes against the UN charter it proves that it is actually the opposite. That vote just shows that there are some 130 countries in the UN that have no problem with one of their members being destroyed, 40 countries that would stand idly by while the destruction happens and only 9 countries that oppose the destruction of a member of the UN.

    If you for 1 second think that the Palestinians are the David in this story you are sorely mistaken…and you do not take into consideration history over the past almost century.

  31. nguni nguni 21 March 2013

    The FACTS that you like to twist are that the Palestinians are the David with regards to military power and they have become the Goliath when it comes to world opinion.

Leave a Reply