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By Barry Rubin

SkyNews reporter Tim Marshall points out what other reporters don’t…point out.

“There are well over 200 NGOs in the West Bank and Gaza, and 30% of the GDP here comes from international aid. Palestinians are among the most foreign aid funded people in the world and the place is awash with money….

“The billions that pour in here mean the Palestinian Authority does not need to try very hard to deliver the services expected by voters, it also stifles the private sector, inflates wages and causes an internal ‘brain drain’….

“No Palestinian business can compete with NGOs which routinely triple what a local firm would pay….

“`Palestine is the best-kept secret in the aid industry,’” a medical NGO worker recently told This Week In Palestine, `People need field experience and Palestine sounds cool and dangerous because it can be described as a war zone, but in reality it’s quite safe and has all the comforts that internationals want.’”

So in other words, the NGOs have every interest in continuing this situation, a lot of Westerners are making great money, the Palestinians are subsidized to an extent that much-worse-off Third World people can only dream about, AND they are portrayed as heroic, suffering victims, too!

And what does the Palestinian Authority have to do in exchange for all this loot and free propaganda? Absolutely nothing. Not make peace with Israel. Not reject a deal with Hamas. Not stop breaking all of its prior commitments by ending its drive for unilateral independence. Not cease incitement to kill Israelis or teaching its people that all of Israel is rightfully theirs. Not face a boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement. Not worry about having its officials arrested for involvement with terrorism when they visit certain European countries. Not face hate and intimidation directed at its nationals and defenders in the West [In contrast, Jews can no longer go to Belgium’s main university without harassment]. Not face public criticism from Western governments. And not even have to negotiate with Israel for the last 2.5 years.

They don’t even have to face an “occupation” as they did between 1967 and 1994-1996.

All of these points are true and demonstrable facts. Yet because of the mass media’s virtual refusal to deal with this framework, they can be ignored by policymaking and intellectual elites.

This is the worst crisis in the world, the greatest oppression, and the greatest suffering?

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, and Middle East editor and a featured columnist at PajamasMedia His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center is His articles published originally in places other than PajamasMedia can be found at

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