Monday, 2 February 2009

Nice To Have A Heavyweight On-Side

Dan Larison has an interesting post up regarding those criticising donors of aid to Gaza on the grounds that they are propping up Hamas. I'm in general agreement with his main arguments(although I'm less skeptical about international aid as a general concept than perhaps he is), the nickel version of which is that withholding aid is liable to strengthen Hamas by increasing the populations reliance on their supplies and providing them with the opportunity to stir up the anger and resentment that Hamas essentially feeds off.

I also wanted to point out that while the argument that long-term dependence on foreign aid is a bad idea for Gaza is well-taken, absent major changes in the political landscape in the region it is difficult to concoct a plausible scenario under which cutting the aid will help anyone bar the grave-diggers. To oversimplify tremendously, if Gaza really has become an addict it does not follow that cold turkey is a sensible next step.

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