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Sunday, April 30, 2006

The limits of sympathy

Hanan Ashrawi is in the United States to raise money for a 'charity' with the innocent-sounding name "Palestine Children's Relief Fund." But the Palestine Children's Relief Fund is not an innocent organization by any stretch. Jonathan S. Tobin writes in today's Jerusalem Post that according to the American Jewish Committee, " the Holy Land Foundation - which along with three other Islamic charities was found liable for the 1996 murder of 16-year-old American David Boim at the hands of Hamas gunmen in the West Bank - tried unsuccessfully in 2004 to divert some of its frozen assets to the Palestine Children's Relief Fund. The Holy Land Foundation has since been shut down by the United States government for funding terror.

Ironically, among the hospitals that the PCRF includes on its web site that have treated Palestinian children, is Wolfson Hospital in Holon, Israel.

Nevertheless, Tobin argues that American Jews, who are being solicited by Ashrawi to support the PCRF should not support it. And with good reason. Because while providing medical care to a 'Palestinian' charity is one story, providing funds that are fungible and may be diverted to terrorism is a whole different ball of wax. Tobin says that with the rest of the world looking at the 'Palestinians' as a child who has murdered his parents who then asks for sympathy because he is an orphan, in the United States American Jews (and although Tobin doesn't say this outright I will - leftist American Jews) may still have sympathy for the 'Palestinians.' Tobin urges his fellow Jews to understand that their sympathy is misplaced:

SO TO whom do they turn? Why, to American Jews, of course. Who else would be an easier mark for Palestinian hustlers than those Jews whose idea of Jewish identity is to support any cause but that of their own people?

Ever since the beginning of the Oslo peace process a certain portion of American Jewry has been flinging some of its charitable donations down the sinkhole that is the Palestinian economy. Some were enticed to invest in Palestinian businesses with the laudable notion that by promoting a healthy Arab economy, they would not only build a constituency for peace but make some cash too. But almost all who did so saw their investments fall victim to the avarice of the Palestinian kleptocracy or the senseless violence of its terrorist apparatus.

Others invested in advanced training for Palestinians. This led to some PA bureaucrats getting a free ride at the Harvard Business School, courtesy of American Jews, where they may have honed their intellects but failed to apply the principles of sound finance to their own government's financial skullduggery.

Now in the wake of the latest Palestinian disaster comes a new set of American pilgrims who hope to feed hungry Palestinian kids in the name of peace and coexistence.

But while we should all be sympathetic to appeals to help children, some prudence about those Palestinian adults who ask for our money is called for. And when such requests come from a longtime Israel-basher and former spokeswoman for the arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat like Hanan Ashrawi, skepticism ought to be the order of the day.

Skepticism indeed! The answer ought to be to just say no!


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