Claudia Rosett neatly summarizes the longer-term Gaza problem in Forbes magazine:
In the current violence of Gaza, we are seeing the fruition of one of the most bizarre creations of modern diplomacy: a UN-supported welfare enclave for terrorists.See also John Derbyshire from a 2002 article in National Review:
Behind this lies a straightforward equation. Gaza, with its 1.5 million people, runs almost entirely on international handouts. The UN ranks it among the top per-capita aid recipients on the planet.
And following the Israeli withdrawal in 2005, the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hamas began consolidating power in Gaza--first via elections in 2006, then via a bloody battle in June 2007, in which Hamas drove out the rival Palestinian group Fatah and seized all power in the enclave.
Since then, Hamas has been running Gaza as a territory reduced to basically two industries: aid and terrorism.
I spent some of my formative years in Hong Kong, a barren piece of rock with zero natural resources, under foreign occupation, chock-full of refugees from the Mao tyranny. The people there weren't lounging in UNRWA camps or making suicide runs at the governor's mansion. They were trading, building, speculating, manufacturing, working — with the result that Hong Kong is now a glittering modern city filled with well-dressed, well-educated, well-fed people, proud of what they have accomplished together, and with a higher standard of living than Britain herself. If, following the Oslo accords — or for that matter, in the 20 years of Jordanian occupation — the Palestinians had taken that route, had set aside their fantasies of revenge and massacre, and concentrated on building up something worth having, I might have respect for them. As it is, I don't.Reminder: after WWII, at least 850,000 Jews were expelled from Arab states, most moving to Israel. Today, like Chinese migrants to Hong Kong but unlike Palestinians, none of them, nor their descendants, are "refugees."
The only halfway sympathetic thing I can find to say about the Palestinians is that UNRWA has surely been part of the problem. If you go to the UNRWA website, you will see how proud they are of having fed, clothed, sheltered, educated and cared for the Palestinian refugees of 1948... and their children... and their grandchildren. The number of people UNRWA cares for has gone from 600,000 in 1948 to nearly four million today. Now, I understand that the prime impulse of bureaucracies, especially welfare bureaucracies, is the consolidation and expansion of their turf, and a steady increase in the number of their "clients"; but this is ridiculous. The good people of Hong Kong should go down on their knees every night and thank God that there was no UNRWA in the colony in 1949.
Oh, BTW, Palestinians are pretty good at propaganda and playing martyr too.
Power Line's John Hinderaker sets forth some of the faux photos from Gaza. And Hamas' child abuse is documented in this video.
(via commenter OBH via Dr. Sanity, The Corner)