Why Palestinian Corruption Matters

In 2005, an extremely wealthy old friend of Yasir Arafat’s, Munib al-Masri, spoke about the missed opportunities he witnessed during Arafat’s time in power for an article in the Atlantic. Here is what he told the author of that piece, David Samuels:

With three hundred, four hundred million dollars we could have built Palestine in ten years. Waste, waste, waste. I flew over the West Bank in a helicopter with Arafat at the beginning of Oslo, and I told him how easy we could make five, six, seven towns here; we could absorb a lot of people here; and have the right of return for the refugees. If you have good intentions and you say you want to reach a solution, we could do it. I said, if you have money and water, it could be comparable to Israel, this piece of land.

It doesn’t sound like a lot of money, a few hundred million dollars. Yet since that helicopter ride, according to a new Congressional Research Service report, the U.S. has given the Palestinians about $4 billion. They didn’t build the state, as al-Masri hoped.

0
Shares
Google+ Print

Why Palestinian Corruption Matters

Must-Reads from Magazine

Trump, CNN, and the Corruption of Conservatism

Power over principle.

When a handful of obdurate conservatives vowed to oppose Donald Trump even if he were to win the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, they did so for two reasons. First, he seemed destined to lose. Second, they feared that Trump, by virtue of his malleable boosters in conservative media, was uniquely able to redefine conservatism. This concern has proven prescient. Trump is leading conservatives to embrace liberal political objectives purely out of spite. His Justice Department’s effort to block a merger between AT&T and CNN’s parent company appears to be an example of this corruption.

12
Shares
Google+ Print

When Politicians Aren’t Moral

Last podcast before Thanksgiving

audio: https://soundcloud.com/commentarymagazine/when_politicians_arent_moral

In this COMMENTARY podcast, the gang (minus an under-the-weather Noah Rothman) discusses Donald Trump’s anti-presidential attitude and whether there’s an upside to it. We also consider the new partisan turn in the response to ongoing sexual-misconduct allegations. Give a listen. 

4
Shares
Google+ Print

Only an Outsider Sees the Obvious

A sensible policy on Iran and North Korea.

Almost a year into the Trump presidency, this administration’s foreign policy could be best described as confused. Reports suggest that the president is in a constant state of displeasure with his subordinates in the foreign-service establishment, and the feeling is mutual. On issues ranging from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s conflicts in Yemen and Qatar to the crisis on the Korean Peninsula, the president and the administration he leads frequently contradict one another. Trump’s reckless antagonism toward strategic competitors like China strikes a perplexing contrast with his conciliatory appeals toward Russia. And no one in the White House seems to know what the trade deficit is.

11
Shares
Google+ Print

The Opportunist

A conversion of convenience.

While Republicans are wrestling over whether to fully embrace a lecherous scofflaw, Democrats are finally breaking with one. This is how the latter party would prefer the nation’s narrative-shapers frame the left’s apparent determination to confront the allegations against President Bill Clinton. The fact that this great coming to terms occurs at a moment of utmost political opportunity is, they’d contend, pure coincidence.

20
Shares
Google+ Print

The Democrats’ Faith-Based Initiative

Myths and fables.

The Democrats seem to have three and only three principles when it comes to tax policy.

17
Shares
Google+ Print