Monday, November 28, 2011

Daoud Kuttab Climbs on the Cross

There is a lot going on in Daoud Kuttab's latest cringing column in the Huffington Post, this time on the subject of the ever dwindling American aid to the Palestinians. Without further ado, let's get right into it:
"Few in Washington may realize that the issue of U.S. funding for Palestine is the talk of the town in Ramallah and other Palestinian cities. And the talk is not pleasant...."
Ooo, scary! And what exactly are the Palestinians going to do about it? Hate Americans more? Burn our flags some more? Perhaps in an earlier draft Mr. Kuttab explained why exactly Americans should care about what the Palestinians think regarding the millions of dollars we just give to them ever year for free, but it doesn't appear here. 

Instead it's all about Abbas, and that's where we get the title of this post. In this article Kuttab tries to dance the two-step in which both rejecting and accepting American aid is a good thing:
"Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been telling aides that he plans to reject some $150 million in federal money earmarked for Palestinian security. Abbas's opposition is principled."
Okay, what's wrong with that? Skipping down a bit we see:
"It would be a political misstep to accept funds earmarked for security services while schools and nurseries are not completed. Palestinians would see the aid as analogous to the 30 pieces of silver that were accepted by Judas Iscariot when he delivered Jesus -- a position Abbas does not want to be in." 
First of all, would "Palestinians" see it that way, Daoud, or would you see it that way? We've seen dozens of journalists try to speak for the Palestinian (and American, and Israeli) people but if you're going to make a big claim like that it would be useful to provide some proof. Of course, I'm guessing your average Palestinian on the street isn't so willing to compare himself or herself to Jesus, but clearly Kuttab is feeling arrogant enough to pull it off. The Palestinians' aren't Jesus, and the PA is not Judas for wanting to keep the Christ-like Palestinians for wanting to murder Israeli civilians...just like Christ would have done.

I may have skipped too far in getting to that analogy, but just to rephrase what Kuttab is saying: You see, in his mind it's not only acceptable but expected that Abbas should reject our money if it means doing what America says (like living up to the PA's obligations under Oslo or stopping terrorists), but if American aid to other areas of Palestinian life (like "schools and nurseries") was rejected, oh what a terrible crime that would be.

In other words, Kuttab wants American money but doesn't want to accept the price that comes with it. And anyone that feels otherwise is a Christ-killer. Hey, he said it not me. Of course, as anti-Zionists are so quick to remind us, aid is fungible and money that is earmarked for schools or security could just as easily go to anti-Western propaganda or weapons.

So in the end Kuttab's complaints are pretty much what we have seen before: Oh it's so unfair that America is punishing the Palestinians for defying them at the UN, and they should just hand over the cash and shut up. If they don't, the Palestinians are going to be very angry and like the Incredible Hulk, you won't like them when they are angry. He sums it all up with this:
"The intricacies of foreign policy are usually unknown to the average American. But it doesn't take much to understand that aligning with one side in the Middle East peace process not only erodes the United States' diplomatic leverage but also plants the seeds of doom for the United States in a sensitive region."
Really? So he thinks that the Palestinians marching to the UN, and in the process telling America to shove it, doesn't erode America's diplomatic leverage either? Or that giving free money to people who hate us and tell us to shove it doesn't do the same? It's becoming clear to me that like many anti-Zionists, Kuttab tries to convince his audience that he wants America to be "balanced" and "helpful to making peace," but in truth he just wants America to give his fellow Palestinians aid and stop thinking about it. It's becoming clear that those days are over.

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