December 21, 2007

Questions about Palestinian Aid

From Questions about Palestinian Aid:

The argument for increasing foreign aid to the Palestinians stems from the belief that the way to defeat radicalism is to eliminate its ostensible cause - poverty and ignorance. But as early as 1958, Daniel Lerner discerned that political activism in the Middle East was not driven by the "have nots," but rather by the "want mores."

Claude Berrebi of Princeton University analyzed Palestinian terrorism and determined that "if anything...those with higher education and higher living standards are more likely to participate in terrorist activity." Alan Krueger and Jitka Maleckova in the Journal of Economic Perspectives found that Palestinian suicide bombers were more likely than the general population to have completed secondary education and were less likely to come from an impoverished environment. They also found similar results associated with membership in Hizbullah.