Humanitarian Aid For An Impoverished People

They say the Palestinians are the underdogs, the weak and impoverished, the poor and unprotected. They say that they are desperate, living in abominable conditions that would drive anyone to violence. They say the Palestinians have no choice, no options, no alternatives.

Yes, indeed. They say all that and more. They say it – but that doesn’t make it right; that doesn’t make it the truth. A few days ago, Israeli forces intercepted four tons of ammonium Chloride being smuggled into Gaza from Iran.

Do you know what you can do with ammonium chloride? Don’t believe me. Google it. Bombs and rocket fuel. Google is amazing. The things you can learn. For example, the four tons of ammonium chloride would have cost close to $100,000, perhaps even more depending on the estimate and not including delivery, cost of the espionage used to attempt to smuggle this dangerous chemical into Gaza.

In a sad and ironic twist of fate, in December 2015, it was disclosed that the US Agency for International Development (USAID), a taxpayer-funded aid organizationScreenHunter_202 May. 03 13.36, agreed to give a federal grant of $100,000 to Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), an Islamic charity banned in Israel and the United Arab Emirates, after it was discovered that IRW was channeling these funds to Hamas and also had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Blood money for blood…and the blood that Hamas intended to shed was ours. In another ironic twist, the smuggled chemicals were labeled as “salt.”

In both Judaism and Christianity, salt is recognized as a major part of life, a necessity to sustain and improve the quality of life.

They say there are no coincidences in life. I find it fascinating that of all things they could have claimed the chemical to be, they used salt. Perhaps there is a message there, perhaps in some way they see the making of rockets and bombs to be an integral part of their lives and if so, how very sad that is.

How many homes could have been built with $100,000? How much medical equipment could they have bought? School books? One incubator for a newborn baby costs $50,000; a defibrillator used by paramedics costs about $20,000.

What amazing things the Palestinians could have done with $100,000 and what a pity the best use they could find for this money was for chemicals meant to destroy.

They say the Palestinians are impoverished – and yet they so much money, they can waste it on elaborate mansions for their leaders, reinforced tunnels intended for smuggling and attacking, and now for dangerous chemicals meant to be used to launch more rockets and create more bombs.

They say the Palestinians are the underdogs, and yet we are the ones who build bomb shelters and live with guards stationed at our schools and malls.

They say the Palestinians have no choices, no options, no alternatives but that, like much of what “they” say, is a lie. The choice has always been theirs and we are not to blame for them always choosing violence, war, and death. They chose war in 1947 when they refused the Partition Plan. They chose war in 1948 when the Arab nations attacked the newly declared State of Israel. Again and again, the choice has always been theirs. This time, they choose to spend $100,000…not on homes and schools and incubators and defibrillators but on ammonium chloride.


Paula R. Stern

Paula R. Stern is the CEO of WritePoint Ltd, a leading technical writing company in Israel. She is also a popular blogger with her work appearing on her own sites, A Soldier's Mother and PaulaSays, as well as IsraellyCool and a number of other Jewish and Israeli sites.