Over the past few years evidence has been trickling out that perhaps the Palestinians are not really all that impoverished, and only continue to receive so much foreign aid in order to paint Israel as an oppressor.
The evidence has built to the point that the mainstream media - the vehicle through which Israel is so often criticized - can no longer ignore it.
Britain's Sky News on Tuesday joined the Washington Post in finally fessing up and admitting that the Palestinians are no worse off than anyone else in the Middle East, and are certaily not being economically choked by Israel.
In a blog post titled "Palestine - 'Occupation Incorporated,'" Sky News correspondent Tim Marshall reveals that the Palestinian-controlled territories are "awash with money."
Marshall writes of the "smart restaurants, sparkling new hotels, and the scale of building work" that regularly greets him when he visits Ramallah or Jericho.
He notes that 'Palestine' is a popular destination for both journalists and aid workers because it sounds dangerous, but i reality "it's quite safe and has all the comforts that internationals want."
Admittedly, the situation could explode at any moment, and that is also what makes the region popular with journalists. But in the meantime, Marshall reports that "Palestine [sic] remains a friendly place, welcoming, hospitable, full of air con, hi-fi, wi-fi and wine."
Certainly, the Palestinian-controlled territories could not possibly be so inviting if Israel were truly oppressing them and choking the Palestinians economically.
Marshall says the real problem the Palestinians are facing is that they have grown too used to being suckled by the international community, and are likely incapable at this point of running a truly independent and viable state.
"There are well over 200 NGOs in the West Bank and Gaza, and 30% of the GDP here comes from international aid," Marshall explains. "Even if the Palestinians declare full statehood in September they would not be truly independent...because Palestine is addicted to aid and as long as you are addicted you are in thrall to your supplier."
All that aid is stifling local businesses by introducing free or subsidized goods into the region. At the same time, local employers cannot hope to compete with the salaries paid by the wealthy NGOs, leaving them with a "brain drain."
In short, the very organizations claiming to be helping the Palestinians weather the alleged Israeli oppression are in fact the ones killing all prospects of a healthy and self-sufficient Palestinian Arab society.
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