Israel 'first nation in history to finance its enemies'

Friday, November 23, 2012 |  Ryan Jones

A number of Israeli commentators have registered their immense frustration over the fact that Israel did not even come close to leveraging all it had to defeat Hamas and put an end to the Gaza missile threat during the recently-ended Gaza conflict.

Everyone knows that Gaza is not self-sufficient, and receives nearly all its water and a large portion of its electricity from Israel. There was not even a hiccup in that supply as the residents of Gaza rained down missiles on Israeli cities.

But perhaps even more shocking is the fact that the Bank of Israel continued to send Brinks trucks carrying millions of dollars to Hamas during the war.

As Israel's Ynet news portal explained:

"Hamas does not have its own banking system. The organization raises funds in Arab states in dollars, but the currency in Gaza is the shekel. So, every month Israel transfers millions of shekels to Gaza to be exchanged for the dollars."

Popular Israeli commentator Dr. Guy Bechor of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya responded to this ridiculous situation:

"We represent the first instance in history of one side feeding and financing its enemy, even during a time of war between the two."

But it doesn't end with Israel's overreaching fulfillment of the command to "love thy enemy." The Bank of Israel may actually be running afoul of Israeli and other Western laws.

In Israel and in most Western nations, it is illegal for government or financial institutions to monetarily support organizations classified as terrorists. Though Hamas is most certainly a terrorist organization, Israel justifies helping it manage its finances by calling it humanitarian aid. Without those millions of shekels, Hamas could not pay government salaries, and most Gazans would be out of a job. (Some of those "government" jobs include shooting missiles at Israel, by the way.)

But the situation may get a little more sticky going forward. Just this month, a New York court ruled that Israeli victims of Hizballah terror could sue a Lebanese bank that has a branch in New York City. The bank handled financial transfers for a charity connected to Hizballah.

The ruling has opened the door for Israeli and other victims of Hamas terror to sue the Bank of Israel through its branches and subsidiaries if it continues to assist the organization.

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