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The Forum > Article Comments > The economics of terrorism > Comments

The economics of terrorism : Comments

By Andrew Leigh, published 25/1/2010

The more we can help poor governments provide basic services to their citizens, the less space we allow for radical rebels to fill the void.

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So this chap Leigh used Berman's example of the Muslim Brotherhood, in Egypt, in the 1950s. Leigh also used a poll restricted to only POOR Muslim peoples (Palestinians, Egyptians and Pakistanis).

Well the main problem now is Saudi Arabians and other rich Arabs piloting aircraft into buildings or rich Saudi's financing:

- al Qaida (AQ) in Iraq

- and AQ and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

These wealthy terrorists and their rich financiers have all the money that they need to bomb.

They will not be and are not impressed by goody-goody infidel handouts that may have worked in the poor Middle East of the 1950s.

The West is throwing vast amounts of aid money at the AQ/Taliban in Afghanistan, to no effect.

Our money is tainted. While Saudi money for jihadist causes is considered Holy.

Posted by plantagenet, Monday, 25 January 2010 12:33:04 PM
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I agree Andrew.

Part of the problem is also ensuring that aid or other assistance is well targetted and that the donor country can observe the auditory trail. Handing over money where there is no accountability is not the answer - rather the donor country or organisation pay for the building of a school or hospital directly using local labour.

This is the problem in Afghanisatan were USAid gathered for schools is being used by the corrupt to build palatial homes. There is little or no accountability or transparency in transactions.

Filling the social security needs of a people is a good way making it much harder for terrorist leaders to organise sufficiently to do harm.
Posted by pelican, Monday, 25 January 2010 6:16:36 PM
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Why not ask why there is a need for social services in the first place? If Palestinians didn’t have their houses demolished and land confiscated and water siphoned off to water the gardens of "settlers", then there wouldn’t much need for social services.

For example, Sderot has been the main target of rockets from Gaza. Some excerpts from Wikipaedia:

"Sderot was founded in 1951 next to the Gevim-Dorot transit camp, on the land of the former Palestinian village of Najd.[8]The first settlers of Sderot were Kurdish and Persian immigrants who lived in tents and shacks before permanent housing was completed in 1954....."

A "FORMER Palestinian village" called Najd?

"Najd was a Palestinian Arab village, located 14 kilometers (9 mi) northeast of Gaza City. During the British Mandate in Palestine, children from Najd attended school in the nearby village of Simsim. On 13 May, 1948, Najd was occupied by Jewish soldiers from the Negev Brigade as part of Operation Barak. The inhabitants were expelled and fled to Gaza, and the village was then completely destroyed and leveled to the ground. In 1951, the town of Sderot was built over the village lands."

So Gaza is inhabited by the human beings who were ethnically cleansed from their former homes. If you were expelled from your house, watched it bulldozed and re-inhabited---your livilihood and heritage plundered---do you think better social services would fix the problem?

How about some justice?

Andrew, why not examine the economic impact of a withdrawal of the finacial and military aid to Israel? Tie this to an ultimatum that has at its core justice and then examine the impact this would have on the well-being of Palestinians and therefore terrorism.

I think it would be a far more effective and far less costly alternative than providing social services which will never adddress the real issues and have in the past been blown to smithereens by the IDF (witness the wilful destruction of infrastructure and services provided by the EU over the years).
Posted by grateful, Tuesday, 26 January 2010 11:22:08 PM
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The human beings of this village certainly need some social services (source:

Israeli forces demolish 17 buildings in northern West Bank
Posted on: January 11, 2010 |
10 January 2010

Israeli military forces have demolished 17 buildings in the Palestinian community of Khirbet Tana for the second time. This is the only the most recent chapter in a long struggle for the small agricultural community to keep their lands.

The Israeli army arrived this morning to the village in a convoy of jeeps and bulldozers and razed 17 buildings to the ground. The demolished structures included family homes, children’s classrooms and shelters for the village’s livestock. Several olive trees were also razed to the ground. In a statement issued by the Israeli military, the buildings were had demolished due to the fact they were “illegally constructed structures” built on a military training ground, “endangering the lives of those present”.

Khirbet Tana centered around two natural springs, lying 7km east of Beit Furik in the Nablus area of the West Bank. It is currently home to approximately 35 families, some of whom reside there permanently, and some who stay only during the spring and winter seasons due to the regions’ remoteness and harsh climates. Residents say that references to the villages existence date back to over 3500 years ago.

This is not the first time that this has happened. In 2005 Israeli forces demolished almost the entire village, leaving only the mosque, built over 150 years previously. Despite the majority of the dwellings having been built several hundred years ago, the military claimed they had been built without permission and thus had the right to demolish. The entire area was categorised as Area C – under full Israeli military and civilian control – in the Oslo Accords of 1994.


Posted by grateful, Wednesday, 27 January 2010 10:25:28 PM
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Residents also suffer from the ongoing threat from settlers from the nearby settlement of Mekhora, built on the lands of Khirbet Tana and Beit Furik. The settlers are ultimately those who benefit from the destruction of Khirbet Tana, as their agricultural projects continue to expand on to village land. On at least one occasion settlers have been sighted swimming in Khirbet Tana’s source of drinking water, a common method employed by settlers to pollute the water of Palestinian villages.

Two months ago Israeli forces confiscated four tractors from Khirbet Tana farmers, demanding 3100 NIS for the return of each. The farmers were then summoned to appear in court in Ariel settlement to ask for the return of the machinery.

Despite these hardships the villagers remain defiant, immediately starting to clear rubble and begin the rebuilding. Plans for a demonstration in Beit Furik are also underway.


Without these events there would not be a need for social security to stem the tide of anger that these actions can instil in the hearts of the oppressed. None of us is perfect and there will be some who crack (or are lead astray by those intent on evil) and respond in a way that is wrong. But who is more wrong: the person responding to oppression in the wrong manner or the person who, for no other reason but greed, commits these sorts of crimes against their fellow human beings?

The Palestinians are a very patient, family-oriented group of human beings. This event did not happen 40 or 50 years ago, it happened 17 days ago. The U.S. is bank-rolling these crimes, countries like Australia are providing moral support and the media are complicit in failing to report them. If you want to prevent the actions which create the need for "social security" as a line of defence against terrorism then the solution is obvious.
Posted by grateful, Thursday, 28 January 2010 5:31:26 AM
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