The Arabs are clearly not as naïve as the Americans and Europeans, who are continuing to pour millions of dollars annually on the Palestinians without conditions and without demanding accountability. Pictured: Palestinians burn a US flag in Bethlehem, on January 29, 2020. (Photo by Musa Al Shaer/AFP via Getty Images)
The Palestinians are disappointed: their Arab brothers have stopped providing them with financial aid. The truth is that most of the Arab countries long ago turned their backs on the Palestinians. They can only blame themselves for ruining their relations with the rest of the Arab world.
It is ironic that while the European Union recently announced its decision to resume unconditional financial aid to the Palestinians, the Arab countries continue to completely ignore the Palestinians. It is also ironic that while the Biden administration continues to talk about providing financial aid to the Palestinians, the Arab countries do not seem to care at all about their Palestinian brothers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The Palestinians receive a lot of lip service from the Arabs, but see hardly any money being channeled to their coffers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Consequently, for the past few decades the Palestinians have become almost entirely dependent on American and European taxpayer money.
Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh recently revealed that, with the exception of Algeria, the Arab countries have stopped sending financial aid to the treasury of the PA.
Shtayyeh refrained from offering any reason as to why the Arabs had decided to cut off the funding to the Palestinians.
Shtayyeh and the PA have condemned the Arab countries that signed normalization agreements with Israel during the Trump administration era. Some of these countries, especially the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, used to help the Palestinians in many fields, including financial aid and providing jobs to tens of thousands of laborers.
The Palestinian leadership has accused the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan of "betraying" the Palestinian people, Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem) by agreeing to make peace with Israel.
It is these serious allegations that have alienated these countries and other Arabs, who are accusing the Palestinians of being ungrateful and biting the hand that feeds them.
Earlier this year, prominent Kuwaiti journalist Ahmed Al-Jarallah explained why he and many others are fed up with the Palestinians. Reminding the Palestinians of what the Gulf states have done for them over the years, Al-Jarallah wrote:
"We are the only ones who rescued them [Palestinians] in the year 1970 when they launched their war on Jordan. The late Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah evacuated their leader Yasser Arafat from Amman. The Arabian gulf states, led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, boycotted oil export to the western countries during the 1973 [Israel-Arab] war. Furthermore, Riyadh presented two initiatives to solve the conflict. Despite their [Palestinians'] support of Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait and their participation in acts of intimidation, abuse and killing against Kuwaiti citizens, the Gulf states continue to support the Palestinians. All of this is just the tip of the iceberg of what the Gulf states and their people offered to the Palestinians, who were and still are ungrateful."
The Arabs are apparently not only fed up with the Palestinian leadership, but also with international organizations and agencies that help the Palestinians. Arab financial aid to the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has dropped by 90% in the past few years, according to the agency's spokesperson Adnan Abu Hasna.
In another sign of Arab disregard for the Palestinians, the Palestinian Islamic-Christian Committee for the Support of Jerusalem and the Holy Sites warned of the repercussions of drying up the Arab financial support provided to the city.
The committee said that this year witnessed a "dangerous and unprecedented decline" in the level of financial support provided by a number of Arab countries to Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem.
The committee added that a number of governmental and civil bodies that were formed in some Arab countries to provide direct support to dozens of Palestinian institutions were suspended for reasons that were not disclosed.
"Cutting off this Arab aid caused the disruption of vital services that were provided to Jerusalemites, especially in the health and educational fields," the committee added. "Dozens of cultural, social and sports institutions are suffering from a stifling financial situation that threatens to close them and lay off their employees."
The Palestinians can only blame themselves for antagonizing their Arab brothers and consequently losing the Arab money. The Palestinians have been spitting in the face of the Arab countries, while at the same time expecting these countries to continue funding them.
The Arabs are clearly not as naïve as the Americans and Europeans, who are continuing to pour millions of dollars annually on the Palestinians without conditions and without demanding accountability.
Had the Palestinians welcomed the many peace accords between Israel and the Arab states instead of condemning them and bad-mouthing the Arab leaders, they would have been in a much better situation today. They would have continued to receive financial aid from the Arabs and been able to use this money to build a better future for their children.
The Palestinian leadership, however, chose to spit in the well it has drawn from for many years, and now it is drinking the bitter waters of its decisions.
The Arab countries have more urgent issues to deal with than the corrupt, thankless Palestinian leaders do. You can start with the welfare of their own people. The Palestinian leadership, by contrast, is happy to fail its people by indoctrinating generation after generation with bloodlust for Jews. When Palestinian society finds itself left in the global dust of progress, it can thank its leaders for bringing them to that sorry pass.
Khaled Abu Toameh is an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem.