Foreign donors have just pledged $7.4 billion in aid to the Palestinian Authority. This is intended to ameliorate poverty, build infrastructure, and ultimately reduce violence.
How has this strategy worked in the past? Steven Stotsky, writing for CAMERA, presents a picture that is not terribly encouraging. It seems that homicides by Palestinians, both in terrorism against Israelis and in factional fighting are closely correlated to aid given to the Palestinian Authority.
The following graph plots the number of Israelis and Palestinians killed by Palestinian terrorists and the amount of aid received by the PA from 2000 – 2007. The murder data is shown for the year after the aid was received, in which the correlation is almost perfect.
The going rate seems to be about one murder for every $1.2 million. At this rate, we can expect nearly 6200 murders for our $7.4 billion.
Does this prove anything? Of course not. There are lots of reasons for the ups and downs in Palestinian productivity, and foreign aid is only one of them.
As is often said, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results”, but it certainly helps to evaluate an investment.