The Ad Campaign vs. the Aid Campaign

Thu May 26, 2005 8:27 PM EDT

AP reports:

Seeking to improve its image among Palestinians, the United States has launched an advertising campaign in the West Bank, using billboards and television commercials filled with grinning children to tell Palestinians they have cleaner water and more classrooms thanks to its generosity.

Apparently, plans to enlist a Palestinian entertainer or athlete to serve as the goodwill ambassador for the U.S. campaign didn't pan out. It's no wonder. Note that President Bush, at the beginning of this year, requested $350 million from Congress, $200 million of which was to go directly to Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. While the House approved $200 million at the beginning of May, none of that money will go to either Abbas or the P.A. Instead, $150 million will "be channeled…through American aid agencies, nongovernmental organizations and philanthropic groups." And the other $50 million? It goes to Israel--to help build checkpoints bordering Palestinian areas. And to top it all off, Congress directed $2 million to the Women's Zionist Organization of America, Hadassah. So much for the "generosity" of U.S. aid to Palestine.

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