The Harvard University Gazette reports that Alberto Abadie, associate professor at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, “examined data on terrorism and variables such as wealth, political freedom, geography, and ethnic fractionalization for nations that have been targets of terrorist attacks…Before analyzing the data, Abadie believed it was a reasonable assumption that terrorism has its roots in poverty, especially since studies have linked civil war to economic factors. However, once the data was corrected for the influence of other factors studied, Abadie said he found no significant relationship between a nation's wealth and the level of terrorism it experiences…” (New York Sun, November 10, 2004).
Meanwhile, Arab journalist Khalid Amayreh, himself from the territories, has likewise written that it “is simply nonsense” to “claim that Islamic terrorism in Israel, as elsewhere, is the product of poverty, backwardness, and ignorance…Islamic fundamentalism is not a product or by-product of poverty. Several studies have shown that a substantial majority of Islamists and their supporters come from the middle and upper socio-economic strata…The fact that city-dwellers [in Judea-Samaria], who are generally more educated and better off economically, have consistently lent more support to Islamists refutes the widely held assumption that Islamist popularity thrives on economic misery” (Jerusalem Post, February 21, 1995).
Morton Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), commented: “Poverty is not the problem; hatred is the problem. An entire generation of Palestinian Arabs has been raised to hate Jews and Israel. Giving them American money will not solve the problem-in fact, it will have the opposite effect, sending a message to them that they need not change their ways. What Palestinians need is years and years of education towards peace, democracy, and coexistence. As long as the PA [Palestinian Authority] educates its people for hatred, in the official PA schools, summer camps, television, radio, newspapers, speeches, and religious sermons, peace will not be possible.”
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