Now this will make them moderate. Uh, won’t it?
International donors pledged $7.4 billion for the Palestinians at a conference in Paris on Monday, a massive sum that beat the Palestinians’ own expectations, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said.
“The real winner today is the Palestinian state,” Kouchner told a news conference after the gathering of nearly 90 countries and international organizations. “We wanted $5.6 billion, we have $7.4 billion, not bad.”
According to Kouchner, $2.9 billion will be transferred to the Palestinian government in 2008, and the remainder of the sum will be transferred over the next three years.
The Palestinian government had asked for $5.6 billion over the course of three years to shore up its economy amid a renewed push for a Palestinian state.
Topping the donors’ list were the European Union, which pledged $630 million, the United States, with a $555 million pledge, and Saudi Arabia, which will donate $500 million.
The Saudis could have and should have been the lead, and indeed the sole, donors.