Saturday, May 31, 2008

World's lamest superpower

Imagine you are a bright kid living on the Gaza strip. While your friends are throwing rocks, you burn the midnight oil studying because you know that your one hope of getting out of the place is winning a Fulbright Scholarship to study in the US. Finally, the thick envelope arrives: you're accepted! But not for long, as the NY Times reports:
The American State Department has withdrawn all Fulbright grants to Palestinian students in Gaza hoping to pursue advanced degrees at American institutions this fall because Israel has not granted them permission to leave.

Given that policy, the United States Consulate in Jerusalem said the grant money had been “redirected” to students elsewhere out of concern that it would go to waste if the Palestinian students were forced to remain in Gaza. . .
It seems that two billion of dollars in annual aid Israel buys Washington very little influence! In all of history, was ever a superpower quite this lame?

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