Fifteen Billion Dollars

Here's a priceless quote from The Times:

Mohammad Mustafa, chairman of the Palestine Investment Fund, said that the Palestinian Authority had perhaps not maximized the $15 billion in aid donated to it over the years. But he expressed anger at the notion that a United Nations bid was inappropriate.

"Where else can we go?" he asked. "We are in a financial crisis, thousands of our people are in Israeli jails, we can't cross our borders. How long can the world ask us to wait?"

Does Mr. Mustafa know how many poor and suffering nations, dispossessed and otherwise, could make good use of $15 billion? Does he know that whining about a financial crisis after you've squandered $15 billion is unseemly?

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.