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by RAY FLEMING
MONDAY'S donors' conference in Egypt for money for the reconstruction of Gaza raised three billion dollars; Saudi Arabia was the largest contributor with one billion and the United States chipped in with 900 million -- except that only one-third of that is earmarked for Gaza with the rest going to the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank. The conference was a farce: the only people able to put the money to good use on the ground - Hamas - were not invited. Even if they had been the key question would have gone unanswered - when will Israel open its check-points to let essential reconstruction materials and humanitarian assistance get through to the people of Gaza. It is hard to believe that Hillary Clinton had gone to a conference to pledge money for Gaza but at the same time insist that none of it should be made available to Hamas. Her stand was backed up by Tony Blair who had actually made his first visit to Gaza since the war just before the conference. So the 14'000 homes, 219 factories, 240 schools will remain as piles of rubble - just as Israel left them. The curious thing about Monday's conference is why it was held at all. Why should other countries have to pay for reconstruction of Israel's disproportionate destruction? Should not Israel foot the bill? I'm sure Hamas would be ready to pay the small sum needed to repair the damage done by their rockets in Israel.