I am referring to a Wall Street Journal article dated June 22 written by Dov Lieber and Felicia Schwartz entitled “In Isolated Settlements, Netanyahu’s Push For Annexation Gets Complicated”.
In the second paragraph, a Palestinian worker is quoted as saying “In Ramallah there is no money. In Israel, there is.” He was speaking from the Jewish settlement of Ateret, where he was helping to add a second floor on to a Jewish Israeli family’s home.
The obvious question that needs to be asked is “Why is there no money in Ramallah?” Ramallah is home to the The Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) which is the unicameral legislature of the Palestinian Authority, elected by the Palestinian residents of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Authority currently administers a portion of the West Bank, with the remainder under direct Israeli military and civilian control. East Jerusalem was unilaterally annexed by Israel in 1980, prior to the formation of the PA. Since 2007 Gaza has been governed by the Hamas Government in Gaza.
Financial Aid Given To The Palestinians
Since 1993 the European Commission and the EU member-states combined have been by far the largest aid contributor to the Palestinians.
International aid has been provided to Palestinians since at least the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. The Palestinians view the aid as keeping the Israeli–Palestinian peace process going, while the Israelis claim that it is used to fund terrorism.
The Ad Hoc Liaison Committee coordinates the delivery of most aid to Palestinians. The entities that provide such aid are categorized into seven groups: the Arab nations, the European Union, the United States, Japan, international institutions (including agencies of the UN system), European countries, and other nations.
On 23 March 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Taylor Force Act into law, which will cut about a third of US foreign aid payments to the PA, until the PA ceases making payment of stipends to terrorists and their surviving families.
In July 2018, Australia stopped the A$10M (US$7.5M) in funding that had been sent to the PA via the World Bank, and instead is sending it to the UN Humanitarian Fund for the Palestinian Territories. The reason given was that they did not want the PA to use the funds to assist Palestinians convicted of politically motivated violence.
On 24 August, the United States cut more than $200 million in direct aid to the PA. The administration had previously cut aid to several UN bodies devoted to the Palestinian cause, including cutting $300 million off the contribution to United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), and the UN Human Rights Council.
In February 2019, the US stopped all USAID to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The US stopped providing more than $60m in annual funds for the Palestinian security services at the request of the PA because of a fear of lawsuits following the enactment of the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act of 2018 (ATCA), which came into force in February 2019, and allows Americans to sue in US courts those receiving US foreign aid over alleged complicity in “acts of war”. The stopping of funding for security services has raised some concerns.
In November 2019, the Netherlands cut the US$1.5 million per annum it paid directly to the Palestinian Authority over payments it makes to families of militants killed, hurt, or imprisoned by Israel (described by Israel as salaries to terrorists).
So Where Does The Money Go?
Jewish Virtual Library Article October, 2002
In October, 2002, when Yasser Arafat was alive, the Jewish Virtual Library investigated where the money given to the Palestinians was spent. They found the following-
The PLO was classified as a terrorist organization from its inception in 1964 until the Oslo Accords in 1993. Yet, throughout this entire time, it continued to receive financial and political support from the Soviet Union and its satellites in Europe, Latin America and Africa, and from members of the Arab League, as well as other Third World countries. This legitimization, and the accompanying financial backing, allowed the PLO not only to continue its terrorism and criminal activities with impunity, but also allowed the organization to fund a world-wide propaganda campaign, win great popularity and increase its influence.
The Palestinian Authority
The Palestinian Authority’s leadership and its chairman Yasser Arafat sponsor terrorism. It uses funds from its salary budget, EUR 10 million each month, to do it.
– The PA has deliberately sent money (from its EU-aided salary account, among other sources) to individuals and groups involved in terrorism;
– The EU’s denials of this do not stand up to scrutiny;
– According to the EU’s own statements, it should cease aiding the PA.
In conclusion, the Palestinian Authority, led since its inception by Yasser Arafat, has been engaged in massive-scale corruption and terrorism. Yet, all this time, the international community has turned a blind eye and continued its support.
The Reality Today-
Despite numerous attempts to bring the Palestinians to the peace table, they have refused all offers. Instead, Israel is faced with neighbors who are determined to keep holding to the principles established by the PLO founder.
Israelis continue to live under the threat of missile and balloon attacks, and terrorist attacks of all different forms from the Gaza strip and surrounding countries.
These terrorist, missile and balloon attacks require a great deal of money to carry out. But what is even more amazing is that the Palestinians continued to pay those terrorists who carried out these attacks. That is done through what is called the Palestinian Authority Martyrs Fund.
It is a fund operated by the Palestinian Authority (PA) for the purpose of paying a monthly cash stipend to the families of Palestinians killed, injured or imprisoned for involvement in attacking, assisting in attacking, or planning to attack Israelis, or for other types of politically-inspired violence, including riots, violent demonstrations, and throwing rocks, and also for paying cash stipends to the families of innocent bystanders killed during violent events. In addition, it provides pocket money to all Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails for ordinary crimes. The Fund traces its origins to a fund created by Fatah in 1964 to support the widows and orphans of Palestinian fedayeen. The scheme has been described as “pay for slay”, and has been criticized as encouraging terrorism. In 2016, the PA paid out about NIS 1.1 billion (US$303 million) in stipends and other benefits to the families of so-called “martyrs”. .
The Washington Post reported that in 2017, the PA paid $183 million to families of “martyrs,” terrorists killed while attacking Israelis, and $160 million to prisoners, in Israeli jails for terror attacks against Israelis. 13,000 prisoners were paid $12,307, which is above the average income for Palestinians.
That is $343 million out of the $693 million that the PA received in foreign aid that year. Half of their aid goes to pay terrorists! The terror payments have since been increased and prisoners and their families now receive $3,000 or higher per month.
What If All Of These Monies Spent On Terrorists and Terrorism By The PA Would Have Been Spent On Housing?
Then the answer is simple, there would have been ample work and ample funds available to employ that Palestinian working in Ateret who featured at the beginning of this Blog and thousands like him who desperately are looking for work to provide for their families.
In Reality, The PA Is Now Committing Apartheid Against Its Own People
In my previous Blog, I mentioned that there were many workers from neighboring countries not able to find work and came to South Africa looking for jobs. Even today, the countries surrounding South Africa are not able to support their population economically, with little or no job prospects, and the unemployed citizens must travel to find work elsewhere. Many of them were day workers who came into South Africa to find temporary work provided they had the correct paperwork to allow them to stay.
By denying their own people job opportunities thereby forcing them to work in Israel is very similar to what South African blacks experienced in the days of Apartheid, who were denied work because of the color of their skin.
In the case of the PA who need to build decent housing, schools and many other buildings to provide for its people’s needs, the Palestinian people are being denied an opportunity to work in their own country and forced to rely on Israelis for help. That must be quite embarrassing for Palestinian workers who find themselves helping Israelis rather than their own people.
It may not be exactly like Apartheid because the Palestinians are of the same appearance but it is rather due to lack of money which instead goes to fund terror groups and terrorism against the Israelis who provide them with not only jobs but other opportunities as well.
The Palestinians should be grateful for our help.