|This convicted killer is serving 67 life sentences in an Israeli|
prison for multiple murders. He built and delivered a bomb hidden
within a guitar case that took 15 innocent lives including our child's.
He is Abdullah Barghouti. A significant part of his monthly salary
for October 2012 was paid, literally, by this blog's readers.
Douglas Murray has a powerful op-ed in yesterday's Wall Street Journal Europe dealing with something we have puzzled over and written about several times over the past years. How is it that sharp-as-a-pin politicians, serving as ministers in European governments, sign off on documents that transfer many millions of Euros, Pounds and Dollars into the bottomless pit of the Palestinian Arab jihad, and then forget they did it? Or deny they did? Or demonstrate that they never actually fully understood that they did it?
They personally, with their own pens and their own fingers, fund hatred-driven terrorism that allows evil men and women to kill members of a different religion. And then they pretend that it wasn't them, it wasn't the money they sent, it's a misunderstanding, it's not my fault.
Are we greatly simplifying a complex situation? We're a family whose child was murdered by members of a group that has benefited for years from payments of the kind we're describing. How many people do you know whose child died by murder? It concentrates your mind greatly.
Here's Douglas Murray, associate director at the London-based Henry Jackson Society, a think-tank, writing under the headline "Palestinian Terrorists on the Payroll" [online at the WSJE site]:
...Many British taxpayers, struggling to pay their family's way through a recession, might rightly wonder why their money is going to pay as much as £2,000 a month to people serving the longest sentences—those who have targeted Israeli buses and other civilian targets with suicide bombers, for instance. That is higher than the average wage in nearly all of Britain. You might be forgiven for wondering, if you were a struggling teaching assistant in the North of England, why failing to tick "suicide bomber" on your careers form should have left you so much worse off than a terrorist in the Middle East...
Fortunately such people can be consoled by the limitless complacency of the international development minister. For after the facts about the DfID budget were revealed, Alan Duncan rejected them in the following tones: "If these claims were true, this would be a matter of very serious concern for me and the Department."
"However," Mr. Duncan said, "I am pleased to reassure you that we have investigated the matter fully and can confirm that the allegations in Palestinian Media Watch's report are both inaccurate and misleading." The payments were not in fact salaries, he claimed, but rather "social assistance programs to provide welfare payments.
"How nice it must be to be Mr. Duncan. So clever, so satisfied and so wrong. For this week it became clear quite how little Mr. Duncan knows or cares about the uses to which he puts our taxpayers' money.It is possible of course that on this occasion he does not care.
When it comes to the Middle East, Mr. Duncan's views are well-known. As well as being fond of some of the ropier regimes in the region, he has expressed a long-held disdain for the region's only truly free state.Just a year ago Mr. Duncan dragged his department into a row when its website posted a video of him divesting himself of some of his franker opinions. Standing beside Israel's security fence—built, successfully, to stop a spate of suicide bombing—Mr. Duncan described the fence as a "land grab," claimed that Israelis deliberately stole water from Palestinians, and said that the land in question did not belong to the Jewish state.
The latter point was spat out by Mr. Duncan with such ferocity—the video has since been removed—as to make it perfectly clear this was something Mr. Duncan felt, as well as thought.But perhaps one should be more generous and assume that Mr. Duncan simply had not known what he was talking about on the subject of taxpayers' money or the security fence. DfID spends around £86 million each year in the Palestinian areas. Around £30 million of this goes to the PA's general budget, from which the terrorists receive their salaries. And PMW's latest report provides exactly the evidence Mr. Duncan said did not exist.
The PA itself refers to the payments to prisoners not as "welfare payments," as Mr. Duncan would have it, but as a "monthly salary."In addition, there is no possibility that the salary reflects the prisoner's family's welfare needs because the payments bear no relation to either the prisoner's marital status or social welfare situation. What they do relate to is the length of the sentence, with those convicted and sentenced for the worst crimes receiving the highest payments...At the exact same time as Britain is drawing down its defense spending, and as the government is eviscerating the armed forces it still relies on, it is increasing the spending on salaries for terrorists and others who attack our allies. [More]
The issue is not a new one. It's an ongoing scandal, and it means British taxpayers, Belgian taxpayers, French taxpayers, German taxpayers and a host of other ordinary people are providing what the child-killers of Gaza and the PA need in order to keep going. You might be interested to read what we wrote on this theme. A few instances:
- 4-Sep-12: Where's the shame? How much of your tax dollars went to fund the pension of our child's murderer? More than you probably thought
- 28-Jul-11: Taxpayer-funded salaries to convicted Palestinian Arab terrorists. What a good idea.
- 20-May-11: Rewarding the Palestinian Arab terrorists: is this being done in your name?
And to show you how much it's not a new issue, we can point you to an essay we published in the same paper, the Wall Street Journal Europe nine years ago, in its September 26, 2003 edition. Our essay is called Blood, Money and Education [online here] and it has some quite sharp things to say about a certain British politician who was up to his eyebrows in involvement with covering up the EU funding of Palestinian terrorism at the time. Today he is the UK government's man in charge of the BBC.