|This Ben Wiseman illustration accompanied a|
New Yorker article "Trafficking in Terror", published
December 14, 2015
"the absurd new legislative requirement to give away 0.7 per cent of national income... [and in particular] payments to Palestine [that] seem a classic example of the core aid problem of "fungibility" - when foreign cash supporting public services frees up a regime to spend money in other questionable areas, which all too often fuels conflict or corruption."A parliamentary question touching on much the same issue was asked in London on March 24, 2016. Yesterday in Westminster, it was answered. And with everything that's wrong with the response, it actually tells a lot.
That enquiry was directed at the UK's Department for International Development and from the transcript [hat-tip to MH for directing us to it], it concerned "Palestinian Authority: Overseas Aid: Written question - 32482". Here's the verbatim text of the to and fro [via this online source]:
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what reports she has received on the use of aid disbursed to the Palestinian Authority for purposes related to terrorist activity.Mr Desmond Swayne:
UK direct financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) is used to pay the salaries of civil servant and pensioners. Our support is provided through a multi-donor trust fund administered by the World Bank, which carries out close monitoring of PA expenditure. Only named civil servants from a pre-approved EU list are eligible, and the vetting process ensures that our funds do not benefit terrorist groups. The process is subject to independent auditing.We don't know much about the questioner or the answerer. But from a quick Google check, it appears the Right Honorable Mr Desmond Swayne MP has been the UK's Minister of State for International Development since July 2014. So he's the man who most needs to have good and accurate answers.
Mr Swayne's official UK Government bio page [here] and his Wikipedia entry say he spent years in his pre-politics career doing risk management at Royal Bank of Scotland. So he may actually understand better than other MPs how dangerous it is to claim that "vetting" of the treacherous terror-addicted Palestinian Authority with a documented history of decades of corruption could ever deliver a clean bill of health for British taxpayers who fund it.
As for relying on "independent auditing" or the administrative services of the World Bank (motto: "Working for a World Free of Poverty"), is Mr Swayne serious? What does his answer and its reference to un-named auditors issuing unpublished audit reports at unknown intervals and issuing unstated conclusions even mean?
But what worries us even more than the scant details is the hubris that underlies it. We wonder how any politician can sound so confident when faced with deep concerns by taxpayers whom he is obliged to represent about the possibility that they are funding acts of murder and encouraging even more of the same.
|Question time in the UK parliament [Image Source]|
But - and keep in mind that underneath all this polite political talk, the real subject is the murder by Palestinian Arab jihadists of innocents like our daughter Malki - it's darker than that.
Though it's been going on for a decade and a half and involves oceans of euros, dollars and pounds, there has only ever been one solitary authentic audit of European aid-funding to the Palestinian Authority, a scandalous situation in its own right. That audit report, made public in December 2013 [full text here], revealed startling things that ought to disturb all the honorable members of the British parliament and not only Messrs Howell and Swayne. For instance -
- EU aid to the Palestinian Authority worth billions of euros needs an "overhaul" and major changes in some areas, the bloc's Court of Auditors said... If the circumstances are difficult, there are still "a number of aspects of the current approach in need of an overhaul," said Hans Gustaf Wessberg, who wrote the report for the court. "There is a need for major revisions such as encouraging the PA to undertake more reforms"... [EUbusiness, December 12, 2013]
- "The EU should stop paying the salaries of thousands of Palestinian civil servants in the Gaza Strip who are not going to work... They called for a major review, saying money spent on civil servants there should go to the West Bank instead." BBC, December 11, 2013.
- "It is difficult to ensure that EU money is not misused or does not become a drip-feed, it said... The PA is not undertaking all the reforms that the EU would like. At every turn there are political causes and factors. The audit is therefore a political minefield." [European Voice, December 12, 2013]
These should include improving the state of human rights in the West Bank, cracking down on corruption and cutting off subsidies to convicted Palestinian terrorists. In these hard times, Brussels shouldn't tolerate blatant misuse of EU taxpayers' money. [WSJ, April 9, 2014]
only for truly deserving causes, on a case-by-case basis...
- "27-Mar-16: In UK, facing up to UK Aid's scandalous ongoing financing of Palestinian Arab jihad"
- "27-Mar-16: The PA's "Rewards for Terror" scheme and the lies that keep the pounds flowing in"
- "28-Mar-16: Is it time yet for UK's foreign aid office to come clean on their part in funding Palestinian Arab terror?"
- "31-Mar-16: More on UK funding of Abbas' Reward for Terror scheme".
|A detail from the same illustration that appears|
at the top of this post