The subject: Overseas aid and the payments that the UK is making to the Palestinian Arabs. Yes, the very matter that is going to be debated in the parliament next month as we noted last month ["13-Apr-16: Parliament will debate UK funding of the PA's Rewards for Terror scheme"].
It's an important debate that is going to happen because of some good activist journalism ["27-Mar-16: The PA's "Rewards for Terror" scheme and the lies that keep the pounds flowing in'] by the Daily Mail which has turned the matter into a talking point ["27-Mar-16: In UK, facing up to UK Aid's scandalous ongoing financing of Palestinian Arab jihad"] in the UK, at least for now.
Here's the exchange of question and answer [from this official UK source; and thanks to the ever-watchful MH for pointing us to this.]
Baroness Deech (asked on May 3, 2016): To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have given any consideration to suspending aid to the Palestinian Authority in the light of its decision to transfer over £85 million a year to the Palestine Liberation Organisation for the purpose of paying salaries to convicted terrorists imprisoned in Israel.Seems a reasonable answer, right? There's probably been a case of confused identity but HMG has gotten assurances from the terror-addicted Palestinian Authority and their actual reaffirmation. All cleared up. Nothing much to see here, folks. Move along.
Baroness Verma (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development and Ministerial Champion for tackling Violence Against Women & Girls Overseas) (answered yesterday, May 12, 2016): DFID is currently reviewing all its programmes following the publication of the updated Official Development Assistance strategy last year. DFID provides financial support to the Palestinian Authority (PA) to help deliver peace and support progress towards a two state solution. DFID funding helps build Palestinian institutions and promotes economic growth so that any future Palestinian state will be a prosperous and effective partner for peace. UK funding to the PA is for vetted civil servants only. The PA has reaffirmed that prisoner payments are administered by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. We continue to lobby that the payments to prisoner’s families are more transparent and needs-based.
What's on display here is (a) professional incompetence (which we think unlikely given the quality and quantity of staff people employed in the parliament to prepare ministerial written answers to questions posed by the Lords); (b) a factual mistake on a minor matter (but as we noted, there's going to be a full-scale parliamentary debate on this very issue in a few weeks, so at minimum the staffers are on top of the facts); or (c) cynical sand-in-your-eyes disinformation designed to confuse the gullible and paper over a deeply embarrassing UK policy failure (quite plausible, we think, in the absence of a better alibi).
|Palestinian Arabs where they can do less harm [Image Source]|
For a representative overview of what we have written about them, you might want to see "25-Jan-16: Felons, funding, fooling, failing"; "09-Jul-15: When incitement to murder is financed by foreign aid, where will the accounting come from?" "02-Jun-15: The obvious, petty lies that keep European money flowing into the hands of the PA's terrorists"; "30-Dec-14: Killers, heroes, passions and (sadly) churches"; "10-Nov-13: Who finances those savage acts of terror? And why is this so poorly understood?"; "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"; and from nearly a decade ago, "6-Oct-06: Crying poor: The terror-laden rise and rise of the Palestinian national payroll and the men who allow it to happen".
- In August 2014, the Ministry of Prisoners Affairs of the Palestinian Authority was torn down overnight. It was replaced the following morning with a brand-spanking-new, purpose-built entity that has nothing whatsoever to do with the Palestinian Authority.
- This is what's often called a switcheroo - a strategy carried out by frightened people (frightened of being exposed) made up of lies and bogus contentions. It's done solely to deceive.
- Why the need for deception? Because, as the Jerusalem Post reported at the time ["Palestinians duping world by denying it pays salaries to prisoners in Israeli jails", Jerusalem Post, May 27, 2015] the Abbas-ruled PA had been proudly and publicly funneling monthly salaries to Palestinian Arab terrorists inside Israeli prisons and released from them. Then it became aware of a certain degree of pressure from Western donors, the governments whose cash - in the form of foreign aid - made this doable and affordable.
- What form did the deception take? The Jerusalem Post said: "Rather than a PA ministry, a PLO Commission of Prisoners Affairs – purportedly independent of the PA and its funding – was set up to pay the salaries. The international community... largely accepted these changes as assurance the PA was no longer paying salaries to terrorists... [But] the PLO commission was new only in name. The PLO body would have the same responsibilities and pay the exact same amounts of salaries to prisoners; the former PA minister of prisoners affairs, Issa Karake, became the director of the new PLO commission and PA President Mahmoud Abbas retained overall supervision of the PLO Commission."
- Based on comments made by Palestinian officials, the perpetually financially strapped PA spent $144 million in 2014 paying salaries to incarcerated and release prisoners. It has continued to do so right up until this week.
- Issa Karake, whose hate-filled, terrorism-encouraging utterances we have quoted in this blog numerous times, is key to the flim-flammery. He's the former minister for prisoners who overnight was turned into commissioner for some PLO business unit which is a completely different and perfectly legitimate thing. It's hard to think of a more cynical public figure than he. His is a name to remember.
- All of the donor governments who have provided the funding from the outset continue to do so and to by-and-large ignore the criticism.
- Outside of Israel, where the real price of the PA's Rewards for Terror scheme is paid, few governments care to know whether the Palestinian Arab political leadership is trustworthy, honest, credible - or (which we firmly believe to be the case) the exact opposite. What they want is simply for the problems to go away. Throwing money at it is, astoundingly, a widely-appreciated way to achieve that and at the same time curry favour with the Arab world.
- The criticism that has come is from non-government observers. For instance: "What Abu Mazen [meaning Mahmoud Abbas] will not tell donors is that their money is being sent to the PLO, who does use the money to fund terrorism. Abu Mazen hopes by having the money used indirectly instead of directly to fund terrorism, the criticism will die down among donor nations to the Palestinian Authority. [Foreign Policy Association, September 8, 2014]
As an afterthought: Whatever derision people might think they detect in our observations about the UK government and its parliament on this heavy issue, we do have a healthy appreciation for the British sense of humour. That's why we are not surprised to see what's on the home page of the ministry headed by Baroness Verma at this very moment:
|Signs of a British sense of homour: The home page of the UK office responsible for the ongoing funding, by British tax-payers, of' the Palestinian Authority's Rewards for Terror scheme.|