Monday, March 28, 2016

28-Mar-16: Is it time yet for UK's foreign aid office to come clean on their part in funding Palestinian Arab terror?

A couple of years back, we wrote ["9-Sep-13: Snouts and troughs"] that there has been an active EU cover-up since 2003 to conceal the hideous things done with European foreign aid funds delivered to the Arafat- and Abbas-controlled PLO/PA regimes in Ramallah.

During the years since then, torrents of European funding, billions of Euros, were channeled to the terrorism-addicted Palestinian Authority. Throughout that time, the Eurocrats managed to avoid carrying out even a single financial audit until the one whose results were published in December 2013 [full text here]. 

The astounding policy of hands-off "see no evil", mismanagement happened while the EU "provides 20% of the direct financial support for the PA", making it "the biggest multilateral donor to the Occupied Palestinian Territories".

So what did that audit find?
  1. 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]
  2. "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.
  3. "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]
But there's more. 

In the wake of the audit, the chairman of the European Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control - a man who, given his official role, probably thinks about things like financial controls and honesty and checks and balances more than most of us and certainly has more information than we do - wrote that the EU's auditors found "major dysfunctions" in the way the Palestinian Authority were getting and spending their foreign aid Euros. 

In that important, but little noticed, article in the Wall Street Journal, he urged the EC to impose benchmarks and conditions on the Palestinian Authority as a condition for getting more EU gift money:
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]
We will also mention that a Times of London journalist who saw the pre-publication version of the audit report wrote in an October 2013 article ["£1.95bn EU aid lost in Palestine", Sunday Times, October 13, 2013that went further. Having seen the pre-publication version of the report, he concluded that "Billions of euros in European aid to the Palestinians may have been misspent, squandered or lost to corruption, according to a damning report by the European Court of Auditors..." Our uncorroborated sense is that the report went through a sanitization process after his article appeared and before the public saw it.

[Image Source]
Can anyone hear even a faint echo of any of this in today's defensive arguments put up by the UKaid/DfID people in the wake of the Mail on Sunday revelations this past weekend? [Refer to "27-Mar-16: The PA's "Rewards for Terror" scheme and the lies that keep the pounds flowing in" and "27-Mar-16: In UK, facing up to UKaid's scandalous ongoing financing of Palestinian Arab jihad".] 

For a taste of those UK official denials, see "Government denies foreign aid 'paid to Palestinian terrorists'" [AOL UK News, March 27, 2016]

Whatever the 2013 EU audit report says (and it strikingly side-steps any attempt to tackle the profoundly embarrassing matter of PA financial rewards for convicted terrorists), and taking into account what the UKaid people are now saying, two major points at least should be clear: 
  1. It's outrageous that no professional effort had been made to check what was being done by the Palestinians in the previous 13 years. The 2013 audit leaves no doubt that money is misapplied, and it's far from under European control.
  2. The Europeans and the Brits can say what they like about everything being checked and no possible room for malfeasance. But that's not what the PA says to its own people. The message from the Abbas insiders for internal consumption is that, as bankrupt as their regime is, there will always be money for those "heroic" Palestinian Arab convicted slaughterers of children and of Holocaust survivors. Review some of the evidence here: “20-May-11: Rewarding the Palestinian Arab terrorists: is this being done in your name?”; “28-Jul-11: Taxpayer-funded salaries to convicted Palestinian Arab terrorists. What a good idea”; and “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”.
The mandarins of Whitehall will get away with murder again (we're not being metaphorical) only if we - which really means British taxpayers and the British media - let them. Perhaps now is the time to stop the lethal foolishness. 

We noted a while back ["13-Oct-13: Massive scandal in Palestinian Arab financial affairs? No!"] that there waone aspect of the European/UK saga of PA-centred corruption and dishonesty that was truly beyond our comprehension. It still is, and it's this: how can the members of the news media who cover the EU and the Middle East conflict have allowed this decade-plus financial scandal (one that everyone knows about and that few will discuss in public) to get so little media coverage? How much of the conspiracy of silence is based on intimidation?

Perhaps we're finally going to find. Or perhaps not.


cohenshcohen said...

Few effective ethical systems remaining...belief must be suspended altogether when reading about some of the things which occur in the Arab world...that so called Palestinian officialdom actively supports hatred through education to their childre...hero worship of killers who slaughter innocents ...and financial rewards to heinous criminality...and using financial assistance from gullible Western democracies...all this should be more public...S H Cohen

Dave Alpern said...

Tragically, I can't be optimistic about a "happy ending" to this nauseating farce and outrage. We are educated not to hate, but I find it extremely difficult to avoid hating Europeans.