|Abbas meets with Norwegian Foreign Minister |
Borge Brende in Ramallah, on May 3, 2016 [Image Source: Getty]
Foreign Minister Brende is on a new tour of the Middle East. Tuesday afternoon and evening he had talks first with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and then Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. The agenda for the meeting with Abbas included the extensive support programs for imprisoned Palestinians. For years, the Palestinian Authority (PA) paid wages to convicted Palestinian terrorists, and the worse their act, the more money they get. Hans Olav Syversen took up this issue in last week's oral question time, and Brende promised then to put further pressure on Abbas at the next opportunity. Brende now confirms that the issue was discussed during the meeting in Ramallah. "In the meeting I emphasized that this funding, where financial payments increased by how long prisoners were sentenced, is unacceptable and should be abolished. I emphasized that with the political and economic challenges that Palestinians now face, it pays to abolish this scheme," said Brende. Abbas responded by repeating assurances that Norwegian funds are not going to finance the scheme. Last week, Israeli Arnold Roth (whose daughter was murdered in a major terror attack) told Dagen that Norwegian authorities must understand that they indirectly contribute to how the PA gives salaries to imprisoned terrorists, and they are helping to maintain a Palestinian culture that supports terror as a political tool.
if Norwegian funds aren't paying the terrorists, then whose funds are? The PA is dependent on foreign aid and its budget mostly comes from the nations of the world, so any way you slice it, the world is paying for the salaries of terrorists.
The Dagen report shows that this time round, Abbas dropped the patent lie that the funds for his Rewards for Terror scheme were being paid by the PLO (from donor funds). Instead he offered just one defence to the Norwegians: it's not your Norwegian krone, Mr Norwegian Foreign Minister; it's some other foreign-aid-giving donor country's. As for your Norwegian gifts, rest assured they are being spent on only the purest of purposes.
We also hope other donor countries will soon realize how they are being used as dupes. And how their taxpayers' money, in the form of irresponsibly-supervised foreign aid, is in fact financing a murderous campaign of terror. If it's a passion for peace that is driving their willingness to hand over cash to the Palestinian Authority, let them ask themselves whether there is the smallest sign that they are getting a return on their investment. Because if there is not (and we are utterly convinced there is not), then they are investing in something very different from peace. The lives and futures of our children and of the Arabs demand that they, the taxpayers and politicians in those donor countries, understand that.