|Abbas [Image Source: AP]|
A paper published online yesterday, ["Palestinian Payments to Incarcerated Terrorists and Martyrs’ Families Rise in 2017", Yossi Kuperwasser - JCPA Institute for Contemporary Affairs, July 24, 2017] analyzes the PA's detailed budget for 2017.
Naturally, the "usual allocations for salaries to imprisoned and released terrorists" are there. So are the so-called "martyr" payments. They get transferred to the families of Palestinian Arabs killed or injured in what the PA disingenuously calls the “struggle against Zionism” - in reality, the decades-long Palestinian Arab terror campaign against Israelis and Jews.
How does the Palestinian Authority's economics management track record look when compared with say Israel's. Catastrophically might not be overstating it. Just three indicators point to the direction of things:
- In terms of GDP per capita (most recent published data, in US dollars), Israel produces $33,783 [2016 numbers]. The number for the PA is $1,997 [source]. Half a century ago, tiny Israel with almost zero natural resources, already had a GBP per capita about two and a half times what the PA has today.
- GDP growth: The PA's most recent data shows growth of 0.7 per cent. Israel's was 3.8 per cent. Inevitably the chasm is going to keep widening.
- According to the useful Nationmaster website, in 2012 terms (the latest comparison they offer). Israel's economy produced exports of $90.2 billion. That was 54 times larger than the PA's most recent exports.
|UNRWA school girl in Jerusalem explains why she and her friends |
have to prepare for war. Your taxes at work. [Video source]
- The PA budget shows that salary payments to "incarcerated and released terrorists" this year will cost their economy $153.4 million. That's 13% more than it spent for the same thing in 2016.
- This will be somewhat hidden (hiding is a core PA regime skill) by being channeled to recipients via the Palestinian National Fund, the financial arm of the PLO. Israel designates the PNF as a terrorist organization. A cursory look at what it says about its own activities makes that sound pretty accurate. This recent analysis says the PNF, a by-word for massive Palestinian Arab corruption, is now controlled by Mahmoud Abbas. It's one of the key sources of his political power.
- Those payments via the PNF used to be made directly by the PA until that provided to be too much of a political liability. The switch to the PNF was made overnight is mainly cosmetic.
- Payments to "families of those killed or wounded in the struggle against Zionism" are going to rise this fiscal year to about US$ 193 million.
- Taken together, those two expenditure categories (living terrorists, families of dead terrorists) amount to an outlay of US$ 344 million just for 2017. The Kuperwasser paper says that's 7% of the total PA budget.
- It's also just under half of all the foreign aid the PA expects to get this year. You don't need to be an economist to understand how much more could done - in the positive, life-affirming sense - with foreign aid than what the Palestinian Arabs do.
- Then there's this: "The amount of welfare support per family under the poverty-line is much smaller than salaries provided to terrorists and their families..." So being poor - which is a result of pretty much everything the Abbas regime does for its people - is less of a challenge than fighting more and killing more.
|UNRWA education: Return on investment [Video source]|
This ongoing pattern stands in sharp contrast to the Palestinian commitments in the Oslo Accords and to international law and conventions. It also reflects the fact that until now, no real pressure has been put on the Palestinians to stop the payments.This might change soon if the US legislates into law the Taylor Force Act which is currently before Congress.
But the US is not the only country providing aid to the Abbas regime (one-half of every dollar, euro and or shekel of which goes into the appalling Rewards for Terror pot. Here are some others [via this source]:
- During the 2006–2007 period, main bilateral donors to the PA were the US, Japan, Canada, Norway, Germany, Sweden, Spain and France
- In addition, the two major non-bilateral donors were UNRWA and the EU (through the European Commission).
- "From 2000 the European Union had provided over €1.6 billion to UNRWA... In 2013 UNRWA received $294m from the US, $216.4 million from the EU, $151.6 million from Saudi Arabia, $93.7 million from Sweden, $54.4 million from Germany, $53 million from Norway, $34.6 million from Japan, $28.8 million from Switzerland, $23.3 million from Australia, $22.4 million from the Netherlands, $20 million from Denmark, $18.6 million from Kuwait, $17 million from France, $12.3 million from Italy, $10.7 million from Belgium as well as $10.3 million from all other countries, totaling just over $1 billion in 2013.
There are efforts to slow it down or defeat it - see "08-Jul-16: Violence, terror, cash and the PA Rewards for Terror Scheme: Congress takes a look" and "27-Mar-16: In UK, facing up to UK Aid's scandalous ongoing financing of Palestinian Arab jihad". But as the current PA budget shows, neither the cashflow nor the enthusiasm of its stewards show signs of diminished ardour.