January 26, 2006

Dear Funding for Peace Coalition member,

The absence of a December newsletter should not be mistaken for a lack of activity by the FPC or by its membership.

Following our submission to the UK Treasury in November 2005, we have been contacted by the civil servants and expect to be able to publish on the website a formal and encouraging response in the next few days.

The FPC was then asked to submit a similar report to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Houses of Commons in Westminster, which has been received.

We noted that the work of the British authorities culminated in a conference in London in December 2005, which was designed as an opportunity to bring together the financial worlds of the Palestinians, Israelis and potential invest. However, the Palestinian delegates retreated into time-honoured slogans about the occupation. To quote the head of a British communications company: "They did not even present one proposal. This way they will never build a country."

We encourage all our members to seek opportunities to alert the media and press their elected representatives to ensure that their taxes are used to promote peace, rather than going to the benefit of a violent and corrupt Palestinian oligarchy. Significantly, certain international media have asked us to assist with information for some of their programmes.

The FPC membership is also ensuring that our message is being heard more and more. Several European parliamentary groups have been lobbied in recent weeks, supported by materials which can be found on our website.

Encouragingly, the EU recently suspended funding of the PA. In the words of Ms Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the commissioner for external relations, "benchmarks have not been fulfilled." Regardless of the final outcome in the elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council, hopefully controls will be implemented soon that allow international aid to be used toward building a peaceful society, for the benefit of all Palestinians.

No matter the outcome of the elections for the Palestinian parliament, international aid money must be distributed in a controlled and responsible manner. The man on the street in Gaza and the West Bank relies on you.

Below is a summary of other recent postings on our website to alert you to the latest events and issues.

Palestinian Elections - The Corruption Card

The Funding for Peace Coalition (FPC) views the elections, due to be held on January 25th 2006, as an essential step towards democracy for Palestinians. They hold the potential of reconciling some of the World Bank's basic demands on the Palestinian leadership in return for further funding.

Palestinian Wage Explosion: A Test of Donor's Resolve

The Palestinian Interior Ministry has hired some 16,000 workers - 9,000 from Al-Aqsa - in a bid to influence the election results by giving jobs to the unemployed. Will Europe maintain the principles laid down by the World Bank and withhold future aid until financial milestones have been secured? Or will it succumb to the latest round of manipulations and thus knowingly fund the salaries of the perpetrators of violence?

The Cost of Donor Aid to the Taxpayer

The FPC has long highlighted the hundreds of millions of aid, destined for the average Palestinian, and which has been diverted....There are gathering calls by senior European politicians, within Brussels and amongst the member states, who are calling for extra taxation to fund these excesses.

Brad Nielson
Funding for Peace Coalition

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