The Cost of Palestinian Terror

A Commentary by Brad Nielson

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Have the events in the Gaza Strip in July 2004 finally forced the European Community to question if their heavy and non-transparent investment in the Palestinians in general, and the PA in particular, has been worthwhile?

The Funding For Peace Coalition has always been concerned with the cries of corruption and why the Palestinians feel that they have been cheated.

To take one simple example: The riots started when the commander of the PA's civil police in Gaza, Ghazi Jabali, was kidnapped. He was accused of embezzling over $20 million [if link does not work click here]. If true, the money surely comes from the PA budget - 60% of which is covered by overseas donors such as the EU. This is taxpayers' money being diverted for illegal means, a direct contravention of the EU Charter.

It is possible to discern that Europeans are beginning to react against the Palestinian abuse of their taxpayers' money.

Our first report comes from Germany (in English). It clearly focuses on how politicians from the left and right are questioning whether Europe should continue to fund Chairman Arafat's political aspirations. At least, they are insisting on being sure where the money is going.

The French magazine Capital reported in its July issue that Arafat had plundered millions from the monies supplied from overseas donors. The authors even listed specific details of the bank accounts, which were used for this massive financial philandering.

The common link in many of these and similar report is that finally, it is the Palestinians themselves who are beginning to argue clearly that they have been and are still being cheated by their leaders, who have deceived the international donor community. Ziad Abou Amir in "Capital" refers to "Le chef de l'OLP en effet, n'hesite pas a sortir de sa poche de gros billets (ou a fermer les yeux sur la corruption)…soudoyer les opposants". (Click here for similar quotes).

However, we urge that you do not be fooled. Those militants currently challenging the role of Chairman Arafat's appointees in Gaza are also familiar with the strategy of corruption. Consider Muhammad Dahlan, the Minister for Security in the government of Abu Mazen, former head of Preventive Security Services in the Gaza Strip, and the man thought to be the real threat to Chairman Arafat. He has just purchased an expensive villa in Gaza City. He is known to co-own a monopoly over hatcheries and chicken farms in the Gaza Strip. And all this, without beginning to detail his association with terror.

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