The Bush Administration’s search for partners to promote
“peace” and “democracy” within the Palestinian Authority (PA) resembles Lord
Charles Bowen’s “blind man in a dark room looking for a black hat – which isn’t
For the first time, the Bush Administration
plans to give $150 million in cash directly to the Palestinian Authority
(PA) Treasury, as part of a $496.5 million “aid” package, including $410
million for development programs. This added to the $86.5 million for CIA
“security training”, which Congress authorized in April 2007.
The CIA has apparently assumed the Palestinian terrorist-training role
previously held by the former Soviet
Union. Since 1994, the CIA
armed and trained thousands of Palestinian “security forces”, who subsequently
joined every Palestinian terrorist organization.
CIA Palestinian training success is best described by a member of the PA’s
Chairman own security unit – Force 17, officer Abu Yusef: “The operations of
the Palestinian resistance would [not] have been so successful and “would not
have killed more than 1,000 Israelis since 2000, and defeated the Israelis in
Gaza without [American military] trainings,” he boasted in August 2007.
Since the Oslo Accords, the PA received some $14 billion to $20 billion in
international aid, according to a 2007 Funding for Peace Coalition (FPC) report
to the British Parliament. Each Palestinian received $4,000 to $8,000 per year.
In comparison, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), provided $1
billion in humanitarian aid for 2.5 million Darfur
refugees from 2003 to 2006 – only $100 per person annually. Moreover, of
the $7 billion pledged international aid, only $5 billion were spent to assist
more than 5 million Tsunami victims in more than 15 countries on two continents.
The PA received “the highest per capita aid transfer in the history of foreign
aid anywhere”, according to former World Bank country director for Gaza and the West Bank,
Nigel Roberts. Not surprisingly, hundreds of thousands of Gazans spent more
than $300 million in less than two week shopping spree, after Hamas blew up the
border with Egypt. Yet, the Palestinian economy is in ruins, Why?
In March 2007, PA Prime Minister and former World Bank official Salam Fayyad,
told London’s Daily Telegraph: “No one can give donors that assurance”
that funds reach their designated destinations. “Where is all of the
transparency in all of this? It’s gone.” Controlling Palestinian finances,
Fayyad concluded, is “virtually impossible”.
Palestinian violence has escalated since the 1994 PA establishment and PA
officials have produced an unbroken record of unfulfilled promises and outright
deception. Yet President George W. Bush in his January 28 State of the Union
Address, reassured the Palestinians that “America will do, and I will do, everything we can to help
them achieve...a Palestinian state by the end of this year.”
Nevertheless, US-favored PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who in 1957 with Yasser
Arafat co-founded the al Fatah terrorist group, assumed the role of his predecessor.
Like Muslim Brotherhood, Marxist–trained Jihadist Arafat, neither does
Abbas “recognize that confronting terror is essential to achieving a state
where his people can live in dignity and at peace with Israel,” as President Bush declared.
Abbas remains committed to the organization’s raison d’etre – destroying
Israel and expelling the Jewish people from the region.
Despite public Fatah-Hamas leadership disagreements, branding one another
“murderers and thieves”, Abbas arranged on Jan. 30 to give Hamas $3.1 billion
of $7.7 billion that international donor community pledged last December in Paris.
Abbas’ support for Hamas is not new. In Feb. 2007, He announced, “We must unite
the Hamas and Fatah blood in the struggle against Israel as we did at the beginning of the intifada.” He
stated this en route to Mecca to
meet with the Saudi King, and Hamas terror chiefs Khaled Mashaal and Ismail
Haniyeh. The Saudis pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in “humanitarian
aid” – which, like previous pledges, they failed to deliver.
Rather than $660 million in annual aid the Saudis promised in 2002, the kingdom
donated only $84 million since then, according to World Bank reports. Other
Arab League members, who in 2002 promised $55 million monthly to foster PA
economic development, gave even less.
Meanwhile, however, the Saudis and the Gulf states funneled hundreds of millions of petrodollars – some
raised in government-sponsored telethons – to reward Al Aqsa Martyrs
Brigades, Hamas and Palestinian Jihad suicide bombers and fuel the anti-Israel
Jihad. Indeed, “Saudi Arabia remains a source of recruits and finances
for...Levant-based militants,” said National Intelligence Director J. Michael
McConnell, before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on February 5, 2008.
McConnell should have included USAID on his terror-funding list. A Dec. 2007
USAID audit reported that the mission administering its funds gave money to
groups and institutions affiliated with US designated terrorist organizations,
including Hamas and Islamic Jihad. It warned: “Without additional
controls, the mission could inadvertently provide support to entities or
individuals associated with terrorism.”
USAID “failure” to prevent funds from reaching Palestinian terrorist is not
surprising given US previous Administrations support for Arafat, and now for
Abbas, who repeatedly claims: “We have a legitimate right to direct our guns
against Israeli occupation,” while reiterating his desire for “a political
partnership with Hamas”.
It is time for President Bush to remove his blinders and stop donating
US-taxpayer funds to this murderous partnership. It is also time for Congress
to demand a proper monitoring program to oversee the legitimate use of US aid to the Palestinians.