The Palestinian Authority (PA) is an excellent example of why we must take a good look at all recipients of US financial aid to see what we are paying for. The PA supports terrorism with the money and the level of graft and corruption is massive. The picture that accompanies this story is the lavish $17.5 Presidential palace that generated so much outrage, they were forced turn it into a national library. And that is only one of a myriad of examples showing the PA is an exceptionally bad steward for its people.
The United States should not be complicit in this and we should place a hold on aid to the Palestinian Authority until this changes.
The Palestinian leaders have used their “refugees” as a 70 year long issue and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has aided and abetted this. The number of refugees is vastly inflated because, contrary to every other refugee situation, the descendants of those displaced long ago are added to the count. This created a permanent and growing aid generator and graft opportunity.
Every other aspect of governance is also deeply corrupt and counter-productive to peace and prosperity for the Palestinian people. While we can share a concern for the well being of the downtrodden Palestinians we must recognize that those who trod upon them were their own leaders. That must change.
We have gathered a short Palestinian Authority Bill of Particulars that shows some of the worst abuses perpetrated by the leaders of the PA.
Palestinian Authority Financial Abuses
A Brief Bill of Particulars
The United States currently gives significant aid to the Palestinian Authority and the UN, EU also make significant contributions. US aid has been decreasing and with the Taylor Force Act becoming law this will likely drop further. The US should put a hold on most aid to the Palestinian Authority until the PA makes verifiable reforms to improve governance, punish corruption by its high officials and stops funding terrorism.
The money given is ostensibly for the support and well-being of the Palestinian people. In actuality much goes to the bank accounts of the Palestinian leaders and to fund and reward their longstanding terror efforts. The scale of the fraud and corruption perpetrated by the Palestinian leaders is extraordinary.
Corruption and Fraud
A report by the Coalition for Integrity and Accountability (AMAN) shows longstanding and ongoing abuse of public monies and payments to fictional entities. Even this cannot cover the full scope of the malfeasance as this group has no access to many of the relevant financial records or other sources of illicit income and activity.
One of the more egregious examples was Yasser Arafat who pocketed more than $1 Billion of financial assistance earmarked to help the Palestinian people and put it in his own private oversea accounts. The current crop of leaders continue the theft and misuse of resources.
One of the main drivers of aid to the Palestinians is the purported number of more than 5M refugees. This is vastly inflated and kept artificially high when compared to the actual number of approximately 550,000 Palestinian Arab refugees from the 1947-9 war.
51 Members of Congress signed a letter 18 April 2018 asking for a report on this situation which was done during the Obama administration to be declassified. These refugee numbers allow more fraud by the PA and should no longer be used to justify massive payments.
Support for Terrorism
Almost 50% of foreign aid given to the Palestinian Authority goes directly to support of terrorism through payments to families of dead or incarcerated terrorists. The Palestinians must stop these payments, or the provisions of the Taylor Force Act will stop economic aid from the US.
US tax dollars should not support a government that abuses the public’s trust, steals its resources and supports terrorism. The Palestinian people deserve better.