Wednesday, September 03, 2008
EU Legislator: Money for PA Obstacle to Peace
Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Increased European Union (EU) aid to Hamas workers for the Palestinian Authority (PA) is illegal and is an obstacle to peace, EU Member of Parliament Daniel Hannan wrote in the London Telegraph. The EU has approved giving the PA another $80 million in addition to $500 million it already has received from the EU this year. Hannan stated that "a welfare state is…the perfect terrorist habitat."
"The EU's generosity with our money…creates two problems," he wrote. "First, the PA is run by Hamas, which is on the EU's list of designated terrorist operations. Under Brussels rules, funding such an organization is a criminal offence. Euro-lawyers have sought to circumvent the letter of the law by funneling aid money through NGOs, but this is sheer sophistry. Many of the PA's officials are Hamas militants, whose salaries are being paid while they serve their sentences in Israeli jails."
Many of the PA's officials are Hamas militants, whose salaries are being paid while they serve their sentences in Israeli jails.
"Second, it is becoming increasingly clear that overseas aid is arresting a political settlement in the region. Palestinians receive more assistance, per capita, than any other people on Earth, and live in one of its most violent spaces. The two facts are connected.
Hannan, a journalist from London, wrote that the idea "aggression can be buried under a landslide" of money is based on an illusion that poverty causes violence. "People who are worried about food and shelter have little time to go on demos," he asserted. "It is when they have time to sit and brood that their thoughts turn to bloodshed."
Hannan proposed that a PA society based on capitalism would be more stable than today's reality and would increase civil order. However, "None of this will happen as long as Palestinians remain trapped in the squalor of dependency. The EU, in its well-intentioned but doltish way, is fuelling the conflict," he concluded.