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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Arab League asks its members to pay their pledges to the PA

Al Masry al-Youm reports that Arab League secretary-general Amr Moussa is urging League members to pay up on their pledges to help out the Palestinian Authority.

For years now, Arab nations have been quick to promise financial aid to the PA, but very slow to deliver. Similarly, they make great promises to fund UNRWA, but by and large fail to pay up.

The PA claims to be suffering from a financial crisis, as they always are. However, they continue to fund infrastructure and pay salaries in Gaza - which sucks up 60% of the PA's budget. This frees up Hamas to buy more weapons and not to worry about an uprising that would dislodge them from power, and there is of course zero oversight on the sources or outlays of the Hamas budget.

Meanwhile, in Ramallah....

There is money here, plenty of it, and those who have it are not hesitant to flaunt it.

New cars, beautiful residences, fancy stores and restaurants will startle any outsider arriving here with his head filled by the mainstream media in the West about the misery of the West Bank occupation by Israelis.

There is also poverty, Israeli checkpoints, the fence or wall separating Palestinian territories from Israel and the Israeli settlements.

And there’s the politics of resentment that spill over any conversation with ordinary Palestinians fed on a diet of half-truths and endless lies by their leaders.

But visiting with Palestinians is also an invitation to hear their bitterness about Arab leaders, and of their experience with discrimination and violence in places such as Lebanon and Kuwait.

They speak of how the Palestinian leadership resembles Ali Baba and his 40 thieves robbing the people of the money that has poured in as aid from the West.

The term limit of the president and the legislative assembly has expired, and no new elections are scheduled to provide Palestinians with any say on how they are being governed.

In effect those in authority have no mandate, and their fear that Hamas will likely win an election whenever held underscores the contempt of ordinary Palestinians for Mahmoud Abbas — the president of the Palestinian Authority – and the men around him.
This explains why the Arabs don't want to fund the PA - because it is money that will go right down the drain, whether into the pockets of the politicians or indirectly to Hamas.

Plus, the ever-hopeful Westerners are more than happy to take up the slack.