Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is urging Arab countries to keep their promises and send tens of millions of dollars to his cash-strapped government.
The West Bank-based Palestinian Authority has always relied on foreign aid but is now embroiled in its worst cash crisis in years, unable to pay tens of thousands of government employees.
Fayyad needs $1 billion to close the 2012 spending gap, but previous heavy borrowing means he can no longer turn to banks. Unlike Arab states, Western donors have mostly made good on pledges.
Fayyad on Sunday called on ‘‘donors, particularly the Arab brothers,’’ to send the promised money.
Arab donors have linked aid to ending the political rift that created rival governments in the West Bank and Gaza. Attempts to end the rift have failed.
There is a simple way for the PA to save tens of millions of dollars, but it would involve having the PA stop supporting terror groups and terrorists, both directly and indirectly. They have to stop paying terrorists in Israeli prisons, families of "martyrs," and, most of all, the 60% of its budget that goes to Gaza where Hamas can thrive on PA cash without any PA responsibility.
And no Western donor has the guts to tell them to do that.
Long term, the PA - with its well-educated population - should have been pushing a program where Palestinian Arabs could be used for remote outsourcing work in the vast Arab world. Computer programming, tech support, call centers, legal services, translation services, research, consulting, film-making - the list of such jobs is endless and the PA has had nearly two decades to build such an infrastructure to reduce reliance on foreign aid. But it never bothered, instead basking in bizarre World Bank reports praising the PA for doing so much and blaming Israel for everything wrong.