PMW reports endemic PA sponsored demonization of Jews: Routinely depicted as beasts, evil, satanic

Cross posted by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik at Palestinian Media Watch

Mahmoud Abbas: 

“Insulting religions, faiths, or religious symbols 
cannot in any way be a part of freedom of belief 
or freedom of expression.”

Religious lesson in official PA daily:

“The struggle between truth and falsehood is as ancient
as life upon this earth… The conflict between us and the Jews
is not a conflict about land and borders,
but rather a conflict about faith and existence.”

In response to the film depicting Islam’s prophet Muhammad negatively, using terms like “child molester” and “murderous thug,” Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas “condemned the insult to [Islam’s] prophet” and added that he rejects “freedom of belief or freedom of expression when it comes to criticizing religion.”

Mahmoud Abbas’ condemnation of the defamation of Islam contrasts the PA policy of defamation of Judaism, demonization of Jews and promotion of Antisemitism, all of which are integral messages expressed by PA leaders and transmitted through the structures under their control.

Recent examples of this policy can be found in all areas of PA expression. The moderator at a Fatah ceremony demonized Jews as “the descendants of the apes and pigs.” A PA TV narrator said that Jews praying at the Western Wall are “sin and filth.” Senior PA official Jibril Rajoub referred to Jews as “Satans” and “Zionist sons of bitches” on PA TV. The PA Mufti and other religious leaders have defined Jews as the “enemy of Allah,” even preaching the following Hadith in PA TV sermons: “The Prophet says: ‘You shall fight the Jews and kill them.’” Indeed, what these and many other examples document is that in the PA, not only is demonization of Jews and Judaism common practice, it is also sometimes promoted as a religious Islamic imperative.

Significantly, the PA’s promotion of hatred of Jews is not limited to religious leaders and PA officials. PA TV featured young girls on children’s programs saying that Jews and Christians are “inferior and smaller, more cowardly and despised” and that “our enemy, Zion, is Satan with a tail.” Following classical European Antisemitism, a history program on PA TV taught that “Jews are hated in every society in which they have lived, because of their behavior relating to their great love of money.” The official PA daily on Israel’s independence day said Israel’s goal was to turn a “Jewish monarchy in Palestine into a basis for their [the Jews’] eternal rule over the world, that others, ‘goyim’ [non-Jews], must submit to their will.” (See details and many more sources below.)

The hypocrisy of the PA is evident. Abbas condemns the recent video about Muhammad and states that “insulting religions, faiths, or religious symbols” is not protected “freedom of expression.” At the same time, his own government’s policy is to indoctrinate Palestinians to hate Jews and to defame Judaism.

Click to view the full report in PDF
PA Chairman Abbas condemned defaming Islam and religion:

 

“President [Mahmoud Abbas] again condemned the insult to [Islam’s] prophet Muhammad. He said… that from a religious, human, and moral point of view we cannot accept this insult, since it is a blatant attack on the entire belief system and the sensitivities of more than a billion Muslims in the world. President Abbas added that insulting religions, faiths, or religious symbols cannot in any way be a part of freedom of belief or freedom of expression…”

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 17, 2012]

PA defames Judaism and Jews:

PMW has collected 25 representative examples of this hate speech from PA and Fatah leaders, spokespeople, children’s programs and official media. Most are from 2012 and 2011.

These examples appear first as short quotes and are followed by their full contexts and sources.

Additional documentation can be found on PMW’s website, including hate speech during the PA terror campaign (the Intifada 2000-2005), when PA religious leaders repeatedly called for thekilling of Jews as an Islamic demand.

Young girl on PA TV children’s program

“Jews and Christians are “inferior and smaller, more cowardly and despised.”

Moderator at Fatah ceremony

“Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs (i.e., Jews) is a war of religion and faith.”

History program on PA TV

“The Jews are hated in every society in which they have lived, because of their behavior relating to their great love of money… This is how they harmed the societies that embraced them.”

PA TV narrator, on Jerusalem

“The light rain [in Jerusalem] cleanses the steps of the foreigners [Jews] so that the feet [of Muslims] in prayer will not step on impurity.”

Official PA daily’s religious lesson by Sheikh Ishaq Feleifel 

The Jews’ “evilnature is drawn from Adam’s first son [who murdered his brother].”

PA TV Friday sermon

“These new Mongols…the Jews, the enemies of Allah and of His Messenger, the enemies of Allah and of His Messenger! Enemies of humanity in general, and of Palestinians in particular… Our enmity with the Jews is a matter of faith, more than an enmity because of occupation and the land… Even if donkeys would cease to bray, dogs cease to bark, wolves cease to howl and snakes to bite, the Jews would not cease to harbor hatred towards Muslims. … The Prophet says: ‘You shall fight the Jews and kill them.'”

PA TV narrator, documentary on Jerusalem

“From the balcony of our home, look out over [Islamic] holiness (visual: Western Wall) and on sin and filth (visual: Jews praying at the Western Wall).”

PA Mufti Muhammad Hussein

“The enemies of Allah [the Jews], who have violated all faith and religious laws, and even deviated from their humanity.

Official PA daily columnist on religion Sheikh Taleb Al-Silwadi

“Allah’s enemies, the children of Zion.”

Young girl on PA TV children’s program

“Our enemy, Zion, is Satan with a tail.”

Senior PA official Jibril Rajoub

“We are prepared to bring the Executive Committee in helicopters… so they will see no Jews, no Satans, no Zionist sons of bitches.”

PA Mufti Muhammad Hussein

“The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews. The Jew will hide behind stones or trees. Then the stones or trees will call: ‘Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'”

Official PA daily:

“There is no limit to the greed of the Jews.”

Fatah official on PA TV

“The Jews were murderers of prophets.”

Official PA daily’s religious lesson by Sheikh Ishaq Feleifel 

“The conflict between us and the Jews is not a conflict about land and borders, but rather a conflict about faith and existence.”

Official PA daily on Israel’s Independence Day

“Zionism is an extreme religious ideology whose aim is political hegemony and the transformation of a Jewish monarchy in Palestine into a basis for their eternal rule over the world, that others, “goyim” [non-Jews], must submit to their will.”

PA daily quotes children’s march-chant:

“Jews, Jews! Your holiday is the Holiday of the Apes.”

Palestinian actor in PA TV interview

“The Jew doesn’t have a bent nose, and isn’t cowardly, and is not interested only in accumulating money. Of course, he is interested in accumulating money – the Jews throughout history, and in the religions, and the Quran tells us about the Jews and their worry over money.”

Official PA daily

“The rabbis of death and the promoters of pagan Zionist thought have continued to spew their poison among the Jews, in order to stir up and rouse feelings of animosity and hatred against the Palestinians.”

Chief Justice of PA Religious Court

“Concerning the Jews, the Holy Quran says that they lack understanding, are void of wisdom, know nothing, violate agreements, etc. However, the Jews were known – it was known about them throughout history – that they make false claims, lies, forgery, slander, and fabrications.”

Additional examples of PA’s Antisemitic hate speech and sources of all items cited in brief above:

Jews /Israelis are “Allah’s enemies”

Sheikh Taleb Al-Silwadi, columnist on religious affairs in the official PA daily:

“One of the established facts is that the voice of falsehood does not rebel [against the truth] except where those who hold the truth [Muslims] forego their truth. Then there becomes room for falsehood, such that it can kill, behave violently, spill blood, and desecrate sacred things. That is what Allah’s enemies, the children of Zion, are doing before the eyes and ears of the entire world.”

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 1, 2012]

PA children taught to hate Jews and Christians: Jews and Christians are “inferior and smaller, more cowardly and despised”

Girl: Christians and Jews “are inferior and smaller, more cowardly and despised. They are remnants of the [Christian] crusaders and Khaibar (i.e., Jewish village destroyed by Muslims in 629)…”

[PA TV (Fatah), May 11 and June 2, 2012]

PA children taught to hate Jews 

Young girl Lina: “Our enemy, Zion, is Satan with a tail…”

[PA TV (Fatah), May 8, 2012]

PA children taught to hate Jews 

Young girl Laila: “Our enemy, Zion, is Satan with a tail…”

[PA TV (Fatah), April 7, 2012]

Senior PA official Jibril Rajoub says Jews are “Satans” and “Zionist sons of bitches”

“We are prepared to bring the Executive Committee in helicopters… so they will see no Jews, no Satans, no Zionist sons of bitches.”

[PA TV (Fatah), May 17, 2012]

Moderator at Fatah ceremony: Jews are “descendants of the apes and pigs”

“Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs (i.e., Jews) is a war of religion and faith. Long Live Fatah!”

[PA TV (Fatah), Jan. 9, 2012]

PA Mufti Muhammad Hussein:

“The reliable Hadith (tradition attributed to Muhammad), [found] in the two reliable collections, Bukhari and Muslim, says:
“The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews.
The Jew will hide behind stones or trees.
Then the stones or trees will call:
‘Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'”

[PA TV (Fatah), Jan. 9, 2012]

Official PA daily: “There is no limit to the greed of the Jews”

“Anyone with eyes in his head sees that there is no limit to the greed of the Jews… The nibbling away at the body [land] by the Jews continues at all levels.”

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 30, 2011]

PA TV documentary on Jerusalem: Rain cleanses Jerusalem of Jews’ impurity so Muslims can pray

“The golden dome [of the mosque] shines with colors of the sky, with the white of clouds, while the joyous holiday [Eid Al-Adha] is good to the residents. The light rain cleanses the steps of the foreigners [Jews] so that the feet [of Muslims] in prayer will not step on impurity.”

[PA TV (Fatah), Nov. 6, 2011]

Kids’ hate speech against Jews at PA Arafat memorial broadcast 3 years in a row

Girl: “He [Arafat] was our former president… The Jews poisoned him and I hate them very much. Allah will repay them what they deserve.”
Boy: “He [Arafat] died from poisoning by the Jews. Well, I don’t know what he died from, but I know it was by the Jews.”

[PA TV (Fatah), Nov. 10, 2009, Nov. 10, 2010, Nov. 11, 2011]

Fatah official: Jews are “murderers of prophets,” so Jews are prone to murder

Secretary of Fatah branch in Jerusalem, Omar Shalabi, about the killing of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin:
Shalabi: “If the Jews were murderers of prophets, why shouldn’t they murder a Prime Minister who signed a peace agreement?!”

[PA TV (Fatah), Nov. 11, 2011]

Op-ed in official PA daily: “The hatred towards Israeli Jews is not related to racist discrimination” – it’s because they deserve it

“The hatred towards Israeli Jews is not related to racist discrimination, and there is no nation, people, or country which started any hatred against them. It is the Jews who have always started every struggle and hostility; they view themselves as better than all the nations and more honored than all the peoples (since they are God’s Chosen People). They call everyone else ‘goyim’ [lit. ‘nations’], who are below them in every respect. Moreover, they view themselves as deserving of all the goodness, glory and power on earth, and believe that they should attain ownership of the property of every non-Jew, in every way. Therefore, in every country where they live, we see that they seek to distinguish themselves from its inhabitants. They are concentrated in their own neighborhoods, and want everyone who lives with them to become their supporters. One of the things which stir up the nations against the Jews and plants [feelings] in their hearts against them is their tricks, which people understand…”

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 2, 2011]

Official PA daily’s religious lesson: Judaism is a “distorted, corrupted, falsified religion”

Sheikh Ishaq Feleifel teaches religion:

“The struggle between truth and falsehood is as ancient as life upon this earth… yet the mighty Islam, from the breaking of its dawn and the spreading of its light up until our time, has been targeted by its enemies… the enemies have announced in a clear and provocative manner their despicable and terrible plot. Sixty-three years ago, the Israeli Prime Minister, Ben Gurion, stood at the UN after the entire world granted recognition to the malignant cancerous growth known as the State of Israel… The Prime Minister of this destructive cancerous growth stood up to declare the religion of the Jews in Palestine to the entire world. I hope that the [Islamic] nation will study this faith in order to know with certainty that the Jews talk, in conferences and in negotiations, only through their distorted, corrupted, falsified religion… The conflict between us and the Jews is not a conflict about land and borders, but rather a conflict about faith and existence.”

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 3, 2011]

Official PA daily’s religious lesson: “[The Jews’] evil nature is drawn from Adam’s first son” who murdered his brother

Sheikh Ishaq Feleifel teaches religion:

“In this lesson I wanted to talk about Cain and Abel – that’s the first story on earth, whose victim was Abel, at the hands of his brother Cain – because this story shows a similarity to the Jews and their crimes… The Jews, by throwing off their yoke, followed in the footsteps of the first person on earth who threw off the yoke of Allah. Their [the Jews’] evil nature is drawn from Adam’s first son [who murdered his brother].”

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 13, 2011]

Official PA daily on Israel’s Independence Day: Zionism is a religious Jewish plan to rule over the non- Jewish world, and “Goyim [non-Jews] must submit to their will”

“The source of the name ‘Zionism’ is ‘Mount Zion’, one of the four mountains upon which the city of Jerusalem was founded. The Jews believe that their God lives there. Zionism is an extreme religious ideology whose aim is political hegemony and the transformation of a Jewish monarchy in Palestine into a basis for their eternal rule over the world, that others, “goyim” [non-Jews], must submit to their will, which is drawn from the will of God.”

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 15, 2011]

Official PA daily quotes children: “Jews, Jews! Your holiday [Passover] is the Holiday of Apes”

“The spring carnival has retained its [Palestinian] flavor in towns such as Bethlehem, Beit Sahour and Ramallah… with the demonstrations of the Scouts, songs, dances, and popular Palestinian hymns about Christian-Islamic unity and internal Christian unity. These hymns carry meaningful messages, in response to the Israeli prohibition [to enter Jerusalem], as seen in the calls of the youth who lead the procession of light, waving swords and not caring if anyone accuses them of Antisemitism: … ‘Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Christ redeemed us, with his blood he bought us, and today we are joyous while the Jews are sad,’ and, ‘Jews, Jews! Your holiday is the Holiday of the Apes, while our holiday is the Holiday of the Christ.'”

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 19, 2011]

Palestinian actor in PA TV interview: Quran says Jews worry over money

Abd Al-Rahman Abu Al-Qasem, Palestinian actor living in Syria:

“Thirty or forty years ago, we presented the Jew in the theater as someone with a bent nose who lends [money] with interest and who understands nothing except money matters, and is cowardly, ugly, interested only in collecting money and controlling the people around him. However, this is not accurate or correct: The Jew doesn’t have a bent nose, and isn’t cowardly, and is not interested only in accumulating money. Of course, he is interested in accumulating money – the Jews throughout history, and in the religions, and the Quran tells us about the Jews and their worryover money.”

[PA TV (Fatah), Feb. 27, 2011]

Official PA daily’s headline: “Zionism reproduces the Holocaust”

“Day by day, Zionist racism is becoming more firmly and clearly entrenched in Israeli society… The rabbis of death and the promoters of pagan Zionist thought have continued to spew their poison among the Jews, in order to stir up and rouse feelings of animosity and hatred against the Palestinians, since the European and American forces of evil facilitated for them the [fulfillment of the] idea of the ‘national home’, in order to be rid of them and to remove from the European [social] fabric the results and implications of the Holocaust which they carried out against the Jews of Europe in Nazi Germany.”

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 19, 2011]

History program on PA TV: Jews’ money lending “Shylock” behavior caused Antisemitism

Jordanian academic Arafat Hijazi:

“150 years ago, when there were no Jews in Palestine, the Jews were in Europe, in Eastern Europe, but the Jews suffered from persecution by the European nations. The reason was that they [the Jews] would harm the people of the lands in which they lived. They had a problem: Wherever they went, they were expelled, and were imprisoned.”

Jordanian academic Muhammad Dohal:

“The Jews are hated in every society in which they have lived, because of their behavior relating to their great love of money. Their behavior led to [Shakespeare’s] famous story, the story of Shylock about money lending, which clings to the Jews. This is how they harmed the societies that embraced them, including the Palestinian society, the Arab-Palestinian society.”

[PA TV (Fatah), Oct. 17, 2010]

PA TV: Jews praying at the Western Wall is “sin and filth” – broadcast 2 years in a row

PA TV narrator: “They [Israelis] know for certain that our [Palestinian] roots are deeper than their false history. We, from the balcony of our home, look out over [Islamic] holiness and on sin and filth [Jews praying at the Western Wall].”

[PA TV (Fatah), Sept. 10, 2010 and Aug. 10, 2011]

PA Mufti: Jews are “enemies of Allah” who “deviated from their humanity”

Muhammad Hussein, Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine:

“The Al-Aqsa Mosque is threatened by the plans of the enemies of Allah [the Jews], who have violated all faith and religious laws, and even deviated from their humanity.

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 26, 2010]

PA TV: Don’t threaten kids with monsters, demons and Jews

PA cleric: “Bringing up children with fear, anxiety and panic, scaring them when they cry – once by mentioning a monster, another time a scarecrow or a thief, and some other time a Jew, a demon, or the sound of the wind and other things, in order to silence them. Then the child grows up as a coward.”

[PA TV (Fatah), April 23, 2010]

Jews are “enemies of Allah,” “enemies of humanity,” and “the Prophet says… ‘fight the Jews and kill them'”

The following are excerpts of a PA TV Friday sermon from a mosque that was broadcast on PA TV: “The loathsome occupation in Palestine – its land and its holy places – by these new Mongols and what they are perpetrating upon this holy, blessed and pure land…The Jews, the enemies of Allah and of His Messenger, the enemies of Allah and of His Messenger! Enemies of humanity in general, and of Palestinians in particular… Our enmity with the Jews is a matter of faith, more than an enmity because of occupation and the land… Oh Muslims! The Jews are the Jews. The Jews are the Jews. Even if donkeys would cease to bray, dogs cease to bark, wolves cease to howl and snakes to bite, the Jews would not cease to harbor hatred towards Muslims. The Prophet said that if two Jews would be alone with a Muslim, they would think only of killing him… The Prophet says: ‘You shall fight the Jews and kill them, until the tree and the stone will speak and say: ‘Oh Muslim, Oh servant of Allah’ – the tree and the stone will not say, ‘Oh Arab,’ they will say, ‘Oh Muslim’. And they will not say, ‘Where are the millions?’ and will not say, ‘Where is the Arab nation?’ Rather, they will say, ‘Oh Muslim, Oh servant of Allah – there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’…”

[PA TV (Fatah), Jan. 29, 2010]

PA Chief Justice of Religious Court: Quran says Jews are evil

Dr. Tayseer Al-Tamimi, PA Chief Justice of Religious Court, and Chairman of Supreme Council of Islamic Law:
“Concerning the Jews, the Holy Quran says that they lack understanding, are void of wisdom, know nothing, violate agreements, etc. However, the Jews were known – it was known about them throughout history – that they make false claims, lies, forgery, slander, and fabrications, in order to justify their aggression, land theft, defilement of holy sites, appropriation of land, destruction of homes, murder of children, women, and the elderly.”

[PA TV (Fatah), June 9, 2009]

Official PA daily: Jews are sadists and liars

“[In his lecture, Dr. Yunes Amr, President of Al-Quds Open University] addressed the subject of ‘Jerusalem, capital of Arab culture,’ the characteristics of the Jews – their lies and their sadism.”

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 25, 2009]

On why many liberals continue to ignore explicit anti-Semitism in the Palestinian media

H/T This Ongoing War

I once asked a highly respected academic, and colleague, why so many (but, to be clear, not all) progressive Western anti-racists, who are committed to a two-state solution, often ignore evidence of Palestinian hate and incitement which is routinely propagated in Mosques, by government officials, in state-controlled media, and popular culture.  

My colleague’s answer was quite interesting.

He thought that many liberals would view the dissemination of such information (news about Palestinian anti-Semitic incitement) as an impediment to peace, insofar as such news would damage the trust Israelis need to make strategically risky concessions necessary to achieve a final status agreement.  

Further, my colleague added, it was curious to say the least that such peace proponents would never once consider that such incitement and hatred was, in itself, the real impediment to a true and lasting peace, insofar as it represents how a majority of Palestinians genuinely feel about Jews, as such (and not merely Israelis), and the existence of a Jewish state within any borders.

The Palestinian Authority, it should be noted, controls its own government-funded media channels. 

Palestinian Media Watch consistently carries out the arduous task of translating into English what’s published in Arabic in such state-sponsored Palestinian media, and puts out warnings when explicit and unambiguous anti-Semitism is propagated, which is quite often – though you wouldn’t know this if you depended on the Guardian for your news on Israel and the Middle East.

Yesterday PMW issued an alert. It reproduced several quotations carried in a publication called Al Hayat Al Jadida (Arabic for “New Life”) – an official daily newspaper of the Palestinian National Authority.

PMW’s Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik summarize the PA-sanctioned messages as:

  • The enemies of Islam are “cultivating evil” against it.
  • The state of Israel is a “malignant cancerous growth” and its conflict with the Arabs is about faith and existence, and not about land and borders.
  • The Jewish religion is false, distorted and corrupted.
  • Jews are inherently evil and have been so since the time of Cain and Abel.
  • Jews, through their political philosophy Zionism, have a religious plan to take over the world and rule it while forcing non-Jews to submit to their will.

Arabic edition of "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", published in Egypt, 2002

One of the things which baffles me the most is the deafening silence by otherwise sensitive souls when confronted with undeniable evidence of such chilling Jew-hatred.

Why isn’t this a bigger issue at the Guardian and at other mainstream media publications who routinely dramatize and inflate every conceivable instance of Israeli bigotry, real and imagined?

What does liberalism mean – in the context of the Guardian’s desire to be the “world’s leading liberal voice” – if not a passionate opposition to hate and bigotry?

The Al Hayat Al Jadida piece cited above advances explicit hatred towards Jews to a degree which can reasonably be compared to Nazi anti-Semitism – in accusing Jews of being evil and suggesting a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world – and yet, beyond the pro-Israel blogosphere, the mainstream media, as far as I’m able to determine, has completely ignored the story.  

What more evidence to those who insist that Palestinian enmity towards Jews is merely crudely expressed anti-Zionism need to reconsider their position, and contemplate the unpleasant, politically inconvenient but dangerous reality of a Palestinian culture infested with classic, unambiguous anti-Semitism?

Palestinian ‘Authenticity’ overlooked by Seumas Milne

In his CiF article of January 26th, Seumas Milne lamented the passing of ‘authentic’ Palestinian leadership, much in the same spirit as his paper’s editorial of January 23rd which described the current PA as ‘craven’ and ‘weak’.  Milne’s primary complaint is that the spirit of an ‘authentic national liberation movement’ has evaporated from the PA and that dependency upon foreign funding – particularly that from the US and the EU – means that “the PA’s leaders are now far more accountable to their funders than to their own people”.

How strange then that the Guardian should choose to completely ignore this news item from the indispensable Palestinian Media Watch which indicates that the PA is still doing exactly what it always did with European and American taxpayers’ money.

Abbas gives terrorist’s family $2000

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Earlier this month a Palestinian terrorist attempted to attack an Israeli checkpoint. Carrying two pipe bombs, he ran towards the Israeli soldiers, screaming “Allahu Akbar” – “Allah is Greater” – and was shot and killed before he could detonate the bombs.

Yesterday Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas granted “the relatives of the Shahid” $2000:

“The governor of the Jenin district, Kadura Musa, has awarded a presidential grant to the family of the Shahid (Martyr), Khaldoun Najib Samoudy, during a visit that took place yesterday in the village of Al-Yamoun. The governor noted that the grant is financial aid in the amount of $2000 that the President [Mahmoud Abbas] is awarding to the relatives of the Shahid, who was recently killed as a Martyr at the Hamra checkpoint by the Israeli occupation forces.”

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah) Jan. 25, 2011]

Over 60% of the PA’s GNP now comes from foreign donations – mostly from the US, the EU, the World Bank and the UN.  The percentage of foreign donations as part of the annual PA budget has steadily risen in recent years. In other words, the PA is becoming more –rather than less – dependent upon aid as time goes by.  In 2000 foreign aid comprised 10.5% of the annual income, in 2005 – 22.4% and in 2007 – 35.9%.  Some of this money finds its way to Gaza in the form of transfers from the PA – including funds to pay the salaries of Fatah employees who are paid to stay at home. The Hamas regime of course has its own donor network and an up to date insight into the entire economy of Gaza can be found here.

The ‘tradition’ of siphoning off funds from foreign donations in order to finance terror was initiated by Seumas Milne’s hero Yasser Arafat. With the creation of the PA – whose financial affairs were overseen by the international community from the very beginning – a special ‘Presidential budget’ was established.  A rather laconic description given in a 2003 International Monetary Fund report on the PA’s finances stated that:

“Presidential budgets (or for heads of State) are sensitive issues in all Middle East countries and most developing countries. In most cases, information is quite opaque if at all available.”

The report went on to state (chapter V, p. 107) that:

“In the case of the PA, actual expenditures of the President’s office are published on a monthly basis, broken down by wages, operating expenses and transfer. The 2003 budget appropriated US$74 million to the President’s office (8 percent of the total budget), of which US$34 million is dedicated to “transfers.” The President assumes the prerogative of providing aid to various organizations and individuals…

…However other claimants and organizations are part of politically favored networks who should not be getting such grants under any criterion.”

Despite the subsequent (mainly post-Arafat) reforms within the PA, the tradition of ‘Presidential transfers’ continues, albeit on a smaller scale as can be seen in the PMW report above.

I personally have considerable difficulty with the knowledge that EU and US taxpayers’ money has been  used to finance terror attacks upon Israeli citizens and reward the families of ‘martyrs’ and I think that it is high time that the World Bank, which supervises the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan, was called to give both past and present accountability on this subject, along with the donor countries themselves.

Seumas Milne, however, will most likely be delighted to learn that the spirit of the ‘authentic national liberation movement’ he finds so inspiring lives on.