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A large part of these financial problems arises from the cronyism and corruption that characterize PA governance. Reports of corruption and plundering of PA coffers under Arafat and Abbas have pervaded the Israeli media for years. During his tenure as “rais,” Arafat skimmed $2 million a month from the gasoline trade in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. At the time of his death some $1billion in funds donated to the PA went missing from his accounts. Billions of dollars that are meant for humanitarian purposes have been siphoned off into private accounts and into the maintenance of terrorist organizations.
The PA’s economy is in such shambles that even a Palestinian economist, Nasr Abdul Karim, criticized the PA for failing to better manage its finances. He warned that its financial mess might weaken its plea for statehood.
It seems clear that the Palestinian Authority’s request for UN recognition is merely another ploy in the decades-old multi-faceted PR and political war against Israel. As George Jonas notes: “Those who complain that such a declaration undermines the peace process …don’t understand that that’s the declaration’s purpose.”
If the Palestinian leadership wanted to co-exist peacefully with Israel, it could do so by reversing the Arab commitment to “no recognition, no negotiations, no peace.” But Palestinian leadership does not want their state alongside of Israel. They want it instead of Israel. Their UN gambit is another ploy to galvanize world opinion and increase political pressure on Israel. The UN’s complicity will only aid and abet those who seek Israel’s destruction.
[i] These characteristics were enumerated at the Montevideo Convention of 1933. For a useful summary see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_state. For more detailed discussion see: Shaw, Malcolm Nathan (2003). International law, Cambridge University Press, p.178. “Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States, 1933 lays down the most widely accepted formulation of the criteria of statehood in international law. It notes that the state as an international person should possess the following qualifications: ‘(a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with other states';” and Jasentuliyana, Nandasiri, ed (1995). Perspectives on international law, Kluwer Law International, p.20. “So far as States are concerned, the traditional definitions provided for in the Montevideo Convention remain generally accepted.”
[ii] Schanzer, Jonathan, Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine, Palgrave, 2008)
[iii] Hanan Ashrawi demurs: “We fulfill all the requirements of statehood as stipulated under Article 4 of the UN Charter and the Montevideo Convention.” June 8, 2011, http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=394991 quoted in http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=52728; but she offers no evidence to support her statement.
[iv] For the most recent exposition of this uncompromising extremism, see http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/5584.htm. On August 16, 2011, the Gazan jihad group Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad issued a video titled “The Path of Honor versus the Path of Shame,” in which it attacks Fatah for its alliance with Israel, but reserves its fiercest opprobrium for Hamas, for not implementing Shari’a law in Gaza. The film’s authors confront members of Hamas’s military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, excoriating them for tolerating the cease-fire with Israel and the non-implementation of the Shari’a. Apparently Hamas is not extreme enough.
[v] Including Fatah, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, the PFLP, the DFLP, the PFLP-GC, Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, Sayyif Allah, Jayyish al-Jihad, el-Qaeda in Sinai, el-Qaeda in the Maghreb, the Resistance Committees, Force 17, and Ansar al-Islam, just to name a few.
[vi] Even as Abbas urges the world to support his bid for PA statehood, the PA continues teaching its children to hate Jews and to make the destruction of Israel the ultimate goal of their lives. See, for example:
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