The Arabs’ Betrayal of the Palestinians

At least one Palestinian leader is honest enough to blame his “brotherly” Arab states for the cash crisis faced by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah.  PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, in an interview with the Associated Press on Sunday, January 6, 2013 complained of an immense financial crisis in the PA, largely due to the Arab countries’ failure to dispatch promised millions of dollars in aid.  Ironically, it is the Jewish state of Israel that the Palestinians regularly vilify and seek to destroy, which hitherto, provided the financial wherewithal to the PA by transferring $100 million in tax rebates to Ramallah, an amount that covers a third of the PA monthly operating costs.

On November 29, 2012, the U.N. General Assembly upgraded the Palestinian status to non-member observer state, and last week the U.N. changed the way it refers to Palestinians from merely being “Palestine” to the “State of Palestine.”  Israel hoped to negotiate in good faith with the Palestinian Authority and its President, Mahmoud Abbas, but the Palestinians circumvented the peace process by going directly to the U.N. in defiance of the Obama administration and Israel. That resulted in Israel cutting off subventions of $100 million to the PA coffers.  The Israeli government withheld the money to settle the PA debt to Israeli companies.

Mahmoud Abbas, not content with changing how the U.N. now refers to Palestine, has ordered the words “Palestinian Authority,” the current operative designation, to be changed to the “State of Palestine” on all public documents in Palestinian-controlled areas, including ID cards, driver licenses, and passports.

While Abbas is busy with conferring new titles on his PA, his Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has to deal with the PA insolvency.  The 22-nation Arab League promised to make up the funds Israel cut off in December.  Mohammed Sobeih, an Arab League official, claimed that letters have gone out to individual member states, urging them to pay the promised $100 million.  Fayyad, however, contended that PA financial problems rest with the delinquent Arab donors who failed to fulfill their pledge of support in accordance with Arab League resolutions.  Fayyad made it clear that the EU and the U.S. have delivered on their commitments to the Palestinians, but he accuses the Arab states of not meeting their pledges.

The Arab states have stuck to the familiar rhetoric of Western responsibility for the Palestinian plight, and therefore the West should pay for the Palestinian Authority upkeep as well as the Palestinian Arab refugees cared for by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).  In fact, it was the Palestinian leadership and leaders of Arab states that encouraged the Palestinian plight in 1948, and are largely responsible for the Palestinian refugee problem.  The Arab states moreover, refused to absorb the Palestinians, and have used them for propaganda purposes.  Kuwait has expelled 450,000 Palestinians in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, while Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria have refrained from giving the Palestinians citizenship.  It is the same Arab states who have encouraged the Palestinians to resist accommodation with the Jewish State, and gave lip-service to the Palestinian cause, while they fall short on deeds when it comes to helping the Palestinians.

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy 2005 report revealed that “Arab states pledged $999 million in aid for 2004, of which $572 million was pledged by Arab members of OPEC (other than Iraq). Only $107 million of this aid was actually delivered. That left $892 million still owed by Arab states, including $467 million from OPEC members (other than Iraq).  The largest amounts pledged, but not delivered, were from Libya ($148 million), Kuwait ($140 million), Iraq ($132 million pledged while Saddam Hussein was still in power), Egypt ($105 million), and Algeria ($86 million).”

According to Fayyad, the PA has reached a critical point at which it is unable to pay the salaries of about 150,000 government employees.  Fayyad pointed out to the Associated Press that as a result of the crunch, the number of poor Palestinians will increase to 50% of the PA population. Additionally, private banks will no longer extend loans to the government, while the PA deficit is effectively over $1.5 billion.

The Palestinian Authority or as Mahmoud Abbas wants it called, the “State of Palestine” is unsustainable without foreign support.  Not being endowed with oil or any other natural resources, the Palestinians, led by Yasser Arafat, aggravated their situation further by launching an Intifada against Israel in September, 2000.  It resulted in Israel restricting Palestinian movement, including work permits inside Israel, and impacted trade.  The PA depends on foreign aid and is seemingly unable to wean itself off.

At the core of the PA economic problems is the use of public sector employment as a mechanism for political patronage as well as local job creation.  The public sector alone continues to expand while investments in the private sector are virtually non-existent; this causes an imbalance that outstrips fiscal revenues.

A World Bank report (December 2004) concluded that the PA “needs to reinvigorate its program of governance reform in order to create an internal environment more attractive to private investors.  Doing that will require that the PA complete the cycle of popular elections it has embarked on, control lawlessness, develop a solid judicial system and address concerns about transparency and corruption.”

As America is edging toward a financial cliff, and the EU-zone is in deep financial trouble, it is time to demand that the Arab/Muslim world take care of the Palestinians’ financial needs.  America and the Europeans can no longer afford to be on a “guilt trip,” and pay the lion’s share of the PA budget.  This was concluded long before the 2008 recession hit America and the West.  The late Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA), a senior member of the House International Relations Committee, said (February 10, 2005) that he would “condition U.S. aid to the Palestinians on oil-rich Arab ‘deadbeats’ making good on their own promised contributions.”  Rep. Lantos’ statement was endorsed by the former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who said, “I think it is reasonable that the surrounding Arab states that have resources should at least match U.S. support.”

Pan-Arabism is a figment of the imagination with respect to the Palestinians. The plight of the Palestinians is used by the Arab regimes only when it can promote their political ends.  These regimes champion the Palestinian cause mostly as a way to attack Israel. This serves to draw away attention from the misery of their people, and conversely, hide the success of the tiny Jewish state.  The Arab regimes refuse to criticize one another or admit to their ill treatment of the Palestinians, and their hypocrisy is revealed in the deafening silence when the plight of the Palestinians no longer suits their needs. The Arab antagonism towards integrating Palestinian refugees into their societies has led to the denial of basic Palestinian rights to work and live, and in some cases has culminated in the outright violent expulsion of Palestinian families.

The welfare of the Palestinian people depends on responsible leaders able to focus on economic prosperity instead of seeking to eliminate the Jewish state.  In fact, only close economic cooperation with Israel, which entails an end to terror and hate by the Palestinians, will bring about economic growth and political stability.  It will also end Palestinian dependency on Western charity and on the Arab states that failed them.

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  • AdinaK

    Solving the PA issue would remove the thorn in Israel's side, and that is intolerable to the Arab leadership. They leave them in limbo as more than an irritant. They use them as a weapon. The international left is of piece with the Arab "peace of the grave" plan. The red/green alliance.

    In any case, Israel's leaders must muster, before it is too late, the political will (and cease kowtowing to Washington's "peace plans") to nip this danger in the bud. There are strategic prescriptive policies to address this very issue, and this Israeli blogger offers up an interview with the foremost expert in this arena –

    Part 2 will debut in the near future.

    Adina kutnicki, Israel –

  • Gamaliel

    The PA wouldn't be in debt at all if it wasn't so corrupt and didn't spend so much money on weapons to attack Jews with.

  • @theoprinse

    There is no such identity as Palestinians or Palestine

  • UCSPanther

    Nobody cared about Yasser Arafat in the end, so I don't expect them to care about Palestine either.

    As it stands, Palestine is a farce that won't last the 21st century with its current situation.

  • BLJ

    The Palestinians are just pawns for the Arab scum to use. Always have been, always will be. I can't say I feel bad about it though.

  • Ghostwriter

    Somehow,I'm not surprised in the least.

  • Arthur Cohn

    Everything that Joseph Puder writes is true, but there is more. The article neglects the various nefarious ways that the Palestinian Administration wastes its money. If the Palestinian Administration stopped paying the salaries of their militant terrorists who are in prison after being convicted for terrorism,they might have enough money to pay their bills. Also, they pay the Fatah operatives in Gaza who are under the control of the terrorist Hamas organization. Also, they spend money on commemorating the past murderous deeds of terrorist killers of Jewish children, and support their own terrorist organization, "Al Aksa terrorists". Also, their leadership siphons money out in graft; witness the billions that Suha Arafat has inherited from Yasser Arafat's private bank accounts; and the multi-million dollar mansion that Nabil Shaath owns.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    The faux Palestinian leaders and Arab leaders should all get what they deserve, they have
    a chance to repent but I will not hold my breath………..Villains dealing with villains………..William

  • kafir4life

    muslims on muslims!! Brings a hearty giggle-snort to my face!! I can't be drinking coffee when I read about pedophile emulator on pedophile emulator (muz on muz), as I've laughed so hard that it comes out of my nose. I would implore muslims to seek out muslims that are the wrong "style" of muslim, and muslims that aren't quite muslim enough….and "honor" them, for the sake of islam the gutter cult. Make allah your moon god proud! If every muslim "honored" one defective muslim every day, much of the worlds problems would vanish (poof!) within a month.

  • memyudmem

    and he [Hagar's son, Ishmael] "…is a wild-ass man, his hand against every one, and every one's hand against him — and before the face of all his brethren he dwelleth" (Genesis 16:12 Young's Literal Translation). So it is.
    The Creator G-d of ALL and EVERYTHING, has said it; caused it to be written down; and the descendants of Ishmael (the arabs of all ilk and kind) have proved the prediction/prophecy to be true!

  • Gloria Franks

    Surprised that there are no comments on
    this issue, clearly the PA will come to an end unless they continue to get more
    welfare money (foreign aid). These people have no way of supporting themselves
    and as money dries up so will the Palestinian Authority, these people have
    dedicated themselves to terror and driving the Jews into the sea when they
    should have spent more time being good neighbors and educating themselves so
    they could prosper like their Jewish neighbors and live in peace!

    • Kutz

      You sound ignorant, they wouldn’t need foreign Aid if low life government folks wasnt so greedy for power and control. If you knew about the Balfour declaration you would know 1st the Palestinians excepted the Europeans Jews who were persecuted by Hitler & other countries involved in the planned world war 2, until the Jews started forcing dominance with the help of others countries. The Euro Jews were dumped on Palestine so they (other countries Uk,Us,Germany etc) did not have to give them a home in their land. If you used your head you would know this was a strategy thought by enemies of Humanity who would rather weaken & enslave mankind then help especially if Religion is involved they did it with the Jews,Christians, now Muslims these people won’t stop till Evil & suffering is all over. Talking about Palestine driving whom to the sea last I checked Israel has all the power thanks to you lames who like to help each other oppress innocent. Tell me a big story where there’s proof Palestine had committed anything opressing equivalent to what fake Isreal has been doing or had done considering these Jews were not from the country, but other countries yet Palestine was excepting of them or tricked into excepting the fake jews

      • Gloria Franks

        Truth is you are “ignorant” of history the Jews have always had a physical presence in Israel since the last invasion by the Romans. My remarks are based on the facts that certain cultures/races that cannot support themselves but need the aid of the UN to survive must be allowed to fade into the background. These people have genetic and family ties to Turkey which they have not denied and their presence in Israel does not go back thousands of years. What have the Palestinians done with their time in Israel before WW2 they are not builders, they occupied what was already in Israel. They have profited greatly from the building of Israel infrastructure that was built by the Jews not them.
        They do not spend time living in peace instead they try to overthrow and destroy the only thing that is keeping them alive the Jews, who will keep the gas/water/electricity/lawlessness and theft at bay if not the Jews?
        Palestinians have said the only real education is in Israel at Jewish Universities, and they have also acknowledged that the Jews have kept the lawless militants at bay!

        • Kutz

          Don’t wanna bother you no more so this will hopefully be my last comment. I didnt go through it all my writing thoroughly my point is i sympathise wiv the people being oppressed. You can’t expect people to develop their country if other countries will not let that happen or find reasons to destroy the countries infrastructure you can say Israel built all the sht but where’s your proof because im thinking its a joint venture where people helped each other till power hungry people caused the division i don’t blame the lack of resources or effort on Palestine’s they are unfortunate to have power hungry priks as their neighbours who wanted all of Israel back but Muslims follow the way of the Quran which in their you find God banned the Jews from Israel & gave way for Jesus pbuH & True Christians anyways i’be wrote too much feel free to carry on the discussion or not take it easy