The European Union has announced it will boost its financial aid to the Palestinian Authority by â‚¬40 million in a bid to secure salaries for government workers.
“This extra package is a clear indication that we are continuing and reinforcing our commitment to the Palestinian people,” EU’s external affairs commissioner Benita Ferrero Waldner said in a statement on Wednesday (20 August).
The financial injection comes on top of â‚¬256 million provided so far by the EU this year by other instruments. It follows an international conference last December where various donors pledged â‚¬5.2 billion in aid to the Palestinians over three years.
But most of the package was earmarked for long-term projects while many Arab donors have not met their commitments, leaving the Palestinian government struggling to pay public employees over recent months.
“The situation is very, very tight, for sure,” a top official from prime minister Salam Fayyad’s office said this week, according to Reuters.
The Palestinian Authority employs some 160,000 public servants and their salaries cost â‚¬82 million monthly – covered by foreign aid.
While part of the EU cash should be spent on salaries, pensions, social aid to the poorest families and fuel for Gaza’s electricity power plant, part of it has already been earmarked for priority projects such as the construction of new security forces headquarters in Nablus.
“I hope that other donors will continue to make every effort to fulfill their pledges or even go beyond, as we do today. If not, the situation of the Palestinian Authority will continue to be precarious,” commissioner Ferrero Waldner commented.
The EU, as the biggest donor to the Palestinians, pledged â‚¬440 million at last year’s conference and Wednesday’s extra cash comes on top of that sum.
Fitzgerald: The rich Muslims should pay for the poor Muslims
“Gulf oil producers are expected to earn a record $562 billion in 2008…” — fromÂ this news article
That nearly $600 billion is just this year’s take. And it just counts the Gulf Arabs, not other Muslim states with plenty of oil dough to make mischief â€“ think of Iran, or Libya. Since 1973 alone (there was plenty coming in before that, even though the real bonanza had not started for the likes of Saudi Arabia) the Muslim oil states have received — by now — about eleven trillion dollars. They have done nothing, and they do nothing, to deserve this money. No hard work, no clever entrepreneurial ideas. They simply sit on top of it.
And they are supposedly loyal to fellow Muslims, so one would think that they would share that wealth. But of course they don’t. Or rather, some of the rich Arabs and Muslims “share” the teeny-tiniest amounts for very specific purposes. For example, sums are raised to supply a little money to those paladins of the most immediate neighborhood Jihad, the suicide bombers in Israel. But save for one or two ostentatious transmittals of money — say, to Hariri’s party in Lebanon — there is no sharing of wealth with poorer members of the Umma. Instead, the rich Arabs have been able to inveigle the world into ignoring their incredible greed. And Saudi Arabia, according to J. B. Kelly, has for decades carefully inflated its population numbers in order to lower the published per-capita income figures as well as to engage in a little froggy throat-swelling. The rich Arabs deflect calls for wealth-sharing within the Umma, and most amazing of all, they convince the Western world, that is, the Americans and the Western Europeans, that it is they who should be shelling out aid to Egypt, to Pakistan, to Jordan, to the “Palestinian” warlords and “authorities.”
Egypt is not an “ally,” no matter how often that noun is misapplied. It is a world center of antisemitism that ran on state television a series based on “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” It is a country that makes life hell for its Christian Copts. It is a country that runs diplomatic interference for the Arab regime in Sudan, all the while pretending to be “applying pressure” to it, and to utter, for Western ears only, an occasional cluck-cluck of fake disapproval. It is a country where the corrupt Mubarak, with his Family-And-Friends Plan, continues to batten on American aid shelled out by those whose notion of an Arab ally these days — the definition keeps shifting, but it is always a ludicrous one — is any country that is not openly allied with Iran and that does not call for Israel’s immediate destruction, preferring the Slow Jihad as more certain and less dangerous to itself. Why has Egypt, whose Muslim Arabs so dislike the West (even if they would delightedly flood into the West if they could), received $70 billion from the Americans and who knows how many more billions from Europeans, when the Saudis, the Emiratis (especially Dubai and Abu Dhabi), the Qataris, the Kuwaitis, are all dripping with gold, and the money just keeps piling up, with no end in sight, even as they buy up as much as they can, at firesale prices, American companies or American stocks or American real estate?
And then there are the billions shelled out for Afghanistan, a country which might better be handled through local proxies, who can deal as they wish with those whom we identify as enemies at far less expense, and with far less tensions caused among NATO members. They are in a much better position than Western forces to fight, and know whom to fight — while the NATO forces have yet again apparently been fooled into bombing an anti-Taliban group, thinking they were the enemy. They may not have American weaponry, but such weaponry is not really needed. Long knives against long knives, Tadzhik and Uzbek in the north holding fast against Pushtuns, Hazara armed sufficiently to protect themselves from the uber-Sunni Taliban, and so on, with shifting patterns of (most temporary) Western weapons drops and supplies.
And let’s not forget Iraq, where the Americans removed a monster, and for five years have been moving heaven and earth to make Iraq a decent place — which means ignoring the inshallah-fatalism, and the victor/vanquished dualism, that Islam encourages and that helps explain why the American effort, no matter how prolonged, and no matter how many men, how much money, how much materiel is expended or rather squandered, will not succeed in building a different Iraq, something recognizably advanced and Western. If there were a million Mithal al-Alusis, it might happen, but there is only one, or at best, only a handful. And it is this that General Petraeus and the “counter-insurgency manual” colonels from Leavenworth keep forgetting, or rather never knew, because they haven’t deeply felt what they cannot see — and Islam, in the minds of men, cannot easily be seen. You have to study it. You have to study the texts and tenets and then what Muslims have done with those texts and tenets over time and through space — how they have behaved toward Infidels. But you can’t just “see” it. And that is why the Americans have now squandered nearly two trillion dollars in Iraq.
And what has Saudi Arabia done? Has it paid for the Sunni Awakening? Has it paid to keep the Americans somewhere in the area to help protect those Sunnis, or to protect Sunni regimes from Iran-sponsored Shi’a aggression? No, not a cent. And not only that, but it is only the Infidel states that have forgiven nearly one hundred billion dollars in Iraq’s pre-2003 debt, while neither Saudi Arabia nor Kuwait has done so, and the Emirates have only done so in part. Why is that, do you think, that only the Infidels have cancelled in any major way the debt of a Muslim debtor state, and not fellow Muslim states?
Oh, we could go on, with a tour of the globe, showing how here, and how there, Infidels end up footing the bill. Who paid for relief in Muslim Aceh, in Indonesia? Not the Saudis. Who pays for Muslim relief everywhere? Not the Saudis, not the Kuwaitis, not the Emiratis, not the Qataris. No, it’s always the Infidels.
This has to stop. There has to be screaming, all over the Western world, to demand that members of the Umma start showing their “loyalty” to fellow members of the Umma in ways other than giving grants to the families of suicide bombers in Israel. They have all the money in the world. The more they contribute to poor Muslims, the less they will have to conduct those well-financed campaigns of Da’wa and propaganda in the West, the fewer Western hirelings they will be able to hire, the fewer mosques and madrasas spewing hate they will be able to build all over the West.
Why is the State Department, why is Congress, why is the President himself incapable of demanding that others, fellow Arabs, start paying us back for our efforts everywhere to make things better in Iraq and Afghanistan? And pay us, as well, for the “insurance” policy we provide to oil tankers in the Gulf? There is no reason for the Americans to foot the bill for all that. It is the oil sellers who should be paying. And at the very least, why are all other oil-consuming nations off the hook — such as China — leaving America to finance and do the whole job?
It makes no sense. But then, so little of what is going on does. And because it is so absurd, most people cannot quite believe it and assume there is something behind it, some modicum of sense, if only we knew. We are, they think, being kept in the dark as to the real reasons for such on-the-face-of-it idiocy.
No, I’m afraid. That idiocy on its face is just that — idiocy.