Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Funding the Fatah Rat Hole

By Alan Caruba

Probably the worst investment in modern times has been the billions pumped into the funding of Fatah, one of the two entities competing for control of the Palestinian Authority. The other is Hamas which is identified as a terrorist organization, but Fatah was founded by the father of modern terrorism, Yasser Arafat.

In a recent commentary, Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, noted that the Congressional Research Service calculated that the European Union gave $815 million (US) to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 2006. The United States sent $469 million. When other donors are included, the PA garnered about $1.5 billion.

In October, President Bush requested a $410 million supplement above the $77 million already sent to the PA. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice launched a “U.S.-Palestinian Public Private Partnership” in early December whose purpose is to “reach young Palestinians directly” so as to prepare them “for responsibilities of citizenship and leadership”, blah, blah, blah.

In July, Mortimer B. Zuckerman, Editor-in-Chief of U.S. News & World Report, noted that, “The brutal Hamas coup is the first Islamic takeover of an Arab country in the past 25 years and the first in that period by military putsch.” Palestine, however, is not a country. Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Fatah and former right-hand man to Arafat, fled Gaza and set up headquarters in Ramallah in the West Bank. Please make your checks directly to him as the PA exists only in the fevered imaginations of diplomats like Condi Rice.

Zuckerman noted at the time that, “The trouble is that Fatah is a broken reed. It lost elections in Gaza because of rampant financial corruption, abuse of power, mismanagement, and weak leadership.” Yes, well, when the winning party runs you out of town at the point of a gun, I guess you could say that Fatah was a weak representative of the Palestinian people, but then it was never really about the Palestinian people. It was about Yasser Arafat’s ability to bilk Europe, the Middle East, and the U.S. out of money that was then transferred in the millions to his Swiss bank accounts. His widow lives in luxury in Paris.

In fact, Hamas did not have to expend much effort to control Gaza because, as Zuckerman pointed out, “The Fatah leadership of the Gaza armed forces fled weeks and months before the battle—including the commander, the deputy commanders, and 30 lower-level commanders.” Fatah, it should be noted, has a terrorist arm called al-Aqsa that takes credit for the many suicide bombings and other murders in Israel over the years.

Giving money to Fatah is obscene. What is the difference between Fatah and Hamas? Both are devoted to driving the Israelis into the sea and seizing control of Israel despite having no rights to a land that was a nation-state in 1312 B.C., fully 2,000 years before the invention of Islam.

The Arab claim is based on having conquered “Palestine” in 635 A.D., but the real irony is that Palestine is a name selected by the Roman Emperor Hadrian who, in 135 A.D. had crushed a Jewish revolt. His aim was to erase the name “Israel” from the history books. The new name was taken from one of Israel’s ancient enemies, the Philistines. Hadrian is no more. The Roman Empire is no more. And what’s left are the empty claims by people who, like the Philistines, have been repeatedly defeated by the Israelis.

More than a million Arabs are full citizens of Israel and nobody is being asked to send them millions.

At what point will the leaders of the U.S., the European Union, and Middle Eastern states wise up and stop throwing money down the rat hole called the Palestinian Authority?

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