Politics & Policy

European Blindness

EU conclusions defy evidence.

The European parliament has issued a report to the European Union saying that there is “no conclusive evidence” linking EU funds given to the Palestinian Authority with terrorist activity.

An incredible conclusion, really.

Part of the evidence considered by the European parliament was a report by Israeli Cabinet Minister Dani Naveh, which includes original documents confiscated in the course of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Operation Defensive Shield. This was the operation activated two years ago following massive terrorist attacks, in which the IDF moved back into Palestinian areas to pursue terrorists and destroy weapons. The report presents evidence of:

‐The direct participation–via planning and execution–of PA intelligence personnel in terrorist attacks.

‐The procurement of arms by PA security forces for terrorist groups such as Hamas.

‐Deliberate warnings provided by PA security to wanted terrorists in the PA areas, letting them know that the Israelis were after them.

‐Participation of PA security personnel in the planning of weapons factories.

‐Arafat’s direct participation in granting funds to terrorist groups.

The original documents confiscated by the IDF include signed invoices and letters, in Arabic, detailing the PA financial and logistic support for terrorism. The Naveh report refers to the documents, collectively, as “decisive proof of the role of Arafat and the PA in the systematic, institutionalized, and ongoing financial support of the Fatah/ Tanzim/Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror infrastructures and activists.”

Is the money used for PA support of terrorism money that came specifically from the European Union? The EU provides ten percent of the PA budget. While they claim to demand accountability of the PA, they do not track–via independent audits–precisely how their funds are spent once in PA hands.

Finances may be fungible, but absolutely clear is the fact that the EU is supporting an entity that, in turn, supports (and participates in) terrorism.

Four months ago a report was released by the Shin Bet (Israeli intelligence) showing how half of the $8 million Arafat receives monthly from many sources–including the EU–goes directly to funding Fatah/Tanzim activities, including bomb attacks.

The European parliament report, then, is mealy-mouthed at best, and, even worse, represents a tilt towards the Palestinians that creates a security danger to Israel. EU spokeswoman Emma Udwin claims that the report’s assessment that there is “no conclusive evidence” makes her confident that no European tax dollars have been used to fund terrorism. That’s a bit of a stretch: “No conclusive evidence” is not the same as saying that the money was tracked and could be accounted for in all particulars. “No conclusive evidence” is a negative statement that means, “It might be so, but we haven’t proved it beyond a doubt.”

Says Udwin, “We believe we have played an important role in promoting reform and in keeping the PA afloat and preventing humanitarian hardship.” Well, if there has been any genuine reform to speak of in the PA, it is certainly a well-kept secret; the PA is falling apart. As to humanitarian assistance, there are other ways to provide that. Hamas provides humanitarian assistance too–does the EU see this as reason to support them?

Arlene Kushner, a journalist in Israel, is author of the forthcoming Disclosed: Inside the Palestinian Authority and the PLO.

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