The European Union Is Paying Palestinians for Not Working

December 16, 2013
by Michael Curtis


The European Union (EU) has not hesitated in making known its criticisms of the State of Israel and its suggestions for boycotts against some Israeli products.  Recently, the EU agency for combating racism has been unable to define the term “anti-Semitism” and has removed the working definition it adopted in 2005.  By contrast, the EU has turned a blind eye to the fact that it has knowingly been paying Palestinians for not working.


This information is revealed in a sober special report, no. 14, of the European Union’s  Court of Auditors published on December 11,  2013.  This special report covers the detailed story of the EU’s financial support, including direct support, to the Palestinian Authority (PA) that since 1994 has amounted to more than 5.6 billion euros.


The EU supports public services for the benefit of the Palestinian population, but the payment of non-performing civil servants does not serve this objective.  About 24% of those on the payroll of PA health and education ministries, some 60,000 people, are paid but not working.  They stopped reporting to their jobs when Hamas seized power in Gaza.


The new December report outlines the financial assistance given by the EU.  An interim association agreement on trade and cooperation had been signed in 1997 between the then-European community and the PLO on behalf of the PA.  Between 1994 and 2006, more than 2.7 billion euros were given to the Palestinians from the EU’s general budget


Another agreement was signed in 2005 between the EU and the Palestinians to support the political and economic reform agenda over the next few years.  Between 2007 and 2012, a further 2.9 billion euros was given from the EU’s general budget.


EU funding has increasingly come from the PEGASE (the French acronym for European-Palestinian Management and Socio-Economic Help), the mechanism launched in 2008 to support the Palestinian Authority, officially to help it until the overall political objective of a two-state solution is achieved.  It is the main instrument used by the EU to provide financial assistance directly from the EU budget.


The PEGASE Direct Financial Support (DFS) program, intended to meet recurring expenditures and give support to private-sector businesses,  has provided about 1 billion euros in funding to the PA from 2008 to 2012.  This is more than 10% of the PA’s annual revenue and has been an important aid in keeping the PA’s budget deficit down.  That overall budget deficit is  $1.7 billion, or 17% of GDP.


In addition, more than 1.3 billion euros was given from DFS.  The EU is the largest donor to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), having provided  789 million euros to support it.


The DFS funding resulted from the crisis caused by the temporary suspension of aid to the PA after the Hamas victory in January 2006.  A temporary international mechanism (TIM) was set up to ensure direct assistance to the Palestinian population, thus enabling the EU to bypass the Hamas-led government in the Gaza Strip.  Since 2008, the TIM has been replaced by the PEGASE mechanism.


The EU helps the PA meet its obligations to civil servants, pensioners, and vulnerable families; maintain essential public services; and improve public finances.  Part of the present problem is the number supported as part of “vulnerable families,” those living in extreme poverty in the West Bank and Gaza, which has increased from 44,000 in 2008 to 60,000 in 2012.  


The PEGASE program provides support for Palestinian development, for delivery of public services, and for essential  services such as fuel to the Gaza power plant to ensure sufficient electricity to people living in Gaza, a supply that has cost 183 million euros.  In a variety of ways, the EU has supported the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem, which it argues should be the capital of a Palestinian state.  In addition, the EU  provides some financial support for businesses destroyed or damaged during the Israeli “Operation Cast Lead” in 2008 to stop Hamas rockets attacking Israel.  About 22 million euros were given to 915 companies.


Criticism of the Palestinians is made politely in the report, but it is clear.  The financial relationship is increasingly in “need of an overhaul,” notably in relation to its civil service.  There has been little or no review of public service grades or pay scales. The report questions whether the PEGASE DFS aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA), which has been shown to be incompetent and perhaps corrupt with its finances, can now be sustained.


As a bow to political correctness, the report suggests that the continuing restrictions by Israel on the PA help cause overall fiscal difficulties, and that a way needs to be found to bring Israel to take the necessary steps to ensure that PEGASE DFS is effective.  But the evidence of the report itself shows that Israel’s actions have little to do with the plight of the Palestinians.  A major reason for this is that the number of Palestinian beneficiaries has been increasing while funding by outside donors has been decreasing.  Even the EU has decreased its support from 524 million euros in 2011 to 358 million in 2012.


Despite the large amount of money provided by the EU, the PA faced a severe budget deficit in 2012, which led to public finance management problems.  The delay in payment of salaries by the PA led to demonstrations and strikes among civil servants in September 2012.


The EU publicly supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and envisages the creation of a viable, contiguous, and democratic Palestinian state, living side by side with Israel in peace and security.  It recognizes some of the events that have set back the peace process.  The first occurred in January 2006, when Hamas defeated the Fatah party in the Palestinian parliamentary elections.  The EU understood that Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and indeed classifies it as a terrorist organization.


The de facto division of Palestinians occurred when fighting broke out between Fatah and Hamas in June 2007, and Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip.  The EU does not have a contract with Hamas, but it does try to help the Gaza population.  It would do even more by calling on Hamas to stop its terrorist activity and enter into negotiations with and officially recognize the State of Israel.

Michael Curtis is author of Jews, Antisemitism, and the Middle East.


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1,000 Jurists to EU: Settlements are Legal – Mammoth petition delivered to Catherine Ashton states: ’1967 lines’ don’t exist.

August 6, 2013

A mammoth jurists’ petition delivered to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton states that the EU is wrong in holding that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are illegal, and that the term “1967 lines” does not exist in international law.

The letter is signed by over 1,000 jurists worldwide. 1,000 Jurists to EU: Settlements are Legal – Mammoth petition delivered to Catherine Ashton states: ’1967 lines’ don’t exist.HT: INN.By Gil Ronen. (MFS Among the signatories are former justice minister Prof. Yaakov Ne’eman; former UN Ambassaor Dr. Meir Rosen; Britain’s Baroness Prof. Ruth Deech, Prof. Eliav Shochetman and Prof. Talia Einhorn.They include legal scholars from the U.S., Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Switzerland, Chile, Czechoslovakia, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Malta, Holland, Norway, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan, South Africa, Sweden and, of course, Israel.
The man behind the initiative is Dr. Alan Baker, Israel’s former ambassador to Canada and legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry, who currently heads the International Action Division of the Legal Forum for Israel.
Baker was also a member of the three-person committee headed by former Supreme Court judge Edmond Levy, known as the Levy Committee, which pronounced that Judea and Samaria were not occupied territory.(MORE)

You don’t recognize us, We don’t recognize you

July 29, 2013
(So sorry we can not cooperate with your attempt to create the demise of Jews by building Muslim homes in a predominently Jewish area, but you said you didn’t recognize Jews living here… so just keep on pretending the people living in Judea don’t exist)

(CarlEurope is whining The Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon had decided to suspend contacts with the EU in the West Bank.Ya’alon has “frozen projects, canceled meetings, curtailed coordination and permits for Europe’s operations” for Palestinians living in what is known as Area C, a West Bank area fully administered by Israel, he said.In Brussels, Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said: “The EU is concerned by reports in the Israeli media that the Israeli Minister of Defense has announced a number of restrictions affecting EU activities supporting the Palestinian people.”“We have not received any official communication from the Israeli authorities. Our delegations on the spot are seeking urgent clarifications,” Kocijancic added. A Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that due to the Israeli measures, several European humanitarian aid staff had failed to receive permits to enter the Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip.


Hezbollah is finally identified as a terrorist group by Europe

July 23, 2013
About time:


EU Finally Blacklists Hizballah’s Military Wing (Abha Shankar) 
In a momentous decision Monday, the European Union (EU) designated the military wing of the Lebanese terrorist group Hizballah. The decision to embargo the Iran-backed Shi’ite militant group was spearheaded by the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
The designation will significantly impact Hizballah’s operations in Europe, including the terrorist group’s ability to raise funds and engage in logistics and terrorist activity on European territory.

Although the United States designated Hizballah in 1995, the EU has been dragging its feet. Efforts to ban the group gained momentum following last year’s attack on a tourist bus in Burgas, Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists, a Bulgarian bus driver and the bomber. More recently, the terrorist group has joined forces with the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad that has intensified the Shia-Sunni strife in the region.
Both the U.S. and Israel applauded the EU decision. “As Hezbollah has deepened its support for the brutal Assad regime and worked to expand its global reach through increased involvement in international criminal schemes and terrorist plots around the world, a growing number of governments are recognizing Hezbollah as the dangerous and destabilizing terrorist organization that it is,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in aprepared statement.
Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni described the decision as “just and correct.” She said that “Finally, after years of discussions and deliberations, [they] have failed, and rightly so, in their attempt to claim that they are a legitimate political party.”Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the EU to go further, designating Hizballah’s political arm. It “is one organization, the arms of which are indistinguishable,” he said, calling Hizballah an “Iranian protectorate” with tens of thousands of rockets at its disposal.
Hizballah has waged terror attacks against the United States and Israel. In 1983, the Lebanon-based group killed 240 people in an attack on the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut. Hizballah, along with its chief patron Iran, had been alleged to have waged attacks on the Israeli Embassy in Argentina in 1992 and a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires in 1994.


Moody’s Changes Euro Zone Rating Outlook to Negative // Be Like the Euro?

September 5, 2012
ECB Interest Rate Decision
Getty Images:
A Euro sign sculpture stands in front of the
European Central Bank’s (ECB) headquarters.
(cnbc) Moody’s Investors Service has changed its outlook on the Aaa rating of the European Union to “negative,” warning it might downgrade the bloc if it decides to cut the ratings on the EU’s four biggest budget backers: Germany, France, the U.K., and the Netherlands.
The move will add to pressure on the European Central Bank (learn more) to provide details of a new debt-buying scheme to help deeply indebted euro zone states at its policy meeting on Thursday.
Back in July, Moody’s changed its outlook for Germany, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg to “negative” as fallout from Europe’s debt crisis cast a shadow over its top-rated countries. The outlook on France and the U.K. are also “negative.”
“The negative outlook on the EU’s long-term ratings reflects the negative outlook on the Aaa ratings of the member states with large contributions to the EU budget: Germany, France, the U.K., and the Netherlands, which together account for around 45 percent of the EU’s budget revenue,” the ratings agency said.
Moody’s said the EU’s rating would be particularly sensitive to any changes in the ratings of these four Aaa member states, implying that if it downgraded these four it might also cut the EU’s rating.
Likewise, Moody’s said the outlook for the EU could go back to stable if the outlooks on the four key Aaa countries also returned to stable.
The agency also changed to negative the outlook the European Atomic Energy Community, on whose behalf the European Commission is also empowered to borrow.

@capflowwatch: Moody’s Changes Euro Zone Rating Outlook to ‘Negative’ // The path Obama wants us to follow.


Time to Remove Brussels’s Hezbollah Blinders

August 5, 2012

Daniel Schwammenthal..
Wall Street Journal..
02 August ’12..
When terrorists struck in Bulgaria last month, killing five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver, Jerusalem immediately accused Hezbollah and its Iranian paymasters of the crime. Tehran and Hezbollah, as always, denied it. But no matter who carried out this atrocity on European Union territory, the EU’s continued refusal to put Hezbollah on its terror list is simply indefensible.
Not designating the group as a terrorist organization gives the pioneers of Islamist suicide bombings the opportunity to organize, recruit and raise funds throughout the Continent. There are about 950 Hezbollah members and supporters in Germany alone, according to Berlin’s domestic intelligence service. Hezbollah has also sent operatives from Europe to Israel for terror attacks.
Placing the group on the EU’s terrorist list would allow authorities to freeze Hezbollah assets and increase cross-border cooperation in fighting their crimes. Raising or providing funds for Hezbollah terrorists within EU territory would become a criminal offense. Police and judicial authorities would have greater powers to work with their colleagues in other member states, for example in sharing evidence or information about movements and activities of Hezbollah operatives. Law enforcement agencies would also have more possibilities to investigate and curtail Hezbollah activities in the EU, such as by suppressing the recruitment of new members.
When Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman last week urged Europe to finally do the right thing, the foreign minister of Cyprus, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, had the unenviable task of having to enunciate the EU’s incomprehensible position: “Should there be tangible evidence of Hezbollah engaging in acts of terrorism, the EU would consider listing the organization,” Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis said during a joint press conference in Brussels.
Can there really be any reasonable doubt among EU officials about the true nature of Hezbollah? Back in 1983, 58 French peacekeeping troops alongside 241 U.S. marines were butchered in Hezbollah suicide bombings in Beirut, followed by the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in the Lebanese capital, according to U.S. officials. Argentina accused the group of killing 85 people in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, underscoring its global reach.
Hezbollah also supports organizations that are already on the EU terrorist list, such as Hamas. In addition, Syrian regime defectors have revealed that thousands of Hezbollah men (and Iranians) are in Syria as “military consultants” for President Bashar Assad, keeping themselves busy killing protestors. They supplied the same murderous services to Iran to put down the 2009 “Green Revolution.” And for decades Hezbollah has terrorized hundreds of thousands of Israeli civilians, indiscriminately raining missiles on men, women and children, murdering scores in the process.
This is why the U.S., Canada and Australia, as well as the Netherlands and the U.K.—two EU “renegades”—have already added Hezbollah to their terror lists. Likewise, the European Parliament passed a resolution in 2005 by a vote of 475 to eight, stating “that clear evidence exists of terrorist activities by Hezbollah. The [EU] Council should take all necessary steps to curtail them.”
That the EU still hasn’t done so must be due to a lack of political will, rather than a lack of evidence. Hezbollah is “an organization that comprises a political party and a social services network as well as an armed wing,” Ms. Kozakou-Marcoullis said last week, recounting official EU policy. “Hezbollah is active in Lebanese politics, including the parliament and the government, and plays a specific role with regard to the status quo in Lebanon.”
Let’s have a quick look at that “specific role.” Last year, the United Nations tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri issued arrest warrants for four Hezbollah members for carrying out the truck bombing that killed Hariri and 22 other people. In 2008, Hezbollah took over Western Beirut in what the government at the time called a “bloody coup.” In the ensuing fighting, about 100 people, many of them civilians, were killed.
Is this really the sort of “status quo” the EU wants to continue validating? Created and funded by Tehran, Hezbollah serves the interest of the two most oppressive regimes left standing in the region: Iran and Syria. How does this square with the EU’s “New Strategy for a Changing European Neighborhood,” which promises Arabs that their “struggle for democracy, dignity, prosperity and safety from persecution would be supported by Europe?”
The artificial distinction between Hezbollah’s “armed wing,” as the EU so delicately puts it, and the organization’s “political” or “social” activities is meaningless. Hezbollah is a terror group to its core. Even when pretending to play the political game, it doesn’t operate like a democratic party but like the terrorist gang it is, intimidating voters and murdering and torturing rivals to advance the interests of Tehran and Damascus.
By adding Hezbollah to its terror list, the EU could thus simultaneously strike a blow against international terrorism and for Arab democracy. It would not only undercut its fundraising but also its claims for respectability. The EU’s continued engagement with Hezbollah confers on the group undeserved international recognition, which helps it to sell its terror as “resistance” and its service to Tehran as legitimate Lebanese politics. By naming and shaming Hezbollah, the EU would help isolate it, diminishing its attraction both at home and abroad.
Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah himself said a few years ago that such a move would “destroy” the organization as “[t]he sources of our funding will dry up and the sources of moral, political and material support will be destroyed.” Europe has the power and moral obligation to finally facilitate this destruction.
Link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443866404577563151864043044.html
Mr. Schwammenthal is director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute in Brussels.


European Union financing Hezbullah education in Lebanon

July 2, 2012
(Carl) The European Union is funding an educational system in Lebanon that is run by Hezbullah. In fact, since Hezbullah is in charge of the Education Ministry, this is the only educational system in Lebanon. Hezbullah is thus embedding its own ideology in Lebanon. And the European Union is helping out.

Keen to support the strengthening of “students’ national identity and civic responsibilities” in a nation as perennially blighted by sectarian strife as Lebanon is the European Union, which has committed €3.8 million for the development of a citizenship education programme in Lebanese schools. Well-intentioned as this is, it overlooks the fact that Hezbollah’s conception of civic responsibility is fundamentally at odds with the European Union’s. This was most starkly evident in February, when the Lebanese Minister of Education issued a memorandum obligating all public schools to spend an hour imbuing “the culture of Resistance” in children.
Nor has Hezbollah’s attempt to indoctrinate an entire generation stopped there. As part of the ESDP, which the European Union is co-financing with a total budget of €13.7 million, the Lebanese government is seeking to launch a standardised history curriculum. According to the most recent proposal, history lessons will include teaching pupils to appreciate “the Resistance’s importance in terms of defending Lebanon”. The draft syllabus has also been criticised for writing the pro-democracy Cedar Revolution out of Lebanon’s history, as well as omitting Lebanon’s struggle against the Syrian army and Palestinian militias during the civil war. To all impartial observers, it is clear that Hezbollah is exploiting the ESDP to greatly exaggerate its centrality to Lebanese national identity.
When Paul Nuttall MEP submitted a parliamentary question asking whether the European Commission would cancel its financial assistance to the Lebanese Ministry of Education in light of Hezbollah’s efforts to brainwash students, Commissioner Štefan Füle responded by saying that any cessation of funding “would be counterproductive”. Given that the Lebanese Minister of Education announced in May that he has enlisted the help of his Iranian counterpart in implementing the ESDP, the European Commission ought to consider that what is truly counterproductive is sponsoring a project that appears to have been outsourced to Hezbollah’s paymasters in Tehran.

What could go wrong?

A NAZI EDUCATION!