Israel Halts Payments to Palestinians, Adding to Fiscal Woes

November 24, 2011

All the countries that encouraged Palestine to break their promises can pay the Palestine Authorities bill now if they really care, but I doubt they do. Lip service doesn’t pay the bills. If the world cares so much for the Palestinians then put up or shut up. oh… but they don’t love the Arabs, they merely hate Jews.

(NYTIMES) RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinian Authority, in over its head financially as foreign donors renege on pledges and local banks have reached their limits, has an even more serious money problem: Israel is refusing to transfer tax and customs payments that account for two-thirds of its revenue. For three weeks, the Israeli government has pointedly withheld the transfer of these payments, amounting to more than $100 million, to express opposition to the Palestinian Authority’s recent policy of pursuing United Nations membership and renewing power-sharing talks with Hamas.
The impact of Israel’s decision not to make its deposit could be devastating, according to Palestinian and international officials.
“With each passing day, the Palestinian Authority becomes weaker, and is fast approaching the day when it becomes completely incapacitated,” Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said in an interview this week.
Oussama Kanaan, the International Monetary Fund’s mission chief for the West Bank and Gaza, said that unless Israel changed its approach, salaries due on Dec. 1 that support one million Palestinians would go unpaid.
“Part of the reason why people have not revolted is that there has been some progress and security, and the living standard has been going up,” he said. “But if they cannot get their wages paid and they have high expectations about independence, they will see this as a sign of weakness and incompetence by the Palestinian Authority.”
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations and senior American officials have contacted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in recent days, urging him to release the money. Tony Blair, the representative of the so-called quartet — the Middle East peacemaking group composed of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations — added his voice to the criticism on Wednesday, saying, “Only those who oppose peace and Israeli-Palestinian cooperation benefit from the withholding of P.A. funds.”
An aide to Mr. Netanyahu said the point was to “incentivize bad things not happening.” By that, he meant the Palestinian Authority’s pursuit of full membership in the United Nations and its planned talks with Hamas, expected to start on Thursday in Cairo.
But the aide said that if the Palestinians did not move to join other United Nations agencies — he said they had indicated a willingness to back off for now — and the Cairo meeting produced nothing more than promises of more meetings, the likelihood was that the money would be released by next week.
“We are trying to send a clear message,” he said.
Another Israeli official said that when the decision was made to withhold payment around Nov. 1, there had been several troubling developments from Israel’s point of view. First, he said, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority said nothing after a rocket from Gaza killed someone in southern Israel. Then Mr. Abbas seemed to praise the abduction of an Israeli soldier five years ago and said he would never recognize a Jewish state. Finally, the Palestinians joined Unesco — the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization — a move that Israel rejected as another unilateral step toward statehood.
“We wanted to make clear this could not be business as usual,” the official said. “The idea is to influence Palestinian decision-making.”
The transfer of the more than $100 million a month is not, in theory, optional. It is mandated by the 1994 portion of the Oslo agreement. The money is made up of customs duties that Israel collects for Palestinian orders arriving here through Israeli ports, value-added taxes on major Palestinian purchases of Israeli goods and excise taxes on Israeli fuel bought by the Palestinians.
But the Israelis argue that by approaching the United Nations and engaging with Hamas, the Palestinian Authority is breaking its end of the Oslo accords, freeing Israel to do the same.
The United States has suspended tens of millions of dollars it has pledged to the Palestinian Authority because of Congressional objections that mirror those of Israel.
Israel has withheld payments before, notably during the 2001-2 uprising and again in 2006, when the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority and Hamas briefly formed a unity government. Foreign donors, mostly from the Arab world and the European Union, made up the difference.
That pattern has eased concerns here.
“The Authority has never collapsed, and it will not do so now,” , the chief executive of the Palestinian Stock Exchange, said in an interview. “The Arab Spring obliges the Arab countries to act in ways they are not used to. And the Israelis can rant and rave all they want. In the end, it is in their interest to help us.”
Indeed, it is widely agreed in the Israeli military establishment that a functioning Palestinian Authority is in Israel’s interest because, without it, Israel would have to police and provide civilian services to millions of Palestinians. But as the aide to Mr. Netanyahu said when asked about that, “True, but that is not our only interest.”
Relations between the two sides have deteriorated, and senior Israeli leaders, including Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, have publicly argued for withholding the Palestinian transfers. Mr. Netanyahu has not gone that far.
At the same time, the Israeli and Palestinian Finance Ministry panels working on the tax and customs transfers have recently made important strides together, reducing leakage and increasing revenues, both sides said.

…NO MORE MONEY FOR OUR MURDER…

Mr. Fayyad noted that since the Europeans were facing their own fiscal crises and the Arabs had not come forward with pledged donations, it made little sense to assume either would come to the rescue now. In the past two years, the authority has set up institutions as part of its ambition to be ready for statehood, and that has made fiscal reliability all the more important.
“If we can’t meet our contractual obligations, that has a chilling effect on the private sector,” Mr. Fayyad said. “This undermines confidence in the Palestinian Authority’s capacity to function, which has a debilitating effect on investor confidence. Like a family, a government can make do with less — but not a drop of two-thirds.”

Actually it is more simple then this. when Palestine unilaterally went to the U.N. to ask for statehood it broke the Oslo agreement. It isn’t the Israeli opinion. It is a legal fact. The NYTimes is lying. They have no right to ask for funding if they broke their promises.


UN Security Council deadlocked on Palestinian bid

November 8, 2011
UNITED NATIONS (AFP)(EYE) — The UN Security Council is deadlocked on whether to accept or reject Palestine as a member of the United Nations, according to a draft report of a key committee obtained Tuesday.
“The committee was unable to make a unanimous recommendation to the Security Council,” said the report by the committee on admitting new UN members, adding to the troubles faced by the Palestinian application made by president Mahmud Abbas on September 23.(More…)

it should not be as close as it is


Canada says it is cutting funding for UNESCO after cultural body admits Palestinians as member

November 1, 2011
TORONTO — Canada is joining the U.S. in cutting off funding for the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO because it approved a Palestinian bid for full membership.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Tuesday the decision is not in the best interests of peace in the Middle East, so Canada is freezing all future voluntary contributions to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Canada contributes about $10 million a year to the agency.
The United States has also announced it will pull its $60 million in funding from UNESCO, which depends heavily on American funding.
The UNESCO vote represented a fallback plan for the Palestinian leadership after its bid for U.N. recognition as a state and full membership in the global body foundered in September.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

LOLZ… hey AP, SUE ME!


Freeze would be ethnic cleansing says Boogie

October 23, 2011
The IDF’s former chief of staff who resigned over the Gaza expulsion, and who is now number 3 on the Likud’s list, has openly allied himself with Feiglin. And again Binyamin Netanyahu is not pleased about losing the loyalty of Ya’alon. 
“The demand for territory without Jews anywhere else would be called ethnic cleansing,” Ya’alon said. “We cannot accept a demand for ethnic cleansing in the land of Israel.”
Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon came out fiercely against a reported proposal for an Israeli construction moratorium in Judea and Samaria Saturday night, calling the prohibition of Jewish building “ethnic cleansing.”

Speaking to a packed audience at Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue, Ya’alon referred indirectly to a Haaretz report that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is willing to freeze all construction on government land in West Bank settlements if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas resumes direct diplomatic negotiations.

Ya’alon said that Israel was under pressure from people who incorrectly believe the cause of the Middle East conflict is the building of homes in Judea and Samaria. He denounced that theory as “a corrupt way of thinking” and explained why the true cause of Middle East instability was the Islamic fundamentalism emanating from Iran.

The vice premier expressed confidence that an International Atomic Energy Association report set to be released on November 7 would expose to any remaining skeptics in the international community the military intentions of Iran’s nuclear program. He said he hoped sanctions on Iran could then be tightened.

Ya’alon called the Arab Spring “a regional earthquake” that exposed young Muslims to Western ideals such as human rights, women’s rights, freedom of speech, and “the sanctity of life as opposed to the sanctity of death.”

But he said he was not encouraged by radical elements apparently gaining the upper hand in Egypt and Tunisia, al-Qaida infiltrating Libya and Iran attempting to export its Islamic fundamentalism throughout the Arab world.

He made a point of not explaining his vote against the Gilad Schalit deal beyond what he had said before about his heart saying yes and his head saying no.

“We should be happy about the reunification of Schalit’s family but prepared to deal with the consequences for the future as a government and a society,” he said.


Obama informs the Palestinians that he will veto their state at the UN

September 22, 2011
President Obama told ‘moderate‘ ‘Palestinian‘ President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen that the United States will use its veto against a ‘Palestinian’ effort to attain ‘statehood’ via the United Nations Security Council.

US President Barack Obama told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday that UN action would not achieve a Palestinian state and the United States would veto any Security Council move to recognize Palestinian statehood, the White House said.

“We would have to oppose any action at the UN Security Council including, if necessary, vetoing,” Ben Rhodes, the White House national security council spokesman, told reporters after Obama met Abbas in New York.

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said that a vote in the Security Council is ‘several weeks away‘ leaving plenty of time for diplomacy to avoid an American veto.

“It will probably take several weeks (before a vote takes place) and those weeks can be used to develop a strategy,” Juppe told reporters in New York. The Palestinians are preparing to present their statehood bid on Friday.

Conflicting comments made earlier by senior Palestinian officials further added to the uncertainty surrounding the PA’s UN bid. Nabil Shaath, a senior official in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party said, “We will give some time to the Security Council to consider first our full membership request before heading to the General Assembly.”

An hour later, Saeb Erekat, a senior aide to Abbas and former chief of negotiations for the Palestinian Authority denied that a delay was on the agenda, saying Abbas has no plans to agree to a delayed vote. “We will not allow any political maneuvering on this issue,” he said.

If a vote is still several weeks away, how will the ‘Palestinians’ know when to riot.

The French proposed a one-year map for ‘Palestinian statehood’ – that would work out great with Obama’s reelection schedule.

But the real miracle here is that the World is finally starting to awaken to the reality of what a ‘Palestinian state’ would engender. This is from the first link again.

According to sources in the delegation, the Americans and Europeans are beginning to understand the harsh reality of the present Middle East. Israel presented a vast amount of intelligence information pointing to al-Qaeda’s penetration in Egypt and the growth of radical Islam in the Arab country.

Diplomatic officials stated that Israel warned that Sinai could turn into a second Afghanistan. “The images from the storming of the Egyptian embassy in Cairo and Mubarak’s trial changed the Western perception of what is actually transpiring in the Middle East,” they said.

In consultations between Jerusalem and Washington, it was determined that Obama would clarify to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas the economic consequences of a unilateral declaration.

The US President will also demand of Abbas to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as soon as possible, and launch a direct dialogue.
(Israel Matzav: Palestinians routed at UN and Obama tells Abu Mazen he will use the veto)


Obama tries to make Netanyahu part of his reelection bid

September 21, 2011
(Israel Matzav) For President Obama. Wednesday’s meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly went a lot better than May’s joint press availability (pictured).

It should be clear by now that President Obama has told Prime Minister Netanyahu in no uncertain terms that he had better be nice to the President in return for American support at the United Nations. He has been told to praise Obama personally because Obama is in trouble with the American Jewish community which despite its relatively small electoral vote controls a lot of Democratic campaign contributions. And Netanyahu is playing along.


France Breaks With Obama on Palestinian Statehood Issue

September 21, 2011

(NYTimes) “Each of us knows that Palestine cannot immediately obtain full and complete recognition of the status of United Nations member state,” Sarkozy said. “But who could doubt that a veto at the Security Council risks engendering a cycle of violence in the Middle East?”

How do you know that violence is inneivitable regardless of any vote? Palestinian Authority representatives in the United Nations are handing out maps of “Palestine” that show it in place of all of Israel, including Tel Aviv
The Palestinians currently have the status of an observer “entity” in the United Nations.”Why not envisage offering Palestine the status of United Nations observer state?” said the French leader. “This would be an important step forward. Most important, it would mean emerging from a state of immobility that favors only the extremists.”

but the extremists are the ones from the Palestinian Authority handing out maps

Recognition as an observer state would not mean much here except for some procedural changes, but it would allow the Palestinians to join subsidiary bodies and treaties of the United Nations. Most Israeli concern has focused on the possibility that making the Palestinians an observer state could enhance their ability to join the International Criminal Court and pursue Israeli leaders through “lawfare.”

I had not even thought of that. Obviously the NYTimes is already planning their use of this upgrade