September 29, 2015 | Quote
Tablet: Palestinian Authority Should Help Refugees By Returning Embezzled Aid Money
If Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announces at the United Nations General Assembly next week that the Oslo Accords are dead, as he is expected to do, then he should relinquish the billions of dollars of aid the PA has misappropriated and use it to help real refugees, Liel Leibovitz argued Thursday in Tablet.
Leibovitz asserted that the PA could give up these funds because it wasn’t using them for nation-building or governing, but rather to fund the lifestyles of its leaders. He pointed to a 2013 European Union audit that found that $2.64 billion in European aid had been “lost to mismanagement and corruption” between 2008 to 2012.
The PA should return those funds, Leibovitz argued, but not to the generous countries who donated the aid in the first place.
If the PA does not do so, Leibovitz wrote, “we may want to question our policy toward Palestinian aid and heed the warning of our smartest Jeremiahs, who, like Jonathan Schanzer, have long been warning that ignoring the question of Palestinian governance, or the lack thereof, is a mistake we can’t afford to repeat.”
Schanzer wrote We Really Need to Talk About Corruption, which was published in the December 2013 issue of The Tower Magazine, in which he observed that corruption has been endemic in the PA since its founding.
Read the full article here.