The Mid-Atlantic Blog

February 14, 2006

The EU & Hamas

Apologies for the hiatus in posting: intermittent technical problems have been cutting me off from the outside world. It's only when you can't log on that you realise how often you do...

Anyway, a nice piece by Charles Tannock MEP looking at the role of EU funding in the Palestinian political process.

The EU knew that plunder was endemic in the PA, and chose to ignore it. But in a democracy - even one as imperfect as the Palestinian Authority - corrupt governments never last forever. Ordinary Palestinians decided they would ignore it no longer.

The fact that the EU sent $350 million every year to the PA therefore makes Brussels a party to this corruption and indirectly responsible for the situation we now find ourselves in with Hamas. Yet the reaction among senior EU politicians to Hamas's victory is one of amazement - how could it have happened, they wonder. BACK IN 2003, I and other MEPs raised this issue with the European Commission, which is responsible for distributing aid money. We called for an investigation into the wanton misappropriation of Palestinian funds. There was huge resistance from the commission, which has always been sympathetic to the Palestinians and seen itself as a counterbalance to America's support for Israel. We did get our inquiry, hamstrung though it was by a diluted mandate. The outcome was a whitewash, and we were not allowed to debate the inquiry's findings.

Worth a look.
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