Euro Terror Subsidy Update(s)
The latest news on the Eurocash for terrorism story that I've been following:
Palestinian Authority Finance Minister EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner, prevailed in his bid to restore funding to Arafat and his squad of bus bombers.
"We have found no evidence of EU funds being used for any purposes other than that for which they were intended," Patten told the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee.
There have been enough credible indications of corruption and ball-hiding that if the EU "found no evidence" it is because they chose not to look very hard.
The indispensible Charles Johnson and Tal G. (who gets to live with the consequences of Patten's largesse) both have more details.
Wouldn't we all prefer that the EU stick to issues that it actually understands, such as the regulation of cheese?
Reader Jon Drane pointed me to Chris Patten's official response to the Die Zeit article. Read both the original and the response, side-by-side and very carefully. Any prudent reader should expect the Die Zeit article to have some flaws. But Patten's diplomatic denials allow one to rely on most of what was in Die Zeit. For example:
- Patten denies none of the allegations about the education system.
- Patten states that the EU funding for the PA Broadcast Authority ended five years ago. Perhaps direct line-item funding did end. I would still argue that the EU should have demanded that the PA clean up its TV broadcasts as one condition for earning EU subsidies for other activities
- Patten states that he "never received requests from Palestinian Ministers for assistance including allocations for 'weapons' and 'martyr families'".Okay, but Die Zeit never claimed that Patten received such requests. They do cite "übereinstimmenden Berichten mehrerer Zeugen", or "consistent reports of several witnesses" who described Nabil Shaath's shopping list. Who were the witnesses? We don't know. Is Die Zeit just making this up? Maybe they are, journalists make stuff up all the time. Then again, so do diplomats and terrorists. If Patten disputes the report, and dismisses the $1.9billion sum, why doesn't he publish exactly what Shaath did ask for?
In summary, the gap between Patten's precise denials and the catalog of allegations reported by Die Zeit is large enough to permit an entire ship full of weapons to drive through.
If it needs to be repeated, the main issue is not whether European money goes directly toward specific line items in Arafats budget. The main issue is that Yassir Arafat, the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" is by implication the sole legitimate representative of countless acts of terrorism, who deserves diplomatic isolation, not subsidies. But Arafat bombs and Europe pays him anyway.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at June 20, 2002 11:01 AM
Europe seems to have forgotten that Arafat is not the elected representative of the Palestinian people. He was elected to a five-year term in 1996. His term of office expired in 2001, more than one year ago. Since then he has been holding power illegally, and has refused or postponed new elections.
What is the EU's position regarding a tyrannical dictator who rules by fiat, terror, and intimidation?
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