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August 14, 2015 10:09 am

Corrupt PA Misuses Millions as Obama Claims They’re Penniless

avatar by Benyamin Korn

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Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: World Economic Forum.

Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: World Economic Forum.

The very day that the Obama Administration went to court to claim that the Palestinian Authority doesn’t have enough money to compensate terror victims, new evidence emerged that corrupt PA leaders routinely misuse millions of dollars in foreign aid.

Earlier this year, a New York court ordered the Palestinian Authority to pay $218.5 million to victims of terrorist attacks that were carried out by PA employees, acting with the knowledge and assistance of their PA superiors. The PA is claiming it doesn’t have enough money to post a court-ordered bond while it appeals the ruling.

This week, the Obama Administration rushed to rescue the PA. The same administration that never intervenes in court to help Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism, intervened to help the perpetrators of terrorism. It claimed that the PA is essentially penniless, and warned the judge that if the PA was required to post the bond, it could lead to the “collapse” of the PA. Such a collapse could “fuel anger and frustration” among Palestinians, the administration warned; there was a thinly-disguised threat that there would be Palestinian violence if the judge did not comply.

Is the Palestinian Authority really broke, as the Obama Administration claims?

Newly-leaked document say otherwise. The Associated Press reported August 11 that the documents reveal “attempts by Palestinian officials to misuse public funds,” attempts which “highlight the corruption and mismanagement” that is “rampant in the Palestinian Authority government.”

One document is signed by Majdi al-Khaldi, a senior adviser to PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who accompanies him on his trips around the world. In the document Khaldi asks the foreign minister of the oil-rich gulf state of Bahrain to contribute $4-million “to fund a private neighborhood complex for Palestinian officials in an upscale area of Ramallah,” the AP reported. It added: “He insisted the complex was ‘meant to resist the Israeli settlements,’ even though there are no settlements where the complex was built.”

The second document is a letter from Nazmi Muhanna, general director of the PA’s Palestinian Crossing and Borders Authority. It asks the PA to pay for his daughter’s private schooling in Jordan, and other favors.

AP quoted Azmi Shoabi, a leader of the corruption watchdog group Transparency International, as acknowledging that “there are big black holes” in the PA’s financial and administrative system that “need to be addressed and reformed.” These flaws include “failing to publish financial reports properly and on time while not overseeing some 20 government-run funds headed by executives with excessive salaries.” Some PA departments have become “private kingdoms” for some officials, Shoabi said.

A remarkable article in The Tower last year shed additional light on this subject. It was written by Aaron Menenberg, who in 2010-2011 was an official of the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration, which deals with non-security matters in the portion of Judea-Samaria that Israel administers (not the areas where 98% of the Palestinians reside, which the PA governs).

Menenberg frequently interacted with Palestinian businessmen. His report described how one day he received a phone call from a farmer named Sammy Khalidi. With the assistance of the U.S. Agency for International Development, he was helping Palestinians export produce to other countries. Khalidi reported that he had received a disturbing call from the staff of then-PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, the “technocrat” and “moderate” whom the West bear-hugged.

Fayyad’s office was demanding that Khalidi switch packing houses; they wanted him to start sending his produce to one owned by the Sinokrot Global Group. Sinokrot’s facilities, however, were south of where Khalidi was situated, and he need to send his produce north in order to reach foreign markets in time. “My product will go bad before it gets to market,” Khalidi protested. “And they are more expensive.” But Fayyad’s people had no interest in what was cost-effective. And the reason was obvious to Khalidi: Sinokrot was headed by Mazen Sinokrot, who until recently was the PA’s Minister of Economy. Connections led to corruption, inefficiency, and the waste of millions of dollars.

It was one incident, but it is undoubtedly duplicated every day throughout the PA.

Broke? Penniless? Unable to post a court-ordered bond? Please, President Obama. Don’t make us laugh.

Mr. Korn, former executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent and the Miami Jewish Tribune, is chairman of the Philadelphia Religious Zionists.

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  • V.H.Bennett

    The one-sidedness of all of the above men commenting on this is sickening. To read their comments, one would think that all these years, Israel has been an innocent victim of its surrounding Moslem neighbors. Clearly their one-sidedness is predicated by their being Jews (as evidenced by their last names).
    Their implications that our president is an Arab sympathizer are completely false. He’s just the first post-WWII president not to be in the clutches of all of the American Jews, who blindly sympathize with Israel. It is the latter, who have dominated our policies there. It is they who have encouraged & fiscally supported Israel’s ceaseless, miserable warfare with its neighbors, which has cost us trillions of dollars over the past 60 + years in the Middle East.
    They don’t tell you about Israel’s brutal policies vs its Arab neighbors & towards Palestinians in Israel, or about how in the early days of the republic, Israel would launch night-time raids onto its neighbors’ lands to expand its territories, benefitting from Moslem laws forbidding believers to wage war at night. This policy alone reflects the total contempt with which Israel treats those countries sharing its borders. Let’s not forget Israel’s highly controversial “pioneering tactics in settling kibbutses in disputed territories as well.
    Clearly, Israel’s neighbors deeply resent itspolicies towards them, and their resentment passes on to us, who blindly uphold Israel on every issue.
    President Obama is a baptized Christian, and his first name is a variation on the Old Testament man’s name, “Baruch”. He was brought up as a Christian and continues into the present to practice as one.
    Interesting: a)will this comment even be published & b) will I be heaped with abuse & contempt for having the gall to publish a little known fact about Israel’s “neighborly” (NOT!) interactuons with its Moslem neighbors.
    No one else has “the balls” to say it but the Israelis have been THE main source for unrest in the Middle East.
    — And no: I am not “Anti-Semetic” Just a clear-eyed person, who has shared a little-known fact about early Israeli policies towards its neighbors.

  • Simone Miller

    How come he has not rushed in to save they Black people in this country who are in jail for traffic violations? Straighten out our problems and let the so called palestinians clean up their own lying mess.

  • Paul Winter

    You are missing the point Mr Korn; Barack Hussein just objects to Jews getting money from mohammmedans. In Western democracies, there is a separation of powers; the executive has no business in interfering in the role of the judiciary. What the Obama regime – it is not an administration which respects democratic principles – is seeking to do is to protect a foreign political body by denying justice to US citizens, clearly showing where its loyalties lie. Even if the bankrupting of the PA wasn’t a lie, it should have considered the consequences before it embarked on the criminal activity for which it was fined. Accepting State’s preposterous proposition would not only violate the separation of powers principle, but it would set a precedent for any criminal to follow.

  • Robert Davis

    obamination is not just an inveteriated LIAR who is not able to do anything else but LIE on every topic, he is the LIE IN PERSON. If lie had to be personified the face of this black moslem should be used.

  • Wm. J. Levy

    Obama is an Arab apologist and PLA lover just as he loved the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt despite their strong anti-Israel and anti-Jew agenda.

    Obama is an enemy of every Jew and Israel.

    Remember this community leftist organizer was a regular church attender of a Black Liberation church which condemned America and Israel and the Jews.

    Never forget it.

  • Blame the Liberal-dominated news media, which deliberately fails to report countless crimes committed by Arabs and Muslims, especially the Palestinians (Phoney-stinians).