Sunday, February 21, 2016

UK MP says government 'funding Palestinian terror' - Ari Soffer

by Ari Soffer

In letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, Labour MP says govt giving Palestinian Authority a 'blank cheque' to continue incitement.

British Prime Minister David Cameron
British Prime Minister David Cameron
Calls are growing for the British government to review its funding of the Palestinian Authority, in light of the PA's continued incitement to violence and glorification of terrorism.

According to the Jewish Chronicle, Labour MP Joan Ryan has written directly to UK Prime Minister David Cameron, to demand his government stop giving what she described as "a blank cheque" to the Palestinian Authority.

It comes as Britain is scheduled to up its multi-million pound donations to the PA by 15% in 2016. The Department for International Development (DfID) is to transfer £72 million to Arab areas of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, including £25.5 million directly into the PA's coffers.

But Ryan, who chairs the Labour Friends of Israel caucus, said that by continuing to fund PA institutions while they engage in anti-Semitic incitement and glorification of terrorism, meant the British government was itself indirectly funding Palestinian terrorism.

While the MP stressed that she did not oppose funding the PA per sa, she insisted that such aid should be conditioned on "the immediate cessation of violence."

"I do not believe that, for so long as it incites violence against Israel’s citizens, the PA is helping to further Britain’s policy of a two-state solution. Indeed, its actions are making such an outcome far less likely," she wrote, noting how Mahmoud Abbas's administration has "named at least 25 schools as a well as dozens of sporting events and summer camps after terrorists."

It is not the first time concerns have been raised in the UK over taxpayers' money being funneled into the chronically-corrupt Palestinian Authority. But Ryan lamented that all such previous concerns had simply been shrugged off, with funding continuing to pour in. Between 2011-2015 along the UK government donated £349 million to the "Palestinian territories," some £130 million of which was given to the PA.

"I believe that we need to continue to support the PA, but this cannot be a blank cheque. We cannot continue to repeatedly raise our concerns with them about incitement, only to see them repeatedly ignored."

Responding to the opposition MP's call, Conservative Party peer Lord Hamilton told the Jewish Chronicle he would back an independent review of UK government funding to the PA, noting how Palestinian children were being taught and encouraged to kill Jews.

"If you give the PA DfID’s money… we are actually financing the radicalization of young people," Hamilton said.

"If they get to Britain, they might decide to start killing people on the streets of Britain."

Ari Soffer


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