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      Fundamentally Freund
      by Michael Freund
      An alternative approach to Israeli political commentary.
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      Michael Freund is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister´s Office under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He has lived in Israel for the past decade.
      Adar 24, 5767, 3/14/2007

      Palestinian Finance Minister Admits Aid Money is Stolen

      It is time for Israel and the West to stop propping up a corrupt Palestinian regime
      If you read just one article this week about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, make sure it is the one that appeared the other day in the UK Sunday Telegraph.

      Headlined "Palestinian minister admits aid millions lost", the article contains some astonishingly earnest admissions from the new Palestinian Finance Minister, Salam Fayyad, who admits that hundreds of millions of dollars of foreign aid has been siphoned off thanks to corruption and malfeasance.

      After noting that some $700 million of aid has been sent to the Palestinian Authority (PA) since January of last year, the article states:

      "Now, Palestinian Authority spending is out of control, salaries are being paid to workers who never turn up, and nobody can track where the money is going, according to Mr. Fayyad.
      There was no way to be certain that aid was being used as intended, he admitted. "Please write this: no one can give donors that assurance. Why? Because the system is in a state of total disrepair."
      Mr. Fayyad said incoming funds have been widely dispersed with no central authority to monitor them. Some have gone to people who do not appear on the Palestinian budget ledger. "Where is the control?" asked Mr. Fayyad. "It's gone. Where is all the transparency? It's gone."

      This only confirms, of course, what many of us have been saying for some time now: that sending aid to the Palestinian Authority is a recipe for disaster. Instead of benefiting those it is intended to help, much of the money, as Mr. Fayyad pretty much admits, ends up lining the pockets of corrupt Palestinian officials.

      Just another reason for Israel and the West to stop aiding the PA now. There is no reason to continue propping up the corrupt Palestinian regime.