Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Palestine: Politics of funds  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 06/11/2012

No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


 


(MENAFN - Arab News) N Malaysia, a small group of community activists are busy at work developing projects that benefit most vulnerable members of Palestinian society in Gaza.

Working under the umbrella of Viva Palestina Malaysia (VPM), the group shows solidarity through empowerment projects: Interest free loans for micro projects, providing employment for women, supplying thousands of solar lamps aimed at ending the persistent darkness for many families, and more.

The overall value of the combined efforts of VPM is important, because it is long lasting. But equally important, the channeled funds are not part of a political scheme nor are aimed to exact concession. This can hardly be said of much of the relationship between Palestinian leadership and society, and outside funds, which began pouring it, with a clear political manual that has been dutifully followed by those who provide the funds and those who receive them.

That relationship was once more a subject of scurrility and discussion following the recent visit by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, emir of Qatar to Gaza, which has been under an Israeli siege soon following Hamas' victory in the general elections in 2006. The siege became complete in 2007, when Hamas clashed with its rival Fatah, perceived by Israel and the US as "moderate."

Al Jazeera said the emir's arrival to Gaza was to "to inaugurate a Qatari investment project worth hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild the impoverished and overcrowded coastal enclave." Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh interpreted the visit at a grander scale: "The visit of the emir announces officially the breaching of the political and economical siege imposed on Gaza for more than five years."

Analysts, depending on their political leanings, however, spoke of entirely different mechanism that compelled Qatar's generosity. Those sympathetic to Fatah warned that empowering Hamas in the Gaza enclave to act as a state will further deepen the national divide. Others spoke more candidly of a Qatari reward to Hamas for leaving Syria at the height of the regional power play ignited by the so-called Arab Spring.

Judging by the largely measured or reserved response from Israel, the US and other countries that would have made it impossible for the emir to visit Gaza in the first place, Syria might have been the keyword behind the seemingly selfless effort.

But in any case, there are hardly any inconsistencies between this episode and a history rife of the political manipulation of funds. It is an intrinsic relationship that goes even earlier than the signing of the Oslo Accords in September 1993. Oslo, however, officiated and cemented that relationship in many respects. Merely two weeks after the signing of the Declaration of Principles (DoP) issues of international aid became a core subject involving mostly Western donor countries, Arab countries and others. Although the political dominion of Oslo is all but dead, international aid continues to flow.
The rise and decline in funds are often affiliated with the Palestinian Authority (PA) report card, as in its ability to sustain a political charade and serve as Israel's "partner" despite the fact that Israel has completely altered the physical reality upon which Oslo was predicated.

Despite appearances, Mahmoud Abbas' PA is much less immune to political arm-twisting as a result of its nearly two-decade entanglement of the international aid cartel, than Hamas. The latter, hardly immune itself is barely learning the ropes. They too will eventually learn that there is no such thing as free money, especially when those offering their services are very much at the heart of the political struggle for the future of the Middle East.

The link between political statements and action, and money is obvious for all to see. What may appear as political concessions can often be attributed to some frozen or funds waiting to be delivered. It is transaction-based politics at its best.

While the PA's budget deficit stands at 1.3 billion, old friends are barely in a hurry to offset the financial crisis. The US is yet to free 200 million it pledged for the year 2012. The decision has everything to do with the PA's attempt last year to obtain a UN membership for Palestine. Israel on the other hand, agreed to an early transfer of 78 million of tax revenues it collects on behalf of the PA fearing that a collapse of the PA institutions could prove too costly for Israel as well.

With the conspicuous retreat of international donors, and the measured Israeli moves, Israel is now earning a greater stake in the PA political investment in the West Bank. Israel is notorious for manipulating the weaknesses of the PA whenever the opportunity arises, as it surly will.
The financial entanglement of the Palestinians to obtain political goals is not confined to such obvious examples. In fact that political/financial barter is a major component that defines the relationship between Palestinian leaderships and factions and their supporters.

It is the same paradigm that turned thousands of NGOs in Palestine into disconnected entities, less concerned with uniting behind a national liberation program, and more concerned with maintaining attractive portfolios that make their services more marketable among potential donors, mostly affiliated with the donors' countries that have long leased the Palestinian political will in the first place.

It is difficult to say what it will take to free the Palestinian leadership and society from these impossible entanglements. But it goes without saying that those who rent their sovereignty to the highest bidder have no business speaking of national liberation, popular resistance and all the right sounding, but empty slogans.

- Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of PalestineChronicle.com.

 






  MENA News Headlines
Apr 24 2014Kuwait inflation edges up 2.96% y/y in March ,Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Wait city april 23 (kuna): kuwait's annual record of the general index of consumer prices (inflation) rose in march by 2.96 percent compared with the same month of last year ...

Apr 24 2014DPG launches Masat to oversee portfolio ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Dubai properties group (dpg) has announced the establishment of masat a new dedicated portfolio management company responsible for overseeing and managing dpg?s built to ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Shapoorji Pallonji enters final stage on Bloom Central ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Leading regional and international construction company shapoorji pallonji has entered the final stage of construction of bloom central project a 25-storey mixed-use ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Huge turnout recorded at Gitex Shopper's first day ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Buyers seek deals on newly launched smartphones the first day of gitex shopper spring edition recorded strong turnout despite the fact that it was a working day and ...

Apr 24 2014Landmark day for Dubai as bourse hits 5100 mark ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Bourse hits 5100 mark; dhcog to prepay $555m; govt raises $750m from sukuk it was a landmark day for dubai on wednesday as the emirate made significant progress on ...

Apr 24 2014Kuwait's consumer price rises by 2.96 percent in March ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Kuwait's annual record of the general index of consumer prices (inflation) rose in March by 2.96 percent compared with the same month of last year, the Central ...

Apr 24 2014Heads of aid agencies urge int'l community to find the courage, will Syrians have plenty of ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Heads of five UN Aid Agencies on Wednesday urged the international community to find the courage and will the Syrian people have to cope with and survive over ...

Apr 24 2014US says any Palestinian gov't must "unambiguously" commit to nonviolence, existence of Israel ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The US stressed here Wednesday that any Palestinian government must "unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the state of Israel, and ...

Apr 24 2014Arab League hails Palestinian party reconciliation pact ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Arab League chief Nabil Al-Araby has commended the agreement for a national unity government formation reached between the once rival main Palestinian parties, ...

Apr 24 2014UN Chief: All Parties in Syria Blocking Aid ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) w York April 24 - The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has accused all parties in Syria's civil war of "flagrant violations" of international law over the delivery of ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Investcorp continues expansion ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Investcorp a global provider and manager of alternative investment products announced that it has opened a new representative office in abu dhabi. the office is situated ...

Apr 24 2014Tim Hortons opens at Dubai Chamber ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Tim hortons recently celebrated the opening of its newest cafe and bake shop restaurant at the dubai chamber of commerce and industry by the dubai creek. hamad buamim ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Al Maabar hands over 60% units at Moroccan project ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Abu dhabi-based real estate developer al maabar said that 60 per cent of the residential units of phase one at its moroccan bab al bahr project have been delivered to its ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Dh8 billion Emaar bonanza for its shareholders ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) This includes 15 per cent cash dividend ? equivalent to about dh975 million ? and 10 per cent bonus shares or 650 million shares valued at about dh7. in a step certain ...

Apr 24 2014UAE ranks second in government ICT use index ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The report covering 148 countries this year ranks countries in terms of leveraging information and communications technologies to boost national competitiveness. the uae ...

Apr 24 2014Dubai Investments raises foreign ownership cap to 35% ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Dubai investments (di) the largest investment company listed on the dubai financial market (dfm) has raised the foreign ownership limit in the company from the existing 20 ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- UPC issues guidelines on underground utilities installations ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Abu dhabi has come up with new guidelines for the installation of underground utilities which will also help in cutting costs. the new guidelines would benefit ...

Apr 24 2014Abu Dhabi investment zones home prices jump 20% in Q1 ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) 2100 residential units were delivered to the market: adib report homes prices in abu dhabi’s investment zones rose up to 20 per cent in the first quarter of ...

Apr 24 2014How well do you know Macklemore & Ryan Lewis? ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) One of 2013?s most successful acts worldwide hip-hop pair macklemore & ryan lewis are back with a bang for their abu dhabi concert on friday ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Banks asked to submit customers' credit data ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Al etihad credit bureau has asked the banking and financial institutions to submit their customers? credit data for the past two years. the bureau’s board of ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country
Marketwatch News
UPI News
Comtex News

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help