100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

August 02, 2002 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-08-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Authority manipulated the dollar-to-
shekel exchange rate on donor funds
from abroad, siphoning off the difference
— some 20 percent of the funds — as a
sort of tax that could be hidden from
auditors and used at Arafat's discretion.
According to the Oslo agreements,
Israel has been the trustee of customs and
value-added tax from Palestinian purchas-
es in Israel or on goods imported to the
Palestinian Authority through Israel.
Shortly after the intifada (uprising)
began in September 2000, Israel froze
those assets on two grounds: Given
the de facto state of war, it argued, the
Palestinians might use any transferred
funds for terrorist activities. In addi-
tion, given the P.A.'s financial disorder
and duplicity, there was almost no
way of guaranteeing that the money
would go to the proper accounts.
Critics blame Israeli policies for
strangling the Palestinian economy
and, they allege, deliberately harming
the civilian population.
According to preliminary results
released last week from a study corn-
missioned by the U.S. government's
U.S. Agency for International
Development, nearly one-third of
young Palestinian children are chronical-
ly malnourished, more than four times
the rate before the intifada began 22
months ago. Palestinians blame Israeli
restrictions imposed during the intifada.
"It is time that people pay attention
to the real crisis emerging," Palestinian
official Hanan Ashrawi said. "It's a
type of collective punishment in terms
of health that will have implications
for generations."
Israel maintains that the restrictions
it has imposed — such as roadblocks,
curfews and revoking work permits —
are necessary to stop terrorists from
infiltrating into Israel, and note that
the steps have been taken in the con-
text of a war the Palestinians initiated.
And yet Sharon apparently believes
that the international community
most likely will blame Israel, and not
the Palestinian leadership, for the
Palestinians' plight.
The socioeconomic situation in the
territories has deteriorated consider-
ably in the past month, due to the
lengthy closures and curfews Israel has
imposed. Israel is concerned about the
social consequences of the economic
stalemate, which include reports of
famine among the poorer strata of
Palestinian society.
Decisions such as releasing the tax
money and allowing 12,000 Palestinian
workers to enter Israel are attempts to
alleviate the economic situation.
They also may be intended to allevi-

ate political pressures from the Labor
Party, whose members increasingly are
calling to leave the unity government,
arguing that Sharon is not exploring
potential openings toward peace.
Other Israelis, however, fear that
Sharon's decision is misguided, espe-
cially in the absence of effective over-
sight mechanisms for the money.
In a sharply worded editorial, the
Jerusalem Post noted that just several
weeks after Israel had criticized the
European Union for continuing to
fund Arafat despite the violence,
"Israel itself now joins the list of
those propping up his terrorist re-
gime with a steady cash flow."

4 .0A .-F. •

e icati()ri to
and
commitment
ommunity
make him
an ideal
'date for
and County

Aid Vs. Terror

Israel is faced with a quandary. The
danger still exists that funds forwarded
to legitimate causes, such as paying
civil servants' salaries, could free up
other money for terrorist activities or
rewards to suicide bombers' families.
Yet continuing to freeze those assets
also could prove damaging. Much of
the shattered Palestinian economy
depends on this money, which at one
point made up some 70 percent of the
monthly P.A. budget.
For example, the Palestinian
Authority needs $35 million a month
for salaries alone, according to Israeli
estimates, and $58 million, according
to the Palestinians. Much of the salary
outlay is for the P.A.'s illegally large
security services — including, as the
seized P.A. documents make clear,
payments to terrorists in the field.
Yet if Arafat can't pay his police-
men's salaries, his ability to use them
to restore law and order — assuming
he wanted to — is limited consider-
ably. Some fear the situation could
deteriorate into total chaos.
So far, popular resistance to Israel's
renewed occupation of the West Bank,
taken in response to a wave of suicide
bombings in June, has been minimal. .
However, something happened Mon-
day that makes some think the situation
is close to a general flare-up: Nablus res-
idents openly defied the Israeli curfew
and opened shops, businesses and serv-
ices. The residents did so in response to
a leaflet from Arafat's Fatah movement
urging them to ignore the curfew.
Their assumption, that the army
would avoid an open confrontation with
the Palestinian masses, proved correct.
The last thing Israel needs right now
is another international uproar after the
Gaza bombing. Israel has a strong in-
terest in relaxing the atmosphere in the
territories — if it can find a way to bal-
ance that with its war on terror. ❑

SUPPORTERS.:

rq6,0 4,4

.

1.Be

1t:

.

,

fqiark Laatin- Aaz

s

es

s

.1 ;

- I . 1 : :

DeT11 , :8

E:1;∎?.en

Ka pd, M. Namas'son

•pcn.ie:ly Esq.
C?:io'rz
Cco ,
L. Day.is Esq
rpzan

o

oan

SAVNY'ren

Ts. -.eras
Esq.

a.

0

Sa, Esq.

HIGHEST RATING conferred in his category by the Oakland County Bar
Association in 2000 and 2002 (Public Advisory Committee on Judicial
Candidates)
Birmingham/Bloomfield Democratic Club
Greater Detroit Building and Construction Trades Council
Eleventh (11th) Congressional District Democratic Committee
Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO
Michigan Federation of Teachers & School Related Personnel
(American Federation of Teachers and AFL-CIO)
National Organization For Women (NOW)
Paid tbr by the Committee to Meet „latms M. O'Reilly
29350 Southfield Road, Suite 115, Southfield, Michigan 48076
Oakland County Democratic Committee
David Hinman. Measurer • www.oreilly4judge.com
The Ballot Box — 2002
Southfield/Lathrup Village Democratic Club
UAW Region I

4T.i‘

8/ 2

2002

.17

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan