Thursday, March 31, 2016

UK's foreign aid office must come clean!

Is it time yet for UK's foreign aid office to come clean on their part in funding Palestinian Arab terror?

By Arnold Roth 28-Mar-16:
For the full article go to:

A couple of years back, we wrote ["9-Sep-13: Snouts and troughs"] that there has been an active EU cover-up since 2003 to conceal the hideous things done with European foreign aid funds delivered to the Arafat- and Abbas-controlled PLO/PA regimes in Ramallah.

During the years since then, torrents of European funding, billions of Euros, were channeled to the terrorism-addicted Palestinian Authority. Throughout that time, the Eurocrats managed to avoid carrying out even a single financial audit until the one whose results were published in December 2013 [full text here]. 

The astounding policy of hands-off "see no evil", mismanagement happened while the EU "provides 20% of the direct financial support for the PA", making it "the biggest multilateral donor to the Occupied Palestinian Territories".

So what did that audit find?
1.     EU aid to the Palestinian Authority worth billions of euros needs an "overhaul" and major changes in some areas, the bloc's Court of Auditors said... If the circumstances are difficult, there are still "a number of aspects of the current approach in need of an overhaul," said Hans Gustaf Wessberg, who wrote the report for the court. "There is a need for major revisions such as encouraging the PA to undertake more reforms"... [EUbusiness, December 12, 2013]
2.     "The EU should stop paying the salaries of thousands of Palestinian civil servants in the Gaza Strip who are not going to work... They called for a major review, saying money spent on civil servants there should go to the West Bank instead." BBC, December 11, 2013.
3.     "It is difficult to ensure that EU money is not misused or does not become a drip-feed, it said... The PA is not undertaking all the reforms that the EU would like. At every turn there are political causes and factors. The audit is therefore a political minefield." [European Voice, December 12, 2013]
But there's more. 

In the wake of the audit, the chairman of the European Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control - a man who, given his official role, probably thinks about things like financial controls and honesty and checks and balances more than most of us and certainly has more information than we do - wrote that the EU's auditors found "major dysfunctions" in the way the Palestinian Authority were getting and spending their foreign aid Euros. 

In that important, but little noticed, article in the Wall Street Journal, he urged the EC to impose benchmarks and conditions on the Palestinian Authority as a condition for getting more EU gift money:
These should include improving the state of human rights in the West Bank, cracking down on corruption and cutting off subsidies to convicted Palestinian terrorists. In these hard times, Brussels shouldn't tolerate blatant misuse of EU taxpayers' money. [WSJ, April 9, 2014]

We will also mention that a Times of London journalist who saw the pre-publication version of the audit report wrote in an October 2013 article ["£1.95bn EU aid lost in Palestine", Sunday Times, October 13, 2013] that went further. Having seen the pre-publication version of the report, he concluded that "Billions of euros in European aid to the Palestinians may have been misspent, squandered or lost to corruption, according to a damning report by the European Court of Auditors..." Our uncorroborated sense is that the report went through a sanitization process after his article appeared and before the public saw it.
The UK aid logo is used widely in the countries where we work, on items such as health clinics, school books and emergency food supplies, to publicly acknowledge development programmes funded by the UK taxpayer.
Can anyone hear even a faint echo of any of this in today's defensive arguments put up by the UKaid/DfID people in the wake of the Mail on Sunday revelations this past weekend? [Refer to "27-Mar-16: The PA's "Rewards for Terror" scheme and the lies that keep the pounds flowing in" and "27-Mar-16: In UK, facing up to UKaid's scandalous ongoing financing of Palestinian Arab jihad".]

For a taste of those UK official denials, see "Government denies foreign aid 'paid to Palestinian terrorists'" [AOL UK News, March 27, 2016]

Whatever the 2013 EU audit report says (and it strikingly side-steps any attempt to tackle the profoundly embarrassing matter of PA financial rewards for convicted terrorists), and taking into account what the UKaid people are now saying, two major points at least should be clear: 
1.     It's outrageous that no professional effort had been made to check what was being done by the Palestinians in the previous 13 years. The 2013 audit leaves no doubt that money is misapplied, and it's far from under European control.
2.     The Europeans and the Brits can say what they like about everything being checked and no possible room for malfeasance. But that's not what the PA says to its own people. The message from the Abbas insiders for internal consumption is that, as bankrupt as their regime is, there will always be money for those "heroic" Palestinian Arab convicted slaughterers of children and of Holocaust survivors. Review some of the evidence here: “20-May-11: Rewarding the Palestinian Arab terrorists: is this being done in your name?”; “28-Jul-11: Taxpayer-funded salaries to convicted Palestinian Arab terrorists. What a good idea”; and “4-Sep-12: Where's the shame? How much of your tax dollars went to fund the pension of our child's murderer? More than you probably thought”.
The mandarins of Whitehall will get away with murder again (we're not being metaphorical) only if we - which really means British taxpayers and the British media - let them. Perhaps now is the time to stop the lethal foolishness. 

We noted a while back ["13-Oct-13: Massive scandal in Palestinian Arab financial affairs? No!"] that there was one aspect of the European/UK saga of PA-centred corruption and dishonesty that was truly beyond our comprehension. It still is, and it's this: how can the members of the news media who cover the EU and the Middle East conflict have allowed this decade-plus financial scandal (one that everyone knows about and that few will discuss in public) to get so little media coverage? How much of the conspiracy of silence is based on intimidation?

Perhaps we're finally going to find. Or perhaps not.

Video of the week - PA's children's TV teaches terrorism;


Monday, March 28, 2016


Revealed, how UK aid funds TERRORISTS: After yet more budget cuts, another £12bn of your taxes are being splurged on foreign hand-outs for militants, killers, Palestinian palaces and jobs that don't exist
  • Mail On Sunday investigation shows that UK money has funded terrorists
  • £72million was given to Palestine, which spent £8million on a new palace
  • £5.9million was given to a US-based think-tank which has a £12million HQ
  • You can sign the MoS petition to force a Commons debate on spending 
For the full article go to:

The scandal of how Britain fritters away billions in foreign aid – including paying salaries to convicted terrorists who have murdered hundreds of innocent people – is exposed today by a major MoS investigation.

The shocking revelation that thousands of Palestinian terrorists, including men who have masterminded suicide bombings and murdered children, are given cash handouts from aid money will cause anger and disbelief, particularly in the wake of the Brussels massacres.

Our probe exposed how huge amounts of taxpayers’ cash, that critics say should be spent in Britain, is being ‘squandered’ on wasteful schemes elsewhere by the Department For International Development (DFID) and Foreign Office.

Despite claims of astonishing waste, the Government maintains a dogged adherence to the commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of the nation’s income on foreign aid – the highest proportion of any of the world’s major economies – even though last year it had to borrow £70 billion.

In a two-month global investigation we have also exposed how:
  • As Europe and Britain’s migrant crisis has spiralled out of control, a BBC Somali radio drama funded by the British taxpayer heard characters trading tips on how to become an illegal immigrant into Europe
  • More than £5 million of UK money went to a US think-tank that spent £12 million on a new HQ in Washington
  • Officials from pariah state North Korea were flown to Britain for English lessons.
  • Music teachers were sent around the world to teach children in 17 countries songs such as Scarborough Fair
Today The Mail on Sunday launches a major campaign to end the aid madness, along with an online petition on the Downing Street website aimed at securing a Commons debate on the 0.7 per cent pledge.

Tory MP for Shipley, Philip Davies, said he hoped the MoS petition would ‘knock some sense into the Government’.

He said: ‘At a time when we are making cutbacks at home it is completely unjustifiable to keep increasing year on year the amount we are spending on overseas aid.

 ‘We can’t look after everybody in the whole world when we are struggling to look after some people in our own country.’

We dug beneath the headline figures on DFID’s websites to reveal waste and misguided largesse which seemed to extend to virtually every corner of the globe and which will shock readers. In the West Bank and Gaza, despite promises by the ruling Palestinian Authority (PA) to end the practice of paying aid money to convicted terrorists, our investigation revealed that they had simply duped the West by allowing the Palestine Liberation Organisation to hand out the cash instead.

Britain gives £72 million a year to Palestine, more than one-third of which goes straight to the PA. It openly admits supporting terrorists whom it hails as heroes for fighting illegal occupation, awarding lifetime payments that rise depending on time spent in jail and the seriousness of crimes.

One Hamas master bomber has reportedly been given more than £100,000. Other ‘salaries’ go to the families of suicide bombers and even teenagers involved in the latest upsurge of deadly attacks on Israel.

DFID and the European Union are still effectively supporting these payments to thousands of terrorists – despite claims to have ended such links two years ago. This was confirmed to the MoS by former prisoners and families receiving the cash, and in official statements by the PA.

Last night a Government spokesman said: ‘UK aid is spent where it is most needed and is subject to rigorous internal and external checks and scrutiny at all stages.

Video of the week: Beer Sheva - From a biblical town to a modern city -


Wednesday, March 23, 2016


OPINION: There’s only one country in the Middle East that could produce a soldier like me

March 3, 2016
For the full article go to:

Major Alaa Waheeb, highest ranked Muslim officer in the Israel Defence Forces

 By Major Alaa Waheeb

In the last few weeks, students across the UK have been involved in Israeli Apartheid Week.  Some have supported it. Others have opposed it. Invited by the ZF UK, last week I was able to attend campuses up and down the country specifically to address and counter some of the claims involved.

These fall into roughly three categories. First, that Israel is an inherently racist, and therefore unacceptable country, comparable to Apartheid South Africa. Second, that its army defends this racist status with acts of illegal and immoral violence. And third, that the only solution to this problem is through the isolation tactics of boycotts.

Like many I met during my visit, I oppose these views. But perhaps more than most people on either side of the debate, I am better placed to argue against them. Because I am an Israeli, an Arab, and the highest ranked Muslim in the IDF.

Is Israel inherently racist, an apartheid state? Well, do you think that such a country would tolerate a person like myself getting to the position I am today? Forget for a second (BDS supporters would like you to forget permanently!) that 20 percent of Israelis are non-Jewish, have full rights, and are represented throughout society. It’s one thing, after all, to have Arab politicians, Christian voters, and Muslim doctors – although we do have them, and quite a few at that.

But a non-Jewish army Major? Someone who has not only fought alongside Jewish soldiers, but now trains them too? Would a truly racist state allow me to play such an integral role in our nation’s defences?

And while we’re on the subject of those defences, let me tackle accusation two: that the Israel army is a particularly immoral one. I am not particularly religious, but as the Holy Quran says, “if anyone killed a person, it would be as if he killed the whole of mankind; and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole of mankind.”

I do not serve in the army to kill people – I serve in it to save people. When Hamas fires rockets, or Fatah encourages stabbings, we are here to protect the lives of all Israeli citizens, Jewish and non-Jewish.

And so on to the last point – that the best way to resolve violence and conflict is through the kind of tactics advocated by the Boycotts movement. Namely, isolation and intimidation. For me, this is the most important issue, and the one which makes me shake my head with anger and sadness the most.

Like I said, I visited the UK to combat Israeli Apartheid Week, to challenge the lies and mistruths hurled at the country I am proud to call home. But what hurts me the most is not how unbelievable they are. The opposite, in fact. They are all too believable, and I should know – because I once believed them too.

The reality is that the town I grew up in did not recognise the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state. While Arabic is an official language, I did not learn Hebrew until I was 17. I was raised to believe the worst things about Jews, and, had I not eventually met and worked alongside them, I might still believe those things today.

In my role as a soldier, I have met all kinds of people both in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Jews, Arabs, Religious, Secular, Left-wing and Right-wing. I have met Israelis who were prejudiced against me. But I have also met Palestinians who appreciate the work that I do to maintain some sort of peace and stability in the most dangerous part of the world.

Forget slogans and shouting. Peace – real peace – will only come when people talk to each other. Not necessarily agree – just agree to listen. But the irony of Israeli Apartheid Week is that it wants individuals to focus on differences, not similarities. Instead of building bridges between communities, it wants to build walls.

During my time in the UK, I spoke alongside a fellow soldier, a medic who has treated both Israeli soldiers and Palestinian terrorists without distinction. We were the Muslim who protects Jewish lives, and the Jew who saves Muslim lives. There’s only one country in the Middle East that could produce a couple like that – and it sure as hell isn’t an apartheid state.

If you want to know more about Major Alaa Waheeb goto:
Video of the week: Israel leads Middle East in water use  


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Illegal Building by EU on West Bank

EXCLUSIVE: Outrage as EU claims diplomatic immunity after using OUR aid money to 'meddle in the Middle East' by building on disputed West Bank land 

The full article, for essential reading, go to:  
  • The EU has built more than 1,000 buildings on the West Bank without planning permission, as well as roads and other infrastructure 
  • They are at 40 locations in Area C, which was placed under Israeli jurisdiction by international law 
  • The buildings are given to Palestinians and paid for using aid money from European countries, including Britain
  • Regavim, an Israeli NGO, launched legal action against the EU
  • But the EU is claiming diplomatic immunity to avoid being taken to court, MailOnline has learnt 
  • MPs have expressed their fury, branding the EU's actions 'dodgy'
  • An EU spokesperson said its actions were illegal because they were 'humanitarian' 
The EU is claiming diplomatic immunity after using taxpayers' money to build unauthorised settlements and roads on Israeli parts of the West Bank, MailOnline can reveal.

An Israeli NGO launched legal action after photographing EU flags flying above buildings on land placed under Israeli jurisdiction by the Oslo Accords, to which the EU is a signatory. EU bureaucrats are avoiding court by citing diplomatic rules.

The buildings, which are given to Palestinians, are intended to 'pave the way' for more land to be brought under Palestinian control, according to official EU papers. Many are bulldozed by Israel only for the EU to repeatedly rebuild them, generating more costs for the taxpayer.

Leaked documents obtained by MailOnline show that the EU – which receives £350million per week from Britain – is using diplomatic rules to place officials above the law, foiling attempts to hold bureaucrats accountable.

A map of the West Bank produced by Regavim, an Israeli group, shows the
 EU-funded Palestinian settlements represented by stars. The yellow part is Area C, which was placed under Israeli control during the Oslo Accords. The pink and red parts are Areas A and B, which are Palestinian

Outrage: This Palestinian settlement in the Adumim area is covered in EU flags and also has mocking, anti-Semitic graffiti daubed on the buildings by residents

Video of the week: Dennis Prager’s blistering reality check -


Wednesday, March 9, 2016


 Reprinted by courtesy of the Jerusalem Post

Narrowing the socio-economic gap among soldiers improves morale.

Eighteen-year-old Esther is the sixth daughter in an Ethiopian family that arrived in 2002 and settled in the South. Neither of her parents work, and as a result, the family lives in abject poverty.

Due to the complexity of life in her socio-economically challenged and violent neighborhood, Esther was removed from her home as a young child and spent time in a number of homes and institutions. Two years ago, she returned home. With tremendous tenacity, and boundless energy, she managed to pass her matriculation exams and is now preparing for military service.

Recently, Esther packed a bag of clothing and left home with no intention of returning. Israeli welfare services had found her a place to live up until a month ago, when she achieved lone soldier status. For the duration of her military service, she will live at a soldiers’ home in Beersheba, but she has had a hard time finding work.

“Esther lacks even basic items people need to live – underwear, hygiene products, shirts,” her social worker told the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

“And neither does she have all the equipment she’ll need for the army. She’ll receive only the bare minimum at the IDF induction center. She needs undershirts and flip-flops for the showers. I need to find a way to get her all the things she needs for the army so that she’ll be able to function properly.”

The next day, Esther met the IDF social worker in charge of making sure her requirements are met, and received a voucher for NIS 350 to buy the things she’ll need in the army. From now on, Esther is one among many soldiers who have been adopted by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

In 2015, the IFCJ established itself as an important factor in the IDF’s decision- making process. According to the 2016 defense budget, NIS 400 million will be allocated to the IDF Individual Services Department, and outside organizations will be responsible for another NIS 50m. But not all of these funds are earmarked for fighting poverty, and this is where the IFCJ comes in.

In 2016, with the expansion of its programs, the IFCJ will allocate NIS 5.4m. to Individual Services for members of the IDF and another NIS 3m. for lone soldier apartments. In addition, the organization will continue to provide assistance to needy families and lone soldiers by donating kitchen appliances and grants to cover electric and water bills.

Over the past two years, the IDF has shifted its strategy, allowing the IFCJ, run by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, to function as the main body for assisting needy soldiers – and lone soldiers – during their compulsory service, says Lenore Elkayam, director of strategic plans at IFCJ.

“Our guidelines for offering material assistance to soldiers are professional, and maintaining the dignity of the recipient is of utmost importance to us,” Elkayam explains.

“We want the soldiers to hold their heads high, to believe in their own worth, and to know that they are trusted members of the IDF. Many soldiers worry that their status will be tarnished if they talk about their families’ financial problems, and that divulging this information could be detrimental to their status as soldiers. All IDF soldiers need to know that they can trust their commanders, and that we can help them solve their problems,” she says.

Lt.-Col. (res.) Dana Nof, an IDF military defense attorney who has represented hundreds of defectors in military courts, says that, “It’s not so uncommon that soldiers feel torn between their commitment to help support their families and to carry out their obligation to their unit. Their needs vary from case to case.”

In her experience that “the socio-economic status of soldiers’ families directly impacts on a soldier’s ability and motivation to serve in the army.”

The IFCJ offers grocery store vouchers, available through commanders ranked lieutenant-colonel and above.

This is in addition to an existing program in which battalion commanders have a budget of NIS 60,000 to distribute to needy soldiers for shoes, food or personal items.

Another IFCJ program is Friendship Vouchers, which are distributed on basic training bases. The IFCJ gives each base NIS 50,000 to distribute to needy soldiers so they can purchase hygiene products, underwear and basic items.

At recruitment centers, soldiers can also receive NIS 350 vouchers for the Ricochet chain of stores so they can buy the necessary equipment before they are inducted.

THERE’S ALSO the Friendship Cruiser, which goes to bases in outlying areas.

The Cruiser brings snacks for soldiers, shows movies, offers Internet access from their laptops, and mobile charging stations for cell phones.

“We like to treat the soldiers, offer them a hug and give them a boost of energy that will help them complete their service,” Elkayam says.

“This program helps create a feeling of equality, which is an extremely important component of a successful team, and helps the soldiers fulfill their missions in a positive spirit.”

The IFCJ helps fill in the economic gaps between soldiers who grew up in underprivileged neighborhoods and other young people who grew up very differently. It has invested more than NIS 1m. that IDF social workers dig into to help soldiers buy basic supplies they need to feel comfortable, such as shampoo and socks.

“We’ve developed a great relationship with the IDF Manpower Directorate and with the Soldiers’ Welfare Association.

Together, we’ve created a program that optimizes everyone’s strengths. We’ve identified new needs and found solutions for them,” Elkayam says.

Recent protests seeking to raise soldiers’ stipends have made headlines, and since January, conscripts have begun receiving a 50 percent increase in their monthly stipend.

Combat soldiers now receive NIS 1,616; combat support soldiers receive NIS 1,176, and soldiers serving in non-combat units receive NIS 810.

There has been a 130% increase in family grants to conscripts carrying out their compulsory service. However, according to forecasts, the number of soldiers coming from needy families is expected to increase.

Data from the IDF Manpower Directorate show that one in every five soldiers is poor. In addition, there are 6,260 lone soldiers, 3,000 of whom are eligible for family grants. Twenty thousand soldiers have received permission from their commanders to work during the hours they are not serving in a military framework. Due to these numbers, the conditions for receiving work permits have been made more flexible over the past two years, and soldiers can now get permission from their immediate commanders.

Video of the week: Jewish and Arab Doctors cooperate;


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

"BIG" - Looking for advice and participation.

Dear BIG Subscriber,

This week’s letter has a different format as we need your advice and participation.

The BIG committee recently held a meeting to discuss how we can improve our efforts to promote Israel’s good image and give our subscribers the information that they need.  To do this, we need your help.

We would like to see our subscribers respond to biased and inaccurate reporting in news bulletins and newspapers, particularly the local editions, both in articles and the letters pages. Further there is a trend in professional journals to publish anti – Israel articles and there is a need to challenge them. We are available to provide information if required.

We are also asking you to let us know what kind of news and facts about Israel are most important and useful to you in your hasbara work and for general interest.  This information will also help us in keeping the BIG website updated with relevant information. Suggested categories are:

1.      Israeli medical and scientific discoveries.
2.      Israeli hi-tech start-up companies & general business news.
3.      Agriculture and water in Israel.
4.      Energy issues, solar, gas and oil.
5.      Nature and wildlife in Israel.
6.      Tourism.
7.      News stories that may never reach the media.
8.      News about events in the Middle East that effect Israel.
9.      Other
We are also looking for a volunteer, who is able to help us in raising and maintaining the standard of our website and willing to join us in our task of ensuring that BIG is able to publicise, worldwide, the many wonderful and positive aspects of Israel and that BDS does not gain ground  by default.  You can be located anywhere in the world.  If you are interested in this important task please contact us at with a few details about yourself.

Best wishes,

The "BIG" Committee

Video of the weekDigging the past in the City of David -