EU Resumes Sending Money to PA
On Monday, the European Union agreed to transfer €4 million to the Palestinian Authority (PA). This gesture effectively shreds the agreement the EU made in January 2006 to stop sending money to the Hamas-led government until it officially recognizes the State of Israel, renounces terrorism and agrees to implement past agreements.
According to a statement by the EU, the purpose of the €4 million donation is to “help the minister of finance in ensuring that Palestinian taxpayers’ money is spent efficiently and that all expenditures are accounted for to the highest international standards.” On one level, the EU funding a program designed to improve the way the PA manages its finances may seem like an altruistic gesture.
But on a broader level, the EU’s decision to inject millions of euros into an unstable government led by one of Israel’s most notorious terrorist enemies can only be seen as a disaster. This decision tells Hamas that the EU, despite its tough talk, is unwilling to stand behind its commitments to Israel. By donating this money, the European Union recognizes and adds legitimacy to the Hamas-led government.
Now that the EU is weakening its stance against the PA, it follows that Israel too will be pressured into releasing funds to the Hamas-driven government. Arutz Sheva reported June 11:
The financial move raises the status of the PA without formal acceptance. It is also likely to result in increased pressure on Israel to release $700 million in tax revenue collected for the PA but withheld following the Hamas victory, leading to an accelerated disintegration of Western resolve to boycott the terrorist organization.
Amazingly, Israel—in spite of a history of decisions such as this one—continues to view the EU as a firm friend. In the future, it will increasingly look to Europe for support against the opposition it faces from the Islamic nations that surround it. The EU’s willingness to soften its stance against the Hamas-led PA government, however, is a telling sign of the true nature of Israel’s relations with Europe.