Keren Malki, the Malki Foundation, a non-political, non-sectarian, not-for-profit organization, honors the tragically short life of a girl dedicated to bringing happiness and support into the lives of special-needs children

This site, and the work of Keren Malki (the Malki Foundation), are dedicated to the memory of

Malka Chana Roth Z"L 1985-2001

The Wall Street Journal

Published in the Wall Street Journal Europe 26-Sep-03

Blood, Money and Education

By Arnold Roth / The Wall Street Journal Europe via Dow Jones

JERUSALEM -- The European Commission is abuzz with financial scandals involving significant sums and the EU's statistical agency. They pale, however, compared with the consequences and scale of EU mismanagement in an area that affects my family and me.

Thumbnail of Wall Street Journal op ed article. Click to see full image.Last December, I traveled to Brussels as a member of a small contingent of Israelis. Each of us had experienced the loss of a family member by terrorism in the past two years. My daughter, Malka Chana, 15, was killed by a Hamas terrorist cell. She was a high school student, a talented musician, a volunteer passionately dedicated to the care of disabled children. When her murderer exploded himself in a Jerusalem restaurant in August 2001, he massacred 15 innocent civilians, mainly children and teenagers. Hundreds were injured.

Chris Patten, the EU's Commissioner for External Relations, plays a central role in the provision of EU financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. I intended to ask him in that visit whether he was aware of evidence that EU money, channeled through his office to the PA and so necessary to improving Palestinian lives, was being diverted to fund terrorism. Did he believe a just peace could be achieved when teachers paid from EU grants to UNRWA (U.N. Relief and Works Agency) teach Palestinian children that Israel has no right to exist and that their martyrdom is a glorious part of the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Middle East?

Unlike the other senior EU figures we approached, Mr. Patten declined to meet us. We met his deputy instead. I referred him to evidence uncovered by Israeli forces in 2002 showing that the PA's top managers skim money off the payroll and that secret bank accounts are a routine part of corruption in the PA. My concerns were misplaced, he said, since all payments made via Mr. Patten's office to the PA are closely supervised by the International Monetary Fund. Immediately after our meeting, I checked the record and learned that some months before, the IMF had published a report denying this. The IMF report confirmed budgetary abuse by the PA.

Earlier this month, my family and I again lost friends to terrorism. One of the victims of another massacre in a Jerusalem cafe was an emergency room doctor, David Appelbaum, who had dedicated his life to caring for terror victims -- Jews and Arabs alike. His daughter, killed with him, was to be married the next evening. Their tragic murders led me to reflect again on what it would take to stop the hate-filled education of Palestinian children that turns them into walking grenades.

Checking the EU's Web site, I found a Dutch MEP had just asked some questions to Mr. Patten on this theme. Mr. Patten's written answer said that the Commission "has no evidence of Community funding to the Palestinian Authority being misused for anything other than its agreed purpose. Should such evidence come to light, immediate action would be taken."

This was strikingly similar to his response to charges about the misuse of EU money by the PA. The refrain was repeated after Human Rights Watch's report into Palestinian terrorism noted that "The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades appear to have benefited from the routine misuse of PA funds."

Some 55% of all Palestinian Arabs are under the age of 20. Addressing their needs is critical to the building of bridges of peace between our two peoples. Around 3.5 billion euros in the form of EU aid reached the Palestinian leadership between 1994 and 2001. Wherever it went, it has failed to benefit their education or bring peace. The hateful messages that permeate their education, including EU-funded textbooks, guarantee another generation incapable of reconciling itself to peace with Israelis. In fact, there is internal Palestinian correspondence verifying that Hamas has taken control of the Palestinian Ministry of Education, ensuring the children continue to be taught to admire and emulate suicide bombers.

Mr. Patten promised immediate action when concrete evidence comes to light. I have now written to him, pointing to two specific sources.

First, the San Francisco Chronicle, in an interview last week with Mahmoud Abbas, the PA prime minister who just resigned, quotes him as confirming what Israeli documents proved 18 months ago: that the PA's top managers skim money off the payroll and that secret bank accounts are routine.

The story quoted Mr. Abbas as saying that Arafat blocked financial reforms because they threatened illegal slush funds Arafat was using to pay for the intifada. PA officials' salaries are paid by the EU, "but Arafat or his cronies were skimming off up to 15% in income taxes and using it for their own causes," said the story.

It then quoted Mr. Abbas as saying "Personally, I don't know where those funds go. When we wanted to cancel them, they said: `You're harming the intifada'."

A second source is a report on the Palestinian economy released last week by the IMF. This reveals that $900 million was "diverted" by Arafat from tax receipts alone over the past several years. Most of it possibly ended up in Palestinian public assets. But the IMF adds that not all the missing money can be accounted for and points to additional specific problems in internal PA budget control practices. Published Israeli military intelligence reports said exactly this last year. Mr. Patten dismissed them.

The Commission has stubbornly denied the existence of such corruption even while serving as one of its principal feeders. Innocents like my daughter die because money is available to lubricate the wheels of evil and corruption and for hate-filled education.

My letter reminds Mr. Patten that the EU-sponsored road map demands an immediate end to Palestinian terrorism. He can choose to exercise the funding power already in his control, and condition future PA grants on unambiguous prior evidence that Palestinian education has become peace-directed and positive. Or he can continue denying the price of EU blood money.

---

Mr. Roth is CEO of a developer of tactile computer devices for the blind. He and his wife established the Malki Foundation (www.kerenmalki.org) in their murdered daughter's memory.  


The text of the letter sent to EU Commissioner Christopher Patten by Arnold Roth on 23 September 2003 is here. If the link to the "open letter" is down, a PDF version of the same letter is here.


The San Francisco Chronicle's article containing Abu Mazen's extraordinary admissions about Arafat is here.


The full text of Abu Mazen's resignation speech to the Palestinian Legislative Council on 6th September 2003 is here. It contains some astounding revelations which, for reasons we can only speculate at, remain almost entirely unreported in the press.


This Wall Street Journal op-ed article translated into these languages: 

Dutch

German

French


 

 

 

 






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