One of the most common questions I get as a tour guide of Israel is "why is there no peace between Israelis and Palestinians?" Well, one of the lesser-known reasons as to why a peace agreement has not been reached is the fact that the Palestinian leadership - both Fatah and Hamas - do not want to lose their sacred cash cow. Once they would actually have to govern themselves - even with a ton of initial investment (like in the proposed Trump plan) - the fear is that the money would dry up.
How much money are we talking about? The Palestinians receive more aid money per capita than any people in the world, despite the fact that their economic situation is far better than countries in sub-Saharan Africa and equal if not better than many Arab countries. According to various reports, they have received anywhere from 4-25 times (it depends on the year of the report) the amount of money per capita (when inflation is accounted for) than Europe got to rebuild in the Marshall plan. Former PLO leader Yasser Arafat was known to have hundreds of millions of dollars - one of the world's richest despots - and the leaders following him have continued with the graft.
Now a whistle-blower at the highest level has shown how Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is siphoning off the donation money.
To be honest the ways they do it is amazing, though my favorite has to be the fact that for years they were paying hundreds of employees of a governmental company which is listed in the budget of their Ministry of Transportation. The company has a board of directors and the employees even received raises. The company? Palestinian Airlines. The problem? They don't have an airline, an airport or even an airplane. But it sounds good, right?
Meanwhile, in Gaza, this mass corruption was the exact reason that people voted for Hamas - back when they had elections some 14 years ago. Of course once Hamas got in power, the people got the same corruption, just along with an Islamic fundamentalist jihadi worldview. For the last several years, someone in Gaza is encouraging people to upload photos and videos to social media of the #thegazayoudontsee. And Hamas is not happy about it since it messes up their narrative. No, not everyone there is in poverty. And yes, a main reason people are in poverty is because of the theft of the aid money by the corrupt Hamas elite (not to mention the 3 wars they have started since they took power). There are dozens if not hundreds of Hamas millionaires in Gaza who are living the high-life.
For more on the whistle-blower and "the real Gaza," check out the following article: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/282156
And if you are on twitter follow Imshin of #thegazayoudontsee - and maybe book one of those gorgeous Gaza holiday chalets for the summer.
To learn more about the corruption issue, really just go to google and search.
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