Does Swedish aid end up paying terrorists?
All the politicians in Sweden seemed to be shocked when they heard that the former Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation, Gunilla Carlsson's ministerial salary was funded by Swedish foreign aid. Media mentioned that it was about $ 3 million that financed her salary instead of going to assistance in other countries. Surely, a Swedish minister can not receive foreign aid money as her salary. But the romanticized image that Swedish politicians have of how the Swedish foreign aid is used is not true either.
Stefan Löfven, leader of the Swedish Social Democrats, argued that aid should primarily go to "poverty reduction". The Swedish Social Democrats' foreign aid policy spokesperson, Kenneth G Forslund, argued that aid should go to the "poor and oppressed".
Swedish foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority, which is partly channeled through the European Union, has not gone to the “poor and oppressed”. Much of the aid goes to the Fatah regime in the West Bank that is not democratically elected and therefore is an oppressor. There is not much transparency in how the aid to the Palestinian Authority is used. It has also happened that the Palestinian Authority has lied about how they use the aid.
Part of the Swedish foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority has been used for a photo exhibition of graffiti artwork that glorifies terrorism. It is a mystery how Swedish foreign aid can combat poverty when it funds a "martyr portrait" with Hamas flag in the background.
Those Palestinians who have relatives who are in Israeli prisons for having performed acts of terrorism, receive money from the Palestinian Authority each month. Right now, relatives of more than 5,500 Palestinian terrorists are receiving money from the Palestinian Authority. This is an expenditure of more than $ 5 million each month that is entirely funded by aid. Palestinian Authority media that are systematically spreading anti-Semitism and glorifies terrorism are financed by aid.
When it comes to the salaries for Palestinian ministers, the salary of the Fatah bigwigs is not public information because the Palestinian Authority is a dictatorship. But various sources say that Mahmoud Abbas salary is $ 1 million a month, compared with Swedish Prime Ministers salary that is $ 23.000 a month. Obviously, a large part of Abbas salary is funded by aid. There are different sources that give different figures on how much money Yassar Arafat had at his death but it is about billions. The grotesque corruption within the Palestinian Authority has repeatedly been revealed by various media and authorities.
There has been a debate in Denmark and Norway on how aid to the Palestinian Authority is being used. But in Sweden it has been quiet. The reason is that in Sweden politicians romanticize how aid is being used. While you can see with your own eyes on official websites of Swedish government institutions, that aid goes to glorify terrorism politicians pretend that aid is used to fight poverty and oppression.
Sure, it was wrong that minister Gunilla Carlsson's salary was paid from foreign aid. But when you compare it to what the Palestinian Authority has done it seems that Gunilla Carlsson's salary is not the real issue. Palestinian Authority has not only funded ministerial salaries with foreign aid. They have not only financed oppression with foreign aid. They have not only financed hatred and racism with foreign aid. They have also stolen billions of dollars of foreign aid and hidden it in secret bank accounts. These secret bank accounts are among other things financing the European luxury life of Suha Arafat, Yassar Arafat's wife.
The information in this article is available in hundreds of reports from various authorities. There is a basis for a proper discussion about the foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority, in Sweden. But Sweden's largest party, the Social Democrats, view Fatah as its “sister party”. But it's about time that the Social Democrats show that their loyalty to the Swedish taxpayers outweighs their loyalty to their “sister party”, Fatah. The principle that aid should not finance a Swedish minister's salary is important. But first Sweden needs to discuss and uphold the principle that aid should not be stolen by corrupt politicians or finance dictatorships and oppression, which is something that Sweden allows today in the West Bank and Gaza.
Nima Gholam Ali Pour (PPI)
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