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PMW director interviewed on Australian Jewish News

AJN Staff  |
PMW director interviewed on Australian Jewish News


Australia ‘worthy of being spat on’

A Liberal and a Labor MP have condemned a Palestinian official’s toxic reaction to Australia’s decision to cease direct funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) after concerns Australia’s taxpayer dollars were being used to pay stipends to families of terrorists killed, injured or imprisoned by Israel.

Australia deserves to be “spat on” after cutting Palestinian Authority (PA) funding, a senior official in Ramallah has said.

“The truth is they are worthy of being spat on,” said Nabil Shaath on PA television [translated by PMW]. “You [Australians] are the servants of the US.”

He commented regarding Australians, “I don’t want your 10 million, I don’t want to chase after them.”

Shaath, foreign affairs adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, decried the “filthy” talk of “martyrs” as criminals, saying that they are actually “our heroes, the heroes of self-sacrifice and the candles of freedom”.

The PA daily newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, suggested that Australia is wrong for buying into Israel’s “false” claim that the Palestinian “struggle” is a crime. The paper quoted the PLO’s prisoners’ affairs commission declaring, “The world must not be dragged after Israel’s false stories and fraud.”

But in Australia, Liberal MP Tim Wilson posted on Facebook, “We won’t directly fund the Palestinian Authority. Share if you agree. Abbas wants to fund terrorism – so we’re taking action. Australian taxes shouldn’t fund terrorism. Period,” he stated.

Labor MP Michael Danby said Shaath’s “disgraceful comments demonstrate again why the Palestinians ‘never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity’. It’s not compulsory for Australian taxpayers’ money to be dispensed to his group, and we will not be paying for ‘pay to slay’.”

Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch, who translated the Shaath interview, told The AJN that PA officials have unleashed these kinds of angry outbursts against funders in the past, believing it leads to them getting their own way.

“Anyone who doesn’t dance to their tune is turned into a monster and insulted, with past aid forgotten, and they hope this will force these countries to want to be on their good side again,” said Marcus.

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