Thursday, November 4, 2010
Hudson New York
02 November '10
The good news is that the Palestinian Authority has established an anti-corruption court in the West Bank.
The bad news is that the court has been established seventeen years after the signing of the Oslo Accords and the creation of the Palestinian Authority.
The decision to establish an anti-corruption court in the West Bank should be welcomed as a positive development. But the question needs to be asked: Why now?
There is much doubt as to whether the new court would be able to look into allegations regarding the involvement of dozens of senior Palestinian officials in the theft of public funds.
Many of these officials continue to hold senior posts in the Palestinian Authority and the ruling Fatah faction. Any attempt to press charges against these officials could stir instability in the Palestinian Authority and create a lot of problems for President Mahmoud Abbas, who is already facing criticism from a growing number of Fatah leaders because of what they believe is his willingness to make concessions to Israel in the peace talks, and his failure to get rid of many icons of financial corruption.
If the Palestinian Authority is indeed serious about fighting corruption, it should start by cleaning its house from within. The judges of the anti-corruption court should be given unlimited powers to look into cases against any suspect, regardless of his or her job and political affiliation.
Will the court, for example, have the authority to look into a case against one of Abbas's sons or Arafat's widow, Suha?
Judging from the experiences of the past, that is unlikely to happen and the new court will go down into Palestinian history as another public relations stunt designed to milk more money from the West.
(Read full article)
If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.