AIJAC welcomes Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s decision, announced Monday, to discontinue Australia’s funding to the World Bank’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the Palestinian Recovery and Development Program, and redirect the funds to the United Nations’ Humanitarian Fund for the Palestinian Territories. This appears to be a sensible and prudent step to ensure that Australian taxpayer funds are not misused, and do not inadvertently facilitate Palestinian terrorism.
AIJAC supports Australian aid to the Palestinians, which can also help contribute to a two-state resolution, the bipartisan goal of all recent Australian governments. However, such aid becomes counterproductive if some of it unintentionally provides support for terrorist groups or incentivises terrorist activities.
Meanwhile, new revelations that a leader of the widely-banned Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist group named Ahmed Abdullah Al Adine was apparently an employee of a program being paid for, in part, with Australian taxpayer dollars dispersed through the trade union aid agency APHEDA, has only re-emphasized the need for close and constant scrutiny, and rigorous accountability, in ongoing Australian aid to the Palestinians.
AIJAC is grateful to Ms. Bishop and the government for their efforts to ensure Australian aid to the Palestinians both serves Australia’s national interests and maximises the humanitarian benefits to those in need, and for their willingness to take seriously AIJAC’s long-standing concerns about elements of that aid.
For additional information, contact AIJAC on (03)-9681-6660.