(May 2, 2019 / MEMRI) Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas said in an address that aired Monday on P.A. television that the P.A. is facing a financial crisis because the Israeli government has decided to deduct the amount the P.A. pays to families of martyrs, prisoners and wounded Palestinians from the money it owes to the P.A. However, he stressed that the P.A. will refuse to accept money from Israel if any sum whatsoever is withheld.
Abbas also said that European support for a two-state solution is a good thing considering that it is Europe that “invented” Zionism and Israel. Abbas further claimed that the Palestinian system of democracy is better than that of many of the world’s foremost democracies because it is not plagued by election fraud, as he said the United States is.
Furthermore, he said that the P.A. has asked other Arab countries for a loan of $100 million per month, to be repaid as soon as Israel acquiesces to the P.A.’s demands and pays the money it owes in full. He said that he does not have high hopes the Arab states will agree to such an arrangement.
The following is a transcript of his remarks:
Mahmoud Abbas: Our life is full of hardships, but some hardships can be overcome with some effort, while some hardships are very difficult to overcome. The hardships we are about to face are very difficult, for many reasons. First of all, as of late, we have had a financial crisis on our hands—a financial crisis that was brought about by the Israeli government, when it decided to deduct [from money it owes us] the sum [that we pay to the families] of the martyrs, the prisoners and the wounded. Our position on this issue was, and still is, clear: We refuse to receive the money if any amount is missing from it, especially the amount [that we pay to the families of] the martyrs, or any other amount that they owe us.”
The European position—and I do not want to say that it is 100 percent just—has started to [show] understanding. Therefore, Mrs. Mogherini [High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini] said in the Arab League summit in Tunisia: “We support the two-state solution, and we are against moving [embassies] to Jerusalem and other matters.” Of course, not everything is in our favor, but it is a good thing that such a position is coming from Europe. This is what we have historically become used to, because as you know … it is Europe that invented—and this slightly annoys our neighbors. … [Europe] invented Zionism and Israel. Let’s not fool ourselves. This is what history says. Whoever has something that refutes this history, go ahead …
Let me tell you—and I am not bragging—that we have a democracy that is better than that of many of the most important democratic countries in the world. For example, there is election fraud in the United States. What proves this is the talk about election fraud and [foreign] interference. We did not have any election fraud here.
Of course, we have asked the [Arab] brothers for a safety net. Allah willing. … I mean, we do not have high hopes, but Allah willing, something will happen. We asked for $100 million….
Question: A month?
Mahmoud Abbas: Yes, as a safety net. We told them that we will take it as a debt. … We will take it as a loan. Give it to us and we will give it back. We will give your money back, especially since Israel will give back the money it took from us, sooner or later. But [Israel] will return the money according to our terms, not theirs. As soon as we get our money, we will pay our debt to you. Even on the debt offer, we have not received a response. But we have to endure and be patient.