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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
February 9, 2010 Pervasive Corruption in the Palestinian Authority
A major story broke in Israel today regarding the level of corruption in the Palestinian Authority. It turns out that the Palestinian who is responsible for investigating corruption on behalf of the Palestinian authority, found the corruption utterly pervasive among the leadership of the PA. When the investigator confronted Abu Mazen with the findings, which proved that most of his confidantes were corrupt, Abu Mazen ignored him. As a result, the investigator leaked some of the information to the Israeli TV, with a warning that he had only leaked a small part of the information and if action was not taken within one week, he would leak much more. It turns out that hundreds of millions of dollars were stolen by various officials. In addition, Israeli TV showed video not only of money being stolen and the methods, but rampant sexual corruption (showing a high ranking official interviewing a job applicant in his bedroom nude.) There will be more information tomorrow on the Israeli news. We will wait and see how much the national media covers this matter. So who is Israel to negotiate with? A regime that is totally corrupt? or one that is determined to destroy it?
The latest political storm in Israel is over an attempt by the Likud and Yisrael Beitienu to extend the voting franchise to Israelis who have lived abroad for six years of less. The Labor party and Shas party from within the coalition are opposed to this proposal, as is the Kadima party in the opposition. The conventional wisdom is that those Israelis living abroad would vote more for the parties of the right. Based on polls I have seen on Israeli TV in America, the political views of Israelis living in the US do appear to the right of Israelis in Israel. Since the law will only give the right to vote to those who have been in the US for six years and only for those who have served in the army, its true effect is really unknown.
Presdient Obama stated today that the United States was working to shortly bring about a new strong regime of sanctions against Iran. In the meantime, Secretary of Defense Gates was still talking about convincing Iran it was not in its interest to develop nuclear weapons. I am not optimistic.