The Palestinian population scam on US taxpayers

During my last visit to the West Bank I was amazed at the enormous houses and luxury apartments I saw built by Palestinian leaders for their personal use. Most surpassed anything the average American could afford. Now there is an explanation:

As the US Congress debates how much more of the US taxpayers' hard earned money to give to the Palestinian Authority (President Bush proposed $450 million originally but reduced the request to $70 million over Congressional objections.), a new demographic study reveals that the actual population of Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza is actually 50% lower than that reported by Mahmoud Abbas' government.

The new study, available to view at the website of the American Enterprise Institute reveals that only 2.5 million Palestinian Arabs reside in Gaza and the West Bank and not the 3.8 million claimed by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). It seems the 3. 8 million figure was a wishful projection on the part of the Palestinian Authority that was fabricated in 1998 in order to inflate aid requests. Despite this, the United Nations, US Department of State and CIA have routinely used the PA figures without question.

The 1.3 million population shortfall was determined not by outside interests, but by the Palestinians themselves through the Palestinian Ministry of Health and Education working in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority's Election Commission and Jordan's Bureau of Statistics.

Discrepancies were determined as follows:

325,000 Palestinians living abroad in foreign countries who are not refugees were counted as residents within the Palestinian Authority. This information was supplied by the PCBS and its director as far back as 1998.

210,.000 Palestinian Arabs who reside in Jerusalem were counted as citizens of the Palestinian Authority. These are, in fact, Israeli citizens who have the same rights as Jewish and Christian Israelis and are beneficiaries of Israel's social security system. Almost all would refuse to give up their Israeli nationality in a democracy to become citizens of 'Palestine.'

The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported after monitoring births through midwives, at clinics and delivery rooms in hospitals that 238,000 Palestinian babies were alleged to be born between 1997—2003 that did not exist.

In addition, it was determined that the Palestinian Authority lost 74, 000 residents who left its territory to move abroad from 1997—2003. The Palestinian Authority projected falsely that 236,000 new residents would move into the PA during that period. This makes sense also given the launching of the last Intifada that also caused population decreases for Israel, due to people seeking to escape the violence.

Other information is that 105,000 Palestinians became Israeli citizens through marriage to Israelis, however, the Palestinian Authority double counts these people as citizens of the PA. Demographics revealed a 59% Jewish as opposed to 41% Arab population majority west of the Jordan River (Gaza was counted in the figures). While the figures showed a Palestinian Arab majority in those areas at the conclusion of the Six Day War in 1967, no significant Arab population increases had occurred in those areas since the beginning of the 1940's.

Such statistics point to an enormous con job and rip—off for the American taxpayer. At the height of the Oslo agreement, the Palestinians were receiving upwards of $125 million monthly in grants from the US, the EU and the Arab League. Funds were apparently available for ships like the Karine A to smuggle in millions of dollars in weapons, but infrastructure for a Palestinian state came second. And still a final peace and cessation of terrorism is not occurring as the PA leadership including Abbas himself still incite the population to make war on Israel. Arab League funding was specifically applied to the Intifada in most cases and not for peaceful purposes.

As mentioned, the study can be viewed online and points to a scam perpetrated by PLO leaders not only against the taxpayers in the United States and the rest of the world who have sought to help the Palestinians lead a better life through a bona fide peace settlement, but against those countries currently battling terrorism—where does all that money go? The Palestinian Authority has plenty of money for guns, for elaborate mansions, for its leadership like I saw in the West Bank during my last trip there, and for propaganda and incitement (even on US college campuses and in U.S. churches). It's time for the US taxpayer to demand Congress pull the plug. After all, $70 million bucks is $70 million bucks.

Lee Kaplan is a contributing editor at Front Page Magazine and communications director for the United American Committee and the NortheastIntelligence Network . He can be reached at .