Palestinian Authority influential businessman Sam Bahour wrote New York City’s outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg, “Thank you, but no thank you” after Hizzoner said he would donate award money of $1 million to “promote commerce between the people in Palestine and the people in Israel.”

Bahour wrote, “’Commerce between the people in Palestine and the people in Israel’ is not hindered by lack of funds; it is stifled due to 46 years of Israeli military occupation, each year of which has been squarely supported by the U.S.”


He also claimed that the Palestinian Authority already is deponent on Israel’s economy and does not want more commerce with it.

The mayor received the money in the first-ever Genesis Prize “to honor an exceptional Jew.” Bahour suggested to Bloomberg that he turn over the money to the Encounter group, which tried to promote contacts between members of all streams of Judaism with Palestinian Authority Arabs.



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