- Jun 2014
- Cleveland, Ohio
Trump threatens to cut off US aid to Palestinians | TheHillPresident Trump on Tuesday lashed out at the Palestinians and suggested that the U.S. could withhold aid money for them amid anger over Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
"It's not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others. As an example, we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel," Trump wrote in a pair of tweets.
"We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?"
Trump’s suggestion to cut off aid to the Palestinians came hours after U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that the Trump administration could cut off funding to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which is charged with helping Palestinian refugees, unless they "return to the negotiating table" with Israel.
The U.N. General Assembly voted last month to rebuke Trump’s Jerusalem decision, voting 128-9 on a resolution calling on the U.S. to reverse the move. Thirty-five countries abstained from that vote.
The resolution is not legally binding but exerts international pressure on the Trump administration to reconsider the Jerusalem move, which reversed decades of U.S. policy in the region.
Jerusalem is revered by Muslims, Christians and Jews, and the U.S. has long avoided taking a stance on the city’s status in order to preserve the possibility of peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, and its government is based in the city. The Palestinians, however, have long aspired to establish the city’s eastern sector as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
About damned time.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/04/28/palestinians-are-rewarding-terrorists-the-u-s-should-stop-enabling-them/?utm_term=.30770604ffb5When President Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in February, stepping into the fray of the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he expressed his opinion on the one- or two-state solution by saying, “I can live with either one.”
Trump [met] with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas [in April 2017.] One item that ought to be on the agenda is a scarcely known feature of civic life in the West Bank: monthly salaries and lump-sum payments to terrorists. Without apology or shame, and yet in conflict with the Oslo Accords and professed aspirations for peace, the Palestinian Authority is running a bounty system. Payments to terrorists and their families are enshrined in Palestinian law, provided for in the Palestinian Authority budget and indirectly supported by foreign aid.
Israeli settlements may be obstacles to peace, but so, too, is Palestinian incitement, epitomized by these lavish incentives to commit violence. Surely this is something Trump should not be able to live with.
To demonstrate how aboveboard these payments are: According to Palestinian laws passed in 2004 and amended in 2013, Palestinians and Israeli Arabs who are convicted of attacks in Israel (“participation in the struggle against the occupation”) are entitled to monthly “salaries” commencing with their arrest (and continuing for life for men who serve at least five years and women who serve at least two), along with additional cash grants and priority civil-service job placements upon their release.
Palestinian officials show little compunction defending these practices. Killing Israelis is part of the popular resistance, and those who serve as “martyrs” should be compensated for their sacrifice. A spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs, Hassan Abd Rabbo, said that “it is the right of all of the prisoners and martyrs who have struggled and sacrificed for Palestine to receive their full salaries from the PA.” The Palestinian prime minister, Rami Hamdallah, has stated that inmates are “prisoners of war” and that “their cause is the cause of all of us.”
But incentivizing the murder of civilians is barbarism, and it happens to offer a career path for ardent and enterprising Palestinians. The “lone wolves” who perpetrate stabbings, shootings and car-rammings are not really acting alone — they are a people’s army recruited to kill by their government.
When murderers are hailed as heroes and welcomed into the high ranks of government, when public squares and streets and summer camps are named after terrorists who killed Israeli children, Palestinian leaders can’t reasonably expect their next generation to dream of becoming doctors, teachers and peacemakers.
In its 2016 budget, the Palestinian Authority allocated approximately $140 million for payments to incarcerated and released prisoners and $175 million for payments to the families of “martyrs.” All together, these grisly rewards amount to roughly 7 percent of the authority’s budget. In 2014, in a cynical sleight of hand, the Palestinian Authority passed off the official responsibility of allocating these payments to the PLO. The funds, however, still originate from the Palestinian Authority’s budget and are designated for the same purpose — and Abbas controls both entities.
Imagine if that money and administrative finesse were used to deliver better health care, education and enhanced quality of life to the West Bank.
Ironically, the payments derive, in part, from foreign aid that’s intended to meet humanitarian needs, sustain the Palestinian economy and discourage violence.
The United States is not alone in registering disgust. In December, Britain temporarily halted its funding to the Palestinian Authority. Germany, Australia and Norway are contemplating similar measures. Enabling Palestinians to distribute blood money not only violates the obligations of the Oslo Accords, it also contravenes the 1999 U.N. Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terror and the 2001 U.N. Security Council Resolution to combat international terror in the aftermath of 9/11. All nations that provide the Palestinian Authority with a blank check for such illicit affairs are complicit in the killing of civilians.
It’s true that Israel’s expansion of settlements provokes Palestinians rather than creating the necessary trust that it, too, believes in Palestinian statehood. But assisting Jews who wish to live in the West Bank, which is their historic homeland as well, is not akin to placing a bounty on the heads of Palestinians.
Palestinians don’t have to be saints; they just can’t be assassins. The latter belies the presumptions of statesmanship. Abolishing the incentives for killing Israelis is both a moral necessity and a demonstration that nation-building, and not violence, is their main objective.