by Thomas Lifson
The times, they are a’ changing, and it’s about time.
The Palestinian Authority and Hamas have suspended talks with the U.S. in the wake of the opening of our Jerusalem embassy, but money still talks. The Trump administration has just used a funding cut as a way of telling them that their old strategy isn't working anymore. Both governing bodies. But rest assured: they are getting the message. The Palestinian Authority has to stop payments to families of suicide bombers and other jihadists who lose their lives attacking Israelis. Hamas, the terror organization that runs Gaza, is also being told to stop mass attempts to enter Israel for purposes of terror.
Matthew Lee of the Associated Press reports:
The Trump administration has decided to cut more than $200 million in bilateral aid to the Palestinians, following a review of the funding for projects in the West Bank and Gaza, the State Department said Friday.The department notified Congress of the decision in a brief, three-paragraph notice sent first to lawmakers and then to reporters. It said the administration will redirect the money to "high priority projects elsewhere." ..."At the direction of President Trump, we have undertaken a review of U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority and in the West Bank and Gaza to ensure these funds are spent in accordance with U.S. national interests and provide value to the U.S. taxpayer," the department said. "As a result of that review, at the direction of the president, we will redirect more than $200 million ... originally planned for programs in the West Bank and Gaza.""This decision takes into account the challenges the international community faces in providing assistance in Gaza, where Hamas control endangers the lives of Gaza's citizens and degrades an already dire humanitarian and economic situation," the notice said, without providing additional details.
In addition to this reduction in gifts from the American taxpayers to Palestinian entities intent on destroying Israel, the Trump administration has frozen $65 million in aid to the U.N. Relief and Works Administration (UNRWA), an agency shot through with corruption.
The usual sources of outrage are outraged that the sponsorship of terror and dedication to destruction of Israel do not merit gifts from America.
J Street, which the New York Times laughably describes as " a liberal Jewish organization that advocates better relations between Israel and the Palestinians," called the cuts a "moral outrage."
"This is just the latest move by this administration to cruelly punish Palestinian civilians and marginalize and undercut Palestinian leadership," the organization said.
U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, criticized the Trump administration's decision."Inhabitants of Gaza are already suffering severe hardships under the tyranny of Hamas and border restrictions imposed by Israel. It is the Palestinian people, virtual prisoners in an increasingly volatile conflict, who will most directly suffer the consequences of this callous and ill-advised attempt to respond to Israel's security concerns."
The Islamic University of Gaza (credit: Mo7aisen).
All of this comes as a prelude to the unveiling of the Middle East Peace Plan being put together by Jared Kushner, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and others. I strongly suspect that this plan will call for both Palestinian entities to accept Israel’s right to exist (something Crown prince MbS already did, changing that kingdom’s stance since the founding of Israel) or face very unpleasant consequences. Removal of parts of the aid security blanket that has nurtured the world’s first hereditary group of “refugees” is only a first step.
The times, they are a’ changing, and it’s about time. Acceptance of Israel legitimacy and integration into its thriving economy would improve the lives of Palestinians more than any aid budget possibly could.
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