Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Over A Billion In US Aid To Palestinians: Hey, It's Only Money

Public Law 109-13, for example, requires, among other things, that the President certify that Palestinian security services have purged their ranks of terrorists, that the Palestinian Authority stop incitement against Israel, and that it cooperate with the US. in investigations of Yassir Arafat's finances. These waivers have been provided annually despite the fact that Palestinian incitement continues, Palestinian security forces are still laden with terrorists, and Yassir Arafat's money is still missing.
Who Oversees Foreign Aid to the Palestinians?

I wish my parents were as lenient in the conditions they put on my allowance, but when I was a kid I didn't know what a waiver was.

So what is all this money that the US has handed over to the Abbas and the PA--and is likely to continue giving to the the new unity government, meaning to Hamas as well.

A recent Congressional Research Service study notes that since 2007 the U.S. has contributed $650 million to the Palestinian Authority for "direct budgetary assistance" and almost $400 million for "security forces and criminal justice systems" in the West Bank. Almost another $1 billion was directed through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to be "implemented by nongovernmental organizations in humanitarian assistance, economic development, democratic reform, improving water access and other infrastructure, health care, education, and vocational training." Finally, the U.S. is the largest single contributor to UNRWA and having provided over $230 million in 2010.

...Another $100 million for Palestinian security aid and institution building is allocated through a program called International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement. This is a Foreign Military Assistance program but it is also directed by the Department of State under Section 1206(f) of the 2006 National Defense Authorization Act.
Not bad for an incompetent, corrupt regime--whose leader's term in office ended over 2 years ago.

But come on, what are the chances that the US would provide funding to a unity government that refuses to recognize Israel and is dedicated to its destruction.

Let's hope that the State Department is better at taking a stand than Hillary Clinton is:
Asked by Rep. Gary Ackerman (NY) of Foreign Affairs what the U.S. would do if the Palestinians formed a government that includes Hamas, Clinton replied, “We will not deal with nor in any way fund a Palestinian government that includes Hamas unless and until Hamas has renounced violence, recognized Israel and agreed to follow the previous obligations of the Palestinian Authority.” But in answer to a similar question from another Foreign Affairs member, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL), the Secretary said that U.S. assistance “will only be permitted to any power-sharing government, in which Hamas participates, if the president certifies that the power-sharing government has met the three principles I just outlined.” [emphasis added]
I smell another presidential waiver coming...

And don't think that Congress can put stop millions going to the the new terrorist-unity state:
Legislation proposed in Congress to limit or condition funds to the Palestinian Authority or UNRWA are largely meaningless in this light. The "UNRWA Humanitarian Accountability Act," for example, offered by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in 2010, demanded that UNRWA not be used by or support Palestinian terrorists. But like the appropriations bills described above, it offers the Executive branch an out by requiring only "a written determination by the Secretary of State, based on all information available after diligent inquiry, and transmitted to the appropriate congressional committees along with a detailed description of the factual basis therefore." Such a statement is a foregone conclusion. The mechanisms for Congress to review results independently, hearings, reports from Congressional staff, the Congressional Research Service, and the Government Accountability Office, have no weight except in the politics of the next appropriations cycle.[emphasis added]

But Jennifer Rubin writes that there is a precedent for the US cutting off aid to the Palestinian Authority:
Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told me in a phone interview this morning, “There is precedent for this.” Schanzer explained that in April 2006 the United States cut off all aid to the PA after Hamas won elections. Only when Hamas staged a coup and Mahmoud Abbas set up a separate governing entity for the West Bank did we resume aid.
All well and good, but Rubin herself writes that State Department won’t rule out aid to a Fatah-Hamas government, so it's not at all definite if the White House will do the right thing.

If they don't, this is what the US will be funding:

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