US Funding the PA is a Problem
By Sharona Whisler
June 30, 2014
II Senator Rand Paul sticks up for Israel
By Katie Glueck
The problem is that US taxpayer money is provided to the Palestinian Authority and the PA has a consistent history of funding terrorism. And while aiding and abetting terrorism is a federal offense, the US hasn’t halted its $600 million annual contribution to the PA even since its newly formed government with Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls Gaza and which calls in its Charter (Article 7) for the global murder of Jews and celebrates the recent kidnapping of three Israeli yeshiva students.
Partnering with a terrorist organization like Hamas shows the PA’s true colors. However, even if the PA-Hamas partnership ended tomorrow, taxpayer money is still falling into the wrong hands because the PA is granted it unconditionally. That means that the PA can do whatever it wants without fear that US aid will be withheld.
So, in addition to its unity government with Hamas, what has the PA done with this unconditional flow of income? It names schools, streets and sport tournaments after known terrorists. It sponsors children’s television programs that glorify suicide terrorism. It refuses to outlaw terrorist groups. It rewards families of suicide bombers with thousands of dollars. It pays terrorists incarcerated in Israeli prisons stipends; the more heinous the crime, the bigger the stipend.
Unless the US makes funding to the PA conditional, the US taxpayer will continue to fund the enemies of America’s closest ally, the Jewish State of Israel. The PA is not an entity that wants peace. Although Mahmoud Abbas may sometimes claim that he wants peace, action speaks louder than words. Moreover, when speaking to Arab audiences, he has been explicit about not accepting Israel and even said that if Arab countries would join the PA in war against Israel, he would be in favor.
In an effort to curb this consistent cash flow, US Rep. Rand Paul (R-KY) has introduced the Stand with Israel Act of 2014. And on the house side, Florida’s own, Ron DeSantis of District 6 is the author of the Palestinian Accountability Act. If passed, the Stand with Israel Act of 2014 will require the PA to formally recognize the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish State; publicly recognize the state of Israel; renounce terrorism; purge all individuals with terrorist ties from security services; terminate funding of anti-American and anti-Israel incitement; publicly pledge to not engage in war with Israel and honor previous diplomatic agreements in order to receive funding from the US
Similarly, the Palestinian Accountability Act mandates that the PA recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State, embrace free elections, end corruption in its governance, end incitement and endorsement of terrorism, end support for the boycott of Israel, and exclude Hamas from the government, unless Hamas meets these conditions.
This makes sense. In fact, these are basic mandates that should have been written into policy from the beginning. Instead, the US has been rewarding terrorism and extremism, at taxpayers’ expense. The good news is that it’s not too late to do the right thing.
Sharona Whisler is the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) executive director, Florida Region.
II Rand Paul rebukes White House in pro-Israel column
By KATIE GLUECK
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul blasted the White House’s response to a kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in a strongly worded column designed to highlight his pro-Israel credentials.
Paul, a potential GOP presidential contender who is often leery of interventionist foreign policy, has been highly critical of the more hawkish wing of the GOP, most recently in the debate over what to do in Iraq. But Paul also has been trying to show the Republican establishment that his overall approach to foreign affairs is not out of the mainstream, and his tough rhetoric in the National Review op-ed could be seen as another overture.
In the column, Paul reiterated his call to end US aid to the Palestinian Authority, which reached a unity agreement with Hamas. Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by America and Israel, controls the Gaza Strip.
Paul, who has in the past introduced a bill to cut off the aid, referred to the kidnapping and killing of the Israeli teenagers to bolster his case. The boys’ deaths have rocked Israel, and, along with allegations of a reprisal killing of a Palestinian teen, threaten to trigger more violence in the area.
The White House has expressed outrage over the Israeli teens’ deaths, but it also has called for judiciousness in response, and Paul skewered the administration for urging a show of “restraint.”
“Children are murdered — please show restraint. Cafés and buses are bombed — please show restraint. Towns are victimized by hundreds of rockets — please show restraint while you bury your dead once again,” Paul wrote. “I think it is clear by now: Israel has shown remarkable restraint. It possesses a military with clear superiority over that of its Palestinian neighbors, yet it does not respond to threat after threat, provocation after provocation, with the type of force that would decisively end their conflict.”
“But sometimes restraint can work against you,” he continued. “Sometimes you just have to say, enough is enough.”
Paul has a history of opposing foreign aid — including, at one time, to Israel, though his emphasis has since shifted to entities such as Egypt and the Palestinian Authority. But as he has taken steps toward a possible 2016 presidential bid, he has also upped his outreach to establishment figures over foreign policy issues, and is slated to give a major address on the topic in the next several months.
Katie Glueck is a reporter at POLITICO.
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