Our Government at Its Dirty Work

 

I should have known better. This past August, Lindsay Graham spoke out about a bill that was being proposed, named after a young man named Taylor Force, who had been killed by Palestinian terrorists. The bill would stop funds going from the US to the Palestinians; these funds were being used to pay off terrorists and their families.

I was thrilled to hear yesterday that the bill was passed by the House of Representatives and was being sent to the Senate. Only the bill that was passed is a waste of time and a huge disappointment.

Originally, the bill was intended to reduce funds in proportion to the amount the Palestinian Authority paid to the terrorists and their families. And it also required that the PA acknowledge Israel’s right to exist.

Guess what? All kinds of exceptions have been made to the original bill. As the article says 

And it got worse. Next they added a one-year delay before the provisions of the bill go into effect. That gives the PA a year in which to come up with a phony new arrangement by which the payments are given to terrorists from some “private” group instead of the PA itself. Then they stipulated that the money which is withheld must be put into a “Palestinian Authority Accountability Fund,” which can then be given to the Palestinians if the State Department certifies that the PA is taking steps against terrorism.

I know that there are always compromises to bills that go through Congress. We also know how “reliable” our State Department has been; instead of making sure Palestinians have been in compliance with the Oslo Accords, they have continually made excuses for violations. And State has been blatantly anti-Israel.

Worst of all, the bill no longer demands that the PA acknowledge the right of Israel to exist. Of course, the Senate could make changes to the bill it receives from the House. Or Rex Tillerson could further clean up his department.

What a joke.

Published in Foreign Policy
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  1. Jules PA Inactive
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    To quote someone, “sad.”

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jules PA (View Comment):
    To quote someone, “sad.”

    You know, Jules, I’m almost as angry at myself as I am at the government. I should have known better than to get my hopes up. But I don’t want to give up my optimism and give in to bitterness. It’s just hard.

    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Certified by the State Department? Our State Department? I wouldn’t trust our State Department to successfully certify that water is wet.

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Percival (View Comment):
    Certified by the State Department? Our State Department? I wouldn’t trust our State Department to successfully certify that water is wet.

    Aaarrrrggghhh!!!!! Yes, that’s the one.

    • #4
  5. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Infuriating.

    • #5
  6. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Susan, the Left is going to have to live with their support of the Palestianians for a long while.  That support should be shoved in their faces every chance we get.

    The jerks.

    Kent

    • #6
  7. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Turns out Abbas is snubbing an upcoming meeting with Mike Pence. Report says that the US crossed a Red Line with recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.  Hmm  My question is this. In the first place ,why are we giving money to people who hate us? People who would celebrate if we got nuked !  I am hoping we can cut the ties with the Palestinians under the Trump administration.

    • #7
  8. Jules PA Inactive
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Jules PA (View Comment):
    To quote someone, “sad.”

    You know, Jules, I’m almost as angry at myself as I am at the government. I should have known better than to get my hopes up. But I don’t want to give up my optimism and give in to bitterness. It’s just hard.

    I agree. The bitterness knocks at the door.

    Keep your optimism, but not in the actions of man, but of G-d.

    • #8
  9. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    I don’t understand why we give these people even $1.

    • #9
  10. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):
    I don’t understand why we give these people even $1.

    Ditto. I am just gobsmacked on how much we hurt our friends and help our enemies.

    • #10
  11. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Turns out Abbas is snubbing an upcoming meeting with Mike Pence. Report says that the US crossed a Red Line with recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

    Good for Abu Mazen, I hope he sticks to it.

    Talks that don’t lead anywhere, that just serve as a cover while settlement continues (to the point where a 2 State solution is no longer possuble) is a mug’s game.  The Palestinians have done it for too long.

    And I agree with you.  The US should certainly stop funding the Palestinian Authority.  It doesn’t benefit the Palestinian people when their ‘leadership’ is a wholly owned and corrupt subsidiary.  It’s worthless. Don’t fund it.

    • #11
  12. Israel P. Inactive
    Israel P.
    @IsraelP

    I hadn’t heard about this development. (Thank you @susanquinn.) I cannot be bothered to be angry, because it is so typical. Suffice it to say that I agree with ten and a half of the eleven previous comments.

    • #12
  13. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    When we start off with a phony argument such as “we’ll give money but not if it goes to pay terrorists” we should expect to be thwarted.  Palestine is a violent welfare ghetto where the governing authority hands out money and power it receives from global donors to whoever supports it’s terrorist anti Israel policies.  The terrorist supporting authority undermines the possibility of a real economy where real people engage in activity and pay taxes to a government who delivers services and security.  Why should we continue to subsidize this failed policy in any form.  Money is, after all, fungible.   I can understand why Democrats do it in the US in spite of the obvious damage it has done to our population, they buy votes.  But in Palestine they’re buying terrorists no matter how one tracks an individual donor’s money.

    • #13
  14. Mim526 Member
    Mim526
    @Mim526

    So basically PA gets the money if State Dept certifies it’s “taking steps against terrorism”.  The same Dept who for past 24 yrs has “repeatedly ‘certified’ that the PA was keeping its obligations under the Oslo Accords”.

    Congress places more restrictions on how our own federal agencies spend US taxpayer money than it does for a foreign group who a) uses our money as reward for killing Jews, and b) refuses to recognize one of our closest allies has a right to even exist.

    I hope Tillerson can stick around long enough to get the State Dept flushed out.  And wouldn’t it be nice to see whoever in the House messed with H.R. 1124 splashed across the evening news to explain themselves?

    • #14
  15. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Turns out Abbas is snubbing an upcoming meeting with Mike Pence. Report says that the US crossed a Red Line with recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

    Good for Abu Mazen, I hope he sticks to it.

    Talks that don’t lead anywhere, that just serve as a cover while settlement continues (to the point where a 2 State solution is no longer possuble) is a mug’s game. The Palestinians have done it for too long.

    And I agree with you. The US should certainly stop funding the Palestinian Authority. It doesn’t benefit the Palestinian people when their ‘leadership’ is a wholly owned and corrupt subsidiary. It’s worthless. Don’t fund it.

    So glad you see the PA as corrupt and that the US should stop funding it. We have common ground. :)  @zafar

    • #15
  16. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    So glad you see the PA as corrupt and that the US should stop funding it. We have common ground. :) @zafar

    I’m sure we actually have a lot of common ground Kevin. Though perhaps not on this issue?

    wrt the PA – why do you think successive US Administrations have funded it?

    I think it’s because it’s a good policeman wrt security cooperation with Israel, and its leaders are too dependent on the pay check to do anything (like go the the International Court in The Hague) that might be truly inconvenient – though the stream of incoherent press releases gives the ‘impression’ of dialogue, and even people who can speak on behalf of the Palestinians but who never actually say anything when it might matter.

    Jmho. Of course.

     

     

     

     

    • #16
  17. Mim526 Member
    Mim526
    @Mim526

    AP Correspondent in Gaza:

    Fares Akram‏Verified account @faresakram

    Hamas declines to comment on the Israeli discovery of a tunnel extending from Gaza. Earlier Sunday, its military wing said “our battle for Jerusalem is going on round the clock, above and under the ground.”

    4:34 AM – 10 Dec 2017

    —————————————

    In November 2017, both WaPo and NYT reported HAMAS movement handed control over border posts in the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority.  According to Reuters, PA ministers have begun gradually to assume their duties in Gaza and took over the revenue accounts of the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings, officials said.

    Hamas had used those revenues – taxes and fees collected from merchants and passengers – as part of its Gaza budget, to pay salaries of the 40,000 to 50,000 employees it has hired since 2007.

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    Susan, the Left is going to have to live with their support of the Palestianians for a long while. That support should be shoved in their faces every chance we get.

    The jerks.

    Kent

    Sometimes I wonder if it’s just the Left, Kent. Politics can be very ugly. Thank you.

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Turns out Abbas is snubbing an upcoming meeting with Mike Pence. Report says that the US crossed a Red Line with recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Hmm My question is this. In the first place ,why are we giving money to people who hate us? People who would celebrate if we got nuked ! I am hoping we can cut the ties with the Palestinians under the Trump administration.

    Based on how this bill is progressing, Kevin, I don’t think that’s likely to happen. But it would be a great thing. By maintaining ties, we can live with the illusion that we might be able to influence them, too. And it is an illusion.

    • #19
  20. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    That the US funds a group of people (last time I checked Palestinians don’t have a country unless you want to consider Jordan their country) out to destroy an ally of the US is a disgrace in itself.  That the money actually supports Islamic terrorism makes it unconscionable.  I’m hoping the Senate can make turn the bill to what its original intent.

    • #20
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):
    I don’t understand why we give these people even $1.

    I think it was a bribe to keep them in a phony peace process. I guess we’re learning that they don’t care about peace; they only care about destroying Israel.

    • #21
  22. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Mim526 (View Comment):
    I hope Tillerson can stick around long enough to get the State Dept flushed out. And wouldn’t it be nice to see whoever in the House messed with H.R. 1124 splashed across the evening news.

    Since Lindsey Graham and Tom Cotton were original sponsors to the bill, I hold out a tiny hope that the bill will have some sense restored to it in the Senate. But it’s only a tiny hope.

    • #22
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Mim526 (View Comment):
    AP Correspondent in Gaza:

    Fares Akram‏Verified account @faresakram

    Hamas declines to comment on the Israeli discovery of a tunnel extending from Gaza. Earlier Sunday, its military wing said “our battle for Jerusalem is going on round the clock, above and under the ground.”

    4:34 AM – 10 Dec 2017

    —————————————

    In November 2017, both WaPo and NYT reported HAMAS movement handed control over border posts in the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority. According to Reuters, PA ministers have begun gradually to assume their duties in Gaza and took over the revenue accounts of the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings, officials said.

    Hamas had used those revenues – taxes and fees collected from merchants and passengers – as part of its Gaza budget, to pay salaries of the 40,000 to 50,000 employees it has hired since 2007.

    Great piece, Mim. Thank you. Yes, I was about to comment on the number of people employed by the government of Gaza and the PA. Fortunately Israel is finding new and better ways to stop the tunneling. But the moving around of money–it’s so frustrating.

    • #23
  24. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Turns out Abbas is snubbing an upcoming meeting with Mike Pence. Report says that the US crossed a Red Line with recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Hmm My question is this. In the first place ,why are we giving money to people who hate us? People who would celebrate if we got nuked ! I am hoping we can cut the ties with the Palestinians under the Trump administration.

    Let Abbas snub all he wants.  I don’t see how it helps his cause in the least.  I’m not going to claim I know the international ramifications, but from a moral point of view, I would agree to cut ties with these lying terrorists, and let Israel handle the situation in whatever way supports their national interest.

    • #24
  25. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):
    I don’t understand why we give these people even $1.

    I think it was a bribe to keep them in a phony peace process. I guess we’re learning that they don’t care about peace; they only care about destroying Israel.

    Yes, was that under Clinton?  I can’t remember.

    • #25
  26. Mim526 Member
    Mim526
    @Mim526

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Mim526 (View Comment):
    I hope Tillerson can stick around long enough to get the State Dept flushed out. And wouldn’t it be nice to see whoever in the House messed with H.R. 1124 splashed across the evening news.

    Since Lindsey Graham and Tom Cotton were original sponsors to the bill, I hold out a tiny hope that the bill will have some sense restored to it in the Senate. But it’s only a tiny hope.

    Maybe we all ought to text Fox News hosts (Baier, MacCallum, Carlson, Hannity, Perino, Bream…) asking why, according to Times of Israel  was H.R. 1124 altered to allow Palestinian Authority to receive funds if State Dept ‘certifies’ they are taking steps against terrorism, and what steps will be acceptable to receive certification.

    • #26
  27. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    According to the Globe:

    Since its creation by the Oslo Accords in 1993, the Palestinian Authority has taken over much of the heavy lifting of governing Palestinians in the West Bank, including reining in protests and arresting terror suspects. Israeli deaths from Palestinian terrorism have declined steadily, even as attacks by Israeli settlers on both Palestinians and the Israeli military have dramatically risen.

    • #27
  28. Mim526 Member
    Mim526
    @Mim526

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Mim526 (View Comment):
    AP Correspondent in Gaza:

    Fares Akram‏Verified account @faresakram

    Hamas declines to comment on the Israeli discovery of a tunnel extending from Gaza. Earlier Sunday, its military wing said “our battle for Jerusalem is going on round the clock, above and under the ground.”

    4:34 AM – 10 Dec 2017

    —————————————

    In November 2017, both WaPo and NYT reported HAMAS movement handed control over border posts in the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority. According to Reuters, PA ministers have begun gradually to assume their duties in Gaza and took over the revenue accounts of the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings, officials said.

    Hamas had used those revenues – taxes and fees collected from merchants and passengers – as part of its Gaza budget, to pay salaries of the 40,000 to 50,000 employees it has hired since 2007.

    Great piece, Mim. Thank you. Yes, I was about to comment on the number of people employed by the government of Gaza and the PA. Fortunately Israel is finding new and better ways to stop the tunneling. But the moving around of money–it’s so frustrating.

    Doesn’t seem Hamas is out of Gaza yet if Israel is directing inquiry to them (not PA), and if PA does eventually assume full control of Gaza, what will they do with the tunnels?

    • #28
  29. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Mim526 (View Comment):
    Doesn’t seem Hamas is out of Gaza yet if Israel is directing inquiry to them (not PA), and if PA does eventually assume full control of Gaza, what will they do with the tunnels?

    I doubt that Hamas will be less active whether they formally give over control to the PA or not. The PA will not stop them. And since the tunnels cross over into Israel, the Israelis will continue to destroy them. These “changes” are meant to tell the world that Hamas and the PA will agree to coordinate governance. I doubt that will happen with any meaningful change, since ultimately both want overall power. Joint ruling isn’t going to happen, at least not effectively.

    • #29
  30. Mim526 Member
    Mim526
    @Mim526

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Mim526 (View Comment):
    Doesn’t seem Hamas is out of Gaza yet if Israel is directing inquiry to them (not PA), and if PA does eventually assume full control of Gaza, what will they do with the tunnels?

    I doubt that Hamas will be less active whether they formally give over control to the PA or not. The PA will not stop them. And since the tunnels cross over into Israel, the Israelis will continue to destroy them. These “changes” are meant to tell the world that Hamas and the PA will agree to coordinate governance. I doubt that will happen with any meaningful change, since ultimately both want overall power. Joint ruling isn’t going to happen, at least not effectively.

    Seems to me one large stumbling block against any Israeli/Palestinian agreement is PA’s lack of cohesive, central govt.  And isn’t Abbas well past his elected term?

    • #30
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