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. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Mim526 (View Comment):
    Seems to me one large stumbling block against any Israel/Palestinian agreement is PA’s lack of cohesive, central govt.

    This has been a major complaint for years: how can they govern their own state when they can’t even manage to govern now? With all the expertise in the world available to them, they can’t even figure out how to get the help to set things straight. Sigh.

    • #31
  2. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Susan Quinn: Worst of all, the bill no longer demands that the PA acknowledge the right of Israel to exist.

    Pitiful.

    I wish the price of UN membership was each member nation had to recognize the right of Israel to exist . . .

    • #32
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stad (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Worst of all, the bill no longer demands that the PA acknowledge the right of Israel to exist.

    Pitiful.

    I wish the price of UN membership was each member nation had to recognize the right of Israel to exist . . .

    I wish there weren’t a UN . . .

    • #33
  4. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    You might want to read Caroline Glick’s post today, as she asserts that President Trump is taking back control of the State Dept.

    http://carolineglick.com/trumps-great-gifts-to-israel-and-america/

    Also her speech just prior to President Trump’s speech regarding the PLO’s temper tantrums and why it works.

    http://carolineglick.com/thank-you-president-trump/

    The State Department is in a rage because President Trump is taking control of Foreign Policy. Give our president the opportunity to correct this mess. But please do read her post and listen to her short speech.

    • #34
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Kay of MT (View Comment):
    The State Department is in a rage because President Trump is taking control of Foreign Policy. Give our president the opportunity to correct this mess. But please do read her post and listen to her short speech.

    I’ve been following her since you told me about her, Kay. Thanks for updating us! She’s great!

    • #35
  6. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    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.

    That’s another thing I don’t understand – why do we keep pretending there’s a “peace process”.

    OK, must not provoke my blood pressure. It’s only Monday morning.

    • #36
  7. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I’ve been following her since you told me about her, Kay. Thanks for updating us! She’s great!

    I subscribe to her web site and posts, find her in my inbox almost every day or so. She is so intelligent with so much insight. Have you read her bona fides? Her accomplishments are stupendous.

    http://carolineglick.com/caroline-b-glick/

    • #37
  8. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):
    That’s another thing I don’t understand – why do we keep pretending there’s a “peace process”.

    OK, must not provoke my blood pressure. It’s only Monday morning.

    Read the links to Caroline Glick I provided above in #34. It will make you feel better.

    • #38
  9. Justin Hertog Inactive
    Justin Hertog
    @RooseveltGuck

    If this winds up being the final bill everyone should consider urging the President to veto it and explain why. He should then send it back to Congress with instructions to make it tougher.

    • #39
  10. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Interesting direction this took.  I supposed I’d read Glick at some point, but these were interesting links  Kay of  Mt put up.  This whole shift is possible, in part, because of fracking.  I hope we continue the momentum and do in fact base our foreign policy, in general, on reality.  Part of the past reality was our dependence on M.E. oil, the influence our companies had on policy directly and through our diplomatic service and the inevitable influence of being in many anti Israel countries who echo the same spin year in and year out and, of course, in only one Israel, who are not, I’m told as charming as Arabs.  That’s why leadership and following Kissinger policy of multiple out of area assignments are important.

    • #40
  11. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Talks that don’t lead anywhere, that just serve as a cover while settlement jihad 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.

     

    FTFY

    The fact that you consider the building of houses to be on par with if not worse than indiscriminate acts of violence speaks volumes.

    • #41
  12. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):
    That’s another thing I don’t understand – why do we keep pretending there’s a “peace process”.

     

    Because despite our collective cynicism, most of us simply do not want to admit that a culture like Palestine, one whose entire reason for existing is hatred of another culture, could possibly exist. We want to believe that such a culture is the domain of badly written children’s books. We have to assume/pretend that the cultural leadership is either negotiating in good faith or that they don’t actually represent the will of the people, and so we have to maintain the charade that the Palestinians have any interest at all in peace.

    • #42
  13. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    In the first place ,why are we giving money to people who hate us?

    I assume we are paying for influence and that if we weren’t paying our interests would suffer.

    Still looks like a bad investment.

    • #43
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    It’s extremely interesting that all the massive violence they expected in Gaza and PA governed areas hasn’t happened; there have been some protests, but they’ve been pretty half-hearted. Countries outside the area have had some large protests, but I suspect that is more about what is happening in those countries, such as Indonesia and Lebanon, and less to do with the plight of the Palestinians.

    • #44
  15. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Talks that don’t lead anywhere, that just serve as a cover while settlement jihad 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.

    FTFY

    The fact that you consider the building of houses to be on par with if not worse than indiscriminate acts of violence speaks volumes.

    The point is there’s a connection between increased settlements and increased violence.

    If people are genuinely prioritising dealing with violence they really need to deal with that link as well.

    • #45
  16. Douglas Baringer Inactive
    Douglas Baringer
    @DudleyDoright49

    Susan Quinn:

     

    Or Rex Tillerson could further clean up his department.

    What a joke.

    There are 3 men in Washington that desperately need to clean their houses, Rex Tillerson, Christopher Wray and Jeff Sessions.  If not, then the boot!

    • #46
  17. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    It’s extremely interesting that all the massive violence they expected in Gaza and PA governed areas hasn’t happened; there have been some protests, but they’ve been pretty half-hearted. Countries outside the area have had some large protests, but I suspect that is more about what is happening in those countries, such as Indonesia and Lebanon, and less to do with the plight of the Palestinians.

    What little optimist there is in me hopes it’s an acceptance of reality on the part of the Palestinians. One of the myriad podcasters I listen to* pointed out that what motivates the Palestinians is the sincere belief that it is inevitable that some day the State of Israel will no longer exist. Trump just took a yuuge step toward making the less psychotic among them question this assumption.


    *I want to say it was Ben Shapiro, but that may just be my mind connecting the token Jew to this issue. :)

    • #47
  18. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Zafar (View Comment):
    The point is there’s a connection between increased settlements and increased violence.

     

    Yes, it’s all those dirty Jews’ fault for building their homes in the wrong places.

    Tell me, Zafar, do you believe in reciprocity on this issue? Are there areas of Israel in which Arabs should be forbidden from building homes lest they forfeit the right to be safe from violence? If a Jewish community declared the presence of Arabs in their neighborhoods to be such an intolerable imposition that the use of indiscriminate violence was justified, would you be okay with that?

    • #48
  19. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    Zafar (View Comment):
    The point is there’s a connection between increased settlements and increased violence.

    It is insanity to believe the city of Jerusalem and the other cities of Israel are “settlements” which is what some people call them. The Jews have a 3500 year history of being in Israel and saying anything different doesn’t make it so. In the late 1800’s and prior to WWI we bought the land from the Ottoman Empire, before it was dispersed by the English and French. Islamic violence started against the Jews when Mohamed slaughtered Jewish tribes in Medina when they refused to convert to his brand of religion in 600+ CE. “Settlements” in Israel have nothing to do with the violence. Nothing will make them happy until all Jews are thrown into the sea. And, that is not going to happen.

    • #49
  20. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    I really like Caroline Glick’s message that for the first time in 70 years, United States Middle East policy is based on reality. Zionism is about Zion. Thanks, @kayofmt

    • #50
  21. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    The point is there’s a connection between increased settlements and increased violence.

    Yes, it’s all those dirty Jews’ fault for building their homes in the wrong places.

    Why is it (apparently) impossible to respond to me without caricaturing my position?

    Being Jewish is only relevant here insofar as it is what’s used to define an in group (that takes) and an out group (that is taken from).  Just as race was only relevant in Apartheid South Africa for the same reason.  If Palestinians had been displaced by another nationality that was Hindu or Buddhist or some type of Christian or Muslim the issues would have been the same.

    And you could criticise Apartheid without hating on white people – because while their whiteness may have been relevant to them, it was only tangentially (because used as a marker) connected to what was wrong with Apartheid.

    Ditto with Israel and Jewishness – coincidental, imho, not causative or otherwise meaningful to the issue.  I understand you may not agree with me, but that’s the position I’m arguing.

     

    • #51
  22. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Of possible relevance:

    http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTMENA/Resources/Report.pdf

    • #52
  23. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Zafar (View Comment):
    And you could criticise Apartheid without hating on white people – because while their whiteness may have been relevant to them, it was only tangentially (because used as a marker) connected to what was wrong with Apartheid.

     

    You could criticize Apartheid because the blacks were not talking about pushing the whites into the sea. You could criticize Apartheid because black on white violence was an occasional thing, not something whites had to constantly worry about. The Palestinians have chosen random acts of violence as their primary negotiating tactic; whenever something doesn’t go their way, they threaten a new intifada, to say nothing of the near daily violence the Jews have to live with. If the Zulu and the Xhosa acted like that, I would have said that the Afrikaaners were perfectly within their rights to subdue them.

    And yet whenever someone brings up this fact, you try to turn the subject to “settlements,” with the clear implication that the violence is justified because the Jews never should have been there. It is not a caricature to say that I have not once seen you condemn Palestinian violence without commensurate hand wringing about “settlements” as if the two were morally equivalent. You use terms like “ethnic cleansing” to refer not to those who are actually trying to commit genocide, but to those who are trying to keep their communities safe from said genocide. You apparently agree with the idea that certain areas of the Levant should be off limits for Jews, but at best you refuse to answer whether a reciprocal restriction on Arabs would be acceptable. (I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the answer is no.)

    • #53
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    And you could criticise Apartheid without hating on white people – because while their whiteness may have been relevant to them, it was only tangentially (because used as a marker) connected to what was wrong with Apartheid.

    You could criticize Apartheid because the blacks were not talking about pushing the whites into the sea. You could criticize Apartheid because black on white violence was an occasional thing, not something whites had to constantly worry about. The Palestinians have chosen random acts of violence as their primary negotiating tactic; whenever something doesn’t go their way, they threaten a new intifada, to say nothing of the near daily violence the Jews have to live with. If the Zulu and the Xhosa acted like that, I would have said that the Afrikaaners were perfectly within their rights to subdue them.

    And yet whenever someone brings up this fact, you try to turn the subject to “settlements,” with the clear implication that the violence is justified because the Jews never should have been there. It is not a caricature to say that I have not once seen you condemn Palestinian violence without commensurate hand wringing about “settlements” as if the two were morally equivalent. You use terms like “ethnic cleansing” to refer not to those who are actually trying to commit genocide, but to those who are trying to keep their communities safe from said genocide. You apparently agree with the idea that certain areas of the Levant should be off limits for Jews, but at best you refuse to answer whether a reciprocal restriction on Arabs would be acceptable. (I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the answer is no.)

    @umbrafractus and @zafar, I don’t know if anyone has noticed (I’m pretty sure that Zafar has ) that I’m not responding to his (Zafar’s) comments. I am fond of Zafar and respect him in many ways, but his fundamental beliefs on this issue are so thoroughly different than mine that I’ve decided not to discuss them. I should say that there are factual areas where we do agree, but mostly we don’t. When I discuss with people, I assume that there may be areas where we do see eye-to-eye; but I don’t think Zafar and I have enough areas where we can influence each other to reconsider almost anything. Zafar is deeply steeped in his beliefs and perspectives, and so am I, so there is essentially no opportunity for movement for either of us. I’ve debated with Zafar for a long time, thinking that he might appreciate some of my points, and occasionally he does, but then again, I rarely appreciate his points. So I encourage anyone to discuss your points with Zafar, but I won’t be on this topic, and that saddens me. If this comment is unclear, feel free to ask me to elaborate.

    • #54
  25. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    @umbrafractus – a lot of that stuff was happening in South Africa at the end of Apartheid.   Hence the readiness for a negotiated settlement, imho – on both ‘sides’.

    wrt Jew-free areas – I totally do not think that some parts of the world should be Jew free, or Muslim free or Christian free (or black/white/brown free).  The immense success and welcome of Jews in America hinged – imho – on the fact that came to join the other people, not displace them and their institutions.  The opposite approach is why it went so badly in Palestine.

    • #55
  26. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    @susanquinn – one of the reasons I joined Ricochet was to get out of my bubble and be exposed to points of view with which I profoundly disagreed.  On the subject of Zionism and Israel I think it’s fair to say that this is happening.   If, however, you find my participation on thread related to one of your posts distressing or unwelcome just PM me and I can switch to read only mode.  (Or at least try very hard to do so.)

    • #56
  27. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Zafar (View Comment):
    wrt Jew-free areas – I totally do not think that some parts of the world should be Jew free

    But the ultimate logic behind complaining about “settlements” is that there are certain areas of Palestine in which the mere presence of Jewish families is an act of aggression. To claim moral equivalency between these settlements and the Palestinians’ suicide bombings, rocket attacks, truck attacks, knifings, and G-d knows what else is infuriating.

    • #57
  28. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Zafar (View Comment):
    @susanquinn – one of the reasons I joined Ricochet was to get out of my bubble and be exposed to points of view with which I profoundly disagreed. On the subject of Zionism and Israel I think it’s fair to say that this is happening. If, however, you find my participation on thread related to one of your posts distressing or unwelcome just PM me and I can switch to read only mode. (Or at least try very hard to do so.)

    I want you to participate as much as you like, Zafar.  And I want others to participate as much as they wish. As an author who is usually very active, I am just explaining my observing and not engaging. I likely won’t mention it again.

     

    • #58
  29. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    wrt Jew-free areas – I totally do not think that some parts of the world should be Jew free

    But the ultimate logic behind complaining about “settlements” is that there are certain areas of Palestine in which the mere presence of Jewish families is an act of aggression. To claim moral equivalency between these settlements and the Palestinians’ suicide bombings, rocket attacks, truck attacks, knifings, and G-d knows what else is infuriating.

    It’s not the presence of Jewish families, it’s the absence of Arab families that is the issue.

    Why are they absent?

    Consider:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internally_displaced_Palestinians

    • #59
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