Make your tax deductible contribution today to The Middle East Initiative.
Did you know that there has never been a time in American history that a president has chosen to sign into law, legislation that contributes $960 million in foreign assistance to the enemies of the United States, within a 12 month period, and at a time of deep economic crisis?
The first public announcement came on July 24, when Secretary of State Clinton, declared she wanted to “personally announce the delivery of $200 million” for the budget needs of the Palestinian Authority, (PA), under the present leadership of Mahmoud Abbas. By directing these contributions to the PA, the President may be in direct contravention of the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, (P.L. 111-8), Sec. 7039, (b) and (c).
Section 7039 (b) of the federal statute prohibits the funding and economic support of any “individual, private, or government entity, or educational institution…[that] advocates, plans, sponsors, engages in, or has engaged in, terrorist activity…” Furthermore, Section 7039, (c) (1) notes, that funds cannot be granted to the West Bank and Gaza that “…may be made available for the purpose of recognizing or otherwise honoring individuals who commit, or have committed acts of terrorism.”
To circumvent these important stipulations in Sec. 7039, in a Whitehouse memorandum, Presidential Determination, No. 2009-23, Obama signed a waiver of restriction on providing funds to the Palestinian Authority stating it was in the national security interests of the United States to do so.
Is funding groups like the PA in America’s national security interests?
Just what is the Palestinian Authority and who is Mahmoud Abbas? The PA is the political offshoot of the Palestine Liberation Organization, (PLO), a terrorist group, known to have murdered several Americans and Israelis and has a history of working with and supporting other radical organizations. Mahmoud Abbas has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization since November 11, 2004, following the death of Yasser Arafat. In their early years, Abbas and Arafat were active inside Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood until Egypt expelled both men in 1950. The Muslim Brotherhood, a radical Islamic terrorist group, even by Egypt’s standards, has been around since the early part of the last century and considered a forerunner of HAMAS, the Islamic Resistance Movement, and another major Palestinian terrorist organization that now controls Gaza following Israel’s disengagement from the area.
Yasser Arafat, referred to as the Father of modern terrorism, soon founded Fatah, also a terrorist organization, and in 1961, recruited Abbas into its ranks. During the late 1950s, early1960s, many wealthy Palestinians were enlisted into the movement from several Persian Gulf countries including Qatar and Kuwait and it was later suggested that Abbas provided the funding for the Munich Massacre in which 11 innocent Israeli athletes were murdered at the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany in 1972. Later on 23 November 2008, the PLO’s Central Council chose Mahmoud Abbas as their President. He ran on the Fatah ticket and he remains the PA President/Chairman and Fatah chief. On a personal note, Abbas chose to name one of his three sons after Yasser Arafat, a man who stood for the use of terror over the course of a lifetime.
Both within the PA and the PLO, Fatah remains the largest Palestinian political and military faction and espouses a leftist, socialist agenda, maintaining a number of terrorist groups such as Force 17, Black September, Fatah Hawks, Tanzim, and Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades. While doing research for this piece there was another Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade attack, Wednesday, August 12th in Binyamin, Israel. While Abbas has stated publicly that the group had been disbanded, the group in fact remains actively engaged. Moreover, at Fatah’s Conference in August, Fatah reaffirmed its endorsement of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade and announced that it would serve as Fatah’s military wing.
On the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations prior to 1989 and designated a terrorist group under Israeli law, Fatah decided to publicly renounce terrorism in 1988. Fatah was subsequently removed from the State Department’s list, but never ended calls for violence nor did they stop terrorizing Israeli citizens. Their strategies and objectives have remained unchanged. For example, this summer, during the PA’s Fatah General Conference, Fatah’s internal charter, Section 17 was left unabridged. It states: “Popular armed revolution is the imperative and the only way to liberate Palestine.” [See Middle East Media Research Institute, Inquiry and Analysis, No. 541, August 13, 2009, at www.memri.org., for an in-depth examination of Conference results].
Furthermore, both the print and electronic media have been and continue to be under the control of the Palestinian Authority. Their themes remain the same i.e., for all Palestinians to initiate “violence and terror” as it is “capable” . . . that the goal of the Palestinians has never been peace, rather “. . . peace is a means; the goal is Palestine,” the total elimination of a Jewish state in Israel. For extensive coverage of PA television programming and interviews of PA and Fatah officials, other news publications and broadcasts, please see Palestinian Media Watch at www.pmw.org.il.
The Palestinian Authority, the ruling entity over Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria, (the West Bank), has named schools, street names, city squares, soccer fields and even soccer tournaments after terrorists to honor and glorify their deeds. Even through television programming, special broadcasts air to venerate terrorism. In March of 2009, there was a “television special” to celebrate a terror attack and pay tribute to Mughrabi, a terrorist who murdered 37 people. The broadcast referred to Mughrabi as a “hero”. [www.pmw.org.il/Bulletins_May2009.htm].
So while the United States government continues to fund the Palestinians, one of the largest per capita recipients of foreign aid worldwide, the American people must challenge the U.S. government with the question? Has this massive welfare system of huge cash donations or incentives, stopped terrorism against Jews and Americans around the world over the last 60+ years? No, indeed!
Next question: Then why does Washington embrace a foreign policy approach that provides massive amounts of foreign aid to the Palestinians and in particular, the PA, in the belief that this will bring stability between the West and the Islamic world? Answer: The conventional wisdom in Washington from the “experts” purports that vast sums of money will buy influence and thus, modify and moderate behavior.
However, contributions have never stabilized and/or moderated Palestinian behavior. The PA together with Palestinian terrorist groups continue their strategies unabated and with widespread support from the local population. Moreover, Palestinians still manage to cling ideologically to America’s enemies such as North Korea, Chavez’s Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, Syria, and Hezbollah.
What the Whitehouse and Congress have not been telling the American people is that the PA/Fatah and the PLO have not been representative governing bodies, but corrupt, political and military machines that continue to work with militant forces using terrorism to achieve their goals and silence their opposition.
Perhaps now is a good time to open an investigation into the merits of President Obama’s Presidential Determination No. 2009-23 indicating that support for the PA is in the national security interests of the United States?
Consider the historical record as well. After conducting research at the National Archives, records indicated that during the first quarter of the last century monies had been solicited by Muslim Arabs who came to live in an area the League of Nations called Palestine under the British Mandate. Likewise, donations poured in from around the Muslim Arab world, years before the rebirth of Israel in 1948. Donations to the Muslim Arabs with the new “Palestinian” identity and passport were needed to wage a war of terror against the non-Muslim, Jewish population, a people who had lived there since time immemorial. How extraordinary that a century later contributions still go to the Palestinian movement and into the coffers of militants who still terrorize the Jewish people.
In summary, many Israelis believe that they will remain in a state of war, a war of attrition waged by the Palestinians, as the Obama administration and this Congress fund terror groups through governing entities like the PA.
The incitement to hate and kill Jews and Christians continues among the Palestinian people and their leadership, the PA and Fatah. The electronic and print media, schools and mosques, summer camps for children, in point of fact, every aspect of the life of a Palestinian is socialized to hate Israel, the Jews, and the American people. (Recall the scenes of street celebrations as the Palestinians danced and passed out candy to celebrate the deaths of over 3,000 people on 9/11).
Does the American taxpayer want their dollars spent on Palestinians and the terrorist groups they continue to support and maintain? Are the national security interests of the United States and Israel served by prolonging a massive welfare system for people that remain committed to war against the West?
In reality, no nation can purchase stability and peace with a people brought up in an environment of hate and determined to wage war and destruction.
It is a time for action. According to the Congressional Research Service, Congress is currently considering FY2010 appropriations legislation (H.R. 3081 and S. 1434). These bills will give an additional $500 million in assistance to the Palestinians.
Let your United States’ Representatives and Senators know your views. And email the President here.