Sunday, January 29, 2017

Stop Funding Terrorism

Stop the funds and you stop the terror.  It feels like a quaint idea, so easy to understand that many people believe that it cannot possibly be true.

Barack Obama did not believe it. Not only did he provide major cash infusions to Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism, but he tried on his last day to support Palestinian terrorism by funneling money to the Palestinian Authority. One notes that those who are up in arms about the Trump executive order on immigration did not utter a peep about the Obama administration’s funding of terrorism. For that matter they said nothing when the Bush administration did the same.

David Aufhauser and Sander Gerber explained Obama’s last-day action. And they add that the Trump administration is not allowing the transfer to take place:

In the twilight hours of the Obama administration, Secretary of State John Kerry authorized the transfer of $221 million to the Palestinian Authority—in violation of an informal agreement with Congress not to do so. Fortunately, President Trump stopped the transfer before the money left America’s shores. Now he has the opportunity—and the responsibility—to do more.

Why has the American government been funding the Palestinian Authority, allied as it is with Hamas? Aufhauser and Gerber explain:

Over the past 10 years, Washington has provided more than $4 billion in foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority. The goal has been to promote a government in the Palestinian territories capable of assuming the responsibilities of a sovereign state, including the recognition of the state of Israel as a legitimate member of the community of nations. The aid has focused principally on security and criminal-justice programs, U.S. Agency for International Development sponsored assistance for schools, health clinics, water and economic development, and generalized support for the Palestinian Authority’s budget. But unlike the many nongovernmental organizations that contribute charitable funds to the region, American assistance programs, while obliged to vet how the money is spent, have yet to ensure effectively that taxpayer dollars are not diverted to support acts of terror.

It’s the old “money is fungible” idea. The PA has been making terrorism a lucrative business opportunity. It has been providing generous cash payments to the families of anyone who goes out and kills some Jews or some Americans. It’s the Palestinian way of supporting your family: like winning the lottery.

I have on several occasions recommended that the American government stop payments to the Palestinian Authority. As it happens, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates are cutting down their support.

Aufhauser and Gerber agree:

In the face of this widely advertised bureaucracy of terror, the Trump administration should suspend all further aid to the Palestinian Authority. Not another dollar should flow until measures are adopted to assure that no more people are slain because American aid enabled the Palestinian Authority to confidently promise compensation for killing. Congress has already introduced the vehicle to do this, a bill in the name of Taylor Force. If passed into law, it would condition aid on the secretary of state’s certification that the Palestinian Authority has ended its legal sanction of terrorist financing. Without such a commitment, and strong due diligence by the State Department to ensure that it is honored, American funding of the Palestinian Authority should cease.

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