Former President Obama meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Nice try, Obama.
Hours before the end of his presidency, former President Barack Obama tried to release $221 million to the Palestinian Authority. The money was to come from the aid that the federal government provides to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
But, the Trump administration has stopped the payment. Whew!
The money was originally held up by a group of both Democrat and Republican congressmen. The hold was in place because Congress wanted more time to assess the actions of the Palestinian Authority. The group wanted to make sure that the Authority was not engaged in actions that would work against peace with Israel.
The actions they were looking at were…
- Unilateral attempts at statehood.
- Incitement to violence.
- Providing money to imprisoned terrorists.
Former President Obama had been pushing hard to release the funds for some time. Big surprise there, right? But the funds were held because the Palestinian Authority hadn’t shown that they weren’t engaged in the aforementioned behaviors.
Maybe it was because Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, was flagrantly corrupt. This is Abbas’s twelfth year as president, even though he was elected to just one four year term in 2005. Maybe he just forgot to step down and allow the PA to hold elections. That’s an understandable mistake, isn’t it?
But, it looks like the Palestinian Authority may not get the money after all, thanks to the Trump administration. The State Department has put a hold on Obama’s plan to send the funds to the Palestinians. The department has stated that they will assess the situation and decide whether or not to follow through with Obama’s plan.
One of biggest problems is that there isn’t a clear understanding of the purpose of the funding. There are reports that state that the State Department intended the money to be used for recovery programs in the Gaza Strip. Others say that the funding would be used to provide “humanitarian aid in the West Bank and Gaza.”
Texas Republican Representative Kay Granger expressed her frustration with Obama’s actions:
I worked to make sure that no American taxpayer dollars would fund the Palestinian Authority unless very strict conditions were met. While none of these funds will go to the Palestinian Authority because of those conditions, they will go to programs in the Palestinian territories that were still under review by Congress. The Obama administration’s decision to release these funds was inappropriate.
But, realistically, we know exactly what that money would be used for. more terrorist activity. It would be used to impede the peace process.
The Palestinian Authority has shown that it does not want true peace with Israel. It has fomented much violence in the conflict. They have rejected every offer of peace that they have been given.
Former President Obama showed his true colors on Israel when he abstained from the vote for U.N. Resolution 2334. It is now abundantly clear, if it wasn’t before, that Obama was never in support of the Jewish state.
Fortunately, the Trump administration has shown that they intend to back Israel instead of pandering to Israel’s enemies. Unlike Obama, President Trump has demonstrated an early willingness to protect the interests of our closest ally in the Middle East.
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