House Committee Approves Strict Restrictions on US Funding for UN and Palestinian Authority
Tough conditions on American funding for both the UN and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have been approved by the congressional committee overseeing the US Foreign Operations Bill for 2018.
The bill — passed by the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday — places strict restrictions on how the $47.4 billion budget for overseas operations will be disbursed.
A statement from the committee confirmed that there will be “no funding for the (UN) Human Rights Council unless the Secretary of State determines that it is in the national security interest and the Council stops its anti-Israel agenda and increases transparency in the elections of its members.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned back in March that US funding of the council would be terminated if it continued with “its biased agenda against Israel.”
“The bill also prohibits funds for UN organizations headed by countries that support terrorism, and withholds a portion of funds for the UN and international organizations until transparency and accountability measures are met,” the statement added.
In its accompanying report, the committee drew specific attention to the anti-Zionist infrastructure within the UN’s own secretariat. It said it “strongly endorses the Department of State’s withholding of a proportionate share of the costs to such UN entities deemed to be anti-Israeli.”
The committee also asked for an annual report on the activities of the UN agencies promoting anti-Zionist propaganda, such as the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) and the body that services it, the Division for Palestinian Rights.
Gil Kapen — a former congressional staffer with extensive knowledge of the UN’s internal workings — told The Algemeiner on Thursday that “it’s certainly a positive thing that these institutions are having a spotlight focused on them.”
“Hopefully this kind of attention will continue so that they can be eventually eliminated, because they constitute a propaganda apparatus that seeks to delegitimize Israel and is an obstacle to attaining peace in the Middle East,” Kapen — who now serves as an expert with the American Jewish International Relations Institute (AJIRI) — said.
The bill “maintains restrictions on the PA,” including a requirement to reduce funds to the Palestinians by an amount “equivalent to that expended by the PA as payments to prisoners that committed acts of terrorism,” the committee noted. It reiterated that funding will be cut off “if there is a Palestinian government formed through an agreement with Hamas or if the Palestinians are not acting to counter incitement.”
The bill also contains a provision that would restrict Palestinian diplomatic representation in the US in the event that the PA initiates an International Criminal Court investigation against Israel.