Thursday, May 26th | 25 Iyyar 5782

April 16, 2021 1:39 pm

Funding the Palestinian Authority Is a Betrayal of American Values

avatar by Cliff Rieders


Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas attends a virtual meeting, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sept. 3, 2020. Photo: Alaa Badarneh / Pool / File photo via Reuters.

The Biden administration’s decision to provide $235 million of United States aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) has not been a major news story. The PA was set up by the Oslo Accords, and its headquarters were established in the “West Bank” of the Jordan River. But the west bank of the Jordan River, as a separate entity, did not exist until 1948 when the Kingdom of Jordan invaded Israel in an attempt to drive all the Jews out of their homeland — and to their death. The West Bank was actually illegally occupied by the Jordanians between 1948 and 1967.

The Oslo Accords were supposed to create peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Unfortunately, the PA was the successor to Yasser Arafat’s terrorist Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

The PA today is a tinhorn dictatorship, which receives an enormous amount of foreign aid that enables it to spend money on payments to terrorists or stash away funds in secret Swiss bank accounts controlled by the corrupt officials who run the territory.

Why is the US giving $235 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority and other anti-Israel groups? Aid had been suspended because the Palestinians pay money to families of terrorists who attack and kill innocent Jews, and non-Jews as well. As a result of the PA promoting and supporting terrorism, the United States Congress passed the Taylor Force Act prohibiting aid except in specific humanitarian situations.

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The terror payments have not stopped, but now US aid will be resumed.

The Biden administration has announced that payments will be “consistent with US law,” but that is impossible. Any money the United States gives the Palestinian Authority frees up funds to be used for the nefarious activities of the dictatorship.

Only recently, the PA, through its propaganda machine, accused Israel of failing or refusing to provide COVID-19 vaccines to Palestinians  — something that the Israeli government, of course, has no obligation to do. However, the Israeli government did in fact make such an offer, but the Palestinian Authority turned it down. They proudly claimed they could — and would — get the vaccine on their own.

The PA continues to deny Israel’s right to exist, and continues its relationship with other terrorist groups, especially those in the Gaza Strip.  The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that for prior fiscal years, the USAID office “did not consistently ensure” that grants would not be passed along to terrorist groups and individual terrorists.

Why, when our own needs are so great and we are in terrible debt as a result of the recent pandemic, are we giving money to those who not only hate our country, but are waging a continual war of annihilation against the Jewish people? Have we not learned the lessons of the Holocaust and genocide throughout the world?  When a nation as great as the United States empowers and finances terrorism, the consequences will always rebound to our detriment.

By supporting those who do not share American interests and whose continuing goal is the destruction of the Jewish state, we are betraying our country’s founding values and principles.

Cliff Rieders is a board-certified trial advocate in Williamsport, past president of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, and a past member of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority. None of the opinions expressed necessarily represent the views of these organizations.

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