Anyone paying the slightest attention is shaking their heads in disbelief over developments between two Middle East neighbors, the Israelis and Palestinians. The circumstances become more worrisome with a third party halfway around the world meddling in their affairs, the United States. Will President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry act according to US law or defy it?
First, in 2005, the United States of America helped to sway Israel into giving away a portion of her God given real estate, the Gaza Strip, which came to be governed by a political party--Fatah. In 2007 Hamas, which is an internationally recognized terrorist organization, seized power from Fatah by force. Since that time Hamas has been ruling Gaza through fear, through imposition of its radical version of Islamic law and through its charter that calls for the destruction of Israel through jihad.
Recently, Fatah and Hamas formed a unity government. As if it’s not confusing enough, ask yourself this question. “Which country gives its hard-earned taxpayer dollars to the sworn enemy of Israel which is their best and only friend and ally in the Middle East?” Amazingly, the answer is the United States! Any person instantly understands this broken logic and clearly recognizes that, as a country, the moral compass of the United States is badly (and sadly) broken.
US legislators are finally detecting the absurdity of the terrorists-labeled-Big-Satan-America, who is the best friend of the terrorists-labeled-Little-Satan-Israel, giving money to fund their terrorist enemy, Hamas. US Senator Rand Paul recently asked, “Are we okay with sending government money to an entity that includes Hamas? Hamas not only does not recognize Israel but has as part of its charter the destruction of Israel.”
Legislation has been introduced stipulating that US foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority should be contingent upon behavior which means the United States should never give foreign aid without strings attached. Referencing Egypt as an example, Senator Paul asked, “Should we give our foreign aid to the generals in Egypt who recently condemned 683 people to death in eight minutes?
If we are concerned about injustices, can we condone, by rewarding with money, a government with a justice system that allows 683 people to be condemned to death in only eight minutes?”
Current law concerning aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) stipulates that no direct aid may be provided to the PA without the PA taking steps to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, without the PA acting to counter incitement of violence against Israelis, without the PA supporting activities which promote a peaceful coexistence and cooperation with Israel on security issues, and that no aid is permitted for Hamas or Hamas-controlled entities, and that no aid is permitted for a power-sharing PA government that includes Hamas or results from an agreement with Hamas and over which Hamas exercises undue influence. Furthermore, the president of the PA government and all of the PA ministers must accept the following two principles: 1. recognition of the Jewish state of Israel and, 2. acceptance of all previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements.
On the surface, these last two conditions sound good but they fail to go far enough. The PA should be required to not only recognize the Jewish state of Israel, but must also recognize Israel’s “right to exist as a Jewish state.” If you carefully examine the words, the differences are important.
For there to be peace, obviously there must be peaceful coexistence between neighbors. US law confirms this by requiring the Secretary of State to certify that the governing entity (of the PA) demonstrates a firm commitment to a peaceful coexistence with the State of Israel and that it is taking appropriate measures to counter terrorism and terrorist financing in the West Bank and Gaza in cooperation with Israel and others. Do thousands of rockets plummeting Israel’s population centers almost daily look like terrorism has been countered and there is an air of peaceful coexistence? Emphatically, No!
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. First, there is a new US House Resolution calling for the cessation of funds to the new PA/Hamas Unity Government. Second, many members of Congress are calling for enactment of new US law prohibiting funding of foreign terrorist organizations. Third, enter a Democratic Congresswoman who could become the ultimate roadblock to Hamas: Congresswoman Nita Lowey, who is also the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, has vowed to put a strangle hold on the annual flow of tax dollars (meant to encourage the peace process) to the PA (almost $5 billion has already been gifted.) One of several existing legal bars to continued funding is The Consolidated Appropriations Act, Section 7020, Subsection F, entitled “Prohibition to Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization.” It unambiguously declares: “None of the funds appropriated … may be obligated or expended for assistance to Hamas, or any power-sharing government of which Hamas exercises undue influence.”
Congresswoman Lowey says she would be willing to break with her Democrat party and the Obama Administration to stand for the laws already on the books and in opposition to what Kerry and the Obama Administration seem to propose: unrestricted funding of the PA/Hamas Unity Government. As a Democrat, will she be able to stand strong under pressure from the Obama administration on her position to stop rewarding Hamas terrorists with US tax dollars or will she cave in to pressure for the sake of politics?
President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have some hoops to jump through to reconcile their words and actions with United States law. This is especially true considering their overt meddling into the affairs of two Middle East neighbors. A united Hamas and Fatah government represents a significant threat to their neighbor Israel and ultimately to the United States of America. Negotiating with terrorists is dangerous enough, but rewarding terrorists with tax dollars seems treasonous. In the long run, it won’t matter what the words in black and white say on the law books if America’s leadership fails to govern ‘by the people and for the people’ choosing instead to ignore law and the wishes of the people in favor of ruling by fiat, executive orders and by bureaucratic regulations as has become the norm for the current administration in Washington DC. It is, indeed, time for change. Hopefully the US Congress will exercise their lawful power and put a stop to Mr. Obama’s consideration to unlawfully provide funding from US tax dollars to terrorists bent on destroying Israel and the United States.