FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
The Palestinian Accountability Act
One of the more intractable components of our foreign policy dating back to the Clinton years has been the obsession of creating a Palestinian state. The career egghead diplomats in the State Department believed that if we would only send billions in aid to the venerable leaders of the Palestinian Authority and grant them statehood, they would put down their terror toys and sing kumbaya. To that end, we have given them billions in aid and provided them with military training during the past two decades.
Those of us who lack the credulity of a toddler understand that Mahmoud Abbas is not a dulcet freedom-lover, and the PA/Fatah is not a moderate Muslim boys’ club. It’s time to end the good cop/bad cop charade between the “extremist” Hamas and the “moderate” Fatah – by treating them as co-equal perpetrators of terror. Abbas has repeatedly called for armed struggle against Israel (in Arabic, of course), glorified suicide bombers, and is closely linked with the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an Iranian-funded terror group that rivals Hamas in its ferocity in recent years.
Congressman Joe Walsh (R-IL) is introducing legislation today that will finally halt the open-ended commitment to the Palestinians. No, a few hundred million dollars in cuts will not balance the budget; however, we should not be sending one red cent to terrorists anywhere in the world.
Here are some details of the bill from a Dear Colleague letter sent by Congressman Walsh:
Among its various provisions, the Palestinian Accountability Act will require the following actions from the Palestinian Authority as prerequisites for any U.S. aid:
· That it end corruption, promote democracy, and stop influencing elections in Palestinian territories;
· Strongly condemn terrorism, bring terrorists to justice, and end the incitement to violence and hatred;
· Recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state;
· And either exclude Hamas from government or publicly bind it to this Act’s requirements.
In addition, should the United Nations or any of its entities unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state, the United States will withhold funding from the United Nations until the Secretary of State has certified that the Palestinian Authority has met this Act’s requirements. The Palestinian Authority must be held accountable for its actions.
Additionally, the bill withholds all funds from the PA beginning in 2012 unless there is an independent audit of the PA budget. Also, our $250 million in aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the organization that harbors Palestinian terrorists under the guise of humanitarian aid, would be terminated unless the shady organization undergoes a similar audit. Hopefully, those audits would be performed by the CBO instead of the State Department. Furthermore, Walsh’s bill would withhold funds from the UN if any of its agencies recognize a Palestinian state later this year.
Another interesting detail of the bill is that it would prohibit all government documents from referring to PA-controlled areas as “Palestine” unless they agree to a number of conditions which would abrogate their culture of terror; conditions they will never fulfill.
A further ancillary benefit of this bill is that it would obviate Obama’s effort to cajole Israel into giving away their country to the PA terrorists. Ever since Benjamin Netanyahu dressed down Obama for his criminal naivety (or malice) regarding Israel’s security threats, Obama has worked stealthily to threaten Bibi into submissiveness to the One. He has remained manically focused on Israel’s 1949 armistice lines. Who knows? Maybe he has nostalgia for the pre-ATM era.
Nonetheless, due to Obama’s full-throated endorsement of the Arab Spring (except in Syria), Israel finds itself surrounded by perilous uncertainty. The administration is now initiating diplomatic relations with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood – the organization that desires war with Israel. Congressional legislation that cuts off funding to the PA will isolate Obama and force him to shift the pressure to the Arab states instead of Israel. It will also force Obama to side with our real allies, instead of expending all of our political capital on those faux Jeffersonian Republicans of the heralded Arab Spring.
Later today, the House will vote on a suspension resolution affirming our commitment to the ridiculous two-state solution. This flaccid bi-partisan resolution, H.Res. 268, is vapid of substantive action against the PA. Instead, Leadership should send Walsh’s Palestinian Accountability Act to the floor. The bill won’t pass under suspension (2/3 majority threshold) because most Democrats won’t support it. Nevertheless, they should schedule a conventional vote on this bill to see who truly stands with Israel. For years, Democrats have played the game of voting for inconsequential resolutions, while tabling anti-PA bills with teeth, so people like Debbie Wasserman-Schultz can profess that they are just as pro-Israel as Republicans.
It’s time to see who stands on principle and is willing to end the ‘don’t ask don’t tell policy’ regarding Palestinian terror.