On New Years Day, Donald Trump let the Pakistanis know the ATM was out-of-order. Yesterday afternoon, he let the Palestinians know their victim card was maxed out.
It's not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others. As an example, we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
…peace treaty with Israel. We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
Actually, it is even worse. The majority of our aid goes through the UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency). This agency funds Antisemitism and anti-Israel propaganda in Gaza and the West Bank. Much like the Clinton Foundation and other leftist foundations serve as a farm team/sinecure for Democrat operatives, the UNRWA is a training ground for terrorism (see my post).
After President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Palestinians declared that the United States had forfeited its right to act as a mediator and refused to talk to US diplomats. Trump’s tweets were sort of adding insult to injury, because a couple of hours earlier it was Nikki Haley who brought the bad news.
Speaking with reporters Tuesday at UN headquarters, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley stressed the US remains committed to reaching a peace deal, and indicated it would cut off aid if the Palestinians refused to engage in peace negotiations.
Responding to a reporter’s question on whether the US will continue to provide funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency, which provides aid to millions of Palestinian refugees, in light of a non-binding UN General Assembly resolution last month condemning the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Haley said Trump was prepared to cut aid to UNRWA if the Palestinians refuse to return to peace talks.
“I think the president has basically said that he doesn’t want to give any additional funding until the Palestinians are agreeing to come back to the negotiation table,” Haley said. “We’re trying to move for a peace process but if that doesn’t happen the president is not going to continue to fund that situation.”
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks with the press at United Nations headquarters in New York City on January 2, 2018. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)
“The Palestinians now have to show their will — they want to come to the table. As of now they are not coming to the table but they ask for aid. We’re not giving the aid,” added Haley. “We’re going to make sure they come to the table and we want to move forward with the peace process.”
The US was the biggest donor to UNRWA in 2016, giving $368,429,712. It is also the largest overall supplier of financial support for the Palestinians.
In her remarks, Haley also defended her veto last month of a Security Council resolution condemning Trump’s declaration, in which he also vowed to move the American embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
“I stood proudly even if I was the only hand in the Security Council to fight for the will of the people of the United States,” she said. “They wanted to see the embassy moved to Jerusalem and we followed through with that.”
To understand what she’s saying, let’s look at how the UNRWA is funded:
The Palestinians are not happy:
The Palestinian President’s office rebuffed Mr Trump’s remarks, saying: “Jerusalem is not for sale, neither for gold nor silver.”
Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, said “if the United States is keen on its interests in the Middle East, it must implement the international resolutions which call for a state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
“Without this, the United States will push the region to the abyss,” Mr Abu Rdeneh added.
Hanan Ashrawi, a senior Palestinian official, said the Palestinians “will not be blackmailed” by the US President, adding that Mr Trump “single-handedly destroyed the very foundations of peace” by recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month.
“Trump has sabotaged our search for peace, freedom and justice,” she said. aid.
And neither is the foreign policy establishment that have built rewarding careers on the “peace process:”
Haley threatens to defund UNRWA/Palestinians. This has nothing to do w/peace process; it's an effort to persuade world Trump was serious when he talked about consequences for those who didn't vote w/US on Jerusalem. Won't defund allies so let's beat up on UNhttp://bit.ly/2CEtZqj
— Aaron David Miller (@aarondmiller2) January 2, 2018
If we’ve learned anything since Camp David, it is the Palestinians, in addition to being a violent and corrupt people ruled by a violent and corrupt oligarchy, have failed to negotiate in good faith for nearly 40 years. Their real goal is not a Palestinian state, their goal is the destruction of Israel. Because if the Palestinians get statehood, the merry bunch of terrorists and kleptocrats who rule there now will have to actually do something besides encourage hate and violence. I think this is pretty much what Trump is doing:
US to withhold funding for UNRWA until Palestine joins peace process: https://t.co/OJ3ubt2qAj | Am I the only one seeing a pattern? This, the Likud Central Committee vote, Trump's Jerusalem declaration… Nudging peace talks out of the unhappy status quo rut by raising price
— Jaideep A. Prabhu (@orsoraggiante) January 3, 2018
He’s raising the price of intransigence. But ultimately, Israel is going to impose a solution without negotiations and the self-serving war criminals of the PLO are going to be left holding a very ugly bag.