The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
When Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas tried to end run the PA’s treaty obligations to negotiate its statehood with Israel and instead secure recognition from the United Nations, Congress reacted by forbidding the transfer of State Department foreign aid funds to the PA. Several days ago, however, President Obama invoked a waiver provision in the law and authorized the funding to be resumed. And therein lies an important tale.
To be sure, the funding restriction is subject to a presidential waiver that says
[t]he prohibition…shall not apply if the President certifies in writing to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President pro tempore of the Senate, and the Committees on Appropriations that waiving such prohibition is important to the national security interests of the United States….
Whenever the waiver authority…is exercised, the President shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations detailing the justification for the waiver, the purposes for which the funds will be spent, and the accounting procedures in place to ensure that the funds are properly disbursed: Provided, That the report shall also detail the steps the Palestinian Authority has taken to arrest terrorists, confiscate weapons and dismantle the terrorist infrastructure.
Although the administration has yet to release the required reports, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor told reporters that the president’s waiver decision was made in order to ensure “the continued viability of the moderate PA government.” He went on to say that “the PA had fulfilled all its major obligations, such as recognizing Israel’s right to exist, renouncing violence and accepting the roadmap for peace.”
One wonders how this can be reconciled with the PA’s attempt at UN recognition, its support for Palestinian “resistance” against Israel, and its refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Moreover, the PA has signed onto a unity government with Hamas, which controls Gaza, and that raises an issue most commentators have missed. Another section of the funding law provides as follows:
None of the funds appropriated…may be obligated for salaries of personnel of the Palestinian Authority located in Gaza or may be obligated or expended for assistance to Hamas or any entity effectively controlled by Hamas, any power-sharing government of which Hamas is a member, or that results from an agreement with Hamas and over which Hamas exercises undue influence.
This section does not contain a presidential waiver as such, but does provide that the limitations on funding a power-sharing government won’t apply if the president certifies “that such government including all of its ministers” accept the so-called “620 K principles” – central to which is recognition of “the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist” and acceptance of previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements.
It seems clear that the Fatah-controlled PA does not meet these requirements. It is incontrovertible that Hamas doesn’t.
President Obama and his administration know what we know. The decision to resume funding of the PA based on a palpably fictional scenario is only the latest evidence of the contempt this administration has for the American political system.
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For a peace treaty with the PA, half the Israeli public would agree to divide the Jerusalem
As for the president’s new, softer tone vis-à-vis Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel, this is most likely being driven by the results of the recent Israeli election.
What especially appeals to us is his grand – some critics would say extravagant –view of what the borders of Israel should look like.
The establishment of Hebrew University was a cause much beloved to Einstein who in 1923, during what would be his only trip to Eretz Yisrael, delivered the university’s inaugural lecture on Har Hatzofim (Mt. Scopus) and, discussing the theory of relativity, spoke the first few sentences of his address in Hebrew.
The Golden Square wanted Germany to destroy the British and Jewish presence in their country. The Third Reich craved what was beneath the ground – oil.
Ida Nudel’s account of how the Soviets persecuted and punished her was far worse than imagined.
Swim4Sadna is an annual event benefiting Sadna, an integrative special-ed community in Gush Etzion
Prof. Wistrich, was THE foremost historian of anti-Semitism; committed spokesman & advocate of Jewry
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On his shloshim, I want to discuss a term I’ve heard countless times about Rav Aharon: Gedol HaDor
After obsequious claims of devotion to Israel, Obama took to criticizing Israel on peace process
Mr. Obama, Israeli voters have democratically chosen to apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea&Samaria
There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.
Beyond the particulars of this tragic death, however, we should all be concerned about the possibility that a criminal prosecution in a major American city is being driven by fear of mobs in the street.
The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.
A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.
More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/lifting-the-pa-funding-freeze/2012/05/09/
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