U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced a bill on Tuesday that would end financial aid to the Palestinian Authority unless the entity recognizes the State of Israel and officially abandons terrorism.
The legislation would cut off all aid, including loan guarantees and debt relief to the PA or any affiliated government entity, according to media reports.
The exceptions to the measure require the president to certify that the PA has:
1. Formally recognized the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state, 2. Publicly recognized the State of Israel, 3. Purged all individuals with terrorist ties from security services, 4. Terminated funding of anti-American and anti-Israel incitement, 5. Publicly pledged to not engage in war with Israel, and 6. Honored previous diplomatic agreements.
In addition, the law would ban aid to the PA without a presidential waiver if a unity government is established that includes the Hamas terrorist organization, because Hamas refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist, and has vowed to destroy the Jewish State in any case.
According to a report published by The Washington Post, a spokesperson for Senator Paul explained that “the Palestinian Anti-Terrorist Act of 2006 contains a national security waiver that allows the President to waive elements of the law. Senator Paul’s legislation does not contain a national security waiver.”
What that means, said the spokesperson, is that the bill “takes the subjectivity out of the law by mandating that the PA renounces terrorism and terminates anti-American and anti-Israel incitement.”
Whether or not the PA security service is working secretly together with Israeli security is another matter.
That problem presents a quandary in that pulling the funding – or at least, the option of funding – from the hands of those who would negotiate with PA officials could be more dangerous than it appears. Keeping up the fight against terrorism even if it is a subtle and undercover effort on the PA side is worth financing. The question is – are the PA security forces actually doing that job?