The US has been very serious about the Hamas-led government being denied any financial support from US taxpayer money, and with the passage of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s “Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006”, the terrorist led government of the Hamas could be soon feeling ‘the pinch’. Its hard for any government to conduct its daily business from suitcases stuffed with cash, and the US House of Representatives’ bill directs attention where its needed most.
According to YNET :
NGO’s working in the West Bank and Gaza would no longer be eligible for US funding, except for health programs, and all PA representatives would be denied US visas. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a chief sponsor of the bill, said:
“The United States must make it unambiguously clear that we will not support such a terrorist regime, that we will not directly or indirectly allow American taxpayer funds to be used to perpetuate the leadership of an Islamic Jihadist group.”
In a report by JINSA :
“In our favorite part, the bill directs the President to “transmit to theappropriate congressional committees a report containing recommendationsfor the elimination of such entities and efforts that are duplicative orfail to ensure balance in the approach of the United Nations toIsraeli-Palestinian issues.” citing:
- The United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights
- The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
- The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority
- The NGO Network on the Question of Palestine
- The Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories
- Any other entity the Secretary determines results in duplicative efforts or funding or fails to ensure balance in the approach to Israeli-Palestinian issues
These are all good measures, and hopefully these won’t be deleted from the bill when it makes its way into the Senate for final approval, this bill has a way to go before it becomes law. Bush’s administration has already said that it believes the bill a bit too stringent, and other senators have their own ‘watered down’ version of it as well. But hopefully the most important parts of this bill will be included into an eventual law.
Most of Europe (with the exception of Sweden and Norway) has kept to a policy of an official reluctance to have any dealings with a Hamas government, that refuses to acknowledge the rights and existence of the Jewish state of Israel, all pre-existing agreements and the rejection of terrorism. Hopefully this bill with actual teeth, bites the Hamas hard. KGS
Update: In an article by Caroline Glick, she draws attention to the supposed “finacially challenged” Palestinian Authority. Wonders Glick:
“As the researcher Arlene Kushner pointed out in an article published this week by Ynet those miserable unpaid PA employees include some 4,000 Palestinian terrorists who Abbas placed on the PA payroll. Terrorists sitting in Israeli prisons get $4 million a month. Several million more go to paying the families of dead terrorists. Kushner quoted former PA and Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan admitting that of the $10 billion in international aid that the Palestinians have received over the past 12 years, some $5 billion has gone missing.
Abbas, who politely warns against “explosions,” himself controls up to $1b. that he prefers not to use to save his people from that “humanitarian disaster” he’s so bent out of shape about. As Kushner reminds us, in 2002, Salam Fayyad, who then served as the PA’s finance minister, set up the Palestinian Investment Fund (PIF) in an attempt to prevent Arafat from absconding with all the PA’s money. At least $700 million should still be deposited in the PIF which had been valued at $1 billion in recent months.”
Where is all the dough?