US withholds $200 million from PA for punishment over statehood bid

Israel/Palestine
on 39 Comments

From Haaretz:

The United States Congress has blocked nearly $200m in aid to the Palestinians, the U.K’s Independent newspaper reported on Saturday.

The aid, which was destined for projects related to food aid, health care, and state building efforts, was to have been transferred to the Palestinian Authority during the U.S. fiscal year that ends today, according to the report.

However, following what the Independent described as an “unpublicized block” imposed on funding to the Palestinians since August this year, in response to the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN, the remainder of the aid allocated to the Palestinian Authority for the current financial year will not be transferred.

The Independent reported that the block by three Congressional committees has been in force since August 18, when it was formally notified that USAID, the U.S. government aid agency, wanted to transfer the remaining $192m funding for the current fiscal year.

Obama’s administration is unable to commit further funding to the Palestinian Authority unless it persuades Congress to lift the freeze, according to the report.

The Independent report adds:

Former President Bill Clinton, among others, this month warned legislators to leave the issue of aid to the administration, adding: “Everybody knows the US Congress is the most pro-Israel parliamentary body in the world. They don’t have to demonstrate that.”

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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39 Responses

  1. Potsherd2
    October 1, 2011, 9:41 am

    Can there be any more doubt that the US Congress is Zionist-occupied territory?

    • annie
      October 1, 2011, 9:55 am

      not in my mind

      • Bumblebye
        October 1, 2011, 8:39 pm

        And one C Glick and friends, aka “Latma” have produced another piss take, abusing Queen’s “Somebody to Love” and baring Israeli paranoia and hate with their own racist “Somebody to Hate”
        link to youtube.com
        by their so called “UN Choir”.
        Is this their take on punishing the UN?

      • seafoid
        October 2, 2011, 8:25 am

        It’ll go down very well in Ireland . All the usual stereotypes. I didn’t see any Jews with hooked noses however.

    • Remax
      October 1, 2011, 10:33 am

      Last para in the Haaretz piece:

      According to diplomatic sources, the U.S. and its Western allies have a special interest in ‘dragging’ the debate on, with the purpose of giving their efforts vis-à-vis Israel and the Palestinian Authority a fighting chance.

      Instead of a peaceful one?

    • Mndwss
      October 1, 2011, 2:26 pm

      The support for israel will continue as long as it is good for business…..

      The situation with US support for israel and other brutal regimes is similar to how Nazi-Germany supported the fascists in Spain.

      The fascists from Washington had to have Picasso’s Guernica covered-up at the UN before Colin Powell lied to the world so that the US could send soldiers to Iraq to “protect” the Ministry of Oil. (And not remind the world about Guernica).

      “fas-cism (fâsh’iz’em) n. A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism. [Ital. fascio, group.] -fas’cist n. -fas-cis’tic (fa-shis’tik) adj.” — American Heritage Dictionary, 1983

      The merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.
      The merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.
      The merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.

      This machine kills fascists (From Woody Guthrie’s guitar).

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      The world needs more machines and to “kill” fascists.

      BDS-machines.

      When those machines start having an effect, congress will turn 180 and Zionism will be history.

      • seafoid
        October 2, 2011, 8:41 am

        Israel is worse. The merging of state and business leadership AND RELIGION , together with belligerent nationalism.

  2. Sherri
    October 1, 2011, 10:08 am

    So, Israel can keep on building settlements, eradicate their supposed ‘democracy’ with their new racist laws, harass & kill peaceful demonstrators, “move” 30,000 Bedouins, arm settlers… all while we support their asses and give billions unconditionally. But the Palestinians look for a little self determination in a world that already recognizes them as a state, and we cut off their aid.

    Gee, I’m so proud to be from the US right now…

    • seafoid
      October 1, 2011, 10:44 am

      St John Eye hospital in East Jerusalem is a charity that works in the OT that I support. This is from their most recent newsletter :

      link to stjohneyehospital.org

      Finding donors for really large projects is more difficult altogether. There are, at present, three main areas that we need funds for: more cataract surgery, diabetic eye disease screening and rebuilding our Gaza Hospital. Each needs more than £1 million pounds.

      It has become clear that Western governments are no longer interested in this sort of funding. For instance, the Department for International Development (DfID) in the UK, does not fund any medical humanitarian aid project in the occupied territory. We had hoped that we might receive funds from the USA government but lobbying over many years has not been successful.

    • AhVee
      October 1, 2011, 11:08 am

      They are not settlements, they’re actually bastions of righteousness and freedom on the front lines, where settlers are armed to ward off the muslim savages that attack them daily in an effort to undermine their western values, people who attempt to steal the land the Lord has given to the Jews out of a burning hatred of Jewry (Have I not yet mentioned that all Palestinians are racist fascists who worked with the Nazis way back when?) The new laws are for Israel’s protection only. The UN is an anti-semitic organisation anyway (the many sanctions it has placed against Israel should prove this nicely, it has been undermined by rich promoters of Islam and hence places more sanctions against Israel than it does against Muslim countries), so the US are best off punishing the Palestinians for dealing with them.

      These important steps by the US to aid Israel, the first line of defence against oriental savagery and their devious religion, ensure the islamo-socialist caliphate never materialises. How unpatriotic of you to claim otherwise, you have not been adequately brainwashed yet.

      On a serious note, there is no greater joy for haters of double-standards than to see the US expose their own so wilfully by punishing the placement of a legitimate bid to an international organisation they themselves recognise as being legitimate and are members of themselves.

  3. stevelaudig
    October 1, 2011, 10:15 am

    Just as it intentionally engaged in policies that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, so too, now, with Palestinians. Rome ruled the world. Augustus ruled Rome, but Livia ruled Augustus. So too with Israel and the present, and all likely, foreseeable, U.S. governments.

  4. Les
    October 1, 2011, 11:01 am

    If we take the total of Palestinians murdered by Israel since 1967 and divide it by the amount of US taxpayer dollars given to Israel to maintain its murder machine, how much has each dead Palestinian cost Americans?

  5. POA
    October 1, 2011, 11:07 am

    Missing from the expressions of outrage are references to the American citizens that have been crippled, maimed, and murdered by Israeli IDF forces.

    Let me reiterate…..

    AMERICAN CITIZENS….

    CRIPPLED….

    MAIMED…..

    and

    MURDERED.

  6. Justice Please
    October 1, 2011, 11:24 am

    So, when is Obama going to raise a fuss about this? After all, he said:

    “Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as President, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.”

    Wanna “take action”? Go do the same to the Israeli air force which is routinely mass-murdering around in Gaza what you did to Gaddafis air force when you uttered those lofty words.

  7. tombishop
    October 1, 2011, 11:28 am

    I hope other countries step in to replace this aid. This could be one more step in the isolation of the U.S. and its decline as a world power.

  8. James
    October 1, 2011, 11:30 am

    collective punishment of palestinians is all the usa and israel seem capable of…

    it really shows how interested in peace either of these countries are… they are interested in maintaining their power and the thought of it being challenged just makes them more aggressive..

  9. kapok
    October 1, 2011, 11:40 am

    Diplomacy: Newspeak for extortion.

  10. seafoid
    October 1, 2011, 12:06 pm

    It must be the Tea Party republicans. they are nuts. They’ll drive the US into another depression with their dumb deficit policies. No idea of consequences or feedback mechanisms.

    The status quo is a fragile structure. Two of the walls holding up the Palestinian side are UNRWA and the funding of the PA. Take those away and you kill the Jewish state. Because there is nothing after the UNRWA but death. And those people have to brought on the Israeli balance sheet if the world won’t support them.

  11. Real Jew
    October 1, 2011, 1:04 pm

    Abolutely disgraceful. Im not sure which “side” of me is more ashamed, the jewish or american

  12. American
    October 1, 2011, 1:19 pm

    Oil embargo, oil embargo, oil embargo, oil embargo……
    Make congress look into the abyss.
    Make the media have to explain that Israel and it’s US congress is why we are being embargoed.

    • Real Jew
      October 1, 2011, 2:09 pm

      American, thats actually a great idea. Cuz u know the average american doesnt give a shit about anything outside the US until it affects them here at home

      • American
        October 1, 2011, 7:04 pm

        I wonder if we have reached everyone that can be reached on the internet on the Israel issue…..I would guess probably so.
        So it’s time for some Ben Franklin type flyer newspapers for the non net viewers of the msm.
        Activist should use their money to put out free newpapers in every community in every state.
        It should have a eye grabing banner and be about how Joe Lunch box is getting screwed by his politician….with examples on Israel of course …all the dollars and cents…as well as a few other points.

    • yourstruly
      October 2, 2011, 7:59 am

      Populist pressure upon middle east governments could force them to use the “oil weapon.” It’s use by the region’s oil producing nations in the ’73 war seriously hurt the U.S. and global economy. Gas prices rose precipitously and there were long auto queues at gas stations. People at these stations in one state were so angry that when presented with a referendum for a takeover of oil production in their state, they couldn’t sign it fast enough. An oil embargo at this moment in history could be the event that spontaneously brings the public out in the street protesting, and once this happens, watch out, ruling elites, your days in power would be numbered.

  13. Chaos4700
    October 1, 2011, 2:44 pm

    You know, Americans are going to look at this, look at the Congress’ inability to provide funding for disaster relief in our own country, then look at the special treatment that aid to Israel gets, and they’re going to start putting two and two together.

  14. jimby
    October 1, 2011, 4:39 pm

    actually there is the threat of retaliation from saudi arabia already. it was hinged on the UN veto, but it is floating out there.

    >”In his New York Times piece, Prince Turki says if the U.S. does veto Palestinian statehood, Saudi Arabia would be forced “to adopt a far more independent and assertive foreign policy” and could break with the U.S. on some key issues. First, he says, Saudi Arabia will oppose the government of Nouri al-Maliki in Iraq and refuse to open an embassy there, something the U.S. has been pressing the Saudis to do. Further, he writes, “The Saudi government might part ways with Washington in Afghanistan and Yemen as well.”

    Read more: link to swampland.time.com

    • Castle Keep
      October 1, 2011, 8:16 pm

      Hillary Clinton recently announced US participation in a new Silk Road initiative that would turn Afghanistan into a part of a trade and transport network of highways, rail, pipelines, and electrical transmission systems between Afghanistan and China etc. US would participate with Germany in this initiative.

  15. Shingo
    October 1, 2011, 5:45 pm

    Good riddance.

    Now let’s see the Saudis grow a spine, pit their money where their mouth is and step in to make up the shortfall.

    In fact, what the Saudis should really do I’d cancel that juicy 60 billion dollar arms order from the US. Then we’ll see what Congress made of.

    • Bumblebye
      October 1, 2011, 6:47 pm

      I don’t see the Saudis chipping in the missing millions. They and the other Arab countries tend to see doing so as effectively supporting the occupation, in that it covers up the Palestinian inability to get their own economy on track – which is as a result of the insurmountable obstacles put in place due to the occupation. That position isn’t exactly untrue.

      • piotr
        October 1, 2011, 11:48 pm

        Bumblebye is almost correct. One neo-con had (I do not want to search for the idiot right now) had an article carping about “lack of leadership” on the side of Qatar. One aspect was that Qatar was ready to support selected humanitarian project in West Bank and Gaza but was banned by Israel due to its incorrect policies (shame on you, Qatar!) while contributing only 50 mil to PA. Basically, as American contributions to PA increased, Arab countries decreased.

        But quite recently SA said that they will increase direct support of PA by 200 mil, kind of as a sign of approval of the UN bid. As Shingo noted, Saudis can easily replace American contribution and finance it by cutting the purchases of American military hardware. Saudi government hates cutting oil sales, but cutting military purchases is something that they can do easily and hurts USA very pointedly — basically, pockets of the ruling elite.

        The bottom line is that American support of PA benefits Israel most, and Palestinians, least. Abbas is the best Quisling Israel can ever get. But even a Quisling must get something. I do not recall Nazis humiliating Norwegians with settlements and checkpoints while Quisling was a puppet prime minister…

      • RoHa
        October 2, 2011, 10:44 pm

        “Saudi government hates cutting oil sales, but cutting military purchases is something that they can do easily and hurts USA very pointedly ”

        When Bush 1 was VP, the Saudis were not happy with the US, and showed it by staging a fly-past of Tornado fighters rather than US-made planes.

      • Shingo
        October 3, 2011, 12:55 am

        When Bush 1 was VP, the Saudis were not happy with the US, and showed it by staging a fly-past of Tornado fighters rather than US-made planes.

        Actually, that had more to do with the Israeli Lobby pressuring Congress not to approve the sale to the Saudis, which opened the doro for BAE systems to step in.

        Yet another example of Israel beinga strategic and economic liability to the US.

      • RoHa
        October 3, 2011, 1:38 am

        Yes. The Saudis were not pleased with that, so they kept the US planes they had on the ground.

        They have bought a bunch of Typhoons, as well.

    • American
      October 1, 2011, 7:05 pm

      hear,hear!…good suggestion.
      BDS the US.

      • Chaos4700
        October 2, 2011, 9:05 pm

        It’s getting to that, I think. Things are so broken within, the government is so corrupt and the wealth gap is so enormous now, I don’t think there is any internal pressure we can do that will reform the US as long as the people who run our corporations and government can count on traffic with the rest of the world. It’s getting to the point where the people who run the US don’t need the rest of us in the lower classes.

  16. Whizdom
    October 2, 2011, 7:49 am

    Saudi pledged $200M shortly after the congressional freeze of the USAID funds transfer was announced last month.

    link to upi.com

    • Les
      October 2, 2011, 1:12 pm

      When the US officially vetoes Palestine’s recognition by the UN, according to what the Saudis have threatened to do, Americans will likely see a serious price hike in Saudi oil sold to American owned oil companies and on any oil shipped to the US. The Israel Lobby which claims to represent all American Jews who, according to Wikipedia, add up to 1.7% of the US population, may get the attention it deserves.

    • Shingo
      October 2, 2011, 7:40 pm

      Saudi pledged $200M shortly after the congressional freeze of the USAID funds transfer was announced last month.

      So it turns out that this was merely grandstanding by Congress. Netenyahu begged them to continue funding the PA, so Congress, knowing that the shortfall was already accounted for, got to beat their chests without any repercussions.

      • Chaos4700
        October 2, 2011, 9:02 pm

        No repercussions for Congress, anyway. The US and the State Department are now, in no uncertain terms, unquestionably siding with Israel against Palestine and as such, we’re going to be held responsible by the rest of the world for Israel’s actions (because we pay them and let them do war crimes against Palestinian civilians.)

  17. Talkback
    October 3, 2011, 5:41 am

    Nice step from the US to make Palestinians more independent (from US).

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