Weiner: Withhold Funds From Palestinian Authority
Last Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a Foreign Operations Appropriations bill that includes a $150 million appropriation of U.S. aid to the Palestinians - an increase of 100% from last year. Rep. Weiner, who has led the fight to hold the Palestinian Authority accountable for its support of terrorism, released the following statement:
“Until Palestinian leaders demonstrate a real commitment to ending the violence, they should not be subsidized by the American taxpayer.
“What the United States should be doing is offering money based on performance, money based on transparency, money based on democratization, money based on furtherance of U.S. interests.
“At this time, the Palestinian leadership has fallen far short of these goals. No one could argue that Mahmoud Abbas has shown a sincere effort to end the violence.
Within the past month Israeli teens have been murdered by Palestinian gunmen, Palestinian rockets have been fired into Israeli towns, and Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Nasser al-Kidwa has said he has no intention of disarming militias - one of the hallmark tenants of the roadmap for peace.
These are not the actions of a true partner for peace.
“Since 2000, the U.S. government has sent nearly $700 million to the Palestinians in hopes it would bring forth a real and sustainable peace. The sad fact is that Palestinian leaders have failed to live up to their commitments.
“Only when the Palestinians demonstrate a true commitment to peace, should the U.S. reward them with aid. Until this time, our message to the Palestinian leadership should be clear: stop acting as a roadblock to peace or America will stop writing you checks.”
In March, the House defeated legislation authored by Rep. Weiner which would have prevented the Bush administration from giving aid to the Palestinians without reciprocal commitments to end the violence.
The Foreign Operations Appropriations bill increases U.S. Aid to the Palestinians from $75 million in 2004 to $150 million in 2005.