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June 01, 2018

Where’s the Coverage? 14 Members of Congress Call to Halt PA Aid

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

In a widely underreported move, fourteen members of the United States Congress called upon the U.S. State Department to “immediately suspend all aid payments to the Palestinian Authority.�? The PA is dominated by the Fatah movement and rules the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).

The Congressional members sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on April 27, 2018. Highlighting the PA’s policy of paying terrorists and their families for carrying out attacks, the letter requested that the U.S. cease U.S. aid payments to the authority. The representatives noted:

“In March 2018 Congress took a clear and bi-partisan stance on how aid dollars are to be used by the PA by passing the Taylor Force Act. This law prohibits U.S. taxpayer funds from being made available to the PA if they continue their practice of paying terrorists and their families. Yet, despite clear Congressional intent, media reports have stated that the PA’s 2018 budget has codified this practice. The budget sets aside 8% of its total to the so-called ‘martyr’s fund,’ which amounts to over $350 million in U.S. taxpayer funded aid.�?

Further, the 14 signatories cited a report by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a non-profit organization that monitors Arab media in eastern Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. PMW had translated a Jan. 14, 2018 speech by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, in which the Palestinian leader declared:

“There is something that the Americans are telling us to stop - the salaries of the Martyrs and the Martyrs' families. Of course, we categorically reject this. We will not under any circumstances allow anyone to harm the families of the prisoners, the wounded, and the Martyrs. They are our children and they are our families. They honor us, and we will continue to pay them before the living."

Citing these “disturbing�? comments, the Congressional members wanted to know how many foreign aid dollars went to the PA “that were then used to fund terrorists prior to the passage of the Taylor Force Act,�? as well as “what measures are you planning to take to enforce the law and suspend aid to the PA…?�?

The PA’s policy of offering financial incentives to commit acts of terror is frequently ignored or obfuscated by major media outlets. For example, prior to the passage of the Taylor Force Act, The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker�? column minimized and misled about the PA’s “Pay to Slay�? program—prompting a rebuttal from CAMERA in the Washington Examiner (“U.S. Media Are Covering Up Palestinians’ Pay to Slay Policy,�? March 21, 2018).

A letter from more than a dozen members of Congress to a U.S. Secretary of State calling to cut aid to a nominal ally should be newsworthy. However, many major news outlets, such as The Washington Post, USA Today, The Baltimore Sun, Politico, among others, ignored it. By contrast, The Washington Free Beacon provided a full-length report (“Congress Seeks Showdown on Ending U.S. Aid to Palestinians,�? May 1, 2018).

Posted by SD at June 1, 2018 10:57 AM


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