President Donald Trump’s threats to cut funding to the Palestinians puts the Palestinian Authority on notice that they will face consequences for their intransigence, support for terrorism and anti-Israel incitement, explained Breitbart Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein.
Klein argued that even if the Trump administration eventually continues to provide some funding to the PA, the threat to halt aid is already a winning policy since it communicates to the PA that they will face consequences for their bad behavior.
Klein was speaking in a radio interview broadcast on Breitbart News’ “Whatever It Takes” hosted by former All-Star pitcher Curt Schilling.
Listen to the full interview below:
Here is a partial transcript of Klein’s remarks:
If we continue every year to give $600 million to the Palestinian Authority … why would they stop supporting terror if they keep getting their money? Why would we continue to perpetuate a deal with the Iranians when openly they support terror around the world and openly they are trying to destabilize the world at the expense of American national security. Why would they stop if we don’t do anything about sanctions or if we further this deal?
So Donald Trump, even if he does eventually give money to the Palestinian Authority, I think they have been put on notice right now – they have to be – that we are at least looking at this. Also by Trump moving the embassy to Jerusalem after decades of the United States not doing that – and by the way, many presidents, when they ran, promised that they would and then they delayed – this also puts the Palestinian Authority on notice. If you continue to bolt peace negotiations than you are actually going to lose ground. You’re going to lose momentum. And also just think about it. How are they a peace partner if they need to be blackmailed into making peace? That makes absolutely no sense. If they wanted it (a state) they would have it.
The U.S. provides about $600 million per year in assistance to the Palestinians. This includes direct aid to the PA, assistance through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.N.’s Palestinian “refugee” agency UNRWA.
Trump made statements on Twitter last week in which he seemingly threatened to cut off U.S. financial aid to the PA.
They were followed up by threats from U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who warned that if the PA refuses to continue peace negotiations with Israel, the Trump administration could withhold funds from UNRWA.
A State Department official denied reports that the U.S. has already frozen UNRWA funding, but confirmed the decision about whether to continue funding is “under review.”
The U.S. is UNRWA’s single largest donor, providing about $300 million annually.
The definition of a Palestinian “refugee” and their actual numbers have long been the subject of debate.
Last week, UNRWA would not comment when asked by Breitbart Jerusalem to provide the total number of Palestinian “refugees” that UNRWA services in Lebanon. This came after Lebanon’s census data recently placed the number of Palestinian “refugees” living in the country at about one third of the nearly 500,000 reported by UNRWA.