Palestinian Authority Prime Minister: God Help Us All if Trump Wins

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The Palestinian Authority prime minister on Monday said ensuring President Donald Trump didn’t win reelection is critical for the Palestinians, Europe and the entire world.

“The election is very important. God help us, the E.U., and the whole world if there are four more years of Trump,” Mohammad Shtayyeh told the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

He slammed the U.S. president for “wasting four years” and for bungling the so-called “deal of the century” for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

“Trump has wasted four years of everyone’s time,” he said. “The ultimate deal was not delivered. It was rejected by the Palestinians, the Arabs and Europe.”

“The U.S. is just too biased,” he added.

Shtayyeh called on Europe to recognize a Palestinian state.

The Palestinian premier also lambasted Trump’s pro-Israel moves, such as relocating the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and cutting aid to the Palestinians over the latter’s so-called pay-for-slay scheme which saw the PA spend NIS 517.4 million ($152.6m.) to convicted terrorists and their families.

Swedish member of the European Parliament, Charlie Weimers, challenged Shtayyeh, asking: “Can you look European taxpayers in the eye and promise that none of their money – directly or indirectly – will be used for terrorism? Can you promise them that you will cease the support for terrorism and embrace peace?”

Weimars highlighted “loopholes in E.U. counter-terrorism financing legislation, which lead to E.U. funds to the PA being funneled to E.U.-listed terror organizations,” the Jerusalem Post reported, including the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Shtayyeh brushed off Weimars comments, saying the “Palestinian leadership has never accepted terrorism” and that European taxpayer money was going towards “supporting poor people in refugee camps, sick people, creating a culture of democracy and protection of human rights.”

“It is unfair to say that some of this money goes to terrorist organizations,” he said.

Shtayyeh criticized the U.S.-brokered agreements signed between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain as done in “self-interest” alone. He also rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s portrayal of the agreements as demonstrating “peace for peace,” adding that it will not work.

“The answer is land for peace, not peace for peace,” he said. “You cannot impose peace; it is only by compromise and agreement.”

Shtayyeh also addressed Palestinian plans to hold a presidential election for the first time since 2005 between the ruling Fatah party and the rival Hamas faction based in Gaza. PA President Mahmoud Abbas has never called elections despite finishing his term more than a decade ago.

Shtayyeh called on his European audience to recognize the Hamas terror group.

“I hope the international community will accept Hamas,” he said. “I hope Hamas doesn’t win the elections [but] we are ready to accept the results.”


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