Obama offers $400 Million in Aid to Gaza – The Devil Will Be In the Details
On Wednesday, June 10, 2010, during a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, President Obama offered $400 million in additional aid for the Gaza Strip. To be precise, it isn’t exactly clear whether the $400 million in aid is to be directed solely to the Gaza Strip or is, in fact, intended for the Government of the Palestinian Authority. (Both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank).
Abbas is the President of the Palestinian Authority Government, headquartered in Ramallah on the West Bank, just 6 miles from Jerusalem. Map of Israel, Gaza and West Bank – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:West_Bank_%26_Gaza_Map_2007_(Settlements).png
The Palestinian Authority Government is the duly constituted Government of the Palestinian people. The Palestinian Authority Government was formed in conjunction with the peace treaty negotiated between the State of Israel and the PLO, negotiations which began in 1993 and continued through 1999.
The PLO or Palestinian Liberation Organization had been the internationally recognized voice of the Palestinian People since it was granted “observer status” at the United Nations in 1972.
In June 2007 the terrorist group HAMAS (A Farsi or Iranian acronym for the Islamic Resistance Party) seized control of the Gaza Strip in an attempted coup. HAMAS had been formed in an attempt to stop or derail the Mid-East peace process started in 1993.
Prior American Aid
In 2008 – 2009 the U.S. provided $20.3 million in aid to the Gaza strip. In 2008 -2009 Gaza received a total of $4.5 billion in international aid. President Obama has increased the amount of U.S. aid to a total of about 8.8% of the total international aid received by Palestine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008%E2%80%932009_Gaza_Strip_aid
The Devil is In the Details
As the Gaza funding was announced while President Obama was meeting with President Abbas one might assume that the Gaza funding would be paid to the legitimate government of Gaza, the Palestinian Authority Government, however, there are news reports that some portion of the funding will be paid directly to the terrorist organization HAMAS.
At present it is illegal under the “Patriot Act” for any American citizen to contribute to HAMAS as it is a designated “terrorist organization”.
Why would the President of the United States agree to send money directly to a terrorist organization sworn to the destruction of Israel, an organization that was formed to disrupt and end the very peace process Obama has sworn to see to a conclusion, a terrorist organization that attempted to overthrow President Abbas’ very government?
It would make no sense for the President of the United States to provide any type of funding to HAMAS, such an action would run counter to everyone of Obama’s stated objectives in the Middle-East.
Then again, this is the same President who agreed to the transfer of sophisticated surface to air missiles from Russia to Iran. Missile batteries that one day, in the not too distant future, may be trained against American pilots. The decision to allow the transfer of the missiles to Iran may be the most shortsighted strategic error made by an American President since FDR agreed to the sale of scrap metal to Japan before WWII, metal that was turned into the Japanese Imperial Fleet and Air Force.
The Congressional Duty To “Mind The Purse Stings”
Under the U.S. Constitution the Congress shares responsibility for ”oversight” of all U.S. spending with the President. The powers of the President and Congress to appropriate and spend money “overlap”, each branch acting as a “check and balance” on the other. http://armsandinfluence.typepad.com/armsandinfluence/2004/04/war_and_the_us_.html
In this instance it will be imperative that Congress step forward and determine exactly what the President intends to do with this money.
If the money is intended for the Palestinian Authority Government, for use in humanitarian efforts in the Gaza, to build and repair homes, schools and hospitals, even if the money is to be used to drive HAMAS from Gaza and Greater Palestine, to further the “Peace Process” started some 17 years ago, then our money will be well spent.
Congress must, however, prevent even one dime of the money from going to HAMAS. Any money given to HAMAS will, in one form or another, be converted into weapons which HAMAS will use in their attempt to destroy the Peace Process and ultimately in HAMAS’ attempts to destroy Israel.
Obama”s Stale Political Rhetoric
Once again the President “muddied the waters” when he announced the “aid package”. Obama sent mixed signals to both our ally Israel and our enemies in the Middle-East by not clearly enunciating a strong support for Israel. Instead the President entered into some obtuse and confusing comments concerning the “Egyptian/Israeli blockade of Gaza”. Neither Egypt nor Israel intends to deny the inhabitants of Gaza needed humanitarian supplies. The blockades have one intent, to stop the flow of illegal arms to HAMAS. The blockade began in June 2007 at the request of Palestinian President Abbas, after the attempted coup by HAMAS. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6768931.stm
The recent reports that Egypt has “opened its border with Gaza” are misleading, the border has been “open” for years, however, the Egyptians, like the Israelis, inspect all materials going into the Gaza to prevent the flow of illegal weapons. Egypt does this in recognition of the legitimate government of the Palestinian Authority, “Egypt maintains that it cannot open the Rafah crossing since opening the border would represent Egyptian recognition of the HAMAS control of Gaza, undermine the legitimacy of the Palestinian National Authority and consecrate the split between Gaza and the West Bank.”
Filed under: HAMAS, Israel, Israeli Blockade of Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Politics, President Mahmoud Abbas Tagged: | Gaza Strip, Hamas, IRAN, Obama Pledges $400 Million To Gaza, Palestinian Authority Government, PLO, President Mahmoud Abbas, U.S. Aid To Gaza