U.S. Bails Out Palestinian Terrorism – Again
By FrontPageMagazine.com | by Rachel Ehrenfeld
Monday, June 1st, 2009 @ 4:30AM
The Obama administration militarizes the Palestinians. The May 28 meeting between President Barak Obama and Palestinian Authority leader, Mahmoud Abbas, confirms that this Administration, like its predecessors, refuses to learn from the past. In yet another deja vu, the U.S. unconditional support to the Palestinians is persisting despite the fact that the Palestinians have never upheld any agreement to stop the violence against Israel.
Not even the economic downturn and financial instability in the U.S. have curtailed the Obama Administration’s financing of Palestinian terrorism. A day after the Obama-Netanyahu meeting, U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, reassured Al Jazeera viewers, that “the Obama Administration is not waiting.”
In addition to the $900 million the Administration offered the Palestinians on March 2, it is working to speed the establishment of regular Palestinian military and security forces. The U.S. has already trained 1,500 Palestinian soldiers costing the recession gripped American taxpayer $161 million. These newly trained forces says Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, U.S. security coordinator for Israel and the PA, “are new men”, unlike the thousands trained by the U.S. since the creation of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 1994.
The scheme behind the U.S. military initiative to organize and train the PA military forces is that these “new men” would help Abbas defeat Hamas. However, Abbas had already indicated that he “as agreed in principle to form a joint security force with Hamas.” This does not seem to phase Dayton, who insists that the “new men” are on a mission to “create a Palestinian state.”
Abu Yusef, a member of the PA Chairman’s own security unit – Force 17, has an unambiguous view of the American military training of the Palestinians: “The operations of the Palestinian resistance would [not] have been so successful and “would not have killed more than 1,000 Israelis since 2000 and defeated the Israelis in Gaza without [American military] trainings,” he boasted in an interview in August 2007. “All the methods and techniques that we studied in these trainings, we applied them against the Israelis,” he said. Abu Yusef explained that the American training helped the Palestinian forces to better snipe “at Israeli settlers and soldiers.” The special intelligence training they received from the U.S. instructors helped them “collect information on the movements of soldiers and settlers’ the best timing to infiltrate our bombers inside Israel.”
Abu Yusef specified: “We used weapons and we produced explosives, and of course the trainings we received from the Americans and the Europeans were a great help to the resistance.” If the past is any indication, then the “new men” would join thousands of already well-trained and well-equipped Palestinians whose main goal remained to fight Israel. Yet, the U.S. is determined to expedite the training.
Furthermore, on May 27, a day before Obama’s meeting with Abbas, in a move to protect Hamas terrorists, the U.S. blocked Israel’s request for the AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter, worried that the helicopters would threaten Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.” While Mrs. Clinton assured the House Appropriations Committee: “No aid will flow to Hamas or any entity controlled by Hamas,” PA Prime Minister and Finance Minister Salem Fayyad acknowledged many times that controlling Palestinian finances “is virtually impossible.”
Furthermore, last February, despite Fatah-Hamas bloody disagreements, Fayyad diverted $21.5 million sent from Israel to pay PA employees’ salaries, to Hamas-controlled Gaza, supposedly to rebuild buildings destroyed during Operation Cast Lead. This and millions of dollars Fayyad receives from Israel to pay the rapidly growing numbers of alleged PA employees in Gaza, pays Hamas loyalists instead.
In addition, Hamas taxes the PA salaries and keeps the money in Gaza. All this amounts to extra millions of dollars each month to Hamas. In December 2007, soon after Hamas takeover of Gaza, international donors pledged $7.4 billion to the PA to help it fight Hamas. This did not stop Fayyad who declared the PA would give Hamas 40% ($3.1 billion) of the funds. The PA did not get all that money, because most donors refused to send money to Hamas. The $4.5 billion – $5.2 billion pledged in March 2009 to rebuild Gaza is held up for similar reason. But Mrs. Clinton insists the U.S. has “worked with the Palestinian Authority to install safeguards that will ensure our funding is only used where and for whom it is intended and does not end up in the wrong hands.”
It seems that Mrs. Clinton is impressed with the PAﾒs much touted anti money laundering programs, while ignoring the PA’s actions of sending “clean” money into the hands of Hamas terrorists in Gaza. The newly pledged international aid to the Palestinians would amount to $1,125- $1,300 dollars to each of the 4 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. This is on top of hundreds of millions of dollars in “humanitarian aid” sent by Israel, the U.S., European Union (EU), Saudi Arabia, Iran and other international organizations to Hamas controlled Gaza, since December 2008. In comparison, from 2003 to 2006 each of 2.5 million Darfur refugees received only $100 per person annually from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
As not to leave Obama in the dark for his meeting with Abbas on Thursday, May 28, the PA representative to the negotiations with Israel, Ahmed Qureia (Abu Ala), told the Israeli Daily Haﾒaretz on May 26: “It’s not fair to demand that we recognize you [Israel] as the state of the Jewish people. Our refusal is adamant.”
Instead of demanding the Palestinians officially recognize Israel, Obama placed the burden of the progress of Middle East peace on Israel. Alas, such persistent statements and increasing violence against Israel since the creation of the PA in 1994 never stopped any American Administration from investing billions of dollars into the creation of a well armed and trained radical Muslim Palestinian state. As with other failed entities, the Obama Administration seems resolute to bail out yet another losing venture – the Palestinian terrorist state.
Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is director of the American Center for Democracy (http://www.acdemocracy.org) and author of Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It (http://www.amazon.com/Funding-Evil-Updated-Terrorism-Financed/dp/1566252318, and a member of The Committee on the Present Danger (http://www.committeeonthepresentdanger.org/)