Washington, D.C. – “There is no doubt that Palestinian terrorism against innocent Israelis has been supported by U.S. dollars. With the legislation he has proposed today, Sen. Graham has demonstrated today far-reaching vision, stalwart leadership, and extraordinary courage by declaring that the U.S. cannot and will not be a party to this violence and terrorism against Israel. He deserves the gratitude of our entire nation for taking this stand. Now, it is up to the rest of Congress to immediately affirm its commitment to our closest ally in the Middle East by passing this historic bill.”
So declares Nathan Diament, Executive Director of the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, in response to the bill introduced this morning by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that would end U.S. financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) unless the PA takes action to end violence and terrorism against Israeli citizens.
OU Advocacy is vigorously supporting this legislation, said Diament, adding that he is “urging all American Jews, and in fact, all Americans, to contact their Senators asking them to co-sponsor the bill so it can move swiftly move forward to full Congressional passage and the President’s signature.”
Since the mid-1990s, the United States has contributed more than $5 billion in security assistance to the Palestinians. However, the Palestinian Authority uses some of these American tax dollars to pay stipends to convicted terrorists – and their families – who perpetrated acts of terror against Israeli citizens. According to a 2014 study by the Israeli government, based on internal PA documents, these prisoners and their families had received more than $75 million in stipends in just one year. And upon release from custody, the terrorists typically become PA civil service employees.
Sen. Graham’s legislation will allow future U.S. financial aid to the Palestinian Authority only if the PA has ended their practice of paying stipends for terror.
During the summer, both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee also took preliminary steps to reconsider PA funding.