Saturday, 1 October 2011

US Block Aid to Palestinian Authority

Donald Macintyre reports in the Independent that, Abbas is punished by $200m cut in aid from US
The United States Congress has blocked nearly $200m in aid for the Palestinians, threatening projects such as food aid, health care, and support for efforts to build a functioning state.
The decision to delay the payments runs counter to the wishes of the Obama administration and reflects Congressional anger at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's so far unrealised pursuit of Fatah-Hamas reconciliation and statehood recognition at the UN.
Perhaps the money will go instead to provide American pioneers with 1,000 or more new homes in the Gilo Settlement or perhaps in the Negev where another 30,000 Bedouin are to be 'transferred'

The positive side of the decision  to cut funding to the Palestinian Authority, is that Israel will have to administer the Occupied Territories instead of subcontracting it out to the PA. One wonders if the US Administration learnt the lesson in Iraq when it disbanded the security forces and civil administration.

At least the US is giving up the pretence of being committed to a two-state solution (now dead as a parrot) or being an 'honest broker' between the Israelis and Palestinians. Macintyre notes,
 Former President Bill Clinton, among others, this month warned legislators to leave the issue of aid to the administration, adding: "Everybody knows the US Congress is the most pro-Israel parliamentary body in the world. They don't have to demonstrate that."
 As Mark Braverman said recently at the Kairos Palestina conference in Amsterdam,
"Asking the US administration to mediate between Israel and the Palestinians is like asking Herod to mediate between the Roman Empire and the persecuted church."

Its perhaps time Tony Blair realised that too, although his role is more like that of Judas.
The Palestinian leadership has stepped up its attack on Tony Blair in his role as envoy of the Middle East Quartet, saying that his "parroting" of Israeli demands casts doubt on his credibility.. "He was parroting exactly what the Israelis wanted," said Shaath..
See: Channel 4 Blair Role in Palestine
Daily Telegraph Tony Blair Job in Jeopardy
Guardian Palestinian leaders renew attack on Tony Blair over Israel