NEW YORK – The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has strongly praised President Bushs warning that the United States will halt its $150-million in annual aid to the Palestinian Arabs unless they stop all terrorism and unequivocally embrace democracy.
President Bush told reporters at the G-8 meeting in Canada, I can assure you, we wont be putting money into a society which is not transparentand corruptand I suspect other countries wont either. (New York Times, June 27, 2002)
The United States has been providing the Palestinian Arabs with $100-million in aid each year since 1994. Recently, Secretary of State Colin Powell announced that it would be increased to $150-million.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: We strongly applaud President Bushs statement. American aid should be used as leverage to compel the Palestinian Arabs to stop murdering Jews, eliminate the terrorist groups, and embrace democracy and human rights.
President Bushs warning about aid comes on the heels of his announcement of his Middle East plan, which requires the Palestinian Arabs to fight the terrorist infrastructure, end incitement against Israel, elect new leaders who are not compromised by terror, eliminate corruption in their governing agencies, and unequivocally embrace democracy.
What remains to be clarified is who will be in charge of determining whether or not the Palestinian Arabs have met those conditions. Since the signing of the Oslo accords between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs in 1993, it has been the State Department which has issued regular reports on Palestinian Arab compliance with the accords. Those reports typically whitewashed, ignored, or minimized the Palestinian Arabs constant violations.
In the weeks and months to come, Palestinian Arab behavior will be assessed to determine if the conditions for statehood have been met. Assessments of incitement must include whether or not changes are in the Palestinian Authoritys schools and camps, as well as its official media. Assessments of fighting the terrorist infrastructure must include whether they have surrendered weapons, extradited terrorists, and outlawed terrorist groups. If the State Department fails to honestly and thoroughly assess the Palestinian Arabs actions, and continues to cover up for them as they have throughout the eight years since the Oslo accords were signed it will be necessary for Congress, independent monitoring groups, and even the president himself to step in and do the job.