Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein, ZOA Chair Mark Levenson, Esq. and Liz Berney, Esq. released the following statement:
The ZOA strongly condemns former Vice President Biden’s statement this week that he plans to: reinstate the immoral and unlawful Obama-Biden administration policy of sending massive amounts of American taxpayer funds to the anti-peace, terrorist Palestinian-Arab regime; re-open the illegal terrorist PLO mission in Washington, D.C.; and re-open a separate consulate in Jerusalem for anti-peace Palestinian Arabs.
The U.S. previously sent $11 billion to the Palestinian Arabs ($5 billion to the PA and related entities since 1994, and $6 billion through UNRWA since 1950), until the Trump administration thankfully stopped these payments. The Obama-Biden administration sent as much as $496 million per year (a median of $437 million per year) to the PA and related entities, plus up to another $399 million per year through UNRWA. (Congressional Research Service report.)
Meanwhile, the anti-peace, terrorist PA has been spending hundreds of millions of dollars per year ($360 million in 2018) on the PA’s heinous “pay to slay” payments to Arab terrorists to murder innocent Jews and Americans.
Money is fungible. Biden’s stated intention to resume sending U.S. tax dollars to the PA will enable the PA to finance terrorism and the murder and maiming of more innocent Jews and Americans. Sending U.S. tax dollars to UNRWA would enable UNRWA’s hateful incitement against Israel, fraud, hiding of Hamas weaponry in its facilities, and other assistance to Hamas. (ZOA has also condemned Dianne Lob’s Muslim Resettlement group HIAS for demanding US dollars continue to be sent to the anti-Israel, pro Hamas UNRWA.)
It is utterly immoral to fund the PA while it continues to incite hatred and terror, glorify Jews killers in the media, and names PA schools, streets, government buildings, public squares and sports teams in honor of terrorists.
There are far better uses of U.S. tax dollars – such as helping Americans whose lives and livelihoods have been severely disrupted by the coronavirus.
Biden’s proposed payments are moreover partially illegal under the Taylor Force Law (which suspends certain funding to the PA, unless the PA ceases paying for acts of terror); illegal, absent a waiver, under the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 (Pub. Law 113-235, section 7041(i)(2)(A)(i)(II), which provides that no economic support funds may be given to the PA if “the Palestinians initiate an International Criminal Court (ICC) judicially authorized investigation, or actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians”); and cannot be made under the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA, which deems the PA to consent to personal jurisdiction in U.S. court cases brought by U.S. victims of PA/PLO terrorism, if the PA accepts any form of U.S. foreign assistance).
Biden’s plan to re-open the PLO mission in Washington, D.C. is also unlawful and reprehensible. In 2018, in accordance with Congressional concerns, the Trump administration allowed the waiver (that had allowed the PLO office to remain open) to expire, and then closed the PLO office, because of the Palestinian-Arabs’ “attempts to prompt an investigation of Israel by the International Criminal Court” and refusals to even take steps to start peace negotiations.
The PLO mission moreover violated the Oslo accords’ prohibition on the PA’s involvement in foreign relations. Oslo provided that “the Council [defined as the Palestinian Authority] will not have powers and responsibilities in the sphere of foreign relations, which sphere includes the establishment abroad of embassies, consulates or other types of foreign missions and posts or permitting their establishment in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, the appointment of or admission of diplomatic and consular staff, and the exercise of diplomatic functions.” (Israeli-PLO Interim Agreement, Art. IX, 5. a. (Sept. 28, 1995).)
The PA’s despicable harassment and “lawfare” – bringing spurious charges against Israel at the ICC – and the PA’s longstanding refusal to even start negotiations, warrant bringing strong measures against the PA. Biden’s plan to instead reward the anti-peace, terrorist PA, by re-opening the PLO office in Washington and a separate Jerusalem consulate, is appalling.
ZOA thus urges Biden to promptly retract his harmful statements and anti-peace, pro terrorist policy plans.