President Trump hasn’t been pleased with the Palestinians’ refusal to consider compromises to achieve Middle East peace.
So he’s decided to withhold tens of millions of dollars of U.S. taxpayer funding from the Palestinian Authority.
And what answer does he get?
The threat of terrorism.
Bloomberg reported the recent threat to the United Nations Security Council from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who also demanded that Trump designate Jerusalem, which the president recognized in December as Israel’s capital, as a capital for “Palestine.”
Abbas, who renewed a demand for a conference this year to seek a Mideast accord, has warned he will not meet with U.S. officials until the Jerusalem embassy decision is reversed.
He went far beyond that, though.
“He finished his address with a warning – which others may read as a threat – of violence unless the U.S. restores funds that were cut to the UN Relief and Works Agency, which administers to millions of Palestinian refugees,” the report said.
“If you end your assistance they become terrorists or refugees in Europe,” Abbas said. “It’s either that or you continue to support UNRWA until the crisis ends. We are ready to begin negotiations. We beg you to help us so that we may not commit an act that goes against our beliefs and your beliefs.”
A White House spokesman dismissed Abbas’ rhetoric as “old talking points.”
Palestine isn’t even a nation but nevertheless has demanded several times full membership of the United Nations. It’s already been privileged with the status of a non-member observer state.
Part of Abbas’ campaign is to raise millions for the UNRWA to make up for the U.S. cuts. The Trump administration agreed last month to pay $60 million to the aid organization for salaries and other administrative costs, while cutting $65 million.
Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver, who also heads Christians in Defense of Israel as well as Covenant Journey, condemned the threats.
“Threats of violence by Mahmoud Abbas are a reflection of his radical ideology and support for terrorism,” said Staver. “He has no desire for peace. His only desire is to wipe out the Jews and rename Israel to Palestine. You cannot negotiate with someone who does not recognize your right to exist. Finally, we have a president and an ambassador who will not be bullied by these threats.”
He pointed out that Abbas demanded additional U.S. money and issued the threat if it was not forthcoming.
“Six million refugees — who will take care of them?” Abbas asked. “If you stop your assistance to these 6 million refugees who are educated, if you end your assistance, they become terrorists or refugees in Europe. It’s either that or you continue to support UNRWA until the crisis ends.”
The comment, however, is just a rerun of a familiar theme, Staver said. Last month in Cairo, Abbas said Jerusalem “is the key to peace if it is our capital, and if it is not — it is the key to war. Trump will need to choose.”
Liberty Counsel pointed out Abbas was elected to a four-year term as president of the PA in 2005, “which means he is now in his 13th year of a four-year term.”
WND reported this week the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, dressed down Abbas at a U.N. Security Council meeting, saying, “I will not shut up rather I will respectfully speak some hard truths.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 20, 2018
She was referencing Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who recently demanded that Haley “shut up and realize the Palestinian leadership is not the problem.”
Oh, but it is, she insisted.
Her statement Tuesday followed a demand from Abbas for a peace conference later this year. Abbas left before Haley spoke.
Her comments, she said, were addressed to Abbas even though he had fled.
“Our negotiators are sitting right behind me, ready to talk,” she told Abbas. “But we will not chase after you. The choice, Mr. President, is yours.”
She explained to him the choices.
“There is the path of absolutist demands, hateful rhetoric, and incitement to violence. That path has led, and will continue to lead, to nothing but hardship for the Palestinian people,” she said.
“Or there is the path of negotiation and compromise. History has shown that path to be successful for Egypt and Jordan, including the transfer of territory. That path remains open to the Palestinian leadership, if only it is courageous enough to take it,” she said.