Fla. congressman to Palestine: Put up or shut up

Palestinians rips up US flag
As demonstrators destroy an American flag in Gaza, Palestinians demonstrate that they hold the United States in the same regard as they hold Israel. Photo credit atlasshrugs.com

Since 1948 when the modern state if Israel first came into being, Palestinians have refused to recognize it’s right to even exist. One Florida congressman has had enough, and on Thursday will be submitting his own bill in protest.

GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis will introduce “The Palestinian Accountability Act,” which will withhold all U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority until it “recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state” and cuts off ties with Hamas, recognized by the U.S. as a terrorist organiZation as reported by The Washington Free Beacon.

The timing of bill’s introduction to the House on Thursday is not accidental. It’s meant to send a message to President Obama — it coincides with his own meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank.

The Beacon’s Adam Kredo reports:

The measure would freeze all U.S. aid to the ailing PA. It would also cut aid to the United Nations should the international body recognize an independent state of Palestine outside of the peace process with Israel.

The bill comes as lawmakers vigorously debate funding priorities amid an ongoing budget crunch that has already drained millions of dollars from federal coffers. Supporters of the bill argue that PA funding should be halted in lieu of more pressing foreign budgetary priorities.

The U.S. sends roughly $500 million annually in aid to Palestine, which DeSantis submits could be better spent in other areas, especially since sequester cuts were implemented on March 1.

“At a time when the government is shutting down air traffic control towers, ending tours of the White House and slashing the defense budget, we continue to dole out hundreds of millions in foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority,” DeSantis wrote Wednesday in a letter to his fellow lawmakers obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

“The Palestinian Authority promotes violence and hatred against Israel; yet we continue to dole out hundreds of millions in foreign aid,” DeSantis said in a statement provided to the Free Beacon. “This legislation will ensure that we stop rewarding bad behavior, while improving the prospects for a real, lasting peace in the Middle East.”

“As Congress works towards balancing our budget and reining in a growing $16.7 trillion dollar debt, we must prioritize our spending,” DeSantis said. “Sending foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority when it refuses to take the most basic steps toward peace is unacceptable and the wrong use of taxpayer money.”

When push comes to shove, it really comes down to a question of do we reward our enemies or do we reward our friends.

“The United States must stop rewarding bad behavior, and start demanding accountability from recipients of foreign aid,” DeSantis wrote.

The Florida congressman will be sending a message on Thursday. The question is, will the president be listening?

Read more at The Washington Free Beacon.


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