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Wednesday, January 25, 2017
John Kerry stupidly provoking a cutoff of US funds to Palestinians
Former secretary of state John Kerry must have thought he was being really clever when he overrode congressional holds on a couple of hundred million dollars and sent the taxpayers' money to the Palestinian Authority in the closing hours of the Obama presidency. But nobody has ever accused him of being a genius, and it is clear that he did not think through the consequences of his flip of the bird to Israel and its friends in Congress. Jenna Lifhits writes in the Weekly Standard:
Congressional leaders are moving to respond to a last-minute transfer of millions of dollars to the Palestinian Authority by the Obama administration with a range of measures, including a possible total freeze of funds to the PA, according to senators and other sources who spoke to THE WEEKLY STANDARD.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry endangered future funding to the PA by orchestrating the $221 million release in the final hours of the Obama administration, according to a report published Monday by the Associated Press and additional details provided to TWS. The release was made in spite of holds that had been placed on the funds by a number of lawmakers.
"I don't know if we can recoup that money, but I intend to suspend future funding to the Palestinian Authority until they change their laws that reward young Palestinians for killing Israelis and Americans," South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham told TWS.
Graham said he will reintroduce the Taylor Force Act, named after an Army veteran who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist last March, which cuts funding until the PA stops directly or indirectly financing terrorism. The PA set aside roughly $140 million to support imprisoned terrorists and their families in 2016, including those of "martyrs," according to experts who spoke to Congress in July.
"I find that cruel and unacceptable," Graham said. "I will be pushing to stop those payments."
John F. Kerry has unwittingly set the stage for a restructuring of U.S. Middle East policy and unified the GOP on the matter.
A congressional advisor who is working with Congress on Israeli-Palestinian issues in the aftermath of the $221 million release told TWS that lawmakers will retaliate against the move.
"Kerry just poisoned Congressional-Palestinian relations for the next decade just so he could move some cash out the door," said the source. "Congress intends to make sure it wasn't worth it."
The move is a fitting cap to Kerry's record as SecState, a disastrous period for American foreign policy.