WASHINGTON - President Bush's decision to resume U.S. aid to the Palestinian government has left some lawmakers uneasy, including at least one Republican who wants to pass a law that would reverse it.Ah ah ah. As some analysts in recent years have said, it's far less than three million, and Fatah is not moderate and does not seek peace with Israel, nor the US for that matter.
"I have grave concerns that we would set aside our current preconditions for support in the wake of this emergency," said Rep. Mike Pence, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Middle East and South Asia subcommittee. "What we ought to be doing is reconsidering our policy."
Last week, Hamas seized control of the tiny coastal territory of the Gaza Strip from Fatah security forces. The rout prompted President Mahmoud Abbas to evict Hamas from the Hamas-Fatah coalition government, a move Hamas decries as illegal.
The almost 3 million Palestinians now essentially have two governments. Nearly half are under Hamas' control in the Gaza Strip, with the rest under Abbas' authority in the West Bank. Hamas is sworn to Israel's destruction and is regarded a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel, while Abbas' more moderate Fatah movement seeks peace with the Jewish state.
Congress has been mostly quiet on the issue, although some Republicans say they have grave concerns the money will end up in the hands of Hamas.It's good to see that some Republicans are concerned. Perhaps they too might be willing to acknowledge the fact that Fatah, as an offspring of the PLO, is still a terrorist organization themselves?
"I think that's a noble intention but in a practical sense it will end up giving U.S. taxpayer dollars to a terrorist organization, which is Hamas," said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Pence, R-Ind., said he is drafting legislation that would restrict money from being given to the Palestinians so long as Hamas has control of Gaza. Pence wants to offer the measure as an amendment to a $34.2 billion bill that funds the State Department and foreign assistance programs.
Pence said his concern is that Bush's decision to resume aid will "open the flood gates of support for authorities within the Fatah government that could ultimately be used against Israel," he said in an interview Wednesday.
"Right now we're at a time when Hamas is sitting behind the desk of government buildings in Gaza City wearing ski masks and holding AK-47s," he added. "It's hard for me to see where we can provide any funds directly or indirectly to supplement or support what is an emerging terrorist Palestinian state."
Most important of all is that the government is spending millions of taxpayers' money on a terrorist organization, and I think there should be questions about if they're doing the right thing to be paying other people's money to those who would doubtlessly exploit it for evil.