Apr 08 2021
KEARNEY, NEB – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today joined her colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken in response to President Biden’s plan to send a reported $75 million in general economic support payments from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. State Department into territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Iran-backed terrorist group Hamas.
In the letter, the senators wrote:
“We write with concern regarding plans by the Biden-Harris administration to pour hundreds of millions of American taxpayer dollars into territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Iran-backed terrorist group Hamas. We call on you to halt these expenditures until the State Department accounts for statutory restrictions and remedies known deficiencies in the distribution of such assistance, which have for years promoted and facilitated terrorism against Americans and Israelis.” […]
“It is unacceptable that the Biden-Harris administration would seek to dampen public debate over these vast sums of general assistance. Since 1993, the U.S. government provided more than $6.3 billion to the Palestinians with the aims of, first, advancing the Palestinians’ capacity to build a state and, second, insulating and distancing Palestinian governance from terrorism. Measured by the degree to which they have achieved those aims, U.S. programs have not just failed but have been counterproductive, with the money facilitating terrorist incitement and making its way to terrorists. In just the last few weeks, U.S. government documents and announcements by the Palestinians have made clear those failings were systematic and structural.
“If a Palestinian state was established today it would be a failed state, lacking political institutions, economic viability, a monopoly on the use of force by internal groups, and a non-terrorist government capable of exerting sovereignty over all claimed territories. PA President Mahmoud Abbas was elected to a four year term in 2005 but no subsequent presidential election has taken place, the Palestinian economy suffers from endemic corruption and requires outside intervention to function, Palestinian officials routinely blame violence and rocket attacks against Israelis on groups ostensibly beyond their control, and control over Palestinian areas is fractured between Fatah and Hamas.
“Meanwhile the PA has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars every year to reward Palestinian terrorists and their families, with increased rewards in proportion to increased casualties. Among the beneficiaries of these so-called ‘pay-for-slay’ programs was the family of Bashar Masalha, who in 2016 stabbed 11 people near Tel Aviv and murdered 28-year old U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force.”
The letter was led by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Other co-signers of the letter include Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.).
Read the full text of the letter here.
Read more in Bloomberg news here.