American aid to the Palestinians since the mid-1990’s, according to a Congressional Research Service report, has exceeded $5 billion. In recent years it has averaged $500 million per year.
The report notes three major U.S. objectives of these funds: preventing terrorism against Israel from Hamas; fostering “stability, prosperity, and self-governance on the West Bank”; humanitarian aid.
When Hamas joined the Palestinian government on June 2, the United States recognized the new government and there was no indication that the substantial funding Palestinians get from American taxpayers would be impacted. Business as usual would continue.
It shouldn’t surprise that U.S acceptance was seen as a green light for terror. Shortly thereafter, missiles started flying again from the Hamas-governed Gaza strip into Israel, and shortly after that, three teenage Israeli boys, one with dual American-Israeli citizenship, were kidnapped and murdered.
The response from America’s president to the kidnapping/murders was to convey American neutrality to an act of terror and to “urge all parties to refrain from steps that would further destabilize the situation.”
It should be clear to all that the world is spinning out of control and becoming an increasingly dangerous place because where there is supposed to be leadership from the leader of the free world there is now a vacuum.
Even independent of the inclusion of a designated terrorist organization in the Palestinian government, the neutral posture of the current American government toward the Palestinian Authority vis- a- vis Israel is quite incredible.
Freedom House is a non-partisan organization in Washington that rates nations around the world regarding freedom. Nations are rated either “free, partially free, or not free.”
Israel is rated “free” and on a scale of 1 to 7, where “1” is the highest rating, Israel is graded 1 on “political rights” and 2 on “civil liberties.”
The Palestinian government on the West Bank is rated “not free” and graded 6 on “political rights” and 5 on “civil liberties.”
If America insists on inserting itself in this dispute, then why does it convey neutrality between a nation that is indisputably free and a government that is not?
Among Israel’s population of 8 million live 1.6 million free Arab citizens. The current Palestinian regime, categorized as “non-free” by Freedom House, makes no pretense to aspiring to be free. Their condition for peace with Israel is purging any Jewish presence from areas they claim.
Christian Arabs are also under siege. The website of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem notes “Under siege and without protection, the Christian population under Palestinian rule has dwindled with each passing year...Some 50 years ago the Palestinian Christian population stood at 15 percent but today it has dropped to 1.5 percent.”
A world in which America stands for nothing is a world that becomes exactly what it is becoming today – chaotic and dangerous.
Consider, in contrast, the words of President Reagan in his famous speech to the National Association of Evangelicals in 1983, where he called the Soviet Union an “evil empire”:
“There is sin and evil in the world, and we’re enjoined by Scripture and the Lord Jesus to oppose it with all our might…I urge you to beware the sin of pride …declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire…”
Sen. Rand Paul has introduced a bill to stop funding the Palestinian government.
Recall the words of 18th century British parliamentarian Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Congress, in contrast to the White House, should support Rand Paul and show there still are Americans that can identify evil and act.
Star Parker is an author and president of CURE, Center for Urban Renewal and Education www.urbancure.org