Obama Votes “Present” On Palestinian Funding
If there’s one thing that Obama has done throughout his political career, it’s avoiding hard choices (and avoiding responsibility for Bad Things along with Blamestorming, but that’s a different story). More often than not he votes “present”. When it comes to dealing with the aftermath of the vote at the United Nations granting the Palestinians non-member observer status Mr. Obama has done what he does best: vote present, or, as The Hill terms it, punts
The White House won’t seek to punish the Palestinian Authority for this week’s statehood vote at the United Nations, but did not vow to veto pending legislative proposals to cut off U.S. aid in retaliation.
The U.N. General Assembly voted 138-9 on Thursday to recognize the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) as a non-member observer state, over the strident objections of the United States and Israel. In response, the Senate is expected to vote next week on legislation placing new restrictions on the $600 million in annual U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority.
Questions about repercussions are “better directed at the Congress than at us,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Friday. She said the State Department is still trying to release $495 million in pending funds for fiscal year 2012 that were held up following the Palestinians’ failed effort last year to become a full member of the U.N.
This allows Obama to keep his hands clean over whatever legislation comes out of the Senate, which is looking to place huge restrictions on the support money the Palestinians receive. The legislation would cut the funds off if the Palestinians attempt to use the International Criminal Court to go after Israel. No matter which way the vote goes, Obama can stay above the fray, especially since a good chunk of the Democratic base supports the Palestinians and hates Israel.
I have an idea: instead of spending $600 million a year on a terrorist nation, why not spend it on, as Obama says, “nation building here at home”? Liberals were whining about the bridge that collapsed in New Jersey yesterday, and about how money needed to be spent on infrastructure (not like there wasn’t a Stimulus program or something): that money could go a long way. Same if we cut of the funds to the United Nations.
“We will also continue to try to support the Palestinian Authority” Victoria Nuland said, “because this money supports their … ability to administer the territories, provide security, and take care of the needs of the Palestinian people, who we continue to believe need our support, need the international community’s support.”
Well, let the international community fund the terrorist “nation”. Let them pay the bulk of the money to areas that produce virtually nothing by terrorists, suicide bombers, and missile launches against Israeli civilians. They actually do have some small amount of real products. Perhaps if the Palestinians spent their time developing their agricultural, soap, textiles, and other products instead of their terrorist activities real peace could be achieved.