by Cassy Fiano | January 26, 2017 12:07 pm
Barack Obama created a major scandal when the news leaked that he had secretly given $221 million to the Palestinian Authority just hours before Donald Trump took office. The money was, in part, to help Palestinians establish a formal, recognized Palestinian state, even though GOP lawmakers had put a hold on the money. But the State Department has just taken drastic action — and Obama is not going to like it.
The State Department announced that it will be opening an investigation into the transfer and will be making adjustments to ensure that it is in line with the Trump administration’s more Israel-friendly policies. Members of Congress had frozen the money, but legally, nothing was preventing Obama from giving the money to the Palestinians anyway.
Representative Kay Granger (R-Texas) was one of the politicians who put a hold on the money and she slammed Obama for moving forward with it anyway. “I am deeply disappointed that President Obama defied congressional oversight and released $221 million to the Palestinian territories,” she said in a statement. “I worked to make sure that no American taxpayer dollars would fund the Palestinian Authority unless very strict conditions were met. While none of these funds will go to the Palestinian Authority because of those conditions, they will go to programs in the Palestinian territories that were still under review by Congress. The Obama Administration’s decision to release these funds was inappropriate.”
According to Dr. Jonathan Schanzer, of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, there were a lot of reasons to freeze the payment. “The easiest way to sum it up is that Congress had been looking at various behaviors from Palestine — unilateral attempts at statehood, corruption, incitement of violence, and paying salaries to people in jail for terrorism — and that’s why the hold has been there,” he explained. It was seen by many as just another move from Obama to stab Israel in the back on his way out of office.
Thankfully, there’s a new administration in place now and Obama may have yet another piece of his legacy overturned.
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