The biggest failure in American foreign policy over the last eight years is summed up in one word: cowardice. In the last hours before President Trump started his term, outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry defied Congress’ wishes and released $221 million to the Palestinian Authority. Then he turned out the lights and went home without facing consequences. Because he’s a coward.
It turns out, the Palestinians are upset that they haven’t gotten the money yet, and they’re probably not going to see it for a while, if at all. From the Times of Israel:
US officials conveyed to PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Tuesday that the funds were not expected to be handed over in the immediate future, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The State Department is reviewing the payment, and “might make adjustments to ensure it comports with the Trump administration’s priorities.” This is bureaucrat-speak for “Trump told us to hold the money and figure out the reasons later.”
Congress had initially approved the Palestinian funding in budget years 2015 and 2016, but at least two GOP lawmakers — Ed Royce of California, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Kay Granger of Texas, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee — had placed holds on it over moves the Palestinian Authority had taken to seek membership in international organizations. Congressional holds are generally respected by the executive branch but are not legally binding after funds have been allocated.
John Kerry defiantly hoisted his middle finger at Congress and then slammed the door on his way out. Trump didn’t let him get away with it.
Good. And for more reasons than the PA doesn’t deserve one penny, which it tends to use for things like paying reward money to suicide killers’ families and naming streets after terrorists. It’s good because no administration should be able to hide behind acts of poltroonery and bad faith like Obama did.
Unfortunately, Trump can’t reverse Chelsea Manning’s pardon, or the release of GITMO prisoners back to their terror groups (but he can drone strike them). But it’s only right and fitting that the State Department review this payment, and if possible, see that the PA doesn’t get one dollar.