Leave it to President Trump to violate both sides of a conflict, while claiming he wants to negotiate peace. Withdrawing the financing could weaken Palestinian direction and cause a catastrophic humanitarian catastrophe, which neither Palestine nor Israel want. Palestinians also feel that Trump’s threats amount to an effort to blackmail them into doing exactly what Trump wants.
Yesterday, President Trump tweeted that “we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect…We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”
It's not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others. As an example, we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
…peace treaty with Israel. We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
The funding Trump refers to comes from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides relief to Palestinian refugees. America provides about 40% of UNRWA’s budget, which equates to a $360 million U.S. contribution this past year. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley has followed Trump’s lead and threatened to reduce funding to UNWRA in order to bring Palestinians back to the bargaining table. It’s important to note that UNRWA money is used for vital humanitarian purposes, such as health clinics, colleges, and sanitation. According to the Washington Post:
UNWRA runs 700 schools for Palestinians across the region, nearly 150 primary health clinics and employs over 30,000 teaching staff, doctors, nurses, social workers, sanitation laborers and engineers. Chris Gunness, UNRWA’s spokesperson, said the organization’s work “is described as indispensable to the dignity of Palestine refugees and the stability of the region.”
Trump’s reference to Jerusalem in his tweet has made Palestinians feel as though Trump is trying to blackmail them into accepting Trump’s decision on Jerusalem in exchange for financial aid. According to the Washington Post, Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee said, “Palestinian rights are not for sale. By recognizing Occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Donald Trump has not only violated international law, but he has also single-handedly destroyed the very foundations of peace and condoned Israel’s illegal annexation of the city. We will not be blackmailed.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has already expressed that Trump’s decision concerning Jerusalem invalidates that the United States as a negotiator for peace between Palestine and Israel. Really, Trump’s decision clearly reveals a bias toward Israel that makes the United States unfit to negotiate peace talks. That also means the United States shouldn’t be threatening Palestinians to be able to drive them to a negotiating table overseen by the USA because Trump’s that the United States no longer warrants a place at the table.
Even Israeli officials believe Trump’s threat to pull funds away from UNWRA would be the incorrect choice as it might further weaken Palestinian leadership and Israel is worried that at least at the Gaza Strip Hamas would take over for the instructional void left with a defunded UNWRA. According to the Washington Post:
UNWRA runs schools and educational programs that Israeli defense officials see as an important counterbalance to Hamas, (which) has controlled Gaza for the past decade, while the organization also provides essential primary health care and other services for Palestinians. “Traditionally the Israeli defense establishment has resisted pressure by Israeli hawks who want to shut down UNWRA funding,” said Ofer Zalzberg, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group. “They say, if it’s not UNWRA, then education will be provided by Hamas.”
Other Israeli officials feel that Trump’s defunding of UNWRA can spell a humanitarian catastrophe for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, that experiences grave hardships, together with widespread unemployment and lacking infrastructure. According to this Washington Post:
Israeli security officials and analysts have been saying for months that the Gaza Strip is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis. “Cutting aid to the Palestinians at this stage would have the opposite effect to what the Americans want,” said Moshe Maoz, an Israeli professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “This is brutal pressure from the U.S., not only ignore the Palestinian’s rights to East Jerusalem but also cutting aid? I don’t have any good word for this stupid policy. The situation in Gaza is terrible, if America cuts its aid, it would be catastrophic,” he said.
President Trump and Ambassador Haley are behaving like threatening, threatening to pull diplomatic aid away from Palestinians to be able to strong-arm them into doing what the United States wants them to perform. Palestinians are not opposed to negotiating, however, they will not be blackmailed into doing exactly what the United States and they, obviously, need a valid negotiator with global legitimacy and need negotiations based on a two-state solution with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.
The post Palestine Just Told Trump To Go F*ck Himself After Tweet appeared first on True Share Daily.