Wednesday, March 5, 2008

OU Protests Aid Transfer to PA

Hat tip, Town Crier

It seems like the recent protests to the OU are being taken seriously.

OU Protests Aid Transfer to PA
March 04, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ORTHODOX UNION PROTESTS U.S. AID TRANSFER TO PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY



The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation's largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, protested President Bush's decision to waive Congressional restrictions to directly transfer $150 million to the Palestinian Authority

U.S. aid money is typically not transferred to the PA directly, but rather channeled through the UN and other non-governmental organizations, in an effort to keep money out of the hands of terrorists. Citing the need to secure loans, President Bush authorized the direct transfer of a portion of the $500 million earmarked for the Palestinians to the PA.

UOJCA Director of Public Policy Nathan Diament stated:

"In light of the PA's continued inability to reform its security services, clamp down on anti-Israeli incitement in its educational system, and similar shortcomings which would justify the unrestricted release of such funding, we strongly protest the President's decision to waive the Congressional restrictions on direct aid transfers. The restrictions were put in place to ensure that the money reaches those who need it the most and not to fund terrorist activities against Israel. At this time the Palestinian Authority has not shown its ability to clamp down on anti-Israel activities, and we therefore see no reason to release these funds. The Orthodox Union urges Members of Congress to alter the regime for these funds so that such restrictions cannot be waived by the President."

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Bush waives direct transfer ban for P.A.
Published: 03/04/2008
http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/breaking/107334.html

President Bush waived congressional restrictions to directly transfer $150 million to the Palestinian Authority.

The transfer ordered Friday is part of a package of more than $500 million in Palestinian assistance earmarked for use this year. Most of the money is project based and to be funneled through the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency and nongovernmental organizations.

Such transfers are subject to relatively light congressional oversight. However, Congress in recent years has banned direct transfers of cash because of fears that the money could end up in terrorist hands and because of concerns about P.A. corruption. Much of the pro-Israel community also strongly opposes direct transfers.

The Bush administration says the Palestinian Authority needs the cash to leverage loans at a time that it is confronting extremists and pursuing peace talks with Israel.

A U.S. official told the JTA that the assistance was "critical" and added that it will "help avert a serious and immediate financial crisis for the P.A., ensure its continued operation, and further the United States' longstanding and bipartisan goal of a just and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians."

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is the same OU that was involved with (and ultimately *abstained* - not voted against) a JCPA resolution that stated, among other things:

"The organized American Jewish community should affirm its support for two independent, democratic and economically viable states ..."

* "As the Israeli government enters negotiations on permanent status issues (including settlements, borders, Jerusalem, and refugees) to reach a comprehensive and just peace agreement with the Palestinians, the organized
Jewish community should support those efforts ..."

See http://www.ou.org/public_affairs/article/clarification_ou_position_and_role_on_jcpa_resolution/

Batya said...

That's right.
And the same OU, which I've condemned, for being silent pre-Disengagement, preferring that its rabbis talk about Darfur.
Shiloh Musings: Why Let It Happen Again?