You could make an argument that the United States should dramatically cut back on foreign aid just on purely financial grounds. After all, if we don’t have the money to pay our own bills, why in the world are we giving our money away to other countries?
But, let’s say you reject that argument on the grounds that ladling out aid is a foreign policy necessity. Incidentally, there’s some truth to that. Just as an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, it can be a lot cheaper to shell out a few bucks than to have to get our military involved at some point down the road.
However, there’s a problem at the heart of our approach to foreign aid and the latest kerfluffle involving the Palestinians is a great example of it.
The Obama administration is lobbying Congress to unblock $200 million in aid for the Palestinian Authority that was frozen due to its bid for U.N. recognition of statehood over U.S. and Israeli objections.
…Representative Kay Granger, the Republican chairwoman of the House subcommittee that oversees foreign aid, placed her hold in August “until the issue of statehood is resolved” at the United Nations, her spokesman, Matt Leffingwell, said.
…Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last month submitted a formal application to the U.N. Security Council for recognition of Palestinian statehood, ignoring a U.S. threat to veto the measure if it is put to vote.
The United States and Israel both say that Palestinian statehood can come through resuming direct peace negotiations that collapsed a year ago after Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu refused to extend a limited moratorium on building Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
The Palestinians are ruled by terrorists, they regularly spew out anti-American propaganda, and the average Palestinian in the street was thrilled when Al-Qaeda hit us on 9/11. The Palestinians aren’t our friends and honestly, they’re not even good people. Yet, we’re giving them money anyway, which is really nothing more than a way of buying our way into “peace negotiations” that have never born any fruit and probably won’t in the foreseeable future.
What do we get for our money? We get a government-run media that demonizes us, terrorists who attack our real allies in Israel, and leaders who don’t pay one bit of attention to anything we say. We asked the Palestinians not to submit a bid for statehood to the UN, they did it anyway, and Congress, for once, is doing something intelligent: It’s withholding aid to punish the Palestinians.
Not only should that stick, it should be the rule. We shouldn’t expect nations to be our hand puppets if we give them money, but we can and WE SHOULD demand certain things. If they have a government-run media, it shouldn’t be trashing us. If there’s a vote at the UN, they should be voting our way. When we talk, they don’t always have to listen to us, but their ears had better perk up and they had better take what we have to say into consideration. The Palestinians, among others, don’t meet those basic standards and both Democrats and Republicans, White House and Congress, should agree that we cut off every dime of aid until they do.