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Commentary Magazine echoes PMW report: PA views US aid as an "entitlement"

Michael Rubin  |
Palestinians Say American Aid is Their Entitlement

?Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has not behaved like the peace partner which Secretary of State Clinton would hope. He refused to sit at the table with the Israelis through most of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s settlement freeze, and then violated the Oslo Accords and subsequent agreements by seeking unilateral statehood at the United Nations. The statehood gambit was a Hail Mary pass to change the subject from the Arab Spring. After all, with Abbas serving in the 81nd month of his 48-month term, the Palestinian chairman and supposed American partner looks uncomfortably like the unaccountable and undemocratic dictators who so many Arabs have sought to throw off.

Accountability certainly seems to be a foreign concept for Abbas. Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik over at Palestinian Media Watch show how, after months of belittling the hundreds of millions of dollars provided to them by the U.S. State Department and, by extension, American taxpayers, now say they should receive such money regardless whether the Palestinians keep their commitments. As Fatah spokesman Faiz Abu Aytah explained, “There is a moral and human obligation which rests with some of the donor countries, including the American administration, since they are morally responsible for the human tragedy which has befallen the Palestinian people since the Nakba in 1948.”

Let’s put aside the fact the parties most responsible for the Palestinian predicament are the Palestinians themselves, and their horrible choice of leadership who, to paraphrase Abba Eban, has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. There is nothing more noxious than the idea American aid is an entitlement which need not be earned. Most aid is tied to the agreements the Palestinians now reject and therefore should be forfeited. Let’s hope the Congress will stick to its guns, so the Palestinians don’t. Let’s also hope the State Department will one day learn that allocation and provision of aid is not a metric by which to judge success; results are.