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Biden "promises" to fund Palestinians, support BDS and open democratic US-Palestine institutions

Official PA TV, live coverage of the US presidential elections

 

 

 

US Palestinian Council Vice President John Dabeet: “For the first time in the history of the main political parties in the US, there is communication with the Palestinian-American expatriate community at the highest levels…

 

We met with [US presidential candidate Joe] Biden a number of times. We met with the senior foreign policy advisors like [former US Deputy Secretary of State] Mr. Tony Blinken. We spoke in general, and we said that sometimes we may not agree on some of the issues, but the opportunity that has been given to us to discuss with them and work with them is a significant positive point in our favor and an excellent beginning for us. In most of the conversations with them of course we don’t agree on every point. I want to again state that our activity as a Palestinian-American expatriate community will begin today. The main work and the basic work need to begin today.”

 

Official PA TV host: “What is your list of priorities in the Palestinian expatriate community?”

 

John Dabeet: “We have received promises from Biden’s senior advisors that in the near future, after Biden will be sworn in and become the president of the US, we will be in contact with the senior advisors in order to have constant dialogue and say things explicitly. But allow me, my dear sister, to return to part of your question, and that is: What have we obtained so far from Biden? We will say things explicitly, we have obtained a number of points on this matter, such as: Biden will work to restore the funding to UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East; see note below –Ed.); Biden will work to restore the funding to the Palestinian people quickly; Biden promised us to open a Palestinian representation in Washington; Biden promised us to reopen the American consulate in Jerusalem; Biden gave us the right to participate in the [BDS anti-Israel] boycott campaign in the US, and this is a great thing because under [US President Donald] Trump’s administration, many attempted to formulate a number of laws that criminalize any one of us who participates in the boycott and the boycott campaign.”

 

 

 

 

US President Donald Trump's administration announced on Aug. 31, 2018 that it was immediately cutting all $360 million of annual American funding to UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East). Explaining the decision, the US State Department said, "The fundamental business model and fiscal practices that have marked UNRWA for years – tied to UNRWA’s endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries – is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years. The United States will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation."

The move came after the US froze two planned payments to UNRWA in early January 2018 for more than $100 million, and the US administration spoke about the need to reexamine and conduct a reform of the UN body. This occurred after the PA refused to negotiate with Israel and cut diplomatic ties with America following US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Dec. 6, 2017.