Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, now a representative from the state’s 1st Congressional District, has introduced a bill that would prevent U.S. dollars from going to the Palestinian government until they can prove that no funds are being used to pay families of so-called terrorist “martyrs.”
“Over the past 10 years, the Palestinian government has received more than $4 billion in U.S. tax dollars in spite of the fact that the Palestinian Authority devotes about 8 percent of its budget to supporting the families of Palestinian terrorists, including those killed during attacks and those in prison,” Rep. Sanford said in a joint press release with the bill’s co-sponsor Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC).
Sanford added, “To me, this is unacceptable. When the American people support other nations, our generosity shouldn’t be used to support terrorism in any way. And pausing these funds until we’re certain they aren’t being used as such seems like an obvious response to the problem.”
According to the Jerusalem Post, Bloomberg, and other media outlets, the Palestinian National Authority pays “salaries” to the families of Palestinians who have carried out terror attacks against the Jewish nation and its people.
The Jerusalem Posts cites a report by Yossi Kuperwasser of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, which says, “The [Palestinian National Authority] pays directly and, as of 2014, partly through the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), about 1.1 billion shekels (around $300 million) every year as salaries to Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails, continuing after they are released, and to the families of dead terrorists and other Palestinians who died fighting against Zionism.”
Kuperwasser reports that this “amounts to 7 percent of the Palestinian budget, and more than 20 percent of the annual foreign aid to the [Palestinian National Authority].”
Recently, the Washington Post reported that the outgoing Obama administration sent $221 million to the Palestinian National Authority, the governing body of the controversial Palestinian state. The moved had been approved by Congress but was being blocked. The action has largely been seen by those on the right as another example of the Obama administration’s animus toward key U.S. ally Israel.
President Barack Obama, like some of his predecessors, favored a two-state solution to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
President Donald J. Trump reportedly supports a one-state solution in which Israel remains in control of the state of Palestine, a self-governing nation within Israel that includes the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.
Trump has tasked his son-in-law Jared Kushner with brokering a peace agreement between the two-warring sides.
An Orthodox Jew, Kushner is a one of the most important members of Trump’s inner circle. In fact, many observers claim that Kushner has been fighting over control of the inner circle with Steve Bannon, the one-time head of the alt-right news site Breitbart. Bannon has been accused of supporting anti-Semitic viewpoints, most notably by the Anti-Defamation League.
The full text of Mark Sanford’s press release is below.
Representatives Mark Sanford and Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced H.R. 789, the No Bonuses for Terrorists Act.
This bill would cut off American aid to the Palestinian government until the Secretary of State has certified that the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Liberation Organization have stopped paying benefits to the families of terrorists that aren’t available to the Palestinian population at large.
“Over the past ten years, the Palestinian government has received more than $4 billion in US tax dollars in spite of the fact that the Palestinian Authority devotes about 8% of its budget to supporting the families of Palestinian terrorists, including those killed during attacks and those in prison,” Representative Sanford said. “To me, this is unacceptable. When the American people support other nations, our generosity shouldn’t be used to support terrorism in any way. And pausing these funds until we’re certain they aren’t being used as such seems like an obvious response to the problem.”
“Mark and my bill puts in place the strongest measures yet to ensure terrorists will no longer be rewarded with U.S. taxpayer dollars. The American people deserve to know that their hard earned money isn’t going to fund terror attacks on our allies,” said Representative Ted Budd.