The PA-controlled West Bank is often considered to be the moderate Palestinian area compared to Hamas-run Gaza; but the PA, never known for its commitment to religious freedom, is at the center of this enforcement of sharia. The Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam reported that a handful of men were arrested in the West Bank for eating in public during Ramadan in August 2011 as well, and it was PA President Mahmoud Abbas himself who appointed Sheikh Ida’is to his position as chairman of the sharia court this last January.
This supposedly moderate PA received a waiver from President Obama at the end of April, releasing a $192 million aid package that was frozen after the PA tried to circumvent the United States and achieve statehood through the United Nations. Section 3 of Congress’s Palestinian Accountability Act stipulates that “no funds available to any United States Government department or agency … may be obligated or expended with respect to providing funds to the Palestinian Authority.” Obama overrode Congress to lift that ban on financial aid to the PA, saying it is “important to the security interests of the United States.”
A White House spokesman further explained that Obama lifted the ban because the PA had fulfilled its major obligations, such as recognizing Israel’s right to exist and renouncing violence, and that the funds are aimed at “ensuring the continued viability of the moderate PA government.”
About that “moderation,” National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy argues,
In the real world, the very immoderate PA has reneged on all its commitments. In addition to violating its obligations by unilaterally declaring statehood, the PA has also agreed to form a unity government with Hamas, a terrorist organization that is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. The PA continues to endorse terrorism against Israel as “resistance.” Moreover, the PA most certainly does not recognize Israel’s right to exist…
In sum, everything Obama is saying about Palestinian compliance is a lie. Even if we were not broke, we should not be giving the PA a dime.
By releasing that aid package, the Obama administration is encouraging – indeed, funding – not “the continued viability of the moderate PA government,” but the oppressive spread of sharia.
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