In 1998, then-president Bill Clinton responded to a question in a video deposition regarding a sexual harassment suit against him by stating, in his smarmy lawyer voice, “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.” For years thereafter, Clinton’s statement became fodder for comedians and political analysts, as an indication of the extent to which he could parse words in order to obfuscate issues, and deceive the general public.
We now find ourselves in a similar, yet lesser-known situation, in regards to a lower-profile but equally moronic statement, by the U.S. State Department, regarding the word “viability.” Specifically, as the Washington Free Beacon reported on August 13:
The Obama administration has intervened in a landmark legal case brought by the American victims of Palestinian terrorists, urging the court to limit restitution for the victims out of fear that a sizable payout could collapse the Palestinian government, according to a copy of the court filing. Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken argued in a filing to a New York City court that a hefty payout to the victims of Palestinian terror crimes could burden the Palestinian Authority (PA) and interfere in Obama administration efforts to foster peace in the region.
“The United States respectfully urges the Court to carefully consider the impact of its decision on the continued viability of the PA in light of the evidence about its financial situation”… “An event that deprives the PA of a significant portion of its revenues would likely severely compromise the PA’s ability to operate as a governmental authority.”
The entire justification for this Statement of Interest hinges on that phrase, “the continued viability of the PA.” But what is “viability”? In the organizational context, Cambridge defines it as “the ability to work as intended or to succeed.”
What, then, does that mean in the context of the Palestinian Authority (PA), as it is currently and historically comprised? By any rational definition, it means the perpetuation of a “government” that:
Diverts billions of dollars that are donated by Western nations for “humanitarian aid” purposes, into inciting and rewarding terrorism.
- Is led by an unelected dictator.
- Is a cauldron of anti-U.S. hatred.
- Perpetuates a false Palestinian narrative of non-stop grievances and victimhood against Israel, instead of finally beginning to deal with the fact that virtually all problems they face were created by their own corrupt, incompetent leaders.
Here are but a few examples of how the PA spends its money now, and under whose authority:
Unelected dictator: Mahmoud Abbas was elected as the PA’s president in 2004, to serve a four-year term, which was to conclude on January 9, 2009. He has not allowed any elections to be held since then, and yet he remains in office – his eleventh year of a four-year term.
- Theft of billions in foreign aid: More than $3 billion in foreign aid to the PA disappeared just between 2008-2012, due to corruption. This policy was also practiced by previous PA “leader” Yasser Arafat, who pilfered humanitarian aid donations to the PA and stashed as much as $3 billion in secret European bank accounts – while pleading with the international community for more “help.”
- More theft of aid money: Internal PA documents were recently leaked online, exposing attempts by two Palestinian officials to use public funds for their own private use, a luxurious private home and private school for an official’s daughter. Despite a stagnating Palestinian economy, the corruption and mismanagement of public funds runs rampant in the PA.
- Per capita, the PA receives more aid money than any “nation” in the world: The PA receives more humanitarian aid than any other country, money that is largely unaccounted for. In 2013 alone, it received $2.1 billion.
The PA uses aid money to pay convicted terrorists: The PA spends 6% of its budget paying convicted Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails, and the families of suicide bombers. 52 convicted murderers released from prison by Israel as part of the negotiating process with the Palestinians received grants of up to $50,000, and top jobs within the PA and monthly stipends of up to nearly $4,000. Further, despite the difficult economic environment for Palestinians, as of May 2011, the PA spent $4.5 million per month on compensating Palestinian inmates in Israeli prisons and a further $6.5 million on payments to families of suicide bombers.
- Congress threatened to cut off aid to the PA if it didn’t stop funding terrorism; nothing changed, yet the money is still flowing: Even after the U.S. government was advised, in 2013, that the PA was still using U.S. “aid money” to fund terrorism, and Congress threatened to cut off the PA if it didn’t stop its support for terrorism, Abbas’s “government” called the American government’s bluff, predicting that as in the past, its threats were empty. The PA’s deputy minister said, “Salaries and allowances to Palestinian prisoners will not be stopped, whatever the cost may be. The prisoners are our joy.” The PA gambled correctly: even after that public thumb-in-the-eye to the U.S. taxpayers’ representatives in Congress, American money has continued to flow to this day.
- For at least a decade, the PA has been using aid money to indoctrinate children to want to murder Jews. It is common knowledge that Hamas has been using aid money to militarize children as young as age six, to want to murder Jews. But we’ve been consistently told that the PA under Abbas is different; except as Palestinian Media Watch has documented many times over, the PA does the exact same thing – with money taken out of US taxpayers’ wallets.
- PA President Abbas is now building a $13 million palace for himself – while the Palestinian people exist in grinding poverty.
Is the PA going to get away with yet another assist from the U.S. government, so that it can continue using money deducted from American paychecks to enable its terrorism machinery – and avoid paying the victims of it? Are you concerned that by forcing it to pay the victims of its terrorism, as ordered by a U.S. court, the PA might lose its “viability” as a “government”?
If you’d like to make your voice known on these matters, here are some good places to start. Please be polite, concise and stick to the facts.
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20500
Email: Contact form here
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of Justice
Loretta Lynch, Attorney General of the United States
950 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
Email: Contact form here
United States Congress
Find your Congressional represenative(s) and Senators here.
Obama Admin Moves to Block Restitution for U.S. Terror Victims: Sides with Palestinians in landmark terror case, by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, August 13, 2015.
“Statement of Interest of United States of America,” (re judgmnet against PA) August 10, 2015.
Abbas gives every freed prisoner $50,000 and a top job, by Stuart Winer, Times of Israel, November 18, 2013.
Report: Billions of Dollars of Aid to Palestinian Authority Lost to Corruption, by Zach Pontz, The Algemeiner, October 13, 2013.
Terrorists in Middle East paid salaries with U.S. foreign aid cash, by Jim Kouri, Examiner.com, September 7, 2013.
US resumption of aid to the PA is based on false information – PMW’s Itamar Marcus reports on Capitol Hill, by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, May 18, 2012.
PMW reports prompt question in Danish parliament about PA salaries for terrorists and Danish funding Danish Parliament, PMW Bulletins, Apr. 24, 2013.
PA vows to continue paying salaries to prisoners – among them terrorists, by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik: PA Deputy Minister: “Salaries and allowances to Palestinian prisoners will not be stopped, whatever the cost may be. The prisoners are our joy,” PMW Bulletins, Apr. 24, 2013.
UK Parliament debates hate incitement and UK funding of PA, based on PMW findings,
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, PMW Bulletins, March 17, 2013.
Palestinian child indoctrination, by TheTruthAboutPalestinianRockThrowing.wordpress.com, 2013.