Thursday, July 19, 2012

US Tax Payers Funding the PA

From this official GAO document:-

For decades, the United States has worked toward the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, most recently under the 2003 Roadmap for Peace, which calls for an independent Palestinian state coexisting peacefully with the state of Israel. From fiscal years 2001 through 2009, the United States provided about $3 billion in bilateral and multilateral assistance to the West Bank and Gaza, focused on further developing the Palestinian economic, social services, and civil society sectors and on strengthening the processes, governance, and security-providing capacity of Palestinian Authority (PA) institutions...For fiscal years 2010 and 2011, U.S. funding for the Economic Support Fund (ESF) portion of U.S. assistance to the West Bank and Gaza totaled almost $789 million...Of the total $789 million provided for West Bank and Gaza assistance over the 2 years, USAID had obligated 96 percent and expended 70 percent by the end of April 2012. USAID obligated about $410 million for 26 development projects and $350 million in budget support to the PA over the 2 fiscal years. USAID provided the most assistance to the water resources and infrastructure sector, about 56 percent of total project obligations.  According to the Department of State (State), ESF promotes the economic and political foreign policy interests of the United States by providing assistance to allies and countries in transition to democracy, supporting Middle East peace negotiations, and financing economic stabilization programs. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is primarily responsible for administering ESF appropriations for the West Bank and Gaza...

I have sent this letter to the report's author:

Can the United States government, through the various agencies noted in your Foreign Assistance: U.S Assistance to the West Bank and Gaza for Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011, restrict the funds so that they are prohibited from benefitting an American citizen residing in those areas by fact that his/her religion is Jewish?

Are or have any of the $789 millions, or the total of some $3 billions since 2001 to 2009, appropriated for any of the approximately 50,000 or so American Jewish citizens living in the area termed as "West Bank"?

If so, which sums and to whom?

If not, why not?  Is there a legal problem or is this an example of governmental discrimination albeit based on Administration and/or State Department policy?

Thank you for your expected reply.

cc  Senators Patrick Leahy and Lindsey Graham
      Representatives Kay Granger and Nita Lowey


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