Friday, August 19, 2022

What's With the Money?

In the past, I have published multiple blog posts and a few opeds (2014) on the funding provided by the United States and connected groups to the Arab population in Judea and Samaria which specifically ignores or discriminates against Jewish residents in that same geographical area.

Some examples: here; here; here; and here. There ae many more, going back years. And they include monies for student grants, programs, events, etc.

I had the opportunity recently to engage with an aide to a member of the House Appropriations Committee and I raised the issue, pointing out, besides the discrimination, that getting the two populations to work together on non-politial onerns and interests could possibly lead to a coexistence breakthrough and ultimately, achieve the goals of the programs. My impression was that the matter wasn't seen to be all that the important and moreover, that the discrimination has been dealt with.

So I checked at the website of the Palestinian Affairs Unit which is the former East Jerusalem American Consulate under another name. The Embassy-sponsored programs are separate.

Here are the details of one such aid program, the American Palestinian Arts, Culture, and Sports Initiative. Its objectives they have defined as

the U.S.OPA-PD mission: to advance a comprehensive and lasting peace through a negotiated two-state solution [no other option exists?] to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the development of a vibrant, representative, and responsive Palestinian civil society, private sector, and governing institutions through substantive engagement with American people, institutions, ideas and ideals in order to improve American-Palestinian relations and create greater opportunities for mutually beneficial partnership and cooperation.

So, to improve "Palestinian-Israeli/Jewish residents" is outside the purview of the initiative?

What is its "Priority Region"? Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza or a combination of two or three of them. The goal, though, really is to "increase understanding and collaboration between Americans and Palestinians" only.

Eligible primary applicants for grant funding must be not-for-profit Palestinian and/or American organizations working with Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank and/or Gaza.

Another, now closed, funded program involves Journalism Capacity Building. Participants must be "Journalists, media professionals, social media professionals, journalism university students from the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem." Does that include Jewish residents of those areas? Probably not as we read that a goal of the program is to: 

"Improve writing skills for journalists in specialized fields such as gender issues, entrepreneurship and business, economics, technology, foreign policy, democracy, and human rights, environmental issues, and other issues of interest to the United States and Palestinians;" 

as well as to 

"Increase awareness and understanding of American culture, media, society, history and/or current events, as well as of shared American-Palestinian values and interests.

"Palestinians" are who exactly?

This third recent example truly highlights the point I am making: its all about 'forget about the Israelis and the Jews living amongst the Arab population of Judea and Samaria'. It is named the: U.S. Public Diplomacy Palestinian Peacebuilding Program

It is "designed to partner with Palestinian, American, and International non-profit/non-governmental to implement activities which advance the applicant’s goals and the U.S.OPA-PD mission: to advance a comprehensive and lasting peace through a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict 

The Priority Region, again, is: Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza or a combination of two or three of them

The goals are to: Promote negotiation, non-violence, social change, and civic education; Build capacity of peacebuilding institutions and organizations led by Palestinians; Advance equity with respect to race, ethnicity, religion, income, geography (!!!) 

And who are the eligible Participants and Audiences?

Palestinians in East Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza. Preference will be given to Palestinian organizations when possible.

I do see that what is not eligible for funding inludes projects relating that support specific religious activities or promote only one faith/religion. But only when type of resident is what is at the basis of this all. 

No mixing. No mingling. Who knows what it might lead to?

Other programs: Advancing Palestinian Women’s Entrepreneurship ProgramMedia Literacy Training and so on like a joint dance show in Bethlehem between Palestinian and American dancers that was preceded by a joint workshop (Palestinian = no Israeli Jews).

If that is what the US wants to be, there'll be no coexistence, no empathy, no cooperation and no compromise, no solution and no peace.


UPDATE    from August 19-26, 2022

In the West Bank, Senior Official Allen will discuss U.S. support for English language teaching and meet Palestinian alumni leaders of U.S. exchange programs.  Senior Official Allen will also join the visit of a U.S. Sports Envoy and participate in their skills-building program for youth.

In Jerusalem, Senior Official Allen will visit the U.S. Embassy’s American Center Jerusalem and learn more about public diplomacy programming innovations in science, technology, education, and entrepreneurship.  She will meet with alumni of U.S. exchange programs from diverse communities, including Haredi, Arabic-speaking, Bedouin, Ethiopian, and Druze.

Senior Official Allen will also meet with counterparts in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss efforts to counter public disinformation campaigns and Holocaust distortion, as well as ways to facilitate continued U.S.-Israel academic exchanges, such as the Fulbright Program.



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