Trump threatens Palestinian aid cut-off
6 January 2018
US President Donald Trump has repeated his threats to end Washington’s financial support to the Palestinians. His actions undermine the Palestinian Authority (PA), undercutting the role it plays on behalf of the US, the European powers and Israel in policing the Palestinian people.
Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the United Nations (UN), amplified Trump’s tweet, stating that Washington might halt its contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) until the Palestinians agreed to engage in US-led peace talks with Israel again.
Trump tweeted that the US “gives them hundreds of millions of dollars,” but gets “no respect. … They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel.”
Trump presented his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as a positive gift to the Palestinians, denouncing them for opposing the move in the UN and making identical threats of financial sanctions to those he made to other countries protesting the action.
“We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more,” Trump claimed. “But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”
The shape of the “ultimate deal” that Trump promised on taking office, to be brokered by his son-in-law Jared Kushner and US ambassador to Israel David Friedman, ardent supporters of an expansionist Israel, is clear. The Palestinian Authority must accept its role as security guard for Israel and US imperialism in the region, and settle the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Israel’s terms: the…