Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Wednesday criticized President Joe Biden’s decision to improve U.S. ties with the Palestinians, listing a host of reasons opposing the move, including corruption and incitement against Jews.
A day earlier, acting U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Mills told the Security Council that Biden plans on reopening the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington shuttered by the Trump administration, as well as reinstating some aid to the Palestinians in a bid to restore “credible engagement” with the Palestinians and work towards resurrecting the long-dead two-state solution.
Biden’s Middle East policy “will be to support a mutually agreed, two-state solution, in which Israel lives in peace and security, alongside a viable Palestinian state,” Mills said.
Friedman tweeted: “Not so fast guys! PLO mission in DC is against Federal law, Pals still paying terrorists and UNRWA is corrupt and incites hatred of Jews. Please don’t go there!”
Not so fast guys! PLO mission in DC is against Federal law, Pals still paying terrorists and UNRWA is corrupt and incites hatred of Jews. Please don’t go there!
— David M Friedman (@DavidM_Friedman) January 26, 2021
U.S. law stipulates that the Washington office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the international representative body of the Palestinians, be shuttered if the Palestinians attempt to prosecute Israelis at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against them. In 2018, Trump closed the offices, expelling the Palestinian Ambassador to the U.S., Hussam Zomlot.
The Trump administration also cut aid to the Palestinians over its boycott of the U.S. as well as its so-called pay-for-slay scheme paying convicted terrorists and their families, which the PA has deemed a “noble national deed” that will never be stopped. According to the Palestinian Authority (PA) Finance Ministry, roughly NIS 100 million ($30,000) is paid out per month to around 35,000 terrorist prisoners and their families.
Friedman also slammed the Biden administration’s decision to reinstate funding for the UN Palestinian refugee agency, UNRWA. The agency, which drew international criticism after a leaked internal report alleged corruption, sexual misconduct and mismanagement at the agency’s highest levels, is also infamous for spreading antisemitic hate in its schools and employing members of terror organizations and supporters of terror. Breitbart News previously exposed an UNRWA summer program that was indoctrinating Palestinian children to hate Jews by exposing them to videos denying the Holocaust and pictures celebrating Hitler.
The UN itself released a report in 2015 that found Palestinian terror groups used three empty UNRWA schools in Gaza as a weapons cache. Moreover, it said that in at least two cases terrorists “probably” fired rockets at Israel from the schools during the 50-day summer conflict in 2014 between Israel and Hamas.
Mills on Tuesday told the Security Council that the measures are “not a substitute for Israeli-Palestinian peace” and called on the two sides to avoid unilateral actions that could hamper the prospects for a two-state solution – including, on Israel’s part, settlement construction and declaring Israeli sovereignty over the Jewish areas of the West Bank and on the part of the Palestinians, payments to convicted terrorists and their families.
The two-state solution, largely seen as a staple of foreign policy by U.S. administrations prior to President Donald Trump’s, has been lambasted by many critics as being an abject failure that does not take into account facts on the ground.
Zomlot, the expelled Palestinian envoy to the U.S., last week hailed the end of Trump’s presidency and celebrated “standing tall against the bully.”
“Trump left the White House. We, the Palestinian people, its leadership, my wife & children who were removed from the US because of Trump, have reason to celebrate. We stood tall & immune against [the] bully. We stay standing until there is freedom, justice & equality for the Palestinian people,” Zomlot said.