I suspect President Obama and his underlings are really hoping this late night maneuver goes unnoticed.
US President Barack Obama has lifted a ban on financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. Obama stated that the aid was “important to the security interests of the United States.”
The US Congress froze a $192 million aid package to the Palestinian Authority after its president, Mahmoud Abbas, defied US pressure and sought to attain UN endorsement of Palestinian statehood last September. The presidential waiver means that aid can now be delivered.
Ed Morrissey over at HotAir gives a more harrowing explanation for why Congress cut the funding in the first place.
Congress deliberately froze those funds, and not just because of the statehood demand through UNESCO. Hamas, a terrorist organization, reconciled with Fatah and has rejoined the PA, which means we’re putting almost $200 million into the hands of a terrorist organization. The language of the Palestinian Accountability Act could not be clearer: “[N]o funds available to any United States Government department or agency … may be obligated or expended with respect to providing funds to the Palestinian Authority.” Obama literally waived that statutory language off yesterday afternoon.
So how will Congress react? I can’t imagine leaders in the House and Senate were pleased to learn that President Obama – with a stroke of his pen – bypassed the legislative branch to fund an organization that sponsors terrorism and does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. More to the point, though, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama have a less-than-friendly working relationship. One can’t help but wonder how the president’s shocking decision to provide financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority will be interpreted by Israel. Still, now that the President of the United States is planning on giving away $192 million dollars to a terrorist organization that threatens the national security interests of our closest, and only democratic, ally in the Middle East, the U.S.-Israeli relationship is about to get much more complicated.
Update - I incorrectly stated in my post that President Obama lifted the ban in order to give $192 billion to the Palestinian Authority. I meant $192 million.