United Nations officials are publicly berating the United States for not paying more than its fair share of costs for a refugee program after President Trump curbed support to motivate Palestinians to be serious about negotiating for peace with Israel.
WND reported the president hasn’t been pleased with the Palestinians’ refusal to consider compromises to achieve Middle East peace, so he’s withholding tens of millions of dollars from funds that support Palestinians.
His efforts were met days ago with the threat of terrorism from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Bloomberg reported.
Abbas told the U.N. Security Council he will not meet with U.S. officials until Trump reverses his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
He went far beyond that, though.
“He finished his address with a warning – which others may read as a threat – of violence unless the U.S. restores funds that were cut to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which administers to millions of Palestinian refugees,” the report said.
“If you end your assistance they become terrorists or refugees in Europe,” Abbas said. “It’s either that or you continue to support UNRWA until the crisis ends. We are ready to begin negotiations. We beg you to help us so that we may not commit an act that goes against our beliefs and your beliefs.”
Now the Jerusalem Post is reporting the failure of drive for pledges from other countries to replace the money Trump withheld, so UNRWA officials are insisting that the U.S., once again make up the shortfall.
“Some $100 million in pledges for 2018 were received from the dozens of countries that gathered for the morning conference to help fix a $446 [million] funding shortfall in the budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency,” the report said.
“The crisis – billed as the worst in the agency’s 70-year history – was caused in large part by the Trump administration’s decision not to renew its annual pledge of $364 [million].”
The U.S., on Trump’s instructions, provided only $60 million for 2018, until the Palestinians agree to negotiate with Israel, the report said.
And Trump has insisted other nations must pay their “fair share” of the total $1.2 billion budget for subsidies for a wide range of services in Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the West Bank.
The failure to find replacement funding left Antonio Guterres, the U.N. secretary-general, fretting, “Without a collective solution, UNRWA will soon run out of money.”
The Post reported UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl said, “We hope the U.S will come up with more money.”
“All of us recognize the importance of the contributions the U.S has made in the past and emphasized the importance of the U.S continuing to make its contributions to the agency,” said Krähenbühl.
He admitted, the Post said, “the U.S. should not pay such a disproportionate part of the budget.”
But he said it should not drop its funding until other countries have raised their contributions.
“We cannot have a abrupt disruption of services,” he said.
Palestine isn’t a recognized nation but nevertheless has demanded several times full membership in the United Nations. It’s already been privileged with the status of a non-member observer state.
Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver, who also heads Christians in Defense of Israel as well as Covenant Journey, condemned the threats from Abbas.
“Threats of violence by Mahmoud Abbas are a reflection of his radical ideology and support for terrorism,” said Staver. “He has no desire for peace. His only desire is to wipe out the Jews and rename Israel to Palestine. You cannot negotiate with someone who does not recognize your right to exist. Finally, we have a president and an ambassador who will not be bullied by these threats.”
He pointed out that Abbas previously made threats. Last month in Cairo, Abbas said Jerusalem “is the key to peace if it is our capital, and if it is not – it is the key to war. Trump will need to choose.”
Liberty Counsel pointed out Abbas was elected to a four-year term as president of the PA in 2005, “which means he is now in his 13th year of a four-year term.”
WND reported when U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley dressed down Abbas at a U.N. Security Council meeting, saying, “I will not shut up rather I will respectfully speak some hard truths.”
She was referencing Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who recently demanded that Haley “shut up and realize the Palestinian leadership is not the problem.”
Oh, but it is, she insisted.
“Our negotiators are sitting right behind me, ready to talk,” she told Abbas. “But we will not chase after you. The choice, Mr. President, is yours.”
She explained to him the choices.
“There is the path of absolutist demands, hateful rhetoric, and incitement to violence. That path has led, and will continue to lead, to nothing but hardship for the Palestinian people,” she said.
“Or there is the path of negotiation and compromise. History has shown that path to be successful for Egypt and Jordan, including the transfer of territory. That path remains open to the Palestinian leadership, if only it is courageous enough to take it,” she said.