Former President Donald Trump continues to protect the interests of Israel in the Middle East even though he is not in the White House anymore. The man currently in the White House, meanwhile, has made it a priority to restore gigantic amounts of aid to the Palestinians, nearly three years after Trump practically cut off all relief packages for Palestine. Though Donald Trump is no longer President, Joe Biden continues to walk into landmines set for him by the previous administration, even as they keep exploding in his face. The most recent landmine which is on the cusp of an explosion is the Trump-era Taylor Force Act, which the Biden administration has visibly worked in complete contestation and disregard of.
The Taylor Force Act passed by the US Congress in 2018 and signed by Trump into law almost immediately, prohibits Washington from sending aid that will directly benefit the Palestinian Authority (PA), as long as Ramallah continues sending regular stipends to those convicted of acts of terrorism against Israel and its people. Despite such an act of law being alive and kicking in America, the Biden administration has announced a $15 million relief package for Palestine, which will be used for COVID-related humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
One might argue that the said aid announced by the Biden administration does not violate the Taylor Force Act, since the US government is not funding the Palestinian Authority (PA) led by Mahmoud Abbas directly. However, there is a big catch. According to MSN News, Mahmoud Abbas is cracking down on private individuals and organizations. As of this month, Palestinian NGOs are required to submit plans of action and budgets to the PA, which reviews them for conformity to the “work plan of the relevant ministry.” Furthermore, the law authorises the government to absorb the dissolved organisation’s assets into the PA treasury or transfer them “to a similar Palestinian association or institution.”
Palestinian organisations are claiming that the Abbas-led PA’s sole motive is to achieve the dissolution of NGOs so that their assets are then transferred to Fatah’s treasury. Fatah is a Palestinian nationalist social-democratic political party and the largest faction of the confederated multi-party Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the second-largest party in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). Hamas, which is the terror organisation waging a war against the Israelis, is also rivalled by Fatah. While Hamas is focused on the military and terror-infrastructure of Palestine, Fatah – whose member Mahmoud Abbas is the President of the PA, is involved in the foreign affairs and general administration of the Palestinian people.
Now that the background is somewhat known, it is time to expose Joe Biden for the anti-Israel crusader that he is. While the Biden administration would want to make Americans believe that the U.S. government is not acting in complete disregard of its own law, the reality is that the Palestinian
Authority’s rampant takeover and dilution of NGOs effectively means that the Biden administration is directly funding the PA. Upon dissolution of the NGOs, their assets will be taken over by the PA and its institutions. This would mean that if any dissolved NGO would be a recipient of US government aid, the money of American taxpayers would land in the PA’s coffers.
Meanwhile, the $15 million relief package recently announced by the Biden administration is to be received by the Catholic Relief Services. It would not require an extraordinary effort by anyone with a functional cerebrum to arrive at their own conclusions now that that context and all facts have been laid bare. Tempers are simultaneously rising in Israel, as the Biden administration goes out of its way to help the long-lost Palestinian cause. This comes even as Benjamin Netanyahu seems well poised to once again form the government in Israel by working out some sort of an alliance in the aftermath of the recently-held elections in the Jewish country.
Once back in the office after having formed a stable government, Netanyahu will go all guns blazing against Biden for his misadventures. Within the United States, the Biden administration will most definitely face increasing pressure to undo its disastrous Middle East policy. Particularly after the announcement of aid to Palestine, Joe Biden’s domestic woes are bound to witness an unprecedented upswing. Internationally, the man has already proven to be a catastrophe. Whether it be angering countries that have signed the historic Abraham accords or working to destabilise the Middle East by empowering Iran, President Biden is a nightmarish sequence in US foreign policy of a magnitude not seen before.
Yet, to keep the man in check, it is again a Trump-era law that is doing the trick. The Taylor Force Act could very well prove to be the landmine upon which all of Biden’s pro-Palestine sentiments and machinations die a rather painful death.
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