Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

No deal with Israel? No Palestinian aid

 

September 14, 2018



On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump told Jewish leaders that the Palestinians would not receive any more aid from the U.S., unless they made a deal with Israel.

Trump made the remarks during a conference call placed in anticipation of the Jewish New Year in which the president communicated with a number of American Jewish leaders.

Trump’s remarks arrive on the heels of his administration’s decision to cut funds both to the Palestinians’ dedicated UN agency, UNRWA, and direct aid to the Palestinians. To that end, Trump noted during the conference call that the funding would only be reinstated if the Palestinians reach an agreement with the Jewish state.

“What I will tell you is I stopped massive amounts of money that we were paying to the Palestinians and the Palestinian leaders,” Trump said in a recording of the call aired by Israel’s Channel 10.

“The United States was paying them tremendous amounts of money. And I say, ‘You’ll get money, but we’re not paying until you make a deal. If you don’t make a deal, we’re not paying,’” Trump explained in the recording.

In response to a question posed by legal expert and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, Trump responded, “I don’t think it’s disrespectful at all” to use aid as a tool to incentivize the Palestinians to negotiate. “I think it’s disrespectful when people don’t come to the table,” he added, according to a transcript published by Jewish Insider.

When Dershowitz asked if the Jewish community should feel “optimistic that [Trump] could help bring about a peaceful resolution to the conflict that we all pray for all the time,” Trump replied, “I think the answer to that is a very strong yes. I really do believe we are going to make a deal. I hope so. It would be a great thing to do.”

On a personal note, Trump added, “I am a very proud father of a Jewish daughter, Ivanka,” in addition to referring to the call’s host, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, a senior adviser.

 

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