Wednesday, December 10, 2014

  • Wednesday, December 10, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
This comes from the latest version of the US budget proposal.

It is painful to read, mostly because it is written in bureaucratese. But from what I can gather, it looks like some members of Congress really tried to put into law different controls to ensure that US funds do not go towards terrorist groups - and other members (or the White House) pushed back to have veto power over almost every one of these controls.

So for example, in the first section quoted here, there are lots of limitations on funding any "State of Palestine" - and then there is a waiver for the President to determine that national security trumps it all.

(This may be standard with all foreign policy issues, but seems to be, for example, the official reason why the US embassy is not moved to Jerusalem every year despite Congress passing the law mandating it.)

It looks like many of the controls are riddled with similar loopholes. For example, at the very end it seems to say that the US will not fund the PLO, This is silly because the PA reports to the PLO, even though it is not "part" of the PLO.

At the end there is a very interesting section on reducing aid by the amount that it is determined that the PA is paying terrorists in prison (or employees before they were killed while trying to kill Israelis.)  But even that seems to have lots of wiggle room.

Anyway, here it is:

3 of the funds appropriated under titles III through VI of
4 this Act may be provided to support a Palestinian state
5 unless the Secretary of State determines and certifies to
6 the appropriate congressional committees that—
7 (1) the governing entity of a new Palestinian
8 state—
9 (A) has demonstrated a firm commitment
10 to peaceful co-existence with the State of Israel;
11 and
12 (B) is taking appropriate measures to
13 counter terrorism and terrorist financing in the
14 West Bank and Gaza, including the dismantling
15 of terrorist infrastructures, and is cooperating
16 with appropriate Israeli and other appropriate
17 security organizations; and
18 (2) the Palestinian Authority (or the governing
19 entity of a new Palestinian state) is working with
20 other countries in the region to vigorously pursue ef-
21 forts to establish a just, lasting, and comprehensive
22 peace in the Middle East that will enable Israel and
23 an independent Palestinian state to exist within the
24 context of full and normal relationships, which
25 should include—
1 (A) termination of all claims or states of
2 belligerency;
3 (B) respect for and acknowledgment of the
4 sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political
5 independence of every state in the area through
6 measures including the establishment of demili-
7 tarized zones;
8 (C) their right to live in peace within se-
9 cure and recognized boundaries free from
10 threats or acts of force;
11 (D) freedom of navigation through inter-
12 national waterways in the area; and
13 (E) a framework for achieving a just set-
14 tlement of the refugee problem.
15 (b) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Con-
16 gress that the governing entity should enact a constitution
17 assuring the rule of law, an independent judiciary, and
18 respect for human rights for its citizens, and should enact
19 other laws and regulations assuring transparent and ac-
20 countable governance.
21 (c) WAIVER.—The President may waive subsection
22 (a) if the President determines that it is important to the
23 national security interest of the United States to do so.

Lots more....

24 (d) EXEMPTION.—The restriction in subsection (a)
25 shall not apply to assistance intended to help reform the
1 Palestinian Authority and affiliated institutions, or the
2 governing entity, in order to help meet the requirements
3 of subsection (a), consistent with the provisions of section
4 7040 of this Act (‘‘Limitation on Assistance for the Pales-
5 tinian Authority’’).
8 SEC. 7037. None of the funds appropriated under ti-
9 tles II through VI of this Act may be obligated or ex-
10 pended to create in any part of Jerusalem a new office
11 of any department or agency of the United States Govern-
12 ment for the purpose of conducting official United States
13 Government business with the Palestinian Authority over
14 Gaza and Jericho or any successor Palestinian governing
15 entity provided for in the Israel-PLO Declaration of Prin-
16 ciples: Provided, That this restriction shall not apply to
17 the acquisition of additional space for the existing Con-
18 sulate General in Jerusalem: Provided further, That meet-
19 ings between officers and employees of the United States
20 and officials of the Palestinian Authority, or any successor
21 Palestinian governing entity provided for in the Israel-
22 PLO Declaration of Principles, for the purpose of con-
23 ducting official United States Government business with
24 such authority should continue to take place in locations
25 other than Jerusalem: Provided further, That as has been
1 true in the past, officers and employees of the United
2 States Government may continue to meet in Jerusalem on
3 other subjects with Palestinians (including those who now
4 occupy positions in the Palestinian Authority), have social
5 contacts, and have incidental discussions.
8 SEC. 7038. None of the funds appropriated or other-
9 wise made available by this Act may be used to provide
10 equipment, technical support, consulting services, or any
11 other form of assistance to the Palestinian Broadcasting
12 Corporation.
14 SEC. 7039. (a) OVERSIGHT.—For fiscal year 2015,
15 30 days prior to the initial obligation of funds for the bi-
16 lateral West Bank and Gaza Program, the Secretary of
17 State shall certify to the Committees on Appropriations
18 that procedures have been established to assure the Comp-
19 troller General of the United States will have access to
20 appropriate United States financial information in order
21 to review the uses of United States assistance for the Pro-
22 gram funded under the heading ‘‘Economic Support
23 Fund’’ for the West Bank and Gaza.
24 (b) VETTING.—Prior to the obligation of funds ap-
25 propriated by this Act under the heading ‘‘Economic Sup-
1 port Fund’’ for assistance for the West Bank and Gaza,
2 the Secretary of State shall take all appropriate steps to
3 ensure that such assistance is not provided to or through
4 any individual, private or government entity, or edu-
5 cational institution that the Secretary knows or has reason
6 to believe advocates, plans, sponsors, engages in, or has
7 engaged in, terrorist activity nor, with respect to private
8 entities or educational institutions, those that have as a
9 principal officer of the entity’s governing board or gov-
10 erning board of trustees any individual that has been de-
11 termined to be involved in, or advocating terrorist activity
12 or determined to be a member of a designated foreign ter-
13 rorist organization: Provided, That the Secretary of State
14 shall, as appropriate, establish procedures specifying the
15 steps to be taken in carrying out this subsection and shall
16 terminate assistance to any individual, entity, or edu-
17 cational institution which the Secretary has determined to
18 be involved in or advocating terrorist activity.
20 (1) None of the funds appropriated under titles
21 III through VI of this Act for assistance under the
22 West Bank and Gaza Program may be made avail-
23 able for the purpose of recognizing or otherwise hon-
24 oring individuals who commit, or have committed
25 acts of terrorism.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law,
2 none of the funds made available by this or prior ap-
3 propriations Acts, including funds made available by
4 transfer, may be made available for obligation for se-
5 curity assistance for the West Bank and Gaza until
6 the Secretary of State reports to the Committees on
7 Appropriations on the benchmarks that have been
8 established for security assistance for the West
9 Bank and Gaza and reports on the extent of Pales-
10 tinian compliance with such benchmarks.
11 (d) AUDITS.—
12 (1) The Administrator of the United States
13 Agency for International Development shall ensure
14 that Federal or non-Federal audits of all contractors
15 and grantees, and significant subcontractors and
16 sub-grantees, under the West Bank and Gaza Pro-
17 gram, are conducted at least on an annual basis to
18 ensure, among other things, compliance with this
19 section.
20 (2) Of the funds appropriated by this Act up to
21 $500,000 may be used by the Office of Inspector
22 General of the United States Agency for Inter-
23 national Development for audits, inspections, and
24 other activities in furtherance of the requirements of
25 this subsection: Provided, That such funds are in ad-
1 dition to funds otherwise available for such pur-
2 poses.
3 (e) Subsequent to the certification specified in sub-
4 section (a), the Comptroller General of the United States
5 shall conduct an audit and an investigation of the treat-
6 ment, handling, and uses of all funds for the bilateral
7 West Bank and Gaza Program, including all funds pro-
8 vided as cash transfer assistance, in fiscal year 2015
9 under the heading ‘‘Economic Support Fund’’, and such
10 audit shall address—
11 (1) the extent to which such Program complies
12 with the requirements of subsections (b) and (c);
13 and
14 (2) an examination of all programs, projects,
15 and activities carried out under such Program, in-
16 cluding both obligations and expenditures.
17 (f) Funds made available in this Act for West Bank
18 and Gaza shall be subject to the regular notification proce-
19 dures of the Committees on Appropriations.
20 (g) Not later than 180 days after enactment of this
21 Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the
22 Committees on Appropriations updating the report con-
23 tained in section 2106 of chapter 2 of title II of Public
3 SEC. 7040. (a) PROHIBITION OF FUNDS.—None of
4 the funds appropriated by this Act to carry out the provi-
5 sions of chapter 4 of part II of the Foreign Assistance
6 Act of 1961 may be obligated or expended with respect
7 to providing funds to the Palestinian Authority.
8 (b) WAIVER.—The prohibition included in subsection
9 (a) shall not apply if the President certifies in writing to
10 the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Presi-
11 dent pro tempore of the Senate, and the Committees on
12 Appropriations that waiving such prohibition is important
13 to the national security interest of the United States.
15 waiver pursuant to subsection (b) shall be effective for no
16 more than a period of 6 months at a time and shall not
17 apply beyond 12 months after the enactment of this Act.
18 (d) REPORT.—Whenever the waiver authority pursu-
19 ant to subsection (b) is exercised, the President shall sub-
20 mit a report to the Committees on Appropriations detail-
21 ing the justification for the waiver, the purposes for which
22 the funds will be spent, and the accounting procedures in
23 place to ensure that the funds are properly disbursed: Pro-
24 vided, That the report shall also detail the steps the Pales-
tinian Authority has taken to arrest terrorists, confiscate
2 weapons and dismantle the terrorist infrastructure.
3 (e) CERTIFICATION.—If the President exercises the
4 waiver authority under subsection (b), the Secretary of
5 State must certify and report to the Committees on Ap-
6 propriations prior to the obligation of funds that the Pal-
7 estinian Authority has established a single treasury ac-
8 count for all Palestinian Authority financing and all fi-
9 nancing mechanisms flow through this account, no parallel
10 financing mechanisms exist outside of the Palestinian Au-
11 thority treasury account, and there is a single comprehen-
12 sive civil service roster and payroll, and the Palestinian
13 Authority is acting to counter incitement of violence
14 against Israelis and is supporting activities aimed at pro-
15 moting peace, coexistence, and security cooperation with
16 Israel.
19 (1) None of the funds appropriated in titles III
20 through VI of this Act may be obligated for salaries
21 of personnel of the Palestinian Authority located in
22 Gaza or may be obligated or expended for assistance
23 to Hamas or any entity effectively controlled by
24 Hamas, any power-sharing government of which
25 Hamas is a member, or that results from an agree
1 ment with Hamas and over which Hamas exercises
2 undue influence.
3 (2) Notwithstanding the limitation of paragraph
4 (1), assistance may be provided to a power-sharing
5 government only if the President certifies and re-
6 ports to the Committees on Appropriations that such
7 government, including all of its ministers or such
8 equivalent, has publicly accepted and is complying
9 with the principles contained in section 620K(b)(1)
10 (A) and (B) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961,
11 as amended.
12 (3) The President may exercise the authority in
13 section 620K(e) of the Foreign Assistance Act of
14 1961, as added by the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism
15 Act of 2006 (Public Law 109–446) with respect to
16 this subsection.
17 (4) Whenever the certification pursuant to
18 paragraph (2) is exercised, the Secretary of State
19 shall submit a report to the Committees on Appro-
20 priations within 120 days of the certification and
21 every quarter thereafter on whether such govern-
22 ment, including all of its ministers or such equiva-
23 lent are continuing to comply with the principles
24 contained in section 620K(b)(1) (A) and (B) of the
25 Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended: Pro-
1 vided, That the report shall also detail the amount,
2 purposes and delivery mechanisms for any assistance
3 provided pursuant to the abovementioned certifi-
4 cation and a full accounting of any direct support of
5 such government.
6 (5) None of the funds appropriated under titles
7 III through VI of this Act may be obligated for as-
8 sistance for the Palestine Liberation Organization. 

In the section on economic assistance to various countries:

5 (1) REPORT ON ASSISTANCE.—Prior to the ini-
6 tial obligation of funds made available by this Act
7 under the heading ‘‘Economic Support Fund’’ for
8 assistance for the West Bank and Gaza, the Sec-
9 retary of State shall report to the Committees on
10 Appropriations that the purpose of such assistance
11 is to—
12 (A) advance Middle East peace;
13 (B) improve security in the region;
14 (C) continue support for transparent and
15 accountable government institutions;
16 (D) promote a private sector economy; or
17 (E) address urgent humanitarian needs.
19 (A)(i) None of the funds appropriated
20 under the heading ‘‘Economic Support Fund’’
21 in this Act may be made available for assistance
22 for the Palestinian Authority, if after the date
23 of enactment of this Act—
24 (I) the Palestinians obtain the
25 same standing as member states or
1 full membership as a state in the
2 United Nations or any specialized
3 agency thereof outside an agreement
4 negotiated between Israel and the Pal-
5 estinians; or
6 (II) the Palestinians initiate an
7 International Criminal Court judi-
8 cially authorized investigation, or ac-
9 tively support such an investigation,
10 that subjects Israeli nationals to an
11 investigation for alleged crimes
12 against Palestinians.
13 (ii) The Secretary of State may waive the
14 restriction in paragraph (2)(A) resulting from
15 the application of paragraph (2)(A)(i)(I) if the
16 Secretary certifies to the Committees on Appro-
17 priations that to do so is in the national secu-
18 rity interest of the United States, and submits
19 a report to such Committees detailing how the
20 waiver and the continuation of assistance would
21 assist in furthering Middle East peace.
22 (B)(i) The President may waive the provi-
23 sions of section 1003 of Public Law 100–204 if
24 the President determines and certifies in writ-
25 ing to the Speaker of the House of Representa-
1 tives, the President pro tempore of the Senate,
2 and the Committees on Appropriations that the
3 Palestinians have not, after the date of enact-
4 ment of this Act, obtained in the United Na-
5 tions or any specialized agency thereof the same
6 standing as member states or full membership
7 as a state outside an agreement negotiated be-
8 tween Israel and the Palestinians.
9 (ii) Not less than 90 days after the Presi-
10 dent is unable to make the certification and re-
11 port pursuant to subparagraph (B)(i), the
12 President may waive section 1003 of Public
13 Law 100–204 if the President determines and
14 certifies in writing to the Speaker of the House
15 of Representatives, the President pro tempore
16 of the Senate, and the Committees on Appro-
17 priations that the Palestinians have entered
18 into direct and meaningful negotiations with
19 Israel: Provided, That any waiver of the provi-
20 sions of section 1003 of Public Law 100–204
21 under subparagraph (B)(i) of this paragraph or
22 under previous provisions of law must expire
23 before the waiver under the preceding sentence
24 may be exercised.
1 (iii) Any waiver pursuant to this subpara-
2 graph shall be effective for no more than a pe-
3 riod of 6 months at a time and shall not apply
4 beyond 12 months after the enactment of this
5 Act.
6 (3) REDUCTION.—The Secretary of State shall
7 reduce the amount of assistance made available by
8 this Act under the heading ‘‘Economic Support
9 Fund’’ for the Palestinian Authority by an amount
10 the Secretary determines is equivalent to the amount
11 expended by the Palestinian Authority as payments
12 for acts of terrorism by individuals who are impris-
13 oned after being fairly tried and convicted for acts
14 of terrorism and by individuals who died committing
15 acts of terrorism during the previous calendar year:
16 Provided, That the Secretary shall report to the
17 Committees on Appropriations on the amount re-
18 duced for fiscal year 2015 prior to the obligation of
19 funds for the Palestinian Authority.

(h/t George)


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