Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Last month I reported that the advisory panel for USAID, the American aid agency that funnels millions of dollars to Palestinian organizations, has recommended that the US should build institutions in Area C, ostensibly to promote Israeli-Palestinian cooperation.

However, these institutions would almost certainly not be available to Jews who already live in Area C, meaning that they would be effectively a way for USAID to take land away from under Israeli control and give it to Palestinians.

One of the more outrageous proposals mentioned was to build an entire university in Area C for Palestinian use.

Now, Israel's Channel 14 is reporting that Joe Biden supports the idea.

From the Arabic Ultrapal news site:
Israeli Channel 14 said, on Wednesday, that US President Joe Biden gave oral approval to a request submitted by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to establish a Palestinian university in an area classified as C according to the Oslo Accords.

She added, that a senior official in (USAID) confirmed to her the news, and that the agency recently held a closed meeting to discuss this file after Biden's approval, and an informal tour is expected in the coming weeks to choose the land that will be allocated to the university buildings.

She noted that USAID officials presented the idea to Biden during his recent visit to Jerusalem.

As I wrote,  USAID programs are supposed to be officially joint Israeli-Palestinian initiatives, but if Palestinians are meant to reap the benefits, why not place them where the Palestinians mostly live? 

The MEPPA funding program behind these ideas has two goals: economic development of the Palestinian private sector and "person to person" peacebuilding programs. Building a Palestinian high tech university on Israeli-controlled lands is not either of these - it is a land grab. Even if some of the instructors are Israelis. 

I don't know if the USAID officials were taking advantage of Biden's possible confusion, or if Biden understands that this is a direct challenge to Israel's rights. 

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