“The Palestinian leadership yesterday accused the US Congress of inflicting “collective punishment” upon its people by holding up almost $200m in aid earmarked for the West Bank and Gaza by the Obama administration. The freeze on funds earlier allocated for the financial year which ends today is the first concrete Congressional reprisal against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to come to light since he angered US legislators by pursuing his application for full UN membership last week. The unpublicised block has been in force since August and was imposed in response to the then planned UN recognition bid,………”
The Palestinian Authority (PA) is often accused by its opponents of doing the bidding of the United States government and the Israeli Likud government. Apparently the PA felt that its authority over Palestinians was slipping, it had to do something to slow this trend. In a desperate move it applied for UN recognition. It did this just at the beginning of the U.S. electoral cycle and in a year when extreme right-wing Republicans control the U.S. Congress, with Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a well-known right-winger and avid Likudnik, as head of the Foreign Affairs Committee. They might as well have elected Bibi Netanyahu as chairman of the committee. This is not a time when most politicians in Washington show any courage for peace, if ever.