Obama administration sides with Palestinians and against terror victims in court case
The Obama administration has filed a brief in a New York court in support of the Palestinian Authority in their efforts to limit damages requested by Americans as a result of Palestinian terror attacks.
The Obama administration has intervened in a landmark legal case brought by the American victims of Palestinian terrorists, urging the court to limit restitution for the victims out of fear that a sizable payout could collapse the Palestinian government, according to a copy of the court filing.
Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken argued in a filing to a New York City court that a hefty payout to the victims of Palestinian terror crimes could burden the Palestinian Authority (PA) and interfere in Obama administration efforts to foster peace in the region.
The victims are entitled to as much as $655 million from the PA following the conclusion of a decade-long lawsuit that exposed the Palestinian government’s role in supporting and paying for terror attacks in Israel.
The administration’s intervention in the case has drawn criticism from U.S. lawmakers and some of those affected by the decision.
While the administration supports the right of terror victims to sue in U.S. courts, it remains particularly concerned about the PA’s solvency.
“The United States respectfully urges the Court to carefully consider the impact of its decision on the continued viability of the PA in light of the evidence about its financial situation,” Blinken writes in his “statement of interest.” “An event that deprives the PA of a significant portion of its revenues would likely severely compromise the PA’s ability to operate as a governmental authority.”
Blinken goes on to warn that the case could impact U.S. security interests and its role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
“A PA insolvency and collapse would harm current and future U.S.-led efforts to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Blinken writes.
Representatives to the PA had been lobbying the Justice and State Departments to get involved in the case for some time. The PA maintains that it does not have enough funds to pay a bond requirement and has petitioned the judge in the case to drop it.
However, a lawyer representing the victims argues that if the Palestinian government can continue paying terrorists currently imprisoned in Israeli jails, it can pay the victims of these terror acts.
The PA gets very little of its cash in the form of taxes or tarrifs. Most of its money comes from donations by individuals and governments - including the American taxpayer.
But to describe the PA as a "government" is something of a joke. They are a criminal gang masquerading as a government, extorting money, punishing apostates, and getting kickbacks from international aid projects. There is little oversight and zero transparency. There may be more corrupt "governments" on earth but I can't think of one at the moment.
Shouldn't the goal of US policy be to eliminate terrorist states? The administration is presented with the perfect opportunity to bury a state that gleefully and continuously sponsors terrorism against Israel and has a stated goal of eliminating the Jewish state. And we want to save this gang of cutthroats? Why?
The administration argues that this is realpolitik diplomacy, that there's no viable alternative to the PA. And Israel would probably not like the idea of chaos on its border. Plus, there's a good chance that whatever government emerged from the chaos would be worse than the PA - if that's possible (with the Palestinians, anything is possible.).
As a practical matter, then, there is a rationale for siding with the PA on this issue. It's distasteful, to be sure. But the gruesome reality is as evil and corrupt as the PA certainly is, it's better to deal with the devil you know.