Our House of Representatives is infected with a frightening brew of intolerance, xenophobia, religious fundamentalism, and stupidity. But this takes the cake:

A few months ago, President Bush announced that he would ask Congress for $350 million to support Palestinian political, economic and security reforms. Following on his word, he did just that, in his budget proposal to Congress.

But last week when the House approved $200 million of the aid, it attached enough strings to strangle those good intentions. President Bush had requested that the first $200 million go directly to the Palestinian Authority…(b)ut in what one Palestinian advocate correctly called a “vote of no confidence” in Mr. Abbas, the House stipulated that no money could go to the Palestinian Authority. It approved $150 million, to be channeled instead through American aid agencies, nongovernmental organizations and philanthropic groups.

Adding insult to injury, the House then gave $50 million to Israel to build terminals for people at checkpoints surrounding Palestinian areas. House lawmakers directed an additional $2 million to Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America. So a quarter of Congress’s Palestinian aid disbursement so far is actually going to Israel.
NYT Editorial Staff

Let me recap. The House has refused to give any aid directly to the Palestinian Authority. Instead, they have taken $50 million dollars of Palestinian aid funds, and diverted it to Israel so they can build better checkpoints. I won’t even comment on the decision to divert two million to a Zionist-American group.

The Senate needs to correct this insult. And when someone asks why ‘they’ hate America, just tell them to look at this markup, and show them a picture of Denny Hastert and Tom DeLay.

Update [2005-5-9 9:6:29 by BooMan]:Danielle Pletka, a vice president of the American Enterprise Institute, had testified before Congress that the Palestinians were not ready to absorb a huge infusion of aid. While it would be nice to give diplomatic support to Abbas, she said yesterday, Congress has a “fiduciary obligation not to throw money down a toilet.”

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