Skip to comments.Bill Frist: Double the funding for Palestinians (Frist 2008 Anyone???)
Posted on 05/27/2005 10:00:14 AM PDT by GOPGuide
In about three months, Israel will begin its courageous withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Nearly 8,500 Israeli settlers will pack up their homes and relocate. Many settlers are unhappy; some will resist. The road to peace will not be easy.
But the most urgent challenge of Gaza is not Israel's disengagement, but the Palestinian Authority's subsequent management over this troubled area. A coordinated hand-over that prevents instability and builds confidence means progress toward the "road map" to peace, while turmoil ensures a detour. Escalation of violence could lead to the collapse of Mahmoud Abbas' government - some have even suggested a third intifada.
Wednesday, when I met with President Abbas on Capitol Hill, we discussed the importance of this transition. He understands that the credibility of his government and the hopes of his people depend on the Palestinian Authority's ability to deliver the fruits of peace, especially jobs and social services.
But President Abbas cannot turn his words into reality if the resources required for success, particularly in Gaza, are not readily available. That, in turn, could mean the end of President Bush's vision of two democratic states living side by side in peace and security. As a strong supporter of Israel and what she stands for, we cannot let that happen.
This is not an easy thing for an optimist such as myself to say. But having just spent a week meeting with leaders in the region, I believe that the next 90 days are a crucial test for peace. This is why the United States, Europe and the Arab world need to act quickly and boldly to empower President Abbas by at least doubling, and delivering, the financial assistance they've committed to meet the needs of the Palestinian people.
The international community has provided the Palestinians with a great deal of money over the years, only to see it frittered away through fraud and waste. But with new leadership now in Ramallah, and the chance for peace high, we can afford to risk a little more when so much is at stake.
President Abbas also must do his part to:
Overhaul Palestinian institutions and govern with transparency and accountability.
Show the Palestinian people that their needs are his priority, and that progress will be made through negotiation, not violence.
Disarm and disband militants, because ending terrorism is the prerequisite for peace in the region.
Ensure that arms aren't smuggled into Gaza for terrorist operations against Israel.
At the same time, the Palestinian Authority must jump start Gaza's economy and create a functioning legal system to go after terrorists and criminals. All of this requires substantial funding.
If he can demonstrate meaningful progress to the Palestinian people, and renew their hope for a better life, then Abbas can pursue his reform agenda and implementation of the road map. If he fails and Hamas - the radical Islamic Palestinian group opposed to peace and responsible for many brutal attacks against Israel - gains, the peace process will be imperiled.
Abbas has already taken steps to reform the Palestinian Authority. He has consolidated the security services, has begun removing elements of Yasser Arafat's old guard, and is improving fiscal accountability. Much more needs to be done, beginning with the complete dismantlement of terrorist organizations, but this will take time - a scarce commodity.
For nearly four years, the United States has been fighting terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq. It has cost us billions of dollars and an even higher price in the lives of our military personnel. This war must be fought and won, but we cannot do it on the battlefield alone.
Some of our enemies say they fight on behalf of the Palestinian people. Many see this issue as the source of resentment toward America. Despite our longstanding efforts in the Arab world and on behalf of Muslim peoples, some no longer see the United States as an honest broker. We must continue to demonstrate to the world that we stand for peace, justice and freedom by continuing to lead on this issue. In the long run, America will be more safe and secure, and so will Israel.
The window for peace in the Middle East has opened, but I fear it will close (and maybe for good) in the next few months, unless we keep both sides talking and moving forward. We must look ahead and make sure President Abbas has the means to do his part to make peace in the Middle East a real possibility.
What a schmuck!
George Allen 2008.
WHAT AMERICA NEEDS IS A GOOD FRISTING!
Ummmm...why should we foot the bill? The islamic world is sitting on hordes of oil reserves (and we all know what oil is selling for these days). Let the "rich" islamic countries foot the bill IF they want to their Pali buddies to live there.
As I've stated in another thread, I've just about had it with these idiots...both in Congress and in islam.
It's time to write our congresscritters and tell them NO financial aid to any islamic country under ANY circumstances....period. To do so will invite the wrath of their constituencis and the American people as a whole in a tax revolt event that will make the Boston Tea Party look like a kindergarden game....
Idiots...all of em.
Heck, the Widow Arafat's upkeep on her luxurious life style dollars could probably fund what ever the Palestinians need.
"WHAT AMERICA NEEDS IS A GOOD FRISTING!"
LOL! You are baaaaaddddd!
Hell, why don't we just nuke Israel for them. What an idiot. This is our "conservative" leadership in the senate...good grief.
Well, it is also the President who has this obsession with the Roadmap thingy poo. We have enough on our plate with Iraq, Afghanstan and the rest. Let the Israelis deal with Abbas and gang as they see fit. The Palestinian Authority really isn't worth going out of one's was for at the moment. Abbas is just another Arafat (not as ugly, though). The question I have to ask ; Is this Frist's own brain fart or was he prompted by the White House?
How about Pres. Abbas acheive the objectives FIRST, then we give him money. Otherwise, we are just funding the problem.
Their stated goal is the destruction of Isreal, do we really think they're going to suddenly change their minds because they were 'voted' into the political process?
It the US is a participant, and buy's into the "progress" the PA is making toware ending incitement, dismantling terror, and becoming a free and democratic state, then we have to be willing to write the check. The problem isn't the aid, but more likely the fact that we're whitewashing the nature of our "palestinian ally".
Yikes, what an outrageous idea. Personally, I would have had Abbas achieve the objectives FIRST, before giving him a photo op at the White House.
Frist in 2008? Absolutely not.
I don't think Frist has a shot at the presidency. We need a conservative governor to run. Like maybe Jeb Bush. Can you imagine the left wing melt down if another Bush were elected president. It would be hilarious.
I can't think of a better reason to vote Bush in '08!