Washington, D.C. | www.adc.org | January 4, 2018 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) strongly condemns the Trump Administration’s recent threats to cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, made a statement on Tuesday that the Trump Administration would stop funding UNRWA, which is tasked with assisting Palestinian refugees, unless Palestine “return[ed] to the negotiating table” with Israel. This statement was followed by Tweets from Donald Trump that accused “Palestinians” of having “no appreciation or respect” for the “hundreds of millions of dollars” the U.S. sends to Palestine every year. Donald Trump continued to imply that if the Palestinian government refused to engage in peace negotiations after the U.S.’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, then the U.S. would stop making aid payments to Palestine.
ADC has joined numerous organizations, foreign governments, and international institutions in contesting the Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. ADC was also shocked when Trump and Haley seemed to threaten the United Nations General Assembly before a vote on a resolution to condemn the Trump’s decision. The Trump Administration is now using its political agenda to thwart what should be an independent, impartial, and neutral humanitarian response completely unconnected from any political agenda.
Trump’s threats target UNRWA, a humanitarian organization that assists millions of refugees by providing education, healthcare, and food aid and other assistance to the most vulnerable. These services save lives daily and promote economic development for people throughout the Middle East. The Trump Administration’s attempt to extort the Palestinian government threatens innocent lives and can put decades of economic development at risk. ADC therefore vehemently opposes the threats to cut funding to the Palestinian government and UNRWA.