OU Urges State Department Put Palestinian Aid on Hold


The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (OU) on Sunday sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressing “deep concern” over the Biden administration’s decision to restore some $235 million in aid to the Palestinians.

While stressing that the OU does not oppose humanitarian assistance and funding for security cooperation with Israel and other measures to promote peace, it does oppose monies used to “undermine those very goals and supports Palestinian intransigence and anti-Israel animus.”

The letter cited the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) as an unworthy recipient of such funding in light of its use in educational programs of “curriculums and textbooks that are anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.”

The OU contends that some of the funding would be in violation of the Taylor Force Act, which halted aid to the Palestinian Authority until it stops its longtime system of financial rewards and incentives for terrorism codified in Palestinian law.

The letter noted that the Biden Administration’s own recent report to Congress pursuant to the TFA concluded that the PA “has not terminated payments for acts of terrorism to any individual [and] has also not taken proactive steps to counter incitement to violence against Israel.”

“We urge you reconsider sending American tax dollars to the PA and UNRWA until the State Department can demonstrate to Congress that both entities have made fundamental changes in their behavior and indeed have laid the groundwork for peace and security,” the letter concluded.

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