Op-Ed via Middle East Eye

Why cutting US aid to the Palestinian Authority is not a bad idea

Many observers and analysts warn that cutting US aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) is dangerous and may threaten stability. Some have even argued that US President Donald Trump's funding threat to Palestinians is more dangerous than his decision to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

"Do you think that the PA's days are now numbered?" is one of the most recurring question by journalists over the past few days after Trump's statement that "we pay the Palestinians hundred of millions of dollars a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue."

Actions against Palestinians

Trump continued by saying "with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?". However, Trump's threat to withdraw aid to the PA should not come as a surprise.

US aid has been always used as a political tool, and the conditionality attached to it has been harmful and damaging for the Palestinians.

But in case the threat of cutting aid to the PA materialises, is it really that bad? I argue no; it is not that bad. Arguably it may prove beneficial - possibly not in the short term, but certainly in the long term.

US aid to the PA largely aims to solidify the role of the PA as a subcontractor to Israel's occupation and has made the Israeli occupation cheaper and longer, which has benefited Israel's economy, entrenched Palestinian fragmentation, and denied the potential for Palestinian democracy. For all these reasons, cutting US aid to the PA is not that bad.

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