Senate Dems Kill Amendment to Stop Aid to Palestinian Governments Until Hamas Releases All Hostages

Senate Democrats defeated an amendment proposed by Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky. aimed to withhold aid from any Palestinian government until Hamas releases hostages and the Palestinian Authority renounces this terrorist group.

The vote is indicative of Democrats, many who have professed a pro-Palestinian stance in spite of the fact that most American Jews are member of their party, who seem to have a disregard for the plight of the 130 remaining hostages, including six Americans, and a leniency towards entities associated with terrorism.

Senator Paul’s amendment, needing 60 votes to pass, fell short with a 44-50 vote. As is often the case, Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.V., was the lone Democrat supporting the amendment.

The amendment stipulated a cessation of aid to the Palestinian Authority and other governing bodies in the West Bank and Gaza until they renounce the October 7 terror attacks on Israel and meet other conditions.

Senator Paul’s remarks on the Senate floor were poignant, “We can no longer afford empty rhetoric. It makes no sense to borrow money from China and turn around and give that money away to foreign countries. It is fiscally irresponsible, and it is weakening our national security.”

“America must demand a change, a change in behavior from those who do not accept Israel’s right to exist from those who actively seek the destruction of the State of Israel and murder innocent Israelis,” Paul continued.

The amendment also required a presidential certification of certain conditions, including Israel’s recognition and terrorism renunciation, and a report on the Palestinian Authority’s human rights practices.

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The Palestinian Authority “won’t recognize Israel, they won’t even condemn the massacre where 1,200 people were killed October 7,” Paul said. “American resources should always promote American security interests and values, and any recipient of our tax dollars should be more than willing to adopt the principles that recognize the liberty and dignity of the individual, but we cannot expect the recipient of aid to change their behavior if America does not demand it.”

The State Department’s 2022 Human Rights Report on the West Bank and Gaza revealed grave concerns about the Palestinian Authority, “including credible reports of unlawful or arbitrary killings.”

The report listed other offenses including “torture or cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishments by Palestinian Authority officials, arbitrary arrest or detention of political prisoners and detainees, and significant problems with the independence of the judiciary.”

“The report found that the Palestinian Authority did not adequately investigate or hold accountable gender-based violence, and crimes, violence, and threats of violence motivated by anti-Semitism,” the amendment stated.

Opposing the amendment, Senator Ben Cardin, D-Md., argued for the need to support a future for the Palestinian people, hoping for peace.

“We know the tragedy of this war with Hamas, but we hope coming out of it will give us a new opportunity for peace in the region,” Cardin said on the Senate floor.

“And that will require us to be able to help deal with the crisis that’s been created through Hamas’s attack, particularly with the Palestinian people, and to work to make sure there’s a future for the Palestinian people living in peace with Israel,” he continued.

Cardin’s perspective, which appears to be representative of the other Democrats who voted down the amendment, seems to overlook the immediate and ongoing violations of human rights and anti-Semitic violence. Supporting the Palestinian Authority who embraces the chant “from the river to the sea” is deeply flawed and morally questionable.

Senator Paul’s consistent stance against foreign aid lacking oversight is notable. He opposed ongoing assistance for Ukraine and recently aligned with Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on a resolution to halt U.S. aid to Israel, demanding accountability for potential human rights violations. This resolution, however, also failed with a 72-11 vote.

The Senate’s decision on s reflects the moral bankruptcy in supporting entities that undermine fundamental values of life, liberty and dignity. It also draws in to question, why would America support both sides of the warring nations, essentially paying for weapons of destruction for each to use against the other.