Jason Langsner
Jason Langsner

Freeze the $400 Million

I don’t have a voice.

As a Washingtonian, I do not have representation in the U.S. Congress.  I do not have two U.S. Senators. I do (kind of) have a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, but my Congresswoman does not have voting rights.  Therefore, I do not have a voice in the people’s House or my legislature’s upper chamber.  I don’t have a voice.

This Tuesday, my President will speak before the 114th U.S. Congress for the first time during the State of the Union. I will be watching the SOTU from my home, which is four blocks from the U.S. Capitol.  I walk my dog, whose name is Shekels, to the Capitol and National Mall multiple times a week.

My dog has the same amount of advocacy power as I do in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.  Zero.

I don’t have a voice in the Legislative Branch of the U.S. Government because I choose to be one of 650,000 Americans that call Washington, DC, home,

But I do have a blog on The Times of Israel…

And therefore I am writing to advocate that the U.S. Congress votes to not just freeze the $400 million dollars of American tax payer money that was earmarked for Palestinian aid, but to immediately redistribute those dollars to support American communities in need.

As a tax payer, voter, and Jewish-American citizen – I call on the U.S. Congress to not just freeze the $400 million dollars of American tax payer money that was earmarked for Palestinian aid, but to immediately call for a policy debate to begin that would freeze all international aid to governments that are explicitly aligned with recognized Foreign Terrorist Organizations as defined by the U.S. State Department.  The American people should not be indirectly supporting terror.  Hamas is a Foreign Terrorist Organization as defined by the U.S. State Department and by all forms of conventional wisdom.  Hamas and Fatah are in a unity government.  International aid should have been frozen the day that the unity government was formed.  America should not reward bad behavior.

On Friday the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened an inquiry against Israel for Israel’s counter-terrorist actions during Operation Protective Edge.  This follows the “political games” that the PA tried and failed at with the UN Security Council.  These actions harm the peace process.  These actions are counter-productive to the peace process.

Peace will come only through diplomacy – not through terrorist actions by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the other FTOs in Gaza and the West Bank or through backroom political games.  Peace will not come through further attempts to delegitimize and demonize the Free Jewish Democratic State of Israel for doing what any other nation would do in trying to protect her citizens from rocket and mortar fire into civilization centers, through attacks of civilians using terror tunnels, through glorifying attacks on civilians by cars, or naming public squares after suicide bombers.  Why should American tax payers reward this bad behavior with $400 million of our tax money?  We shouldn’t.

I don’t have a voice.  I am not a constituent of two U.S. Senators or a voting Member of the U.S. Congress.  I have no official channels of direct advocacy to the Legislative Branch of my government… But if I did, I would recommend that $200 million of that earmarked $400 million would immediately be pulled from the budget and used to support American communities in need.  It could be used to rebuild roads/bridges, go towards the Highway Trust Fund, go to pay down the impending student loan debt crisis that holds back young Americans, go towards interest free loans to states or cities that are in dire need of revenue (e.g. Detroit), or go towards paying down our debt.

I don’t have a voice.  If I did, I would advocate that the remaining $200 million that wasn’t immediately pulled from the $400 million earmarked for international aid to Palestinians be made contingent on Fatah disbanding the unity government with Hamas by the day of the new Israeli elections, dropping its “absurd” tactics at the UN/ICC immediately, and re-enter direct negotiations with the new Israeli government that will be formed after the elections.  If the elections were to occur before Fatah drops these combative tactics against Israel to placate towards Palestinians, then the line item in the American funded U.S. taxpayer budget would be zeroed out until that government – with a U.S. recognized Foreign Terrorist Organization – is disbanded.

I don’t have a voice.  If I did, I would advocate that the remaining $200 million would double-down on the priorities allocated for the first $200 million.

I don’t understand why 650,000 Americans living with-in the 68.3 square miles of Washington, DC, remain disenfranchised.  But that’s not my goal for writing this blog post.  My goal is for any American that lives outside of DC to call or write their Congressperson and their two U.S. Senators and to ask them to freeze the $400 million of earmarked taxpayer dollars to go to fund Hamas and Fatah.  Hamas and Fatah’s interests are not the interests of the American people and they do not deserve to be rewarded for any of their recent actions.

To the Honorable Members of the 114th Congress and to President Barack Obama, please consider freezing the $400 million in earmarked dollars for Palestinian aid.

See you all on Tuesday on C-SPAN during the State of the Union.

About the Author
Jason Langsner is an active member of the American young Jewish professional community. He is a published author about Israel and American-Israeli affairs and regularly blogs and speaks at conferences about the intersection of communication, culture, politics, and technology. He formerly ran the digital strategy for B'nai B'rith International, the Global Voice of the Jewish Community, and currently serves as a lay leader with various pro-Israel nonprofits. Mr. Langsner received a Masters at Georgetown University and studied International Business Management at the University of Oxford.
Related Topics
Related Posts