Omar and Tlaib Mum on Whether Palestinian Aid Should Be Conditioned on Human Rights Abuses

Reps say aid to Israel should be conditioned on treatment of Palestinians

Reps. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) / Getty Images
July 12, 2021

Top proponents of conditioning aid to Israel based on alleged human rights violations will not say whether they also support conditioning aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Reps. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) both say U.S. aid to Israel should be conditioned on the Jewish state's treatment of the Palestinians, which they claim violates international law. Neither congresswoman's office responded, however, to Washington Free Beacon inquiries about their position on conditioning U.S. aid to the Palestinians in the wake of the Palestinian government's murder of an anti-corruption activist last month.

After Hamas fired thousands of missiles at Israeli citizens in May, sparking the worst violence in years, Omar and Tlaib called for cutting off U.S. aid to Israel. They applauded efforts by the Biden administration to send millions in U.S. aid to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip as part of postwar reconstruction efforts.

The Palestinian Authority's brutal beating of Nizar Benet, whose murder is fueling anti-government protests in the authority-controlled West Bank, is raising questions about the Biden White House's decision to resume millions of dollars in funding to the Palestinian government. While Republicans in Congress largely object to the funds, which they say support the Palestinian Authority's terror incitement against Israel, Democrats have mostly avoided criticizing the authority's crackdown on reformers.

The Palestinian Authority and Hamas are known to crush dissent with violence. Both groups "routinely arrest and torture peaceful critics and opponents," according to Human Rights Watch, a non-governmental organization that operates in the region. Palestinians who protest against the government and call for reforms are often imprisoned, beaten, tortured, and killed. The Israeli government, on the other hand, adheres to Western rule of law.

"Both the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in Gaza have in recent years carried out scores of arbitrary arrests for peaceful criticism of the authorities, particularly on social media, among independent journalists, on university campuses, and at demonstrations," according to Human Rights Watch.