By Paul Miller/JNS.org
CHICAGO—In response to the Palestinian Authority decision to forgo the peace process and join the International Criminal Court (ICC) in an effort to prosecute Israeli leaders, soldiers, and institutions, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) issued a statement on Tuesday calling on the Obama administration to stop funding the Palestinian Authority.
“I strongly condemn the Palestinian Authority’s irresponsible and destabilizing efforts to use the ICC to target Israel and undermine the peace process,” Kirk said. “The Administration must now enforce U.S. law as mandated by Congress and cut off U.S. funding to the Palestinian Authority until they start acting like the partner for peace that is needed in the Middle East.”
Kirk, a former naval intelligence officer, is demanding the administration abide by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (Public Law 113-76) and the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (Public Law 113-235). Both pieces of legislation prohibit funding for the Palestinian Authority (PA) if the PA takes action to undermine the peace process by requesting an investigation or prosecution of Israeli nationals by the ICC.
“Once again Sen. Kirk is showing his strong support for Israel,” said Mark McNulty, communications director for the Republican Jewish Coalition. “The administration should listen to Senator Kirk, especially considering the actions [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas has taken.”
Earlier this year, questions regarding U.S. taxpayers funding the PA made headlines when the allegedly moderate voice of the Palestinians joined forces with the U.S.-deemed terrorist group Hamas, forming a Palestinian unity government.
The Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 was signed into law to prevent the Palestinians from using their nearly $500 million in U.S. taxpayer funds to promote terrorism.
Concerns about taxpayer dollars funding Hamas were serious enough that the terrorist group was singled out in the resolution.
Requests for comment sent to Kirk’s fellow U.S. senator from Illinois, Democrat Dick Durbin, have gone unanswered.
Paul Miller is a contributor to the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity.