Does Secretary Hillary Clinton read the reports issued by her own State Department? It's a fair question. She recently argued passionately at a summit at the Egyptian resort center of Sharm el-Sheikh for increased Western and Arab financial aid to an entity called the Palestinian Authority. To show the Obama administration is taking the lead, she pledged $900 million in U.S. taxpayer funds to jump start the re-building of Gaza and to underscore American commitment to the "two-state (Israel and Palestine) solution."
The most recent State Department report on religious freedom in the Palestinian Authority-administered (PA) areas includes these from Bethlehem, on the West Bank of the Jordan River. "The PA did not take sufficient action… to remedy past harassment and intimidation of Christian residents of Bethlehem by the city's Muslim majority. The PA judiciary failed to adjudicate numbers cases of seizures of Christian-owned land in the Bethlehem area by criminal gangs. PA officials appear to have been complicit in property extortion of Palestinian Christian residents, [emphasis added] as there were reports of PA security forces and judicial officials collude[ing] with gang members in property extortion schemes. Several attacks against Christians in Bethlehem went unaddressed by the PA…"
In Gaza, which we are paying to rebuild, Muslims attacked Christians with impunity. The Lighthouse Baptist School in Gaza City has been attacked repeatedly, as has the YMCA. Rami Khader Ayyad was abducted on the way home from work at the Baptist Holy Bible Association and murdered and the association offices were bombed.
Remember, Secretary Clinton is sending $900 million of your tax money to the people who pulled off these attacks, or who failed to investigate the attacks, or who were complicit in these attacks.
That's the Christians. How about the Jews? The Palestinian Media Watch, run by Arab-speaking Israeli Itamar Marcus tells a jarring story. The new 12th grade Palestinian schoolbooks urge youngsters on to jihad and to "the ribat for Allah." Students who kill Israelis are "worthy of a great reward from Allah." It's part of their Islamic Education texts.
Those texts are interesting. They have no Israel in their maps. But the United States is there; we are identified as "enemy of the Palestinians and the Arabs."
Eight of their schools are named "Al Khansah," the Mother of Martyrs School. The Mother of Martyrs is a woman who expressed joy that her four sons had died in jihad. We may assume they are not charm schools.
Another school is actually named for Saddam Hussein. This man killed 400,000 Arabs and Kurds, most of them Muslim. Can anything good from funding such a school?
Daniel Patrick Moynihan once ridiculed the U.S. Supreme Court for its church-state rulings. The high court said state aid could go to religious schools to purchase books, but not maps. "What about Atlases," Moynihan asked with a twinkle: "They are books of maps." U.S. taxpayer money can now go to pay for Atlases -- but over there, in Gaza, where Israel has been eradicated, and the U.S. is vilified.
All of this has been documented, again and again. Our State Department has been filing Religious Freedom reports on the Palestinian Authority for a decade. And just as long, it has been ignoring them. Secretary Clinton is ignoring them now.
The Palestinian Authority, of course, has no authority. Where the locals get to vote, they willingly choose Hamas, the terrorist outfit.
Is this the new diplomacy? Is this the new direction of U.S. foreign policy? We're supposed to cheer when our new leader bows low before the Saudi king. Of all people! The report on religious freedom in Saudi Arabia could be written on one side of a postcard: there is none. (Save the postage.)
Can anything good come from Nazareth? Or from a policy that pays the people who have turned the hometown of the Prince of Peace into a war zone?