Today the Administration restarted various lines of assistance to the Palestinian People. There is a lot of confusion even amongst those who follow this closely of what this was, and what laws they follow.…
Easiest way to break this up is into four buckets. 1) COVID heal through humanitarian assistance (IDA) 2) Economic Support Funds (ESF), the traditional bilateral assistance programs 3) Security assistance (INCLE) 4) UNRWA from Migration and Refugee Assistance programs (MRA)
Buckets 1 and 4 (IDA and MRA) are large accounts that the admin controls that are restricted for either disaster assistance or migration. Trump gave $5 mill in IDA and Biden gave $15 million. UNRWA gets MRA as one of the few entities that can receive it.
Neither IDA or MRA were or are subject to the Taylor Force Act (TFA) or the Anti Terrorism Clarification Act issues (ATCA) that was amended in 2020 anyway. UNRWA received $150 million today which is roughly the % for their general operating that the US traditionally supports.
Admin also restarted the traditional USAID mission in WB and Gaza with bucket 2 and 3 (ESF and INCLE). Both of these funds were subject to ATCA until 2020 and ESF is still subject to TFA.
Congress hard earmarked for FY2020 $75 million in ESF and $75 million in INCLE meaning that the admin HAD to spend this money or issue a recession bill or violate the 1974 Budget Impoundment Act.
ESF is two year money which meant this money had to be spent by end of September or is disappears, INCLE is no year money meaning there is not the same time pressure.
For ESF to be spent it must not directly benefit the PA to be in line with TFA. The only exceptions to this are the East Jslm Hospital payments (paying the PA bills) $25 mill cap, wastewater $5 mill cap and vaccinations $500k
Note vaccinations done through IDA don’t count. So what does directly benefit the PA mean? Congress asks the State department to issue a definition. In 2018 State did so… and there are reportedly four aspects to the definition
a) Whether the Palestinian Authority is the direct recipient of the assistance.

b) Whether the assistance involves payment to Palestinian Authority creditors.
c) The extent of ownership or control the Palestinian Authority exerts over an entity or individual that is the primary beneficiary or end user of the assistance.
d) Whether the assistance or services provided directly replace assistance or services provided by the Palestinian Authority.
The announcement today is clear that all the ESF assistance doesn’t violate these criteria therefore are TFA compliant.
So the Admin has done what Congress has asked it to do re ESF and INCLE, has fulfilled a campaign pledge with UNRWA in MRA and pushing its global COVID response. There is nothing nefarious or wrong or objectionable legally to any of this.
Lastly there is also $10 million in Conflict Management and Mitigation grants that go to p2p out of a separate line in ESF. This is essential to rebuild the field in anticipation of the Middle East Partnership for Peace Act (MEPPA) which comes online in December.

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More from @braunold

24 Jul 20
1/ Today - all being well - the Middle East Partnership Act of 2020 will pass the House - it provides a quarter of a billion over five years to grassroots peace building efforts and economic development for a bottom up approach to Israel Palestine.
2/ @NitaLowey and @JeffFortenberry have been tireless champions of this fund and have stuck with it despite the highs and lows over the years. Before @nitalowey it was Joe Crowley. It is a result of over a decade of advocacy and painstaking coalition building
3/ It has broad bipartisan support, has no amendments on it and is a capstone legacy of @NitaLowey 30 year commitment to peace. From @AIPAC to @ChurchesforMEP it is a rare positive piece of legislation that is both good politics and good policy.
Read 7 tweets
27 Jan 20
1) Now that the ‘Deal of the Century’ (yuck, will be referred to as the plan) is upon us a note to everyone. The CONTEXT is more important than the CONTENT. Tomorrow the Knesset votes on the process of Bibi immunity (which he will lose). Tomorrow is also release day.
2) Tomorrow the impeachment of President Trump will continue. Tomorrow is release day. Bibi is fighting to change the narrative from immunity, after failing to form government twice, to opportunity under him.
3) Gantz, Bibi's rival, is trapped between a popular President (in Israel) and changing the narrative. He tried to navigate it but already Trump has made it clear Bibi is his guy and Gantz is just a side show.
Read 9 tweets
23 Jun 19
1. Finally read through the big Economic part of the ‘Peace Plan’ now Shabbat is out and it is so galling on so many levels. Here is epic thread split into four sections of critic: First PRESENTATION.
2. As some have already remarked the glossy brochure is full of curious pictures. They all come from USAID videos you can find here that were made around two years ago to promote the very programs this Admin has cut off…
3. The two most ridiculous examples are that of @ThePCFF and the Near East Foundation. The Parents Circle, whose grant was not only cut off but who Bassam (who is pictured throughout the presentation) has had his US visa refused.
Read 19 tweets

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