U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement today regarding Secretary John Kerry's $4 billion Palestinian economic plan. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"After the Administration's many failed attempts to convince Abu Mazen and the PA to negotiate a peace with the Israelis, it is now seeking to throw more dollars to the Palestinians to bring them back to the table. Secretary Kerry's latest offer of a $4 billion Palestinian economic plan gives a clear indication that the Administration has no real plan for peace except spending more and more money.
"Even though this economic plan is intended to boost the Palestinian economy by the private sector, the current situation on the ground should be enough to cause concern and reexamine the implementation of this plan.
"The desire for peace should be enough of an incentive for the Palestinians to come back to the peace talks. Instead of offering more money and concessions whether through public or private funds, the Administration should leverage our influence and stop providing assistance to the Palestinians unless they come to the negotiating table. The Administration continues to fall for the same tricks by thinking that improving the economic situation in the West Bank and ignoring the lack of accountability and transparency somehow equates to stability in the region. During these tough economic times, it is difficult to understand the need to inject another large influx of money to a region that has only threatened U.S. interests."