Actually, they should worry, the House controls the purse strings and they’ve made it clear U.S. aid will be on the chopping block if the Palestinians decide to go through with their statehood bid.
(Politico) — American officials are dismissing a top Palestinian leader’s claims on Friday that the U.S. warned it will take “punitive measures” and cutoff aid if the Palestinians move forward on their statehood bid.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat released a statement Friday quoting U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem Daniel Rubinstein as saying the U.S. would veto the statehood recognition resolution at the United Nations Security Council in September and would stop aid if Palestine continued to seek statehood at the full General Assembly meeting.
“The American Congress will take punitive measures against the Palestinian Authority including halting American assistance,” Erekat quoted Rubinstein as saying, according to the Associated Press.
The U.S. currently grants Palestinians $470 million in an annual aid package.
“The U.S. sees no benefits from the Palestinian efforts to get membership at the U.N. and it’s better to reach peace agreements through negotiations,” Erekat quoted Rubinstein as saying. “If the Palestinian Authority insists on going to the Security Council, then the U.S. will use the veto.”
The U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem released a statement in response on Friday, saying that the quotes attributed to Rubinstein were not accurate.
“While we cannot get into private diplomatic discussions, this report is not an accurate portrayal of the U.S position, nor did Consul-General Rubinstein make the comments reported in the media,” the statement said.