One of my favorite movies is “Dave” starring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver. You might remember the plot…the sitting president needed a body double, well, for some nefarious reason, but Kline’s character bore an exact resemblance.
When the actual president suffered a massive stroke, the powers that be decided to keep the common man, Dave, in the position to avoid causing a national stir. Actually, it was all about a power hungry chief of staff who saw an opening for himself. But what was engaging about the film was that an everyday fella, who worked at a job placement firm, took a common sense approach to governing.
The most memorable part was when Dave brought in his accountant friend played by Charles Grodin and overnight they did a line-by-line analysis of the federal budget in preparation for a cabinet meeting. The cabinet meeting the following day was absolutely comical as the common man steps in and presents something uncommon to Washington D.C.
I truly believe we need life to imitate art when it applies to that vignette and what we have today. And a recent revelation is a testimony to this need.
As reported by the Jewish News Service, JNS.org, “Amid growing congressional concern about the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) misuse of U.S. aid, a major mainstream American Jewish organization has been quietly lobbying Congress to cover the PA’s unpaid bills at a Jerusalem hospital.
JNS.org has learned that for the past several years, senior officials of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) have undertaken the task of pressing U.S. officials, including members of Congress, to pay millions in unpaid bills the PA has racked up at the Lutheran-sponsored Augusta Victoria hospital in eastern Jerusalem.
At the beginning of 2014, the hospital was more than $19 million in the red due to “non-payment of fees for patients that are referred to the hospital by the Palestinian Authority,” according to a Lutheran World Federation press release, which added that the PA “pledged to pay for the treatment of these patients but it has not been able to uphold its commitments.”
At the end of that year, the PA made a payment of $263,000 and left the remaining $16.6 million unpaid. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA)—the country’s largest Lutheran denomination—enlisted the AJC to ask Washington to foot the PA’s bills. Rabbi David Rosen, AJC’s Jerusalem-based international director of interreligious affairs, said he and other leaders from the organization have lobbied members of Congress and U.S. officials to pay the bills. Rosen said he also has spoken to the U.S. ambassador and consul general in Israel about the hospital’s financial problems. In response to the lobbying, the U.S. sent Augusta Victoria $13 million in 2014, another $13 million in 2015 and an unspecified amount in 2016.”
Here is where I take issue. We here in the United States are having a real issue providing our veterans timely, effective and efficient healthcare services. And here we are sending millions of dollars to pay for hospital services for the original Islamic terrorist organization, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) who now goes by PA, but is really Fatah.
This violates every single aspect of common sense, and this is why we need a reenactment of that scene from the movie “Dave” where someone sits down and goes over every single federal government expenditure in order to challenge the existence of these programs.
Who on Earth would think sending American taxpayer dollars to be used in this manner was a swell idea? What benefit does this expenditure of funds to the PA (Fatah) provide to our American citizens? And the question that I, as well as you, should want to know…who were the Members of Congress who were lobbied and who was it on the House and Senate Appropriations Committees that signed off on these expenditures? You want to know why we’re running deficits in America, and why our debt continues to grow? Because we’re so stupid to have representatives paying the hospital bills of a terrorist organization!
“The Rev. Richard H. Graham, bishop of the Lutherans’ Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod, told JNS.org that although he and other Lutheran representatives have also urged the U.S. government to provide the funds, he believes AJC’s intervention has been the decisive factor.
“If it had been a matter of just ‘the Lutherans want something to be done,’ I don’t think it would have happened,” he said. AJC “reminded congressmen” that covering the PA’s bills to the hospital was “very important” not only to Lutherans but also “to Jewish people,” the bishop explained.
Graham praised Rosen for pressing the Israeli government regarding possible tax structure changes that would have affected the hospital. AJC has not issued any press releases concerning its role in the lobbying. The group’s associate director of interreligious and intergroup relations, Emily Soloff, who has represented AJC in its communication with the Lutherans, declined to comment on the hospital issue. Graham took part, along with 31 other Lutheran bishops, in an April 2014 lobbying mission to Capitol Hill. According to an ELCA press release at the time, the bishops spoke to lawmakers about both the hospital funding and the church’s other views concerning Israel. The ELCA has called for ending U.S. aid to Israel unless the Israelis stop all Jewish construction in the disputed territories and portions of Jerusalem.”
In essence what has happened here is that ELCA appears to be a special interest group with anti-Israeli sentiment and effectively lobbied for American taxpayer dollars to be used for their ideological agenda. What is the constitutional justification for this spending? I suppose its right there with Obama and Kerry using taxpayer funds, via the State Department, to support campaign operatives in Israel working against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reelection. What is happening with all the international and U.S. aid sent to the PA (Fatah), where are those millions…billions, going?
“Rabbi David Rosen acknowledged that the PA “mismanages” its finances, is “riddled with corruption,” and is wrong to spend funds on weapons and payments to terrorists. Nevertheless, he said, he considers it a “Jewish moral responsibility” to seek U.S. funds to cover the PA’s bills at Augusta Victoria.
That position is disputed by the Coalition for Jewish Values, a Baltimore-based national organization of Orthodox rabbis, which said in a statement, “There is no moral responsibility to pay the bills of a regime such as the PA, which has enough funds to pay its own bills but refuses to do so in order to use its money to pay salaries to terrorists.”
Some longtime observers of Israel-Diaspora relations have expressed misgivings about AJC’s actions. “This is an old story of the U.S. and others enabling the Palestinian Authority to divert funds to honoring terrorists and delegitimizing Israel, rather than taking care of its own people,” Gil Troy, an American presidential historian and professor at Canada’s McGill University, told JNS.org.
“If the choice was between a hospital that does good work going bankrupt, bravo to the AJC and U.S. government for making sure it doesn’t,” he added. “But given the context, one worries that this is a case of naive Jews and naive Americans enabling bad behavior on the part of the anti-Israel elements within some churches and enabling the even worse behavior of the Palestinian Authority.”
What a blinding flash of the obvious — similar to John Kerry admitting that the billions of dollars he and Barack Obama released to the Iranians could be used for terrorist activities.
Folks, you just cannot make this stuff up, and if it weren’t so disconcerting, it would be a made-for-TV comedy. But sadly, this is happening. We have American religious figures — not gonna refer to them as leaders — who are lobbying for our taxpayer dollars to benefit a terrorist organization, because that’s what the PA (Fatah) is.
At a time when our own veterans are suffering at the hands of a broken system, we have elected officials providing our largesse to a terrorist organization. What level of fools are we? And how can it be that we’re enabling such abhorrent behavior?
The PA (Fatah) uses aid sent to it to pay revenues to families of terrorists and build memorials to them. Why should we care about paying their hospital bills? And yes, the obvious question, how many of those treated at Lutheran-sponsored Augusta Victoria Church in East Jerusalem were terrorists themselves wounded in attacks? And now we’re paying their hospital bills. And that, our astute and loyal readers, is the pure definition of stuck on stupid. Actually no, it’s a special kind of stupid: pure insanity.
Instead of stupid hearings on Russian involvement in our elections, we the American people demand to know, who was it that was lobbied by the AJC and the Lutheran organization? We the people want to know who knew about these expenditures and who approved the appropriations of these funds? Does this program still exist and is it still part of our budget?
Let’s burn down the phone lines and call — as we know, there’s no one in the American media who will take up this cause and demand resolution and answers. What America are we living in when our veterans are on waiting lists yet we’re cutting checks to pay the hospital bills of Islamic terrorists?
This is FUBAR.