J Street applauds the decision by the United States to maintain ties with the new Palestinian government while monitoring its actions going forward as a sensible move that serves to bolster stability and security to the benefit of all people in the region.
The State Department noted that the government appears to be made up of technocrats and does not include ministers affiliated with Hamas. President Mahmoud Abbas had reiterated standing commitments to pursue nonviolence and respect past agreements with Israel.
In this context, calls to cut off US aid benefitting Palestinians are unhelpful. As we have stated previously, Israelis have benefited enormously from the day-to-day cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian security forces and other official contacts and this should not be sacrificed. The last thing anyone needs to do is rush to cut off aid which could defund Palestinian security forces, destabilize the fragile Palestinian economy and lead to an increase in instability in the West Bank.
Also unhelpful are some of the wilder comments emanating from a few Israeli officials, including one from Communications Minister Gilad Erdan who accused the United States of naiveté and surrendering to Palestinian dictates. While policy differences are to be expected, such statements should have no place in light of the special relationship between the two nations and longstanding US support for Israel.