Smoke but no fire but, thanks for gesture. And… what’s next for real?

Smoke but no fire but, thanks for gesture. And… what’s next for real?
The White House just announced a $65 million cut in aid to Arab-Palestinians.

This sounds good but what does it really mean in dollars and cents?

According to The Times of Israel, the U.S. provided $712 million in assistance in 2016. $65 million represents a mere 9% of that total.

This recent gesture is reminiscent of the December 2017 cut of $285 million from the U.N. budget billed as an “historic reduction.” However, it turns out that the U.S. contributes a total of $8 billion in mandatory payments and voluntary contributions to the U.N. annually. In other words, America is withholding a mere 3.5% of its usual and customary contribution. The Arab Palestinians get to keep 96.5% of their U.S. allotment!

Be sure to question what you read and analyze how an action plays politically before enthusiastically endorsing it.

In these two cases, U.S. actions represent drops in the proverbial bucket.

How difficult would it be to cut your budget by up to 9%, especially when other sources – try the EU in this case – could pick up the slack?

Janet Levy,
Los Angeles

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