Dear Friend of Israel, Friend of FLAME:
In these times of U.S. budget crisis, it certainly makes sense to look for waste and misappropriations of U.S. tax dollars. Since the U.S. now sends nearly a billion dollars a year to the Palestinian Authority, it behooves us to take a close look at where that money is going . . . and to what purpose.
Let's look at some quick facts about how the U.S. is supporting the Palestinian Authority (and its new partner, the terror group Hamas):
In 2009, the U.S. contributed $268 million in U.S. taxpayer funds to the notorious United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the Palestinians (UNRWA)---about 27% of the agency's total budget. Unless stopped, the U.S. is likely again to spend that much in 2011. The U.S. has doubled its contributions to UNRWA since Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, and the U.S. is now the single largest donor to UNRWA.
What does UNRWA do? It makes cash handouts that keep hundreds of thousands of descendents of Arab refugees in the West Bank and Gaza on the dole. It also funds a variety of social welfare programs and educational programs that teach Palestinian children they will one day "reconquer" the land of Israel. In short, much of this money enables groups like Hamas to continue waging their war for Israel's destruction.
This year, the Obama administration has requested almost $600 million more direct aid to the Palestinians (in addition to the UNRWA grant), bringing the total U.S. contribution to more than $850 million. This despite the facts that:
- the Palestinians have steadfastly refused for the past two years to heed President Obama's call for them to participate in direct peace talks with Israel,
- the Palestinian Authority has made clear it will "never" accept a Jewish state in Palestine,
- the Palestinian Authority has just signed a merger deal with the Gaza-based terror group Hamas to form a unity government,
- the Palestinians intend to press the United Nations unilaterally to declare a Palestinian state, even though President Obama has begged them not to take this step, and the fact that
- the Palestinians spend some $60 million a year of this bounty to support Palestinian prisoners convicted by Israel of terrorist acts.
Is this really a worthwhile use of U.S. taxpayer money? We at FLAME question this priority, especially since the Palestinian Authority and Hamas act more like enemies of the U.S. than friends. No wonder the U.S. House Foreign Relations Committee decided a few weeks ago to cut U.S. assistance to international organizations---including the U.N.---by 25%. This would be a welcome first step---but amazingly, the House bill is predicted to face stiff opposition in the Senate.
If you're not already convinced that U.S. dollars sent to the Palestinians is a bad investment, please spend five minutes reviewing this week's Hotline article---a report prepared by Palestinian Media Watch for the U.S. Congress. This report, which details how the Palestinian Authority uses its funds to glorify suicide bombers and pay salaries to terrorist prisoners in Israeli jails, should not only convince you, but likely will make you "mad as hell." In fact, as you'll see, this use of U.S. funds is clearly illegal under U.S. law.
Of course, it's just as important for others to read these shocking facts, so, as usual, I urge you, using the Forward to a Friend button below, to pass along this week's FLAME Hotline to your friends, family, and colleagues.
Remember: We are front-line activists in the public relations battle for the hearts and minds of the American people. Israel needs increasing numbers of us spreading the truth . . . today. Won't you do everything you can for Israel this week?
Vice President, FLAME
They say the best defense is a strong offense, and FLAME has begun to use that strategy. Instead of publishing only defensive position papers, which correct the frequent lies told about Israel, we've also begun to tell the truth about Israel's enemies: Most recently we're exposing the alarming, unlawful waste of U.S. taxpayer dollars in funding the Palestinian Authority and its new partner, Hamas. In the hope that you, too, believe we should take the offense against Israel's enemies, I offer an advance look at FLAME's latest position paper: "Why Should the U.S. Fund the Terror Group Hamas?" This piece will soon appear in magazines and newspapers, including college newspapers, with a combined readership of more than 10 million people. In addition, it is being sent to every member of the U.S. Congress. If you agree that this kind of public relations effort on Israel's behalf is critical, I urge you to support us. Remember: FLAME's powerful ability to influence public opinion comes from individuals like you, one by one. I hope you'll consider giving a donation now, as you're able---with $500, $250, $100, or even $18. (Remember, your donation to FLAME is tax deductible.) To donate online, just go to http://www.factsandlogic.org/make_a_donation.html. Now more than ever we need your support to ensure that Israel gets the support it needs---from the U.S. Congress, from President Obama, and from the American people.
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Palestinian Authority glorification of terrorists and payment of salaries to terrorists with US money
Palestinian Media Watch report presented by PMW director, Itamar Marcus, to US Congressional members of the Republican Israel Caucus, July 26, 2011
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Summary of Palestinian Authority (PA) funding of terrorists:
- The Palestinian Authority pays monthly salaries to 5,500 prisoners in Israeli prisons, including terrorists
- The PA honors terrorists who have killed civilians, presenting them as heroes and role models
- The PA glorifies terror attacks as heroic, including suicide bombings
- The PA funds these salaries and activities from its general budget
Summary of US funding of the Palestinian Authority:
- The US funds the PA general budget
- US law prohibits funding of any person who "... engages in, or has engaged in, terrorist activity..."
- US law prohibits funding "for the purpose of recognizing or otherwise honoring individuals who commit, or have committed acts of terrorism."
PA pays monthly salaries to terrorists - essential facts
1. New PA law enacts payment of monthly salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons:
A law signed and published in the official Palestinian Authority Registry in April 2011 puts all Palestinians and Israeli Arabs imprisoned in Israel for terror crimes on the PA payroll to receive a monthly salary from the PA. [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 15, 2011] This new law called PA Government Resolution of 2010, numbers 21 and 23, formalizes what has long been a PA practice.
2. Recipients of the monthly salary:
The PA has defined by law which Palestinians would be considered "prisoners":
"Anyone imprisoned in the occupation's [Israel's] prisons as a result of his participation in the struggle against the occupation." [Ch. 1 of Law of Prisoners, 2004/19,passed and published by the PA Chairman and Government, December 2004. The Prisoners' Centre for Studies, www.alasra.ps, Accessed May 9, 2011]
According to the PA definition, more than 5,500 Palestinian prisoners serving time for terror-related offenses are recipients. [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 14, 2011] Palestinian car thieves in Israeli prisons will not receive a salary, but every terrorist in prison including murderers are on the PA payroll. The salary goes directly to the terrorist or the terrorist's family, and prisoners receive salary from the day of arrest. [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 15, 2011]
3. Hamas and Fatah terrorist prisoners receive monthly salaries:
"The PA's Ministry for Prisoner Affairs said that its policy had always been to pay salaries to prisoners and their families 'regardless of their political affiliations.'" [Jerusalem Post, May 20, 2011].
4. Total amount that the PA pays in salaries to prisoners monthly:
Total: 17,678,247 Shekel ($5,207,000) a month, based on May 2011. [Life and the Market, supplement to Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 19, 2011]
5. Terrorists in prison receive higher average salary than PA civil servants and military personnel
||Average monthly salary
[Life and the Market, supplement to Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 19, 2011]
6. PA salary payments to prisoners is dependent on foreign funding:
The new PA law stipulates that payment of salaries "will be implemented... on the basis of available sources of funding." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 15, 2011] Accordingly, it is the contributions by the US and other foreign donors to the PA general budget that facilitates the payment of monthly salaries to the terrorist prisoners.
US law and US funding of the Palestinian Authority
7. US law prohibits funding terrorists and past terrorists:
CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2010: ASSISTANCE FOR THE WEST BANK AND Gaza, SEC. 7039. (b) VETTING.-
"Prior to the obligation of funds appropriated by this Act under the heading 'Economic Support Fund' for assistance for the West Bank and Gaza, the Secretary of State shall take all appropriate steps to ensure that such assistance is not provided to or through any individual, private or government entity, or educational institution that the Secretary knows or has reason to believe advocates, plans, sponsors, engages in, or has engaged in, terrorist activity..."
8. The US contributed $225 million in 2010 to the general PA budget from which the salaries are paid:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that an additional US grant in November 2010 "brings our direct budget assistance to a total of $225 million for the year and our overall support and investment to nearly $600 million this year." [State dept. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Announcement of the Transfer of Budget Assistance Funds to the Palestinian Authority, Nov. 10, 2010]
PA's Honoring Terrorists - Essential Facts:
9. The PA leadership and the structures they control present terrorist murderers as heroes and role models, and use the PA budget to honor them and glorify their terror attacks.
The following are examples from 2011:
10. A Palestinian Authority summer camp for children sponsored by PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad divided its campers into three groups named after the terrorists Dalal Mughrabi, Salah Khalaf and Abu Ali Mustafa. [Al-Ayyam, July 20, 2011, reported in PMW bulletin, July 21, 2011]
Dalal Mughrabi in 1978 led the most lethal terror attack in Israel's history, in which 37 civilians were killed, including one American and 12 children.
Salah Khalaf (Abu Iyad), head of Black September terror group, planned the murder of two American diplomats, and the Munich Olympics attack in 1972, and other terror attacks.
Abu Ali Mustafa, General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, planned many terror attacks against civilians.
11. PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad honored terrorist bombers:
"Prime Minister Salam Fayyad opened his weekly radio address... by sending greetings to the Palestinian mother in honor of Mothers' Day... He said, 'On this occasion, I will not fail to mention with honor and admiration the resolve of the female prisoners, the fighters, and of all the prisoners of freedom who are imprisoned in the Israeli prisons, experiencing indescribable suffering... I make special mention of all the female prisoners who are mothers: Iman Ghazawi;... Qahira Al-Sa'adi; Irena Sarahneh; Latifa Abu Zara'a...'" [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 24, 2011, reported in PMW bulletin, March 27, 2011]
Qahira Al-Sa'adi and Irena Sarahneh, drove suicide bombers to their attacks killing 5.
Iman Ghazawi, placed a bomb in a bus station in Tel Aviv.
Latifa Abu Zara'a, smuggled a bomb into Israel for a suicide terror attack that was uncovered before it was implemented.
12. Abbas granted $2000 to family of terrorist:
In January 2011, a Palestinian terrorist carrying two pipe bombs ran towards Israeli soldiers screaming "Allahu Akbar" ("Allah is Greatest"). He was shot and killed. PA Chairman Abbas granted "the relatives of the Martyr" - $2000. [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 25, 2011, reported in PMW bulletin, Jan. 27, 2011]
13. PA Minister of Prisoners' Affairs honored terrorist responsible for murder of 30:
PA Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Karake visited the family of the terrorist Abbas Al-Sayid who planned the Passover suicide bombing in 2002. 30 Israelis were killed in the terror attack during the Passover Seder dinner. The PA minister handed the family an honorary plaque. [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 29, 2011]
14. PA erected tree with pictures of 73 Palestinian prisoners serving life sentences:
PA Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Karake participated in a ceremony honoring all 73 Palestinians from Bethlehem serving life sentences in prison. The PA unveiled a "Tree of Freedom for Prisoners" decorated with 73 "photographs of prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 20, 2011, reported in PMW bulletin, May 19, 2011]
15. PA officials visited homes of terrorists serving life sentences:
"District Governor of Bethlehem, Abd Al-Fatah Hamael [and other PA officials]... visited the homes of prisoners... Mahmoud Abu Sorour, Nasser Abu Sorour, Riyad Al-Amour, Adnan Al-Afandi, and Rizq Salah... The district governor gave [the families] gift packages of sweets with pictures of the prisoners printed on them." [Al-Hayat Al-JadidaApril 18, 2011, reported in PMW bulletin, May 19, 2011]
Riyad Al-Amour - Serving 11 life sentences for murder of 9 Israelis and 3 Palestinians he suspected of helping Israel.
Adnan Al-Afandi - Attempted to kill two children by stabbing them, 1992
Nasser and Mahmoud Abu Sorour - Participated in murder of Israeli Intelligence agent.
Rizq Salah - Killed an Israeli soldier with a bomb in Bethlehem, 1993.
16. The official PA daily: 4 terrorists involved in murdering 117 Israelis are "heroic":
The official PA daily reported on the visit of the Palestinian Prisoners' Center for Studies to the homes of terrorists serving life sentences for murder. The PA daily referred to the terrorists as follows: "The heroic prisoners Abbas and Abdallah Barghouti, Mahmoud Issa, Jamal Abu Al-Haija, Hassan Salameh..."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 13, 2011]
Abdallah Barghouti - sentenced to 67 life sentences for involvement in suicide bombing attacks in which 66 Israelis were murdered: Sbarro restaurant (Aug. 9, 2001), Moment Cafe (March 9, 2002), and triple suicide bombing at Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall (Dec. 1, 2001).
Hassan Salameh - 38 life sentences. Was head of the terror infrastructure which carried out 2 suicide bombing attacks on buses in Jerusalem (Feb. 25, 1996, March 3, 1996), and the suicide bombing at the Ashkelon Junction (Feb. 25, 1996).
Jamal Abu Al-Haija - 9 life sentences for involvement in suicide bombing attacks in Hadera shopping mall (Oct. 26, 2005) and at Herzl Street in Netanya (Dec. 5, 2005)
Mahmoud Issa - serving 3 life sentences. Member of the squad that kidnapped and murdered Israeli soldiers, including Nissim Toledano (Dec. 13, 1992).
17. Official PA TV glorified terrorist Dalal Mughrabi to celebrate Fatah anniversary:
On the anniversary of the Fatah movement, PA TV chose to glorify the most lethal terror attack in Israel's history with a music video celebrating Dalal Mughrabi and the attack she led. The video shows a reenactment the terrorists coming from Lebanon to Israel in boats.
[PA TV, Jan. 2, 2011]
18. Official PA TV honored the woman who drove a suicide terrorist to his bombing that murdered 15 in pizza shop attack:
PA TV broadcast a program honoring Ahlam Tamimi, the woman who drove the suicide terrorist to the Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem in August 2001. 15 people were murdered in the attack, 7 of them children. Visiting Tamimi's home, the PA TV crew interviewed her relatives, and the camera focused on an award which read:
"A gift of the Fatah Palestinian National Liberation Movement Ramallah - El-Bireh branch
To the heroic prisoner Ahlam Tamimi, As a token of esteem for your sacrifices, And your acts of heroism." [PA TV, March 10, 2011]
19. Official PA TV honored driver of suicide terrorist who murdered 19 on bus:
PA TV honored terrorist, Fahami Mashahra, who drove a suicide bomber to Jerusalem in 2001 in which 19 were murdered. The PA TV host said to his daughter: "Greetings of honor and admiration to your heroic father in prison, Fahami Mashahra, serving 20 life sentences in the occupation's prison. Thank you very much." [PA TV, March 4, 2011]
20. Advisor of Mahmoud Abbas: "The weapons must be turned towards the main enemy [Israel]" and terrorist Dalal Mughrabi must be honored by naming a square after her:
"Advisor of President Mahmoud Abbas Sabri Saidam, delivered a speech... He emphasized that the weapons must be turned towards the main enemy [Israel] and that internal differences of opinion must be set aside... and emphasized that the anniversary of Dalal's Martyrdom-seeking (i.e., her terror attack in which 37 civilians were murdered) should be amplified by inaugurating a square in her name in the city of El-Bireh." [Al-Ayyam, March 10, 2011]
21. Fatah movement lauded suicide bombers:
"The Fatah movement commemorated at the Deheisheh [refugee] camp the anniversary of some of the camp's Shahids (Martyrs)... The movement organized a procession... [to] the home of the Shahid Muhammad Daraghmeh, who carried out a bombing operation (i.e., suicide bombing which killed 9) in Jerusalem... [and mentioned] Ayyat Al-Akhras (at age 17, the youngest female suicide bomber, killed two Israelis in her suicide attack in March, 2002.)" [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 4, 2011]
22. PA TV repeatedly glorified terrorist who killed 3 teens, and another who planned a suicide bombing:
A PA TV video tribute to "Martyrs" that was broadcast on PA TV several times a day for four days honored a terrorist who killed three Israelis and one who recruited female suicide terrorists and planned a double suicide attack in Tel Aviv. A photo collage in the same video tribute was labeled "Heroes of the special operations in northern Palestine" which referred to terror attacks in northern Israel. [PA TV, several times daily Feb. 21-24, 2011]
23. US law prohibits using US funds to honor terrorists:
CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2010: ASSISTANCE FOR THE WEST BANK AND Gaza, SEC. 7039, (c) PROHIBITION ("1): "None of the funds appropriated under titles III through VI of this Act for assistance under the West Bank and Gaza Program may be made available for the purpose of recognizing or otherwise honoring individuals who commit, or have committed acts of terrorism."
Summary - the US funds the PA budget which pays terrorist salaries and glorifies terrorists
24. The Palestinian Authority pays over $5,000,000 a month directly to terrorists as salaries:
In addition to the examples cited here, Palestinian Media Watch has documented many other examples of the PA's honoring terrorists and presenting them as heroes and role models. Still in 2011, this glorification of terrorists is a mainstay of PA policy under Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and PM Salam Fayyad, who as shown above are actively involved.
25. The US funds the PA's general budget:
Through the PA budget the US is paying the salaries of terrorist murderers in prison and funding the glorification and role modeling of terrorists.
26. US law prohibits giving assistance "to or through any individual... that the Secretary knows or has reason to believe advocates, plans, sponsors, engages in, or has engaged in, terrorist activity..."
27. US law prohibits using US funds "for the purpose of recognizing or otherwise honoring individuals who commit, or have committed acts of terrorism."
Measuring Palestinian Authority compliance with US anti-terror funding laws
In order to comply with US anti-terror funding laws there are clearly defined and quantifiable steps that the Palestinian Authority should implement:
1. The PA should repeal the law "PA Government resolutions, numbers 21 and 23 of 2010" which grants all terrorists in Israeli prisons a PA monthly salary
2. The PA should stop paying salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons (as they have admitted to doing even before the law)
3. The PA should stop honoring and role modeling terrorists through naming of places and events in their honor
4. The PA should stop having PA dignitaries and ministers visit terrorists' homes and stop granting their families awards in their names
All of these steps can be implemented immediately and are easily monitored.