The Palestinian Authority to Pay Salaries to Recently Released Terrorists with U.S. Taxpayer Money
Dear Friend of FLAME:
We've noted in previous FLAME Hotlines that the Palestinian Authority pays pensions to convicted Palestinian terrorists, including thousands convicted of murder, and their families. We've also noted that with grants to the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) totaling more than $850 billion annually, the U.S. is the single largest contributor to the P.A. Thus U.S. taxpayers are essentially underwriting salary payments to Palestinian terrorists---up until recently more than $60 million a year.
Now, with last month's release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails---many convicted terrorists, many convicted murderers---as part of the Gilad Shalit exchange, the P.A. has more mouths to feed. According to recent reports---President Abbas intends to provide "honorariums" to all the released prisoners. You can read all about this travesty in this week's brief FLAME Hotline article, below, by Commentary magazine commentator Jonathan Tobin. But before you do, let me fill you in on a few other Palestinian outrages.
First, of course, despite the Palestinian Authority receiving nearly a billion dollars in aid from the U.S., the P.A. is extremely uncooperative with U.S. efforts to forge a negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Despite President Obama's pleas that Abbas return to the negotiating table for more than a year, he has refused. What's more, Abbas recently forged an official merger with the terrorist group Hamas. Just last month, Abbas spurned desperate U.S. entreaties not to bring a unilateral Palestinian bid for statehood to the U.N. (which for the time being, thankfully, sits in limbo in the Security Council).
But such recalcitrant behavior on the part of the Palestinians shouldn't surprise us. Because you see, the Palestinians believe we owe them this money, no matter how they behave. They are not accountable, they believe, because we are allegedly responsible for the disaster that is Palestinian society. As Fatah spokesman Faiz Abu Aytah puts it, "There is a moral and human obligation which rests with some of the donor countries, including the American administration, since they are morally responsible for the human tragedy which has befallen the Palestinian people since the Nakba [editor: Nakba = catastrophe] in 1948."
What's especially galling about this of course, is that there was no Palestinian people in 1948 (regional Arabs adopted this mantel in 1967) and that the Arabs were offered their own state in Palestine in 1947 and rejected it, as they have so many times since. Let's cap this shameless Palestinian effrontery by observing that the catastrophe that befell the Arabs was caused by the decision of six Arab nations to declare war on the Jews and then allow themselves to get soundly thrashed by fledgling Israel.
So what can we do to let them know the U.S. will not pay blood money to support their war against Israel? We encourage you to write to President Obama right now, and let him know that you oppose continued aid to the Palestinian Authority and its partner Hamas. Please do the same with your congressional representatives. To identify your Representative and Senators (and contact them via email), go to Contacting the Congress. (You'll need your nine [5+4] digit zip code to find your Representative.) Please take a few minutes, right now, while you have this Hotline in hand, to contact your elected officials. Urge him or her to oppose sending U.S. tax dollars to the Palestinian Authority.
Abbas to Pay Released Murderers' Pensions With U.S. Aid Money
It is no secret that Hamas was strengthened by the conclusion of its ransom deal with Israel in which over one thousand Palestinian terrorists were freed in exchange for the safe return of Gilad Shalit. But its Fatah rivals are not taking this triumph lying down. In the wake of the announcement that Hamas will be paying each of the released killers, almost all of whom are either directly or indirectly responsible for the murders of Jews, a bonus of $2,000, the Palestinian Authority has also decreed that it will be paying every one of the murderers a separate honorarium though the amount was not specified. That PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, the man that is supposed to be Israel's peace partner, will pay this cash reward for murder, is an irony that is lost on an Obama administration that continues to urge the Jewish state to make concessions to the PA.
This is of more than passing interest to American readers since hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer funds are transferred to the Palestinian Authority every year. That makes Uncle Sam is paying a subsidy to mass murderers. That's a not insignificant point to remember when Congress decides whether or not to continue the flow of aid to the PA.
While the Shalit deal highlights this practice of official Palestinian support for terrorism, it is, in fact, nothing new. The PA has been paying pensions to every Palestinian serving time for terrorism in Israeli jails for years. And its official media and other government organs continue to lionize these killers, treating their bloodthirsty crimes as a form of heroism and their imprisonment as an injustice. When you consider that the PA has abandoned the peace process via their United Nations gambit as well as cozying up to Hamas in a unity deal, it all adds up to unassailable case for an end to U.S. aid to this noxious entity.
There will be those, including some in Israel, who will argue that a U.S. aid cutoff will create chaos or harm the chances for peace. The answer to that there is no chance of getting the PA to come to its senses without a credible threat of a cutoff of funds. The Palestinians have come to believe that they can act with no fear of the consequences. That is as true in their Western-supported government in the West Bank as it is for their Islamist independent state in Gaza.
The Obama administration and Congressional Democrats have opposed the efforts of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the House Foreign Relations Committee chairwoman, to impose conditions on the continuance of U.S. aid to both the PA and the UN agencies that facilitate their misconduct. These latest events ought to mobilize concerned Democrats to reach out to both the White House and Congressional Democrats to get them behind Ros-Lehtinen's bill.