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Facts and Logic About the Middle East

July 18, 2017

Congress Must Cut Funding if Palestinians Continue Paying Terrorists

Dear Friend of FLAME:

I think you'll appreciate this story about a would-be Palestinian terrorist, which would be shocking were it not so distressingly logical:

Just a few days ago, West Bank Palestinian Khaled Rajoub went looking for Israeli soldiers to kill by running them over with his car. After failing to find soldiers in two locations where, Rajoub said, "there's always a military post," he tried ramming through the gates of the Israeli town Beit Hagai. Rajoub was unsuccessful in penetrating the gates, and guards captured him. During interrogation, Rajoub revealed that he is an unemployed father of five and was trying to kill Israelis, "so they'd shoot me and I'd die, and my children would receive an allowance [from the Palestinian Authority]."

Had Rajoub been killed during his terror attack, the PA would have declared him a "martyr," which would have guaranteed his family a lifetime allowance of 2,800 shekels a month—1,400 base pay, 400 for his wife and 200 for each of his five children.

Currently the PA spends about $315 million per year—about 8 percent of the government's $4 billion budget—to pay tens of thousands of people for terrorist acts.

Despite pressure from President Trump, Secretary of State Tillerson and diplomats Alan Greenblatt and Jared Kushner to stop this PA pay-for-slay program, Palestinian President-for-life Mahmoud Abbas remains unbowed: "Even if I have to leave my position, I will not compromise on the salary of a martyr or a prisoner."

How timely that Mr. Rajoub should provide such graphic testimony as to the effectiveness of Palestinian Authority (PA) stipends to convicted (or killed) terrorists. Just as a U.S. Senate hearing began this week on the Taylor Force Act—which would cut U.S. aid to the Palestinians until they cease incentivizing terror—Rajoub explains the powerful cause and effect of such Palestinian payments.

While the Taylor Force Act has had few detractors, some, like Michael Koplow of the Israel Policy Forum, warn that U.S. aid to the PA "prevent[s] the West Bank from turning into a boiling cauldron of seething hate and woeful despair."

However, there's no evidence that cutting rewards for terrorists would ignite the Palestinian street, and now Israeli politicians, including Prime Minister Netanyahu and opposition leaders, who for many years have been silent on this subject, have finally come out in favor of cutting such funds (though they do not, as standing policy, support any specific legislation in the U.S. Congress).

Given this broad Israeli support, we can certainly trust the Israelis to handle any disgruntlement that might arise from the cessation of American funding of payments to induce terrorists to commit murder.

This week's FLAME Hotline featured article (below) brilliantly exposes Mahmoud Abbas' lies to the Trump administration about his supporting peace efforts. Not only is it obvious that paying terrorists for their deeds promotes more terrorism, but this article also demonstrates the Palestinian Authority's bone-deep commitment to the cold-blooded practice.

As Toronto journalist Robert Fulford points out, the pay-for-slay program provides stark evidence that the Palestinian Authority is not a noble liberation movement, but rather a well-funded group of thugs more focused on paying for the murder of innocents than making peace.

Above all, I hope this week's FLAME Hotline inspires you to contact your U.S. Senators to express your support for the Taylor Force Act (named for the U.S. citizen and West Point graduate who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist as he strolled with his wife one evening in Israel). Please go to https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials right now, while you have this message in front of you, to send an email to your Senators. For this reason, I hope you'll also quickly review the P.S. immediately below, which describes FLAME's long-running hasbarah campaign to stop the U.S. Congress from funding Palestinian terrorism.

For this reason, I hope you’ll also quickly review the P.S. immediately below, which describes FLAME’s long-running hasbarah campaign to stop the U.S. Congress from funding Palestinian terrorism.

Best regards,

Jim Sinkinson
President, Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME)


Did you know: By subsidizing the corrupt Palestinian Authority (P.A.) with aid of some $400 million taxpayer dollars a year, the U.S. is also funding the P.A.’s program of paying salaries to Palestinian terrorists who have killed innocent Americans and Israelis? In order to make Americans—especially college and university students—aware of this Palestinian practice of rewarding jihadi assailants and murderers with U.S. funds, FLAME has recently been publishing a new position paper: “U.S. Funds Palestinian Terrorism” This paid editorial has appeared in magazines and newspapers, including college newspapers, with a combined readership of some 10 million people. In addition, it is being sent to every member of the U.S. Congress and President Trump. 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—and U.S. support of Israel—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 donate now. Now more than ever we need your support to ensure that the American people and the U.S. Congress end our support of blatantly anti-Semitic, global jihadist organizations.

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If the Palestinians care about peace, why do they pay salaries to terrorists?

Palestinians have been encouraged to believe that these actions, whether blowing up a bus or knifing an old man, are part of a sacred historic moveme

By Robert Fulford, National Post, July 7, 2017

All over the world, people take the side of the Palestinians without knowing much about them and their collective beliefs and intentions. Palestinians who go abroad looking for praise and propaganda seem pleasant. They don't find it hard to convince innocent Westerners that they have justice on their side.

But sometimes, even in the Middle East, a window opens and the truth peeks out. At the moment, the struggle over official payments to Palestinian terrorists provides an exceptionally useful vantage point.

For many years, the Palestinian Authority (PA) or one of its offshoots has been paying regular salaries to the families of dead or imprisoned terrorists. The 2016 PA budget says it now pays relatives of "martyrs" the equivalent of $183 million a year and families of imprisoned terrorists $135 million. According to the Times of Israel, the Palestinians have paid out $1.12 billion during the last four years to terrorists and their families. The money, all in U.S. dollars, comes from foreign aid grants.

Sometimes, even in the Middle East, a window opens and the truth peeks out

The new administration in Washington has decided this practice should end. At his meeting in Bethlehem with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the PA, Donald Trump said: "Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded or rewarded."

The Americans thought Abbas had agreed with them. In June, Trump's secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, told a Senate hearing that the Palestinian leadership will stop making these payments. He said that this practice "is simply not acceptable" to the U.S. Tillerson reported saying to Abbas: "I told him: you absolutely have to stop this." The senators, some of whom find the payments outlandishly wrong, were apparently satisfied.

But Tillerson's confidence was misplaced. Abbas has in the past promoted the funds-for-terrorists program—in 2011 he raised the salaries. He knows how popular it is. Recently, the official Facebook page of his party, Fatah, carried his statement: "Even if I will have to leave my position, I will not compromise on the salary of a martyr or a prisoner, as I am the president of the entire Palestinian people, including the prisoners, the martyrs, the injured, the expelled, and the uprooted."

A member of Fatah's central committee, Jamal Muhaisen, quoting the Abbas position, said this is not an issue of money. Rather, it connects with the "Palestinian historical narrative." The prisoners and martyrs "represent our Palestinian people's struggle." And Palestinian Media Watch, an Israeli research group which documents and translates public speeches, has found no evidence of any intention to stop the payments.

In fact, Palestinian leaders repeatedly stress that the salaries will not be stopped. The recipients, having grown used to this subsidy, would feel cheated if it disappeared. They are encouraged to believe that their actions, whether blowing up a bus or knifing an old man, are part of a sacred historic movement.

Meeting with families of "martyrs," the PA prime minister, Rama Allahabad, assured them that they will continue receiving the money, and further emphasized the PA's admiration for the "martyrs":

"I salute all of the martyrs' families. I emphasize to them that their rights are protected, and we will continue our diligent work with the relevant PLO institutions to fulfill our basic, humanitarian, and national obligations towards them. We remember the sacrifices and struggle of the pure martyrs, guardians of the land and identity who have turned our people's cause into a historical epic of struggle and resolve."

This story forces us to understand that many Palestinians assume terrorists are heroes.

A Fatah official, Abbas Zaki, speaking on behalf of the Palestinian leadership, emphasized that the prisoners' issue is one of the top priorities of the leadership, and that the leadership will not submit "to the American and Israeli pressures in any attempt to harm the salaries of the families of the martyrs." It is not negotiable, according to a PLO official, Ahmed Majdalani: "It is a political, national, and moral issue."

The best that the Palestinian families can hope for is that the PA will continue making payments while hiding them as "humanitarian and social aid to needy families," to satisfy donor countries. In 2014, the PA closed its Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs but continued the salaries through the PLO Commission of Prisoners' Affairs. The PA is looking for a new way to accept the international demands and yet continue paying terrorists, according to some Palestinian sources. Madurai Fares, the chairman of the PA-funded Prisoners' Club, said there will be no changes. In his view, a Palestinian consensus opposes any changes concerning this "noble fighter" group.

That's the point. This story forces us to understand that many Palestinians (and certainly the leaders they elect) assume that terrorists who randomly slaughter men, women and children are heroes. They believe they are fighting ruthlessly for their homeland, but they're actually making a mockery of the peace process they claim to support.





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