On October 9th, 2016, two Israelis, a 29-year-old police officer and a 60-year-old grandmother were murdered and four others were injured when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire from his car in Jerusalem, Israel. Since September last year, 42 Israelis have been murdered in terrorist attacks and 577 people (including 4 Palestinians) were injured, and the attacks have resulted in the deaths of 11 American citizens. The global media, and especially the Palestinian leadership, attribute these hateful attacks on innocent civilians to Israel’s existence, but this is an extremely far cry from the truth.
Brutal attacks on Israelis are encouraged through proxy by the Palestinian leadership. Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, has been quoted on TV exclaiming,
“We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah. With the help of Allah, every martyr will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.”
Does this sound like a voice of peace and negotiation? Absolutely not. The Palestinian Authority perpetuates and normalizes violence against innocent people through these kinds of statements. Second, and most importantly, the Palestinian leadership incentivizes these brutal attacks through “assistance” funds, better known as salaries for terrorists. The Palestinian Authority funds these salaries through the moneys received in the form of foreign aid and these salaries account for nearly 10% of the Palestinian leadership’s budget. If the population of the United States found out that 10% of our budget was being spent on paying people to go to jail there would be mass rebellion and no country would ever consider providing us with aid; so why are we so quick to turn our backs when someone else does it?
Depending on the severity of attacks against civilians, Palestinian terrorists’ families will be paid a salary for acts they perform. The salaries paid can amount to several times what an average Palestinian can make in the “non-terrorism economy”. So yes, terrorism pays. Additionally, Palestinian terrorists who are in prison in Israel are paid monthly to a bank account while in prison. Families of these prisoners receive payments during the terrorist’s time in prison. Even worse, these payments are even mandated by Palestinian law. Research finds that prisoners must be provided a salary ranging from $364 to over $3,000 a month during their time in prison. Additionally, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), “[W]hoever was imprisoned for five years or more is entitled to a job in a PA [Palestinian Authority] institution. Thus, the PA gives priority in job placement to people who were involved in terrorist activity.”
Upon investigation by aiding nations, the Palestinian Authority found itself on the defensive, making attempts to prove that they do not use foreign aid for their terrorism payment fund by making payments through the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). But both organizations are run by Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah party so it doesn’t matter which “group” makes the payments because they’re all approved by the same people. It is amazing how only now, foreign governments are realizing where their money is going and that it is wrong. If the United States were to pay rapists while they served time and offered them jobs in government industries, people would be outraged. The Palestinian economy and infrastructure would be wildly changed if the government decided to take care of its citizens and use its foreign aid to promote real education and to create jobs, but that is not the focus of the Palestinian leadership. Their goal is to create a media image that people can’t look away from. If they continue the oppression of their own people, the outsiders will continue to feel badly for them and will provide more money.
Not only does this deplorable system encourage terrorism but it perpetuates a normalcy around violence against other populations. Furthermore, if a Palestinian terrorist murders enough people and is killed while carrying out such actions, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas officially recognize them as “martyrs”. These “martyrs” are glorified and their families are praised. This is absolutely disgusting and should not be tolerated by any form of leadership or peer group, but it is. And, the Palestinian leadership and their families are supported through huge salaries that come from the international aid that foreign governments provide to the leadership. Would the U.S. population ever allow such a thing to happen? Absolutely not!
The rest of the world has begun to take notice that the funds they provide are not always used to support economic growth and have begun to take action. In June, the U.S. Congress began to take action to prevent Palestinian leadership from using funds to promote terrorism by including the PLO in organizations who are barred from the use of funding. In Britain just recently, the Department for International Development has frozen $30 million in funding to the Palestinian Authority over their use of funding to incite terror. Israel has withheld tax revenues that it sends to the Palestinian Authority in the amount of what is being transferred by the Palestinian Authority to terrorists and their families.
The Palestinian leadership’s actions are clear indicators that they are not looking for peace in the near future and that they do not care to be held to any standard other than their own. This is unfair to all parties involved and should be spoken out against. We are capable humans who have the power to make real change. We should be pushing for accurate representation of the situation in the Middle East and for our aid dollars to go to actual aid!
Contributed by Northeastern University CAMERA Fellow Kaila Fleisig.