The Senate Should Stop Stalling and End U.S. Funding for Palestinian Terror

March 7 2018

In December, the House of Representatives passed the Taylor Force Act, which would withhold aid from the Palestinian Authority (PA) until it ends payments to terrorists and their families and takes steps to discourage terror. The Senate, however, is holding up the bill. Michael Barbero, Sander Gerber, and Michael Makovsky urge senators to prioritize its passage:

As soon as a terrorist is arrested, the PA provides him with a salary and, sometimes, a guaranteed government job upon release. The bloodier the crime and longer the sentence, the greater the reward. . . . The families of, as official Palestinian documents put it, “those martyred and wounded as a result of being participants or bystanders in the revolution” . . . also receive a monthly payment, health insurance, and tuition assistance. . . . In 2017, the Palestinian Authority budgeted $350 million to reward terrorism—around $160 million for jailed and released terrorists plus $190 million for terrorists’ families. This is roughly what American taxpayers contribute to Palestinians through payment of PA debts and direct support of projects in PA territories (excluding several hundred-million dollars to the United Nations Reliefs and Works Agency).

On strategic and humanitarian grounds, the United States should support the Palestinian people. A viable, uncorrupt, moderate PA serves U.S. and Israeli interests. Indeed, Israel and the PA cooperate on security matters, serving the interests of both parties, and it is important that such cooperation continue.

But none of these interests is served when the PA pays terrorists. Nor will suspending aid that amounts to roughly 8 percent of the PA’s budget trigger its collapse. Instead, it would pressure the PA to choose between terror and its people, revealing its true nature.

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Read more at The Hill

More about: Congress, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy

For Israelis, Anti-Zionism Kills

Dec. 14 2018

This week alone, anti-Zionists have killed multiple Israelis in a series of attacks; these follow the revelations that Hizballah succeeded in digging multiple attack tunnels from Lebanon into northern Israel. Simultaneously, some recent news stories in the U.S. have occasioned pious reminders that anti-Zionism should not be conflated with anti-Semitism. Bret Stephens notes that it is anti-Zionists, not defenders of Israel, who do the most to blur that distinction:

Israelis experience anti-Zionism in a different way from, say, readers of the New York Review of Books: not as a bold sally in the world of ideas, but as a looming menace to their earthly existence, held at bay only through force of arms. . . . Anti-Zionism might have been a respectable point of view before 1948, when the question of Israel’s existence was in the future and up for debate. Today, anti-Zionism is a call for the elimination of a state—details to follow regarding the fate befalling those who currently live in it. . . .

Anti-Zionism is ideologically unique in insisting that one state, and one state only, doesn’t just have to change. It has to go. By a coincidence that its adherents insist is entirely innocent, this happens to be the Jewish state, making anti-Zionists either the most disingenuous of ideologues or the most obtuse. When then-CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill called last month for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea” and later claimed to be ignorant of what the slogan really meant, it was hard to tell in which category he fell.

Does this make someone with Hill’s views an anti-Semite? It’s like asking whether a person who believes in [the principle of] separate-but-equal must necessarily be a racist. In theory, no. In reality, another story. The typical aim of the anti-Semite is legal or social discrimination against some set of Jews. The explicit aim of the anti-Zionist is political or physical dispossession.

What’s worse: to be denied membership in a country club because you’re Jewish, or driven from your ancestral homeland and sovereign state for the same reason? If anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are meaningfully distinct (I think they are not), the human consequences of the latter are direr.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian terror