Yes, the Palestinian Authority Allocated $360 Million to Rewarding Terrorists

June 13 2018

Thanks to the Taylor Force Act, signed into law in March, more public attention has been focused on the Palestinian Authority’s policy of paying salaries to those who are in Israeli jails for committing acts of terror, as well as to the families of those who died carrying out violent attacks. Yet some mainstream journalists in the U.S. have protested that some of the money the PA allocates for this purpose goes to political prisoners, common criminals who happen to be in Israeli jails, and innocents unjustly arrested. Sander Gerber and Yossi Kuperwasser set the record straight:

The Palestinian Authority is a terror-sponsoring entity under any definition. [Its] laws rewarding imprisoned terrorists stipulate that they are not criminals, but fighters in a conflict. To claim that the PA sends money to car thieves or even minor offenders is simply untrue. The PA has a schedule for payments, and you need to achieve a five-year sentence as a male, and a two-year sentence as a female, to get a lifetime annuity. Currently there are 6,500 prisoners being compensated by the PA.

The PA is making no secret of its sponsorship for terrorists at the expense of America’s taxpayers. . . .

The [PA’s] Institution for the Care of Martyrs is a slightly more complicated story. It is true that “martyrs” include those who become victims of collateral damage, just as they include suicide bombers or any other terrorist who died in the context of the ongoing Palestinian war against Zionism. The minimum payment for a martyr’s dependents is more than 2.5 times the maximum payment for families on welfare. Martyrs’ financial annuities go not merely to support the dependents, but to glorify and cherish the murderers’ memory, and to incentivize family members to commit further attacks against Israel.

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

No, Israelis and Palestinians Can’t Simply Sit Down and Solve the “Israel-Palestinian Conflict”

Jan. 17 2019

By “zooming out” from the blinkered perspective with which most Westerners see the affairs of the Jewish state, argues Matti Friedman, one can begin to see things the way Israelis do:

Many [in Israel] believe that an agreement signed by a Western-backed Palestinian leader in the West Bank won’t end the conflict, because it will wind up creating not a state but a power vacuum destined to be filled by intra-Muslim chaos, or Iranian proxies, or some combination of both. That’s exactly what has happened . . . in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. One of Israel’s nightmares is that the fragile monarchy in Jordan could follow its neighbors . . . into dissolution and into Iran’s orbit, which would mean that if Israel doesn’t hold the West Bank, an Iranian tank will be able to drive directly from Tehran to the outskirts of Tel Aviv. . . .

In the “Israeli-Palestinian” framing, with all other regional components obscured, an Israeli withdrawal in the West Bank seems like a good idea—“like a real-estate deal,” in President Trump’s formulation—if not a moral imperative. And if the regional context were peace, as it was in Northern Ireland, for example, a power vacuum could indeed be filled by calm.

But anyone using a wider lens sees that the actual context here is a complex, multifaceted war, or a set of linked wars, devastating this part of the world. The scope of this conflict is hard to grasp in fragmented news reports but easy to see if you pull out a map and look at Israel’s surroundings, from Libya through Syria and Iraq to Yemen.

The fault lines have little to do with Israel. They run between dictators and the people they’ve been oppressing for generations; between progressives and medievalists; between Sunnis and Shiites; between majority populations and minorities. If [Israel’s] small sub-war were somehow resolved, or even if Israel vanished tonight, the Middle East would remain the same volatile place it is now.

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More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israel & Zionism, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Middle East