Israel and Australia Join the U.S. in Punishing the Palestinian Authority for Rewarding Terror

In March, Congress passed the Taylor Force Act. Named after a Texan graduate of West Point who was fatally stabbed by a Palestinian assailant in Jaffa, the act requires the U.S. to withhold funding from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to provide financial incentives for terrorism. Last week, Australia announced a similar policy, while the Knesset passed its own version of the act. The editors of the Jerusalem Post comment:

Though it may be weaker than the Taylor Force Act, the law passed by the Knesset . . . will require the government to deduct the 1.2 billion shekels a year that the PA pays terrorists [from the] money Israel withholds from the taxes and tariffs it collects for the Palestinians. The American law, on the other hand, requires the U.S. government to hold back all discretionary funds for aid. . . .

Force was killed . . . on March 8, 2016, by the twenty-one-year-old Bashar Masalha from [the West Bank city of] Qalqiliya, during a twenty-minute stabbing rampage that injured ten others, including Force’s wife. Masalha was killed that night, but his family receives a monthly pension from the Palestinian Authority Martyrs’ Fund, a stipend several times the average monthly wage in the Palestinian territories.

There were three other attacks in Israel that March 8, . . . in which a dozen Israeli civilians and police officers were wounded in knife and gun attacks. Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, Hamas, and the Islamic Jihad all issued statements praising the attacks. Fatah said that such attacks would continue “so long as Israel does not believe in the two-state solution and ending its occupation.” . . . That was two years ago. But [the incitement] hasn’t stopped. . . . After the Knesset bill was passed, Palestinian officials emphasized that the PA will continue to pay stipends to prisoners and their families. Just last week . . . official PA television broadcast a song to pregnant Palestinians saying, “your fetus will be a martyr for Palestine.”

It is now the turn of others to stand up and do the right thing. Follow the example of the U.S., Australia, and Israel and call out the incitement and lies. Hold the PA’s feet to the fire and ask why killers or their families are being paid. Stuart Force, Taylor’s father, in Israel to watch the Knesset vote on the bill, [told a reporter], “Hopefully this will be the first step to ending terror, and maybe it will make the European Union and Canada check where their money is going.” Maybe.

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More about: Australia, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Politics

Zionists Can, and Do, Criticize Israel. Are Anti-Zionists Capable of Criticizing Anti-Semitism?

Dec. 12 2018

Last week, the New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg defended the newly elected anti-Israel congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, ostensibly arguing that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism aren’t identical. Abe Greenwald comments:

Tlaib . . . has tweeted and retweeted her enthusiasm for terrorists such as Rasmea Odeh, who murdered two American students in a Jerusalem supermarket in 1969. If Tlaib’s anti-Zionism is of the Jew-loving kind, she has a funny way of showing it.

Ilhan Omar, for her part, once tweeted, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” And wouldn’t you know it, just because she believes that Zionist hypnotists have cast global spells masking Israeli evil, some people think she’s anti-Semitic! Go figure! . . .

Goldberg spends the bulk of her column trying very hard to uncouple American Jewishness from Israel. To do that, she enumerates Israel’s sins, as she sees them. . . . [But] her basic premise is at odds with reality. Zionists aren’t afraid of finding fault with Israel and don’t need to embrace anti-Zionism in order to [do so]. A poll conducted in October by the Jewish Electorate Institute found that a majority of Americans Jews have no problem both supporting Israel and criticizing it. And unlike Goldberg, they have no problem criticizing anti-Semitism, either.

Goldberg gives the game away entirely when she discusses the discomfort that liberal American Jews have felt in “defending multi-ethnic pluralism here, where they’re in the minority, while treating it as unspeakable in Israel, where Jews are the majority.” She adds: “American white nationalists, some of whom liken their project to Zionism, love to poke at this contradiction.” Read that again. She thinks the white nationalists have a point. Because, really, what anti-Semite doesn’t?

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel & Zionism, New York Times