A New U.S Law May Finally Force the Palestinian Authority to Reconsider Its Support for Terror

In March, Congress passed the Taylor Force Act, which withholds funding from the Palestinian Authority (PA) until it ceases its practice of paying salaries and stipends to terrorists and their families to reward their crimes. For its part, Israel has followed up with its own version of the law. Now Mahmoud Abbas, the PA’s president, is threatening to suspend security cooperation with Jerusalem if it enforces the law. But, writes Maurice Hirsch, if he does so he will only shoot himself in the foot. Furthermore, a more recent congressional measure will soon put him in even more of a bind:

[S]ecurity coordination serves Abbas no less than it serves Israel, [since] the PA uses it to pass information to Israel about Hamas terrorist activities. Israel then arrests the terrorists, thereby avoiding potential terrorist attacks, but also eliminating Abbas’s competition.

Abbas’s threat, which he publicly links to the Israeli implementation of the new law, may well become a reality, but for completely different [reasons]. In October, the U.S. passed additional legislation that provides its courts with jurisdiction to adjudicate claims of U.S. victims of terror against any recipient of U.S. aid. While the Taylor Force Act put a stop to most American aid to the PA, it did not stop the funds—some $61 million annually—designated for security coordination. If the PA continues to accept this aid, it will be exposing itself to the risk of losing dozens of lawsuits for its direct involvement in terrorism. This, more than Israel’s implementation of the new law, is much more likely to be a dominant factor in any PA decision.

The real reason for the PA’s potential financial collapse is that it squanders more than 7 percent of its annual budget on rewarding terrorists. Abbas’s threats to halt security coordination, ostensibly because of Israel’s new law, should be seen in their wider context, most particularly, the clear fear that instead of rewarding terrorists the PA will have to start compensating the victims.

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Read more at Times of Israel

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

Palestinian Leaders Fight Economic Growth

Jan. 15 2019

This month, a new shopping mall opened in northeastern Jerusalem, easily accessible to most of the city’s Arab residents. Rami Levy, the supermarket magnate who owns the mall, already employs some 2,000 Israeli Arabs and Palestinians at his other stores, and the mall will no doubt bring more jobs to Arab Jerusalemites. But the leaders of the Palestinian Authority (PA) are railing against it, and one newspaper calls its opening “an economic catastrophe [nakba].” Bassam Tawil writes:

For [the PA president] Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah officials . . . the image of Palestinians and Jews working in harmony is loathsome. . . . Instead of welcoming the inauguration of the shopping mall for providing job opportunities to dozens of Palestinians and lower prices [to consumers], Fatah officials are taking about an Israeli plan to “undermine” the Palestinian economy. . . . The hundreds of Palestinians who flooded the new mall on its first day, however, seem to disagree with the grim picture painted by [these officials]. . . .

The campaign of incitement against Levy’s shopping mall began several months ago, as it was being built, and has continued until today. Now that the campaign has failed to prevent the opening of the mall, Fatah and its followers have turned to outright threats and violence. The threats are being directed toward Palestinian shoppers and Palestinian merchants who rented space in the new mall. On the day the mall was opened, Palestinians threw a number of firebombs at the compound, [which] could have injured or killed Palestinians. The [bomb-throwers], who are believed to be affiliated with Fatah, would rather see their own people dead than having fun or buying attractively-priced products at an Israeli mall.

By spearheading this campaign of incitement and intimidation, Abbas’s Fatah is again showing its true colors. How is it possible to imagine that Abbas or any of his Fatah lieutenants would ever make peace with Israel when they cannot even tolerate the idea of Palestinians and Jews working together for a simple common good? If a Palestinian who buys Israeli milk is a traitor in the eyes of Fatah, it is not difficult to imagine the fate of any Palestinian who would dare to discuss compromise with Israel.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: East Jerusalem, Israeli Arabs, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian economy