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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Read more at Washington Examiner

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

What Egypt’s Withdrawal from the “Arab NATO” Signifies for U.S. Strategy

A few weeks ago, Egypt quietly announced its withdrawal from the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), a coalition—which also includes Jordan, the Gulf states, and the U.S.—founded at President Trump’s urging to serve as an “Arab NATO” that could work to contain Iran. Jonathan Ariel notes three major factors that most likely contributed to Egyptian President Sisi’s abandonment of MESA: his distrust of Donald Trump (and concern that Trump might lose the 2020 election) and of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman; Cairo’s perception that Iran does not pose a major threat to its security; and the current situation in Gaza:

Gaza . . . is ruled by Hamas, defined by its covenant as “one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine.” Sisi has ruthlessly persecuted the Brotherhood in Egypt. [But] Egypt, despite its dependence on Saudi largesse, has continued to maintain its ties with Qatar, which is under Saudi blockade over its unwillingness to toe the Saudi line regarding Iran. . . . Qatar is also supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood, . . . and of course Hamas.

[Qatar’s ruler] Sheikh Tamim is one of the key “go-to guys” when the situation in Gaza gets out of hand. Qatar has provided the cash that keeps Hamas solvent, and therefore at least somewhat restrained. . . . In return, Hamas listens to Qatar, which does not want it to help the Islamic State-affiliated factions involved in an armed insurrection against Egyptian forces in northern Sinai. Egypt’s military is having a hard enough time coping with the insurgency as it is. The last thing it needs is for Hamas to be given a green light to cooperate with Islamic State forces in Sinai. . . .

Over the past decade, ever since Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power, Israel has also been gradually placing more and more chips in its still covert but growing alliance with Saudi Arabia. Egypt’s decision to pull out of MESA should give it cause to reconsider. Without Egypt, MESA has zero viability unless it is to include either U.S. forces or Israeli ones. [But] one’s chances of winning the lottery seem infinitely higher than those of MESA’s including the IDF. . . . Given that Egypt, the Arab world’s biggest and militarily most powerful state and its traditional leader, has clearly indicated its lack of confidence in the Saudi leadership, Israel should urgently reexamine its strategy in this regard.

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Read more at BESA Center

More about: Egypt, Gaza Strip, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Foreign policy