Increasing American Aid to the Palestinian Authority Hasn’t Stopped an Increase in Violence

Since coming to office, the Biden administration has directed more than a billion dollars to the Palestinian Authority, both directly and via UN organizations. Palestinian terrorism, meanwhile, has only intensified—as evidenced by the murder of an Israeli police officer in Tel Aviv last weekend. Victoria Coates and Congressman Chip Roy comment:

Contrary to the Washington establishment’s preconceived notions of what works in Israel, Trump-era policy proved that defunding the Palestinians for their venomous anti-America rhetoric and abuse of American funds to reward terrorists and their families does not in fact result in a significant spike in violence. This despite theoretically incendiary corollary policies such as moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and recognizing the Golan Heights as sovereign Israeli territory. Rather than stoking Palestinian violence, Trump’s policies led to the first peace deals between Israel and Arab states in 25 years.

Nonetheless, a top foreign-policy priority for the Biden administration was to reverse this progress and restore Palestinian funding, starting with $15 million in emergency coronavirus relief in March 2021.

In reality, Biden’s misguided policy has achieved almost the opposite of its aims. The last year has been the deadliest for both Israelis and Palestinians in decades. In Jenin, for example, which was the direct beneficiary of much of the UNRWA funding, the Palestinian Authority has lost security control and ceded space to Iranian-backed militants who packed the camp with fighters and weapons until the Israel Defense Forces moved in to clean them out.

Read more at National Review

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy, U.S.-Israel relationship

Iran’s Options for Revenge on Israel

On April 1, an Israeli airstrike on Damascus killed three Iranian generals, one of whom was the seniormost Iranian commander in the region. The IDF has been targeting Iranian personnel and weaponry in Syria for over a decade, but the killing of such a high-ranking figure raises the stakes significantly. In the past several days, Israelis have received a number of warnings both from the press and from the home-front command to ready themselves for retaliatory attacks. Jonathan Spyer considers what shape that attack might take:

Tehran has essentially four broad options. It could hit an Israeli or Jewish facility overseas using either Iranian state forces (option one), or proxies (option two). . . . Then there’s the third option: Tehran could also direct its proxies to strike Israel directly. . . . Finally, Iran could strike Israeli soil directly (option four). It is the riskiest option for Tehran, and would be likely to precipitate open war between the regime and Israel.

Tehran will consider all four options carefully. It has failed to retaliate in kind for a number of high-profile assassinations of its operatives in recent years. . . . A failure to respond, or staging too small a response, risks conveying a message of weakness. Iran usually favors using proxies over staging direct attacks. In an unkind formulation common in Israel, Tehran is prepared to “fight to the last Arab.”

Read more at Spectator

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Syria