If the PLO Wants an Office in Washington, It Should End Pay for Slay

Pursuant to a 1987 act of Congress, in 2018, the U.S. government shut down the Washington, DC diplomatic office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The PLO’s head, Mahmoud Abbas, has been lobbying for the mission to be reopened; David Pollock and Sander Gerber explain why the White House shouldn’t accede to his request so long the organization continues to fund terrorism:

[E]ven if Congress re-evaluates the modern-day PLO and determines it is no longer a terrorist organization, it would behoove the Biden administration to place conditions on the PLO for reopening its mission or receiving any new direct aid. A starting point for such conditions would be demanding the PLO end its “pay for slay” program, in strict accordance with [another] U.S. law, the Taylor Force Act.

Unequivocally, we know “pay for slay”—a program that establishes an enhanced benefits system for Palestinian terrorists based on how many Jews they kill—remains alive and well. A longer prison sentence means a larger payout and, to no surprise, the Palestinian Authority, of which the PLO is the dominant party, spends 7 percent of its budget—hundreds of millions of dollars—to sustain this terror network.

It simply will not do to rationalize this terror financing on the grounds that the PA also coordinates some security operations, in its own interest, with Israel, or that Abbas has opposed the “armed struggle” championed by both Yasir Arafat and Hamas. That is true, but it does not excuse the blatant hypocrisy and lethal effects of “pay for slay.” Nor will it do to argue that Abbas faces too much popular pressure to maintain this “program.” That is simply untrue. A credible Palestinian opinion poll from last year shows two-thirds of West Bankers agree that the PA should “stop paying extra bonuses and benefits to prisoners or martyrs’ families.”

Read more at Arab News

More about: Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, PLO, U.S. Foreign policy

Why Saturday Was a Resounding Defeat for Iran

Yaakov Lappin provides a concise and useful overview of what transpired on Saturday. For him, the bottom line is this:

Iran and its jihadist Middle Eastern axis sustained a resounding strategic defeat. . . . The fact that 99 percent of the threats were intercepted means that a central pillar of Iranian force projection—its missile and UAV arsenals—has been proven to be no match for Israel’s air force, for its multilayered air-defense system, or for regional cooperation with allies.

Iran must now await Israel’s retaliation, and unlike Israel, Iranian air defenses are by comparison limited in scope. After its own failure on Sunday, Iran now relies almost exclusively on Hizballah for an ability to threaten Israel.

And even as Iran continues to work on developing newer and deadlier missiles, the IDF is staying a few steps ahead:

Israel is expecting its Iron Beam laser-interception system, which can shoot down rockets, mortars, and UAVs, to become operational soon, and is developing an interceptor (Sky Sonic) for Iran’s future hypersonic missile (Fattah), which is in development.

The Iron Beam will change the situation in a crucial way. Israell’s defensive response on Saturday reportedly cost it around $1 billion. While Iron Beam may have to be used in concert with other systems, it is far cheaper and doesn’t run the risk of running out of ammunition.

Read more at JNS

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Iron Dome, Israeli Security, Israeli technology