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.”

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Read more at Arab News

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

Iran’s Dangerous Dream of a Triple Alliance with Russia and China

Aug. 16 2022

Unlike Hamas, which merely receives support from the Islamic Republic, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)—with which Israel engaged in a short round of fighting last week—is more or less under its direct control. In fact, the recent hostilities began with a series of terrorist attacks launched by PIJ from Samaria, which might in turn have been a response to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s call “to open a new front in the West Bank against the Zionist enemy.” Amir Taheri writes:

In Gaza, the Islamic Republic has invested heavily in promoting Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. . . . Islamic Jihad is in a minority in Gaza, hence the attempt by Tehran to help it create a base in the West Bank.

Reliable sources in Baghdad say that [Iran’s expeditionary and terrorist paramilitary] the Quds Force has been “transiting” significant quantities of arms and cash via Iraq to Jordan, to be smuggled to the West Bank. The Jordanian authorities say they are aware of these “hostile activities.” King Abdullah himself has publicly called on Iran to cease “destabilizing activities.”

But such schemes, Taheri explains, are part of a larger strategic vision of creating a grand anti-Western alliance even while engaging in nuclear negotiations with the U.S. and Europe:

Last month, Khamenei praised Vladimr Putin for his invasion of Ukraine. And this month, China’s ambassador to Iran, Chang Hua, praised the Islamic Republic for supporting China in “asserting its sovereignty” over Taiwan.

It is clear that some dangerous pipe-dreamers in Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran have fallen for the phantasmagoric vision of “three great powers” banding together and with help from “the rest,” that is to say, the so-called Third World . . . to destroy an international system created by the “corrupt and decadent.”

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: China, Iran, Islamic Jihad, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Russia, West Bank