by Hugh Fitzgerald
The recent UN appeal to the world to fund the Palestinian Authority’s “Pay for Slay” policy offers an opportunity to point out that the Taylor Force Act, which brought about this UN appeal, does not go far enough.
The Taylor Force Act is an attempt to prevent the Palestinian Authority from continuing to reward “Palestinian” terrorists and their families. The law ends American economic aid to the Palestinian Authority until the PA changes its laws, and ceases paying stipends funneled through the Palestinian Authority Martyr’s Fund to those who commit acts of terrorism and to the families of deceased terrorists. Families of individuals killed by Israeli security forces are paid stipends of at least $1,000 per month. The families of convicted Palestinians serving time in Israeli prisons receive $3,000 or higher per month, many times more than the average Palestinian salary. These sums have served as great incentivizers, both for those terrorists who choose to be “martyrs” and die while killing Jews, and for those who choose not to be martyrs (e.g., preferring to run Israelis over, or stabbing them, rather than becoming suicide bombers), it’s a way to support their families in grand style while they are imprisoned; when they are released, they continue to receive support from the PA.
One example, cited by Prime Minister Netanyahu, was of Hakim Awad, who murdered the Fogel family — husband, wife, three children, and an infant, in a West Bank settlement. Akad now receives about $14,000 a year from the PA. But because payments increase with the length of incarceration, Awad will be be paid more than $1.9 million if he lives to the age of 80, the male life expectancy in Israel. That money, of course, will go to benefit his family. The total given by the P.A. for the support both of imprisoned terrorists and to the families of dead terrorists now exceeds $400 million a year; this is more than 10% of the PA’s total budget.
The Taylor Force Act was signed into law on March 23, 2018. Unfortunately, it contained loopholes, which still allow funds to be released to the PA for specified purposes. A State Department official has said that $61 million was released to the PA in mid-August for such purposes as “international narcotics and law enforcement as well as non-proliferation, anti-terrorism and de-mining funding.” By “anti-terrorism” funding, of course, the PA does not mean it has any intention of acting against its own, PA terrorists (who are heroes and martyrs, and deserve financial support), but may act to prevent the acts planned by other terrorists, including its enemy Hamas. The Trump Administration released that $61 million without having gained anything in exchange from the PA, no hint of an end to the PA’s “Pay For Slay” policy. Indeed, Mahmoud Abbas has angrily insisted there will be no change whatsoever in the PA’s policy of giving generous stipends to terrorists — the PA-approved kind — and their families.
This attempt by the Administration to ignore both the spirit and letter of the Taylor Force Act is disturbing. What has our government ever gained from the large sums it has lavished over several decades on the Palestine Authority? There has been not the slightest change in the financial support given to terrorists and their families. There has been no change, either, in the PA’s policy of honoring terrorists by naming town squares and streets and parks and summer camps after them, of using children’s television programs to honor those terrorists and to have little children sing — literally — praise for those who kill “Jews” and pledge to do the same themselves when they are old enough. Even if the P.A. were miraculously to end its subsidies to terrorists, there remains its celebration of terrorists and its promotion of terrorism against “the Jews,” beginning with television programs for very young children.
Why should any American money go to the Palestinian Authority, a group that is no different from Hamas in its ultimate goal of destroying Israel? The only difference is that the PA engages in a Slow Jihad, including propaganda and diplomatic campaigns to weaken support for the Jewish state, in the hope of forcing Israel to yield control of still more territory, while Hamas attempts, repeatedly, to engage Israel in a Fast Jihad of both qitaal (combat) and terrorism.
Mahmoud Abbas has made it absolutely clear that he would continue to lavishly fund both imprisoned terrorists and the families of dead terrorists. Yet the Administration has not only refused to punish him as directed by the Taylor Force Act, but has answered his intransigence with a transfer of $61 million. This sends exactly the wrong message to the endlessly mendacious Mahmoud Abbas, with his no-one-here-but-us-accountants masquerade. It confirms his sense that he can defy the Americans, and continue his “pay for slay” policy without retribution.
One hopes this transfer of $61 billion was a single, not-to-be-repeated mistake, and that American aid will be decreased not just by the the amount that the PA pays imprisoned terrorists and their families, but will also include severer cuts in aid, in order to punish the PA for all the other ways that it encourages or glorifies terrorists and terrorism.
Let’s start with the glorifying of Palestinian terrorists.
A single example should suffice. Dalal Mughrabi was a member of a terror squad that in 1978 sailed from Lebanon and landed on the beach between Haifa and Tel Aviv. They first encountered Gail Rubin, a nature photographer taking pictures on the beach. They asked what country they were in. Rubin replied “Israel.” Mughrabi then shot her dead. They then commandeered a taxi, murdering everyone in it, managed to stop and take over a bus, and then still another bus, as they careened along the Coastal Road, murdering as they went. In the end, 38 Israelis, including 13 children, were killed, and 72 were wounded. Mughrabi and eight other terrorists were killed.
Dalal Mughrabi has become a national hero for the Palestine Authority. A public square has been named after her. So have many schools, a computer center, a soccer tournament, a women’s center, and a summer camp. There is a Dalal Mughrabi Girls High School (PA Television, March 31, 2000); a Dalal Mughrabi Summer Camp in Rafiah (PA Television, August 9, 2001); a Dalal Mughrabi Kindergarten in Dura (Al Ayyam, May 30, 2001); and a Dalal Mughrabi Course in the Fatah Women’s Young Staff Preparatory Course. The murderous Ms. Mughrabi is held up as a role model for young women, a martyr who should be both honored and emulated.
There are many other “Palestinian” terrorists who have been honored in the same way, with streets and squares named after therm, including Abu Iyad, who, among other deeds, helped plan the Munich murders of Israeli athletes in1972, and Yahya Ayash, who masterminded many attacks, including a bus bombing in 1995.
The Taylor Force Act was intended to discourage the PA’s financial support for terrorists and their families. It’s a start. But it’s not enough. Other legislation is now needed — an Act To Oppose Glorifying Terrorism (it might be called, less awkwardly, the Gail Rubin Act, after the first victim, an American, of Dalal Maghrebi), to discourage the PA’s promotion of terrorism, especially on its television programs for children, and in its naming of squares, parks, streets, schools, camps, and courses, after “Palestinian” terrorists. Of course, the “Palestinians” won’t change the names of those squares, parks, streets, schools, camps, and courses. But their refusal to comply with what all decent people will see as an eminently reasonable request will make it easier for much deeper cuts to be made in American aid.
Just imagine how useful the public discussion of a proposed “Gail Rubin Act” could be. The Act’s Congressional sponsors could show, for a television audience of millions, many of the schools, squares, streets, parks, etc., named in honor of such murderers as Dalal Mughrabi. They could then explain exactly what murderous deeds Mughrabi, Abu Iyad, Yahya Ayyash, and others had done to be so “honored” by the PA. And American news programs could also re-broadcast the children’s programs shown on PA television, where cute preschoolers sing along with a “Palestinian” Mickey Mouse, as they express their cheerful desire to “kill Jews.” That should be eye-opening for many in this country, who have no real idea of the atmosphere of hate in which “Palestinian” children are raised.
The PA will refuse to comply with the provisions of either the Taylor Force Act, or the (here proposed) Gail Rubin Act. It will not stop its lavish stipends for terrorists and their families. And it will not stop, either, naming squares and streets and schools after terrorist murderers they wish to honor. So be it. Now aid to the PA can be decreased more and more, month by month, pari passu with their continued refusal both to end those payments to the families of terrorists and to rename the places named in honor of such terrorists. For every month that goes by without the PA’s compliance, American aid could be cut by a specified and ever increasing amount, until, ideally, the American contribution to sustaining the PA, asymptotically approaching zero, achieves its palpable hit.
The “Palestinians” are not exactly without resources. They just prefer to be supported by the generous Infidels, and especially by the Americans. But if necessary, they can go to the rich Arab states of the Gulf for support, which has so far been minimal. Why can’t those states, with their huge revenues from an accident of geology, their oil reserves (and, in the case of Qatar, natural gas), be pressured to support their fellow Arab Muslims? Since 1973 alone, those Arab oil states have received more than 25 trillion dollars. Given those sums received by the Gulf Arabs, why should the West be supporting, in any amount, the Palestinian Authority when the rich Arabs are there to help them?
Why did the West, why did the Americans, ever think that they had some kind of obligation to financially support Muslim Arabs? There is no such obligation. Especially in the case of the “Palestinians,” whose existence as a separate people is a deliberate fiction, whose leaders have been staggeringly corrupt (think of Arafat with his one-to-three billion dollar fortune, or of Mahmoud Abbas and his two sons, who between them have accumulated their own fortune, of at least $400 million) and who support, promote, and practice terrorism, how did we ever commit ourselves to supporting people who do not wish us well? Nor is there any obligation to welcome into our midst those whose ideology, the faith of Islam, inculcates the need to fight the Infidels, wherever they are to be found (e.g., at 2:191, 3:89, 9:29), that commands the waging of Jihad in 109 Qur’anic verses, that unambiguously describes Muslims as “the best of peoples” (3:110) while Infidels are “the most vile of creatures”(98:6).
The continued funding of the PA, despite the Taylor Force Act, makes their leaders think they can continue to get away with their “Pay For Slay” program. Furthermore, their honoring of dead terrorists by naming so many places and programs after them is another way to promote terrorism that the Taylor Force Act did not even address.
We all need to understand that we Americans owe the “Palestinians” exactly nothing. The PA is neither a democratic nor a decent regime, but dictatorial and wildly corrupt. It is not our ally, it is not our friend. The reason for being of the “Palestinians” is to destroy, and replace, the single Jewish state with a 23rd Arab state. We have received nothing from the PA of value; the democratic country they wish to destroy happens to be our only unshakable political and military ally in the vast swath of territory between Europe and Japan.
Cutting off all aid to the PA will demonstrate that we are unwilling to be taken for granted, our laws (as the Taylor Force Act) openly flouted, our policies mocked. Count America out. Let the PA, no longer the ungrateful recipient of American largesse, instead become a permanent mendicant in the Gulf, waiting for its handouts from Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar — all states which have recently given signs of tiring of the “Palestinian” cause. We’ve given enough. We’ve endured more than enough. Go ahead, let’s see how patient and generous those Arab states, dripping with petrodollars, will turn out to be for their so-called “Palestinian” brothers.
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