“Israel is ready to pay a price for peace, but not to become the price itself”

“Israel is ready to pay a price for peace, but not to become the price itself”

By Alex Grobman, PhD

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein’s observation comes to mind after hearing that the Trump administration has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to limit building in Judea and Samaria, issue permits for thousands of Palestinian Arab homes in portions of Area C (areas under complete Israeli security and civilian control) adjacent to Palestinian Arab cities, and provide other “good will gestures” that will potentially aid the Palestinian Arab economy.2

These are not concessions to the Palestinian Authority (PA). They are acts of appeasement, distressing signs of naiveté and a failure to learn the lessons of the past. The PA is being rewarded once again for intransigence; ongoing incitement against Israeli citizens; and for not being held accountable for continuing to provide financial support to families of convicted terrorists who are either incarcerated in Israeli prisons or who have died while murdering Israelis.

Incitement

Incitement to violence against Israel and glorification of Palestinian Arab terrorists are ubiquitous in the Arab media and school curricula. Daily examples are so pervasive, it is incomprehensible how anyone can realistically discuss a peace process until this demonization and unrelenting determination to destroy Israel ceases entirely.

Stopping the incessant provocation must begin in the educational system, yet the opposite is happening. This is the conclusion reached by IMPACT-SE 3 in an April 2017 report evaluating the recently released Palestinian Arab curriculum for grades 1-4 and 11-12. 4

“The new PA school textbooks for grades 1–4,” the report warned “points to a further radicalization of the Palestinian national identity. This curriculum is now educating …children to engage in active conflict. Children are mentally prepared to jump into action and sacrifice their lives when the opportunity arises; they grow up with the disposition to fight against Israel, either from the current status quo or from an imagined future Palestinian state serving as a springboard for anti-Israeli activities.” 5

IMPACT-SE’s analysis of the PA’s upper-grade textbooks found “a commitment to the PLO’s [Palestine Liberation Organization] path that combines diplomacy and violence with a commitment to the full liberation of Palestine.” In other words, “The PA educational system has created a Palestinian nationalism that is incompatible with Israel’s existence” 6

This hatred of Israelis is echoed in public statements of high level Palestinian Arab officials. Abu al-Einein, who advises PA President Mahmoud Abbas on civil society organizations, for example, urged that any contact with Israelis should result in violence, not discussion.

“If you ask me my blunt position, I would say — every place you find an Israeli, slit his throat,” Sultan Abu al-Einein, a member of the central committee of the ruling Fatah party, told the Palestinian website Donia al-Watan, when asked about Palestinian officials participating in Israeli conferences. “Likewise, I am against talks, negotiations, meetings, and normalization in all its forms with the Israeli occupation.” 7

Veneration of Terrorists

On May 23, 2017, President Trump held an hour-long meeting with Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem during which Abbas declared, “We would like to reassert our willingness to continue to work with you as partners in fighting terrorism in our region and in the world.” 8

What Abbas did not say is that during the month between the first Trump-Abbas meeting in Washington, D.C. on May 3 and the May23rd meeting, his PA and Fatah honored no less than 44 terrorists who murdered 440 people. These included homicide bombers, bomb makers, hijackers, and those who orchestrated terror attacks, who had public squares, streets, schools and youth centers named after them. A number of the worst terrorists were honored several times. Abu Jihad, responsible for the murder of 125, was honored at least on 10 distinct occasions. Dalal Mughrabi, who led the bus hijacking and murder of 37 was honored at least 6 separate times. 9

Recently PA TV called the Ma’alot massacre an “act of heroism.” In May 1974, Palestinian Arab terrorists held more than one hundred Israeli children and their teachers’ hostage for two days in the Netiv Meir Elementary School. When a unit of the Israel Golani Brigade attempted to rescue them, the terrorists attacked the hostages with guns and grenades, murdering 22 children and four adults. According to PA TV, the act of dying while murdering Israelis indicated that their “souls would float as Martyrs above the skies of Palestine.” 10

PA’s relentless glorification of terrorists reinforces the culture of hatred against Jews. When squares, youth centers, schools, sports stadiums in Palestinian Arab towns and cities are named after terrorist murderers, this elevates their actions to the level a heroic act of “resistance.” 11

The Palestinian Media Watch explains these acts are a “euphemism for violence and terror – until ‘Palestine’ is established ‘from the [Jordan] River to the Mediterranean [Sea].’” This means the total destruction of the State of Israel. 12

PA Education Minister Sabri Saidam, justified the naming of Palestinian Arab institutions and public venues after murderers since “both Palestinians and Israelis honor those who they view as their national heroes, no matter how the other side views them. It is peculiar that Israel names streets and major installations after its own founders and so-called heroes, and the Palestinians are not allowed to do so,” he said, citing former Israeli Prime Ministers David Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin. “One’s man hero is another man’s terrorist,” he said. 13

Homicide Bombings and Terrorism: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Terrorists killed in action are accorded well publicized and elaborate funeral processions, where their pictures are prominently displayed. Dozens of young men and women are commonly seen vowing to become homicide bombers. Some of this is merely theatrics, yet dying to free “Palestine” has become a badge of honor. 14

Whether the terrorist is killed or incarcerated in Israeli prisons, the families are compensated by the PLO, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian Arab terror organizations. This support is designed to demonstrate profound appreciation for individuals who have elected to “sacrifice” their lives, inspire others to enlist in the war of destruction against Israel, and assure those prepared to die as “heroes” and “freedom fighters” that their children and families will be provided with financial support. 15

In September 1964, Fatah, the Palestinian nationalist movement founded by Yasser Arafat, established the Palestine Mujahidin and Martyrs Fund to provide financial support to families of “martyred”, disabled or apprehended Fatah terrorists. The fund was later transferred to the Palestinian Liberation Organization and became known as SAMED (Palestine Martyrs Works Society). By 1980, SAMED had given pensions and social services to 20,000 families. 16

In 2016, the PA spent $300 million on monthly salaries and benefits compensating incarcerated and freed terrorists, and the families of “Martyrs,” confirmed Yossi Kuperwasser, formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence. This amounts to seven percent of the entire budget and nearly 30 percent of the estimated foreign aid, most of which is part of the general budget. The PA is legally required to provide these subsidies according to a series of Palestinian Arab statutes and government decrees. 17

Monthly salaries range from 1,400 shekels to 12,000 shekels, which are recorded as part of the PA’s general salary budget that includes civil servants, military personnel and others–not as a payment for social services. 18 The lower amount is almost comparable to the average–not minimum–wage for workers in Judea and Samaria, and about 40 percent higher than the average remuneration in Gaza. The higher numbers are the type of salaries most Palestinian Arabs do not dream of even dream about or can even aspire to achieving. This means, the PA has made terror far more lucrative than engaging in productive employment. 19

Who is a Prisoner?

The PA defines a “prisoner” as “anyone imprisoned in the occupation’s [Israel’s] prisons as a result of his participation in the struggle against the occupation.” In other words, if a Palestinian Arab is convicted of a crime such as robbery, the individual is not entitled to receive a salary, whereas Hamas and Fatah terrorist murderers are. 20

Lenny Ben David, Director of Publications with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, warns that by using the term “prisoner” instead of the word “convicts” to describe Palestinian Arab terrorists, we diminish the horrific nature of their crimes. We use the expression “prisoners of conscience, prisoners of Zion, prisoners of war, political prisoners – positive concepts,” Ben David notes. “We say prisoners of conscience, prisoners of Zion, prisoners of war, political prisoners – positive concepts. These terrorists are murderers, tried, and convicted. People have little respect for convicts .Which will people sympathize with? A prisoners’ hunger strike or a convicts’ hunger strike?” 21

Palestinian Arab leaders charge that the majority of these inmates and “martyrs” are political prisoners and innocent bystanders. Israel strongly denies this spurious accusation. People in Israel are not arrested or detained because of their political views, but for their participation in the organizing or executing terrorist acts. A Palestinian Arab who intentionally tries to murder an Israeli is not a political prisoner. He is an attempted murderer. 22

PA spokesman Nabil Shaath claimed the PA has a “social responsibility” to provide this financial support as a means to “look after innocent people affected by the incarceration or killing of their loved ones as a result of the military occupation.”

Meir Indor, head of the Almagor Terror Victims Association, clearly recognized the implications of this assertion. “This is a very important statement,” he said. “As soon as you justify killing innocent people as a reasonable reaction to Israeli policy you de facto justify it. The statement essentially says that ‘as long as we Palestinians feel occupied or treated badly, we have a right to kill.’ In that way, nothing has changed for the Palestinians since the creation of the PA. They still justify terrorism.” 23

The longer Fatah terrorists remains in prison, the higher the salary he/she receives. 24 And the “greater the crime,” the greater the compensation. There is a sliding scale. Murderers can receive up to $3,500 a month, observes Elliot Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Those sentenced to five years in prison or less receive a base salary of $350 per month. “The excuse that these payments are meant only to help prisoners’ families survive does not wash,” he says, “because if that were the goal, the stipend would depend on family size. Instead, the worse your crime, the more money you get.” 25 

Terrorists are exempt from paying for education, health care, and professional instruction. Once freed, they are offered substantial positions in Fatah and the PA. Those incarcerated for five years or more are eligible to a job in a PA institution. Terrorists who served are entitled to a more prestigious title in the government and a higher compensation. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has stressed more than once “the prisoners are top priority.” 26

Karim Younes, Israeli Arab, a kidnapper and murderer, who served more than three decades in Israeli prison was appointed to the Fatah Central Committee, a strategic organization essentially controlled by Abbas supporters. 27

Exposing “incentives to terror” Salaries

When Sander Gerber a New York hedge fund executive and fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 28 asked if the leadership of the organized American Jewish community and Israeli officials were aware of this subvention to terrorist families, and that it had been ongoing for years, he was informed “everybody knows.” The numerous American political leaders he questioned, claimed “without exception,” to be unaware of the PA legislation/budget. 29

“The P.A. orchestrated one of the great diplomatic deceptions of the last 30 years,” Gerber said. “It’s only being exposed now. President Trump has the opportunity to let the world know that the sponsorship of terror is intolerable and will have consequences.” 30

The assertion by American leaders they did not know about this subsidy defies logic. If American Jewish leaders knew about the payments to terrorist families, how could American leaders not know? Wasn’t this common knowledge? And if it wasn’t, why not? And wouldn’t American Jewish leaders have brought this to the attention of the Middle East “experts”? A more plausible explanation is that pleading ignorance allowed the American officials to ignore this blatant inducement to continue terrorist acts in order to advance a “peace process,” that never had any chance to succeed as long as there was no willingness to accept Israel’s right to exist.

According to a survey conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in Ramallah, 91% Palestinian Arabs oppose ending PA payments to Palestinian Arab “security prisoners” in Israeli jails; only seven percent are in favor. Forty six percent are certain the PA will not cease making these payments; while 44% believe it will. 31

How do the Palestinian Arabs interpret this “readiness to willfully turn a blind eye towards the payments” of these stipends? Yossi Kuperwasser, formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence, asserts the willingness to tolerate this funding is perceived “as a green light” to continue paying for terror and to continue “incitement, hate indoctrination, and delegitimization of Israel and the dissemination of this ideology in the West and in Israel itself.” 32

Documenting the International Aid Paid to PA General Budget

Since 2011, the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) has documented that aid contributed international donors’ to the PA general budget have been used to pay for salaries of Palestinian Arab terrorists incarcerated in Israel prisons. This practice violates the intention of the laws of the contributing countries. 33

In August 2014, the PA said it had acceded to international pressure by closing the PA Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs, and that prisoner’s payments would be paid by a newly established PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs. PMW charged these reforms were simply a “ruse to evade pressure from international donors: “Palestinian Media Watch revealed that the “PLO Commission is identical to the old PA Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs in everything but name. The Commission and the salary payments to prisoners remain under the ‘supervision’ of the ‘Palestinian presidency,’ i.e., Mahmoud Abbas. The PA Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs became the director of the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs…. Therefore, the PA today is fraudulently receiving the $1 billion/year it receives in foreign donor money.”

On April 29, 2014 the US ostensibly agreed that this change was sufficient. The Dutch government on April 22, 2015 accepted these guarantees as did other governments, despite abundant contradictory evidence presented to the US, The Netherlands and other donor nations. 34

Yet, on May 26, 2017, just hours after the PMW reported that a Palestinian Arab youth center erected with Norwegian and UN money was named after terrorist murderer Dalal Mughrabi, Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende denounced it and ordered the money be refunded. He added, “‘We will not enter into any new agreements with either the Palestinian Election Commission or UN Women in Palestinian areas until satisfactory procedures are in place to ensure that nothing of this nature happens again.” 35

UN Assistant Secretary General for Development and Humanitarian Coordinator for Palestine, Robert Piper also distanced the UN from this decision: “The United Nations support for this center ended last year. The inauguration of the center took place a few weeks ago, well after the UN association with it concluded. The name chosen by the community center is wrong and unacceptable. The UN Women logo should not be associated with it and it will be removed immediately.” 36

In March, the PMW reported that the German Olympic Sports Federation rescinded a funding contract worth €400,000 with the Palestinian Football Association, after the PMW exposed that Jibril Rajoub, the president of the Palestinian Football Association, actively advocates terror. 37.

In an editorial in The New York Times, Gilad Erdan, Israel’s minister of public security and strategic affairs, remarked that since the PA’s budget depends significantly on foreign capital, these payments are being financed by the foreign taxpayers. While the Palestinian Arabs appear to have involved in various schemes to conceal their money transactions — the funds are now being channeled through the PLO. “Politicians and ordinary citizens must demand an end to this gross abuse of international funds” he said. 38

The Reaction of the Donor Community and Israelis

The response of the most members of the donor community and Israel to these revelations, Kuperwasser contends, demonstrates the victory the Palestinian Arabs have achieved in portraying themselves as the victim in this conflict. The benefactors are uneasy making official Palestinian Arab sponsorship of terror an issue of disagreement with the PA.

The donors and some in Israel are also concerned that by opposing the PA’s funding of terrorists could result in further radicalization of the Palestinian Arabs which might lead to a worsening of the delicate state of affairs. 39

There is particular concern about Israeli and American legislation that would force the end of these payments. In the US, the Taylor Force Act, a bill introduced in the Congress to stop American economic aid to the Palestinian Authority until the PA takes “steps to end acts of violence against U.S. and Israeli citizens perpetrated by individuals under its jurisdictional control, such as the March 2016 attack that killed former Army officer Taylor Force; is publicly condemning such acts of violence and is investigating, or cooperating in investigations of, such acts; and has terminated payments for acts of terrorism against U.S. and Israeli citizens to any individual who has been convicted and imprisoned for such acts, to any individual who died committing such acts, and to family members of such an individual.”40

Recipients of PA stipends include the family of Bashar Masalha, who stabbed 11 people near Tel-Aviv and murdered 28 year-old Taylor Force, who was visiting Israel on a break from Vanderbilt business school. Force, a West Point graduate, had served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Taylor had been walking on the Mediterranean boardwalk promenade with friends in Tel Aviv, when he was brutally knifed to death on March 8, 2016. 41 Police killed Masalha, but his relatives collect monthly payments equivalent to several times the average Palestinian Arab salary. The Wall Street Journal concluded that “With special offices and more than 500 civil servants assigned to distribute these funds, the PA’s message is clear: Terrorism pays.” 42

Commanders for Israel’s Security, an organization of hundreds of former Israeli generals, senior security and intelligence personnel, were among the staunchest critics of the attempt to stop the PA from distributing funds to terrorist families. In a statement issued on June 21, 2017 they proclaimed that such a move would: “undermine PA stability; expand the circle of frustration and hostility; erode the security coordination; and thus hurt Israeli security.” Their solution: “Demanding that the PA ends incitement, continues fighting terror, and upgrades security coordination with our forces – certainly! Hindering the PA’s ability to do all that – absolutely not!” 43

This fear of destabilizing the PA is not shared by former Israeli army chief Moshe Ya’alon and military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin. In June 2017, they wrote “Pressuring the PA to end its ‘murder for hire’ policy is accompanied by political and security risks, but moral rectitude often entails facing dangers.”

Ya’alon emphasized that “rejecting the Taylor Force Act means being blackmailed by the PA, surrendering to terror and legitimizing the phenomenon.” The legislation would probably not change the security relationship between Israel and the PA “as it is in the interest of both sides to maintain and develop it.”

Asked if this legislation might affect the Israeli-Palestinian Arab peace process, Ya’alon replied, “Is there a peace process? Is [PA President] Mahmoud Abbas ready to recognize Israel’s right to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people in any boundaries? He tries to roll back the Balfour Declaration.”

Moreover, “Israel has to operate according to its interests, based on the assumption that there is no chance for a final settlement in the coming future, on one hand, and we don’t want to rule the PA or to have a binational state, on the other hand.”

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman recently designated the Palestinian National Fund, which distributes the PA’s blood money, as a terrorist organization. 44

In anticipation of the hearing in the US Senate on the Taylor Force Act, the Palestinian Media Watch published a transcript of the Israeli Police’s interrogation of a Palestinian Arab terrorist, which PMW translated from the original in Arabic.

Palestinian terrorist: “I’ve accumulated large debts… if my son wants a shekel, I have nothing to give him… I decided to do something serious, such as committing murder, something in which I will both kill and die, and then my family will get money (i.e., from the PA) and will live comfortably… If I’m not able to kill soldiers, I’ll try settlers, guards – in other words any Israeli target – the important thing is that I will die and they will kill me, so that my children will receive a [PA] allowance and live happily.”45

“Disincentivizing Terrorism by Closing the PLO office in Washington Would be a Good First Step”

Why Is the US continuing to fund Palestinian Arab terrorism askes Shoshana Bryen, Senior Director of the Jewish Policy Center? If the PLO and not the PA provides the salaries and pensions as Mahmoud Abbas claims, which is nothing more than “ sleight of hand,” then this is an opportune moment Bryen says, for the US to close the PLO office in Washington DC.—a move it has avoided for more than 25 years.

Founded in 1964, the PLO is a recognized terrorist organization and “an umbrella for terrorism.” Their members have hijacked airplanes. Leon Klinghoffer was murdered aboard the hijacked Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro, and they threw his body into the Mediterranean. Black September, an arm of the PLO, murdered 11 Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich. In Israel, the PLO has massacred bus drivers and their families on vacation. Twenty-five adults and 13 children were murdered and 71 others wounded. The PLO has also murdered US diplomats in Sudan.

During the post-Oslo Accords period, when optimism soared, the US Senate and the House of Representatives passed legislation allowing the PLO to open an official mission in Washington “to implement the accords.” The bill also permitted President Bill Clinton to waive the law preventing US funds to be given to international organizations that contributed money to the PLO.

The legislation was “conditional” on the PLO adhering to its Oslo Accords commitments, including abandoning terrorism and renouncing international actions that would hinder a bilateral agreement on final status issues. While the legislation was expected to be “temporary,” it contained the customary waiver provision, allowing presidents the freedom to do what they determined to be in the national interest.

Though this provision was to be “limited, temporary and conditional,” President Clinton and all subsequent presidents continued to invoke the waiver even as the PA replaced the PLO as the “peace partner” and disregarded the Oslo Accords whenever it suited them. This is why Bryen concludes that it is time for the US government explain to the PLO and PA know they are aware of their sham. “A good first step” to demonstrate they will no longer be party to this con game is to disincentive “terrorism by closing the PLO office in Washington.”46

“Is PA Planning to Deceive the US and Donor Countries –Again?”

American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told US senators on June 13, 2017 that the Palestinian Arab leadership will stop paying the families of convicted terrorists imprisoned for attacking or murdering Israelis. “They have changed that policy and their intent is to cease the payments to the families of those who have committed murder or violence against others,” Tillerson said. “We have been very clear with them that this [practice of paying terrorists] is simply not acceptable to us.” 47

For Abbas, the situation posed a major dilemma. As Itamar Marcus, the founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch noted, Abbas strives to be viewed by the international community as a moderate promoting peace. As long as he publicly provides financial support to convicted terrorists, openly honors them and refuses to condemn terrorism, this will be impossible.

While Abbas initially declared a change in policy to appease the Americans, Palestinian Arab leaders were emphatically denying that there would not be any modification in what is a basic PA policy. Attempts to label the payments differently were being discussed, “but the payments are not going to be stopped.” 48

On July 4, 2017, PMW reported that Abbas vowed never to terminate these subsidies. “Even if I will have to leave my position,” he said, “I will not compromise on the salary (rawatib) of a Martyr (Shahid) or a prisoner, as I am the president of the entire Palestinian people, including the prisoners, the Martyrs, the injured, the expelled, and the uprooted.’”

Abbas’ statement, which places victims in the same category as convicted murderers, “irrevocably repudiates” US Secretary of State Tillerson’s assurances to the US senate. 49

Significantly, Abbas and the PA leadership frequently accuse Israel of committing “extra-judicial killings,” when Israeli security forces protect themselves against terrorists attempting to murder them with knives and axes or run them over with their vehicles. How would the governments of Europe respond if they were reviled for killing terrorists on their streets? 50

This hypocrisy should not have come as a surprise given the PA’s history of diplomatic relations with the US. No matter how many times the PA deceives the Americans, they persist in trusting them. And they continue to engage them in diplomatic dialogue. The US has yet to accept the reality that their “peace partners” are masters of deceit and obfuscation.

Why has Advancing the “Peace Process” Become an Act of Blind Faith?

The centrality of the peace process had become a “peace religion” with its own dogma according to Aaron David Miller, former advisor to Republican and Democratic Secretaries of State on Arab-Israeli negotiations (1978-2003).

These “articles of faith,” he explains are: “First, pursuit of a comprehensive peace was a core, if not the core, U.S. interest in the region, and achieving it offered the only sure way to protect U.S. interests; second, peace could be achieved, but only through a serious negotiating process based on trading land for peace; and third, only America could help the Arabs and Israelis bring that peace to fruition”

Failure to resolve the conflict would “would trigger ruinous war, increase Soviet influence, weaken Arab moderates, strengthen Arab radicals, jeopardize access to Middle East oil, and generally undermine U.S. influence from Rabat to Karachi.”

Miller realizes that the belief “that there’s a single or simple fix to protecting those interests, let alone that Arab-Israeli peace would, like some magic potion, bullet, or elixir, make it all better, is just flat wrong. In a broken, angry region with so many problems — from stagnant, inequitable economies to extractive and authoritarian governments that abuse human rights and deny rule of law, to a popular culture mired in conspiracy and denial — it stretches the bounds of credulity to the breaking point to argue that settling the Arab-Israeli conflict is the most critical issue, or that its resolution would somehow guarantee Middle East stability.”

“These tenets endured and prospered,” he said, “even while the realities on which they were based had begun to change.” In other words, there has been “more process than peace.” 51

Elliot Abrams, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, adds another act of faith that has become part of American diplomatic canon. This is the belief that even when there is little hope in achieving a sudden or dramatic diplomatic break though, the standard response is “Okay, but what’s the harm in trying? As former president Bill Clinton used to say, “We always need to get caught trying—fewer people will die.”

The assumption that no harm ensues when the US attempts to find a comprehensive peace accord and that lives are saved in the process, is simply false Abrams contends as continuing acts of terrorism demonstrates. Furthermore, Abrams asserts the prestige and stature of America and the president are diminished when these efforts end in failure.

For approximately 30 years he points out, the US has been involved in the “peace process” without achieving a final resolution. Instead of focusing on a comprehensive solution, Abrams suggests making incremental changes that will make life easier for the Palestinian Arabs including creating institutions, cultivating economic development and Israeli-Palestinian Arab economic cooperation. These have always been US objectives, but have never been America’s primary goal. 52

Pundits, politicians and alleged Middle East experts talk interminably about advancing the alleged “peace process, in spite of overwhelmingly evidence the Arabs have never had the slightest intention of agreeing to Israel’s right to exist in the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people.

How Do We Know the Palestinian Arabs Seek Israel’s Demise?

Article 15 of the Hamas Covenant of August 1988 explains why the destruction of Israel is not negotiable; it is a religious imperative: “The day that enemies usurp part of Moslem land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Moslem. In face of the Jews’ usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.”

Article 15 of The Palestinian National Charter: Resolutions of the Palestine National Council July 1-17, 1968 states: “The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab viewpoint, is a national (qawmi) duty and it attempts to repel the Zionist and imperialist aggression against the Arab homeland, and aims at the elimination of Zionism in Palestine. Absolute responsibility for this falls upon the Arab nation – peoples and governments – with the Arab people of Palestine in the vanguard. Accordingly, the Arab nation must mobilize all its military, human, moral, and spiritual capabilities to participate actively with the Palestinian people in the liberation of Palestine. It must, particularly in the phase of the armed Palestinian revolution, offer and furnish the Palestinian people with all possible help, and material and human support, and make available to them the means and opportunities that will enable them to continue to carry out their leading role in the armed revolution, until they liberate their homeland.” 54

“No document clarifies the PLO’s total rejection of Israel’s right to exist more bluntly, or more comprehensively that the Palestinian National Covenant,” asserts historian Efraim Karsh. “It is a demeaning and dehumanizing document that accord’s one’s adversary no rights whatsoever, not even recognition of its collective existence.”

Article 20, states that “Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong.” 55

Furthermore, Israel is not a national liberation movement: “It is racist and fanatic in its nature, aggressive, expansionist, and colonial in its aims, and fascist in its methods.”56

Her very existence is a danger to stability in the region: “Israel is a constant source of threat vis-a-vis peace in the Middle East and the whole world. Since the liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence and will contribute to the establishment of peace in the Middle East, the Palestinian people look for the support of all the progressive and peaceful forces and urge them all, irrespective of their affiliations and beliefs, to offer the Palestinian people all aid and support in their just struggle for the liberation of their homeland.” 57

Adopted in 1964, the Palestinian National Covenant was amended in in 1968 “to reflect the organization’s militancy.” As a precondition to signing a peace agreement, the Israelis insisted the covenant be amended. Arab assurances that the covenant was no longer operative, and that an English translation of the text could not be found did not fool the Israelis. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin refused to sign the Oslo Accords (formally known as the Declaration of Principle) until Arafat sent Rabin a personal letter that stated: “The P.L.O. affirms that those articles of the Palestinian Covenant which deny Israel’s right to exist and the provisions of the Covenant which are inconsistent with the commitments of this letter are now inoperative and no longer valid,” he declared. “Consequently, the P.L.O. undertakes to submit to the Palestinian National Council for formal approval the necessary changes in regard to the Palestinian Covenant.” 58

Hanan Ashrawi, spokeswoman for the Palestinian Arab delegation to the peace talks, acknowledged “The signing of documents is only the beginning of a very difficult task and the daunting challenges that lie ahead.” Yitzhak Rabin viewed the agreement as only “a test case” and with a considerable more amount of progress had to be made. “You don’t make peace with friends,” he said. “You make it with very unsavory enemies.” Nevertheless, he saw “this [agreement] as the lowest risk in order to give peace a chance.” 59

In a subsequent letter on May 4, 1994, accompanying the Gaza-Jericho Agreement as part of the initial stage of fulfilling the DOP, Arafat committed the PLO “to submit to the next meeting of the Palestinian National Council for formal approval the necessary changes in regard to the Palestinian Covenant, as undertaken in the letter dated September 9, 1993 signed by the Chairman of the PLO and addressed to the Prime Minister of Israel.” 60

Arafat never had any intention of implementing his promise of revising the Palestinian Covenant, and continued to procrastinate endlessly. As early October 1993, Ziad Abu Zaid, a leading Palestinian Arab politician, considered to be a moderate, explained why Arafat would maintain the status quo. Speaking to a group American Jewish leaders, in a stunningly bizarre attempt to equate the PLO Covenant with the Bible, Zaid said. “Israel must not demand that the P.L.O. alter its covenant, just as the P.L.O. does not demand that the Jewish nation cancel the Bible.” 61

Arafat’s incessant stalling did not deter then Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres from his delusional commitment to the Accords. On May 4, 1996 when he received an official communication from Yasser Arafat that at the 21st session of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) held in Gaza between April 22 and 25, that the PNC had amended the covenant, he was ecstatic. “This is the most important event in the Middle East in a hundred years,” he proclaimed. 62

From the outset, the Palestinian Arabs viewed the Oslo Accords a sham and a ruse as Faysal Al-Husseini, PA Minister for Jerusalem Affairs conceded. In the last interview before his death in 2013, Al-Husseini told the Egyptian daily, Al-Arabi, the ultimate objective of the Palestinian Arabs “is the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea.”

The “entire land is an Islamic Waqf which cannot be bought or sold, and it is impossible to remain silent while someone is stealing it,” he said, adding that the “Oslo Accords” on which the “peace process” is based, is “a Trojan Horse.” 63

Is this Deja Vu All Over Again?

Jason Greenblatt, assistant to the President Trump and special representative for international negotiations, has said the US is not going to impose peace, but help the parties move forward in the direction of their choosing to reach an agreement. President Trump also asked both the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to take steps to create a climate in which peace can take root… Businesses need to find opportunities for new economic prosperity and we need to do all we can to ensure there are no artificial roadblocks to business moving forward. By focusing on concrete steps to translate commitments and ideas into action, we can build trust between the parties and demonstrate that, through cooperation, a better future is possible.64

The Myth that a Robust Palestinian Arab Economy is Essential for Peace

President Trump and his Middle East envoys are in very good company in believing that economic prosperity is key to achieving a lasting peace, even if it is an illusion. In 1921, Winston Churchill, then British Colonial Secretary, advanced the theme of economic prosperity on a visit to Palestine. The British Government was resolute, he told the Palestinian Arabs, in giving Zionism a “fair chance,” since the British expected that if Zionism succeeded, it would be “ accompanied by a general diffusion of wealth and well-being among all the dwellers in Palestine and by an advance in the social, scientific and cultural life of the people as a whole.”

Churchill concluded his remarks by urging the Arabs to recognize the promising possibilities that lay ahead: “If instead of sharing miseries through quarrels you will share blessings through cooperation, a bright and tranquil future lies before your country. The earth is a generous mother. She will produce in plentiful abundance for all her children if they will but cultivate her soil in justice and peace.” 65

David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, said he shared the view of many early Zionists that Jews would be welcomed back to the land of Israel once the economic progress they brought with them “would convey a blessing to the Arab people.”

Years later he admitted that he was “naïve then to imagine …that the Arabs think like us.” In 1936, for example, he acknowledged that “the economic blessing” had no impact on Arab leaders: “Even if they admit—and not all of them do—that our immigration brings material blessing to the land, [t]hey say—and from the Arab viewpoint I think rightly so-‘None of your honey and none of your sting.’” 66

While signing the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn, Shimon Peres, a former tough-minded security hawk, remarked: “I could almost sense the breeze of a fresh spring, and my imagination began to wander to the skies of our land that may have become brighter to the eyes of all people, agreeing and opposing. On the lawn, you could almost hear the heavy tread of boots leaving the stage after a hundred years of hostility. You could have listened to the gentle tiptoeing of new steps making a debut in the awaiting world of peace.” 67

Having failed to learn from Ben-Gurion’s experiences, Peres assured his listeners that: “A higher standard of living is a precondition for mitigating the tensions among the Middle Eastern countries,” he said, adding that he wanted to fight poverty in the region “as if it were a military threat.”68

When James Wolfensohn, an Australian American lawyer, investment banker and economist who served as the ninth president of the World Bank Group, and Mort Zuckerman, a Canadian-born American media mogul and investor, raised $14 million to buy the Gush Katif hothouses from Israeli farmers to give to the Palestinian Arabs in 2005, many people were shocked. “We thought it was a chance to show the Palestinians that there were more benefits from cooperation than confrontation,” Zuckerman explained.

Zuckerman’s New York Daily News reported on September 22 that “a week after they [Palestinians] descended like locusts on the greenhouses… looters continue to pillage what should be a prize asset for a fledgling Palestinian state.” In response to this wanton destruction, Zuckerman said, “I’m just sad that they are cutting off their noses to spite their faces…. It’s almost inexplicable.”

Twenty nine year-old 29-year old Samir Al-Najar explained why he and eight of his men destroyed a half-acre greenhouse at the Neveh Dekalim settlement. He would probably rebuild the greenhouses he said, “but I want the greenhouses to be our own, not Jewish ones.” 69

On June 21, 2017 at a meeting with Abbas, Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s senior advisor, Abbas presented the PA’s positions on borders, Jerusalem, the refugees, water, security and the release of prisoners, which were ostensibly non-negotiable. 70

To their credit, the Americans insisted on focusing on the issue of paying salaries to convicted terrorists, and emphasized that accepting this demand would be a genuine indication of Abbas’s commitment to achieving a peace agreement with Israel. Arab sources responded “We have no great expectations from these negotiations, so why should we pay a heavy price such as stopping the payment of salaries?” And in any event, Abbas had emphasized that providing payments is an internal Palestinian Arab issue. 71

An individual who did not know the history of the Israeli/Palestinian Arab dispute, might assume based on these conditions, that the Palestinian Arabs had defeated Israel in all of the wars in which they fought, since they appear to be dictating the terms of any peace agreement.

The expectation that Israel has to accede to Arab demands is not new. Jacob Talmon, an eminent Hebrew University historian, has written about a group of prominent Arab and Jewish intellectuals, who met on fairly frequent basis, to discuss the conflict in an atmosphere of shared civility and in the belief that a solution had to be found to establish separate Jewish and Arab states.

Not long after the Six Day War, a Hebrew University professor asked their Arab interlocutors if there had ever been another case in history, where the victor has been expected to withdraw from conquered territory before the defeated party agreed to discuss peace terms, where the vanquished had openly avowed he would never make peace under any circumstances, would never recognize the right of the victor to exist… but would continue to pursue his mission to destroy and annihilate the victor until he succeeded? 72

How does one justify that Israel is the only state expected to give up their own land in the hope the Arabs will reciprocate by agreeing to live in “peace?” These territories were acquired in defensive wars, while other states are permitted to retain territories conquered in wars of aggression. It is acceptable for countries to defend themselves against aggressors. When Israel defends herself, however, Jewish self-defense is labelled aggression. 73

Despite numerous declarations of principles and agreements between the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs, no amount of legal or judicial pronouncements will achieve a peaceful resolution to this conflict until the Arabs recognize Israel’s right to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Periodically PLO and other Palestinian Arab spokesmen have made public statements during diplomatic meetings conveying indications of recognition. This message is delivered in English or other languages. Their message given in Arabic in political speeches, the media and schools is that the ultimate objective remains the destruction of the Jewish State, even if for strategic reasons they agree to a truce or an armistice until more advantageous conditions arise to realize their goal. When Israel is accorded the same right to exist as the more than 20 members of the Arab league and the members of the Islamic Conference enjoy, negotiations might yield a positive result. 74

The Danger of Land Concessions and Release of Convicted Terrorists

No amount of land concessions, number of terrorists released from Israeli jails or other demeaning and destructive “confidence building” gestures forced on Israel by the U.S. will succeed because this dispute is not about land or anything else—it is purely whether a Jewish state is permitted to exist in the Middle East. Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett expressed his profound concern about the precedent prisoner releases were creating: “Israel is going down a slippery slope. First, we released one terrorist for one soldier. Then 100 terrorists for one soldier, then 100 terrorists for a corpse, and now 100 terrorists for nothing.” 75

In an acute moral dilemma, the cost to Israel for releasing convicted Palestinian Arab terrorists is quite significant. Fifty percent of them revert to terrorist activity. In the Schalit deal in 2011, 1,027 prisoners, who were collectively accountable for murdering 569 Israelis, were freed in exchange for one Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. 76

Israeli author and journalist Nadav Shragai, reported that the “Israeli defense establishment believes these released terrorists “are responsible, directly or indirectly, for dozens of terrorist attacks and attempted attacks, and have been directly implicated in the murder of seven Israelis: teenagers Gilad Shaer, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel, abducted and killed in 2014.” About 50 percent are involved in terrorist activity. Approximately 100 of them have been re-arrested. 77

Hamas, in the meantime, is determined to replicate their enormous Shalit trade success by capturing additional Israelis to secure the release of more terrorists. Those released have “infused Hamas’ leadership with highly motivated individuals committed to an armed struggle; it has shifted Palestinian public opinion even more in favor of terrorism; and it turned the prisoners released in the deal into heroes, making it easier for them to again become involved in terrorist activity, directly or indirectly.” 78

Professor Boaz Ganor, founder and director of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, says there are several factors for this high rate of recidivism including: “the ‘success’ of terrorist activity” which “create(s) a certain commitment on the part of the prisoner to the organization that worked for his release.”

Furthermore, terrorists are not interested in reforming. They return to their communities that support their terrorist activities, revel in the public adulation and respect they are showered with, and become role models for Palestinian Arab youth. 79

Contributing to the Death of More Israelis

What have the Arabs leaned from the endless “good will” gestures Israel is often forced to make during the past 24 years? The Oslo Accords signed by Israel and the PLO in 1993 were viewed by the Palestinian Arabs as the first stage in Israel’s complete capitulation. 80

By permitting the PLO to gain control over large areas of Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip, the Israelis signaled they were “caving in to the violence and terrorism of the First Intifada,” asserts Bassam Tawil. 81

After Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, but not before destroying 21 Jewish communities and forcibly expelling more than 8,000 Jews from their homes, this was seen as another defeat. The expulsion occurred after five years of the Second Intifada (September 2000 – September 2005), in which 1,100 Israelis were killed from homicide bombings, rocket attacks and other acts of violence. 82

Hamas leadership claimed their campaign of rocket strikes precipitated Israel’s retreat from Gaza, which later helped them win the Palestinian Arab parliamentary election on January 25, 2006. The lesson they learned Tawil says is: “Why bother negotiating when terror will do the trick?” 83

When the Israelis withdrew from southern Lebanon five years earlier, the Arabs saw this as yet another indication of weakness and failure of resolve, which further emboldened Hezbollah. 84

During the past several years, when Israel removed security checkpoints, reduced travel restrictions in Judea and Samaria, this did not decrease attacks against Israelis. On the contrary, it encouraged more violence causing additional Israeli deaths.

Instead being credited for making concessions, Abbas and others in his administration delight in ridiculing Israel’s actions by claiming they are “insufficient,” “unhelpful,” “cosmetic changes aimed at beautifying Israel’s ugly face” or nothing other than public-relations gimmicks. 85

Former Minister of Tourism Uzi Landau, who served as the internal security minister from 2001 to 2003, during which terrorism was rampant, said he could not “recall any concessions from the Palestinian side.” “Concessions, he believed, “should never be made without getting something in return; there are no free lunches.” The notion that there is “New Middle East” is nothing more than an illusion. The radical Islamic elements are ascendant. They have no mercy for the weak and vulnerable. For this reason Landau said Israel “should not give up land that serves as a security barrier under any circumstances.” 86

Furthermore, the situation in the region is fluid. Nation-states are disintegrating and splintering. The extent of the cruelty, brutality and mass murders in Syria is telling. The Syrian military uses missiles, aircraft and helicopters against rebel forces and against their own civilians. Some have been gassed. More than two million Syrian have fled the country. Approximately 6.5 million have been displaced within Syria, bringing the total number who fled the country to more than six million. 87

Given that it is extremely difficult to predict what lies ahead in the Middle East, including who will be in power, even entertaining the remote possibility of reaching any peace agreement peace at this point is illusory. “The best-case scenario,” Landau suggested “would be if we could reach an interim long-term agreement that would allow the Israelis and Palestinians to live side by side and address any security problems and implement any necessary economic improvements. Such an agreement could pave the road for a real peace agreement in the future.” 88

But even this prospect is unrealistic. Nation-building and state creation are not what the Palestinian Arab leadership has ever wanted to pursue. For almost a century, they have preferred to have their citizens in Judea, Samaria and Gaza remain hapless “while they bask in international sympathy and enrich themselves from the proceeds of their self-inflicted plight.” Furthermore, as Efraim Karsh noted, achieving statehood would have ruined this “paradise” by instantly transforming the Palestinian Arabs from being the world’s supreme victim, into a conventional nation-state, thus ending “decades of unprecedented international indulgence.” It would have also exposed the PLO’s fallacious claim of being “’the sole representative of the Palestinian people’” (already debunked by Hamas’s 2006 electoral victory in Gaza) and would have compelled any governing power to accept “for the first time in Palestinian [Arab] history, the principles of accountability and transparency.” 89

One of the reasons for the failure to establish a nation-state can be found in a conversation Arafat had with Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania toward the end of the 1970s. At the meeting, Arafat said that “the Palestinians lacked the tradition, unity, and discipline to become a formal state…. A Palestinian state would be a failure from the first day.” Creating a state “was only something for a future generations.” Having a government would have impeded “the Palestinian struggle against Israel,” he further argued, since all governments are limited by laws and international and agreements. 90

This helps explain why the Palestinian Arab leaders repeatedly focus on the flaws of Israel’s position rather than seek to rectify the inadequacies of their own policy. 91

“A war of terror is your only realistic weapon,” Ceausescu advised Arafat. While operating in the shadows, Arafat could orchestrate limitless operations throughout the world while keeping his name and government “pristine and unspoiled, ready for negotiations and further negotiations.” 92 He could then denounce the slaughter of innocent Israeli civilians with feigned outrage, which is precisely what he did according to Muhammad Al-Daya, Arafat’s longtime bodyguard. In a BBC TV Arabic interview Al-Daya revealed that Arafat would lie when denouncing bombings in Israel. Arafat “would condemn the bombing in his own special way, saying: ‘I am against the killing of civilians.’ But that wasn’t true,” said Al-Daya. 93

Perhaps Israel should heed the warning of the late Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, one of the leading Talmudic authorities of his generation and the acknowledged leader of Modern Orthodoxy, who said, “the evil intentions of the Arabs are not only directed against our national independence but against the continued existence of the Jewish presence in Israel. They aspire to exterminate … the Yishuv [the Jewish community in in the land of Israel].” The Torah tells us, he continued, that “the Lord will have a war against Amalek from generation to generation.” (Exodus 17:16). This is the tribe that attacked the Jews in the dessert from behind without being provoked. Amalek is not a certain race, but any nation or group harboring unbridled hatred toward the Jewish people. (Psalms 83:5).

The idea that the State of Israel has reduced antisemitism is mistaken. Antisemitism has intensified. Lest someone believe one can negotiate with them, Rabbi Soloveitchik declared, “It is always impossible to satisfy antisemites … they will find fault with whatever we do.”94

Footnotes

  1. [The title] Shimon Peres, “A Strategy for Peace in the Middle East,” Foreign Affairs (Spring 1980).
  2. Tovah Lazaroff, Gil Hoffman, Herb Keinon, “Five Palestinians cities to expand into Area C,” The Jerusalem Post (June 16, 2017); Barak Ravid, “Netanyahu Announces Policy of Restrained Settlement Construction in ‘Show of Good Will’ to Trump,” Haaretz (March 31, 2017); Jacob Magid, “With ire over Palestinian expansion, settlers aim to reshuffle Israeli priorities,” The Times of Israel (June 22, 2017); “Despite appeal from Trump, Israel plans new West Bank settlement,” CBS News (March 31, 2017); Tovah Lazaroff, “Trump: Israeli-Palestinian peace would be ‘ultimate deal,’” The Jerusalem Post (November 12, 2016); Mitchel Hochberg,” How Trump Could Make Netanyahu’s Job Harder,” Foreign Affairs (January 26, 2017); Isabel Kershner, “Emboldened by Trump, Israel Approves a Wave of West Bank Settlement Expansion,” The New York Times (January 24, 2017); Ghaith al-Omari, “Trump and the Middle East Peace Process,” Foreign Affairs (May 9, 2017); “Remarks by President Trump and President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority in Joint Statement,” The White House Office of the Press Secretary (May 3, 2017);” Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel in Joint Press Conference,” The White House Office of the Press Secretary (February 15, 2017); Boaz Bismuth, “I won’t condemn Israel, it’s been through enough,” Israel Hayom (February 10, 2017).
  3. “A research and policy organization that monitors and analyses education to determine compliance with international standards on peace and tolerance as derived from UNESCO declarations and resolutions.”
  4. Eldad J. Pardo, “Palestinian Elementary School Curriculum 2016–17: Radicalization and Revival of the PLO Program,” IMPACT-se (April 2017); Islamic Education, grade 12, p. 86-87] (http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=607&all=1); Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “PA brainwashing works: Girl’s poem repeats libel that Israel murdered Arafat: “The treacherous occupier killed you [Arafat]… They poisoned you,’” Palestinian Media Watch (May 19, 2017); “PA Mufti: Continue religious war until end of ‘catastrophe’ (creation of State of Israel) Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (May 22, 2010) http://palwatch.org/pages/news_archive.aspx?doc_id=2454); Hamas Kindergarten Teaches 6-Year-Olds to Kill Jewish Children https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPQj0vzkSTA; C. Jacob, “Palestinian Authority, Fatah Lead Campaign Of Solidarity With And Glorification Of Hunger-Striking Palestinian Prisoners, Including Murderers Of Israeli Civilians After Oslo Accords,” MEMRI (June 5, 2017); “Palestinian Education Ministry Holds Memorial For Female Student Killed After Carrying Out Stabbing Attack,” MEMRI (February 16, 2016).
  5. Pardo, op.cit.
  6. Ibid.
  7. The Tower Staff, “Abbas Adviser: “Wherever You Find an Israeli, Slit His Throat,” The Tower (June 6, 2016); Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “Senior PLO leader calls for violence: “Let every one of us look for a gun and bullets,” Palestinian Media Watch (May 29, 2017); “Muslim Writer Calls Out Palestinian Terror Glorification,” The Investigative Project on Terrorism (July 1, 2016); Yuval Steinitz, “How Palestinian Hate Prevents Peace,” The New York Times (October 5, 2015).
  8. “Remarks by President Trump and President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority in Joint Statements,” The White House Office of the Press Secretary (May 23, 2017); Ian Fisher, Peter Baker and Isabel Kershner, “Trump Leaves Israel With Hope for Peace, but No Plan for It,” The New York Times (May 23, 2017); Ben Caspit, “The real story behind Trump’s meetings with Abbas and Netanyahu,” Al-Monitor (May 31, 2017); Haaretz, “Trump Was ‘Angry’ in Bethlehem Meeting, Mahmoud Abbas Reportedly Confirms,” Haaretz (Jun 1, 2017).
  9. Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “A month of PA terror glorification exposes Abbas’ great lie to Trump,” The Palestinian Media Watch (May 25, 2017); “Case study: Dalal Mughrabi, from terrorist to hero,” Palestinian Media Watch, http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=679; Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik “Who should the world believe? What Abbas told Trump today, or what Palestinian leaders tell their people regularly?” Palestinian Media Watch (May 23, 2017); Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, ”The PA, UN, and Norway behind center named after terrorist murderer Dalal Mughrabi who led killing of 37 civilians, including 12 children,” Palestinian Media Watch (May 26, 2017); Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “PA names square after mastermind of Ma’alot Massacre, in which 22 children and 4 adults were murdered,” Palestinian Media Watch (June 19, 2017); Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “Palestinian center refuses to rename center named after terrorist murderer,” Palestinian Media Watch (June 1, 2017); Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “Norway acts on PMW report, demands Palestinian youth center return money,” Palestinian Media Watch (May 28, 2017); “Why It’s “Homicide Bomber” Not “Suicide Bomber” Newswise (September 3, 2013).
  10. Nan Jacques Zilberdik, PA TV glorifies Ma’alot massacre terrorists who murdered 22 children and 4 adults- “their souls float as Martyrs above the skies of Palestine,” Palestinian Media Watch (July 6, 2017).
  11. Nan Jacques Zilberdik “PLO-member party PFLP claimed responsibility,” Palestinian Media Watch (June 21, 2017); Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “Hamas honor Sbarro pizza shop suicide bomber who murdered 15,” Palestinian Media Watch (May 5, 2014); Herb Keinon, “The glorification of terrorism or the perpetrators of heinous terrorist acts is unacceptable under any circumstances,” The Jerusalem Post (May 28, 2017); Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “Macabre demonstration of borders of “Palestine” by Fatah: Dying terrorist’s blood photo-shopped to form map of “Palestine,” Palestinian Media Watch (February.18, 2016).
  12. Nan Jacques Zilberdik “PLO-member party PFLP claimed responsibility,” op.cit ; Numerous additional statements by Palestinian Arab leaders that express the Palestinian Arab objective as being a state that includes the entire area from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea can be found in “Palestine” replaces Israel,” Palestinian Media Watch http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=466); Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “PMW report leads to removal of terrorist monument in Jenin- But monument later restored, Palestinian Media Watch (June 25, 2017; Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “Abbas’ Fatah vows to rebuild terrorist monument in Jenin after Israel dismantled it :”It is our obligation to rebuild it,” Palestinian Media Watch (July 2, 2017).
  13. Dov Lieber and Times of Israel staff, “Defying US, Palestinian official vows payments to terrorists will continue,” The Times of Israel (June 14, 2017.); Marcus Sheff, “Fact checking the PA Minister of Education,” The Times of Israel (June 20, 2017); Times of Israel Staff, “Top PA official accuses Israel of inciting, glorifying terror,” The Times of Israel (June 23, 2017); Itamar Marcus and Maurice Hirsch, Adv., “Special Report: PA abuses goodwill of International Red Cross (ICRC) to pay salaries to Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons,” Palestinian Media Watch (June 22, 2017).
  14. Steven R. David, “Fatal Choices: Israel’s Policy of Targeted Killing,” The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies Mideast Security and Policy Studies Number 51 (September 2002):11.
  15. Bassam Tawil, “Palestinians: Why Abbas Cannot Stop Funding Terrorists,” Gatestone (June 26, 2017); Matthew Levitt, Hamas: Politics, Charity and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2006), 5-6; Shaul Mishal and Avraham Sela, The Palestinian Hamas: Vision, Violence, and Conscience (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000), viii; Yigal Carmon, “MEMRI President Yigal Carmon’s Testimony To House Committee On Foreign Affairs, July 6, 2016: Palestinian Authority Support For Imprisoned, Released, And Wounded Terrorists And Families Of ‘Martyrs’ MEMRI (July 6, 2016); Matthew Levitt, “The P.L.O. Verdict Should Be No Surprise,” The New York Times (November 20, 2015).
  16. Rayyar Marron, Humanitarian Rackets and their Moral Hazards: The Case of the Palestinian Refugee Camps in Lebanon (New York: Routledge, 2016); 82; James Adams, The Financing of Terror (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986), 57-58, 83-107; 229 -233; “Readout of the Meeting between President Donald J. Trump and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority,” The White House Office of the Press Secretary (May 3, 2017).
  17. Yossi Kuperwasser, “Incentivizing Terrorism: Palestinian Authority Allocations to Terrorists and their Families,” Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (December 30, 2016).

18.“PA salaries to terrorists and their families,” http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=1005).

  1. Evelyn Gordon, “Stop Subsidizing Terror Murder,” Commentary (June 30, 2016); Eli Lake, “The Palestinian Incentive Program for Killing Jews,” Bloomberg View (July 1, 2016); David Makovsky, Ghaith al-Omari and Lia Weiner, “If Palestinians are serious about peace, ‘martyr’ violence should not pay,” The Washington Post (April 6, 2017).
  2. “PA salaries to terrorists and their families,” http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=1005; Itamar Marcus, “Will Mahmoud Abbas pay salaries to the arsonists?” The Jerusalem Post (November 11, 2016).
  3. Email to author (June 14, 2017).
  4. Makovsky, op.cit.
  5. “PA spokesman: stipends for families of security prisoners ‘a social responsibility,’” Ynet (June 22, 2017).
  6. Tawil, op.cit.
  7. Elliot Abrams, “Stop Supporting Palestinian Terror,” National Review (April 17, 2017).
  8. Kuperwasser, op.cit.
  9. Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “Fatah appoints terrorist murderer Karim Younes,” to its Central Committee,” Palestinian Media Watch,” (May 29, 2017); Tawil, op.cit.
  10. CEO and CIO of the Hudson Bay Capital Management. Since 9/11 he has served in advisory roles dealing with international terrorist financing. In 2006, he was appointed as a trustee of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He served as vice chairman of the Wilson Center for seven years. He is currently a member of the Wilson Cabinet and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
  11. Kuperwasser, op.cit; Marron, op.cit; “The Palestinians and the PLO,” in Helen Chapin Metz, ed. Jordan: A Country Study (Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1989); Peter Baker, “G.O.P. Pressures Trump to Take Tough Stance With Mahmoud Abbas,” The New York Times (May 2, 2107).
  12. Baker, op.cit.
  13. Public Opinion Poll No (64) Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) (June 29- July-1 2017).
  14. Kuperwasser, op.cit.

33.“PA salaries to terrorists and their families,” http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=1005); Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “Palestinian Authority Paying Salaries to Terrorists with U.S. Money,” Gatestone (July 28, 2011); Steve Hawkes, “Britain suspends millions of aid payments to Palestine amid claims cash is handed to terrorists,” The Sun (October 7, 2016); Raphael Ahren, “In first, Germany admits PA is likely paying terrorists’ families,” The Times of Israel (September 5, 2016); Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs (CDA) http://freedom.ps/freedom/single/42.

  1. Itamar Marcus and PMW staff, “The PA’s billion dollar fraud,” Palestinian Media Watch (April 27, 2016); The Tower Staff, “Report: Palestinian Authority Paying Terrorists with Foreign Aid, Despite Promise to Stop,” The Tower (March 28, 2016).
  2. Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “Norway acts on PMW report, demands Palestinian youth center return money,” Palestinian Media Watch (May 28, 2017).
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Gilad Erdan, “The Truth About the Palestinian Hunger Strike,” The New York Times (May 1, 2017); “Palestinian ploy to deceive donors PA will stop giving $130 million a year to terrorist prisoners, but PLO will pay the terrorists instead,” Palestinian Media watch (June 3, 2014); Yigal Carmon, “Palestinian Authority Support for Imprisoned, Released and Wounded Terrorists and Families of ‘Martyrs,’” Written testimony submitted to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, for “Financially Rewarding Terrorism in the West Bank,” MEMRI (July 6, 2016).
  6. Kuperwasser, op.cit; “Does the “Humanitarian Imperative” Override Financial Anti-Terror Regulations? A Response to Chatham House,” NGO Monitor (May 8, 2017); “Humanitarian Action and Non-state Armed Groups: The Impact of Banking Restrictions on UK NGOs,” Chatham House (April 28, 2017).
  7. Taylor Force Act. “This bill prohibits certain assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 from being made available for the West Bank and Gaza unless the Department of State certifies that the Palestinian Authority: is taking steps to end acts of violence against U.S. and Israeli citizens perpetrated by individuals under its jurisdictional control, such as the March 2016 attack that killed former Army officer Taylor Force; is publicly condemning such acts of violence and is investigating, or cooperating in investigations of, such acts; and has terminated payments for acts of terrorism against U.S. and Israeli citizens to any individual who has been convicted and imprisoned for such acts, to any individual who died committing such acts, and to family members of such an individual.”https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1164; Taylor Force Act Talking Points https://emetonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Taylor-Force-Act-Notes-.pdf.
  8. Eric Shawn, “Bill in Congress would pressure Palestinian gov’t to cut off terror-tied payments,” Fox News Politics (April 30, 2017).
  9. “Pay for Slay in Palestine,” The Wall Street Journal (March 27, 2017); Itamar Marcus, “Fatah celebrates murder of American tourist,” Palestinian Media Watch (March 9, 2016).
  10. Amir Tibon, “Hundreds of Former Israeli Generals Warn U.S. Taylor Force Act Could Create Security Risks for Israel,” Haaretz (June 22, 2017); Introduced in House (02/16/2017); please also, Daniel Shapiro and Ilan Goldenberg, “For U.S. Aid to the Palestinians, Don’t Use a Sledgehammer When a Scalpel Would Do,” Foreign Policy (June 29, 2017).
  11. “Retired Security Officials, “Senior former Israeli defense officials strongly back Taylor Force Act,” The Jerusalem Post (June 28, 2017); “Pay for Slay in Palestine,” op.cit; Michael Wilner, “Israel, AIPAC quiet on endorsing Taylor Force Act,” The Jerusalem Post (May 10, 2017); Armin Rosen, “Billionaire Haim Saban Backs Congressional Bill That Could Cut Funding to Palestinian Authority,” Tablet (June 21, 2017).
  12. Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “Interrogation of Palestinian terrorist proves: PA payments motivate terror,” Palestinian Media Watch (July 10, 2017).
  13. Shoshana Bryen, Close the PLO Office in DC,” Israel Policy Center (April 19, 2017); Kevin Derby, “Ted Cruz, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Renew the Fight to Kick PLO Out of Washington,” Sunshine State News (May 6, 2017); Benjamin Weiser, “Palestinian Groups Are Found Liable at Manhattan Terror Trial,” The New York Times (February 23, 2015); Benjamin Weiser, “A Settlement With P.L.O. Over Terror On a Cruise,” The New York Times (August 12, 1997); Amir Oren, “CIA Papers Show Arafat Ordered Murder of U.S. Diplomats in Sudan,” Haaretz ( Sep 1, 2008);John K. Cooley, Green March Black September: The Story of the Palestinian Arabs (London: Frank Cass Publishers, 1973); Shaul Mishal, The PLO under Arafat: Between Gun and Olive Branch (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1986); Abu Iyad with Eric Rouleau, My home, my land: A narrative of the Palestinian struggle (New York: Times Books, 1981); Reuter, “Bush Waives Sanction on PLO Office in Washington,” (Aug 8, 2003); “U.S. Finds Palestinians in Violation, but Waives Sanctions Required by Law,” JTA (November 4, 2002).
  14. Eric Cortellessa, “Tillerson: Abbas has ‘changed policy,’ will stop paying terrorists’ families,” The Times of Israel (June 13, 2017); Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “Did the PA lie to the US secretary of State?” Palestinian Media Watch (June 14, 2017); Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “Is PA planning to deceive the US and donor countries – AGAIN?” Palestinian Media Watch (June 20, 2017); Jack Khoury, “Rebuffing U.S. Claims, Palestinians Vow to Continue to Pay Terrorists’ Families,” Haaretz (June 14, 2017).
  15. Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “Is PA planning to deceive the US and donor countries – AGAIN?” Palestinian Media Watch (June 20, 2017); Bassam Tawil, “Palestinians Praise Terror Attack,” Gatestone (June 19, 2017).
  16. Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “Abbas vows never to stop salaries to terrorists, even if it will cost him the PA presidency,” Palestinian Media Watch (July 4, 2017); Itamar Marcus, “PA turns murderers into victims,” Palestinian Media Watch (June 18, 2017).
  17. Bassam Tawil, “Palestinians: Crocodile Tears and Terrorism,” Gatestone (June 8, 2017); Khaled Abu Toameh, “Palestinian Leaders: Who Are They Fooling?” Gatestone (February 17, 2016).
  18. Aaron David Miller, “The False Religion of Mideast Peace,” Foreign Policy (April 19, 2010); Aaron David Miller, The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace (New York: Bantam Books, 2008), 27-28; Joe Klein, “Q&A: Obama on His First Year in Office,” Time Magazine (January 21, 2010); Alex Grobman, “Exposing the Myth of Linkage,” The Jewish Press (December 13, 2016); Dennis Ross, Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015), 346.
  19. Elliot Abrams, “The Harm in Trying: The downside of the Middle East ‘peace process,’” The Weekly Standard (July 3, 2017).
  20. Hamas MP: ‘Hitler Hated Jews, ‘People of Treachery and Betrayal’; ‘We Strive To Liberate Palestine In Its Entirety’ MEMRI TV Clip No. 6041 (June 8, 2017); The Palestinian National Charter: Resolutions of the Palestine National Council July 1-17, 1968 http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/plocov.asp; Mosab Hassan Yousef, Son of Hamas (Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House Publisher’s, 2009).
  21. The Palestinian National Charter: Resolutions of the Palestine National Council July 1-17, 1968http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/plocov.asp.
  22. Efraim Karsh, Arafat’s War: The Man and His Struggle For Israeli Conquest (New York: Grove Press, 2003), 73-74.
  23. Ibid.74.
  24. Ibid.
  25. Ibid.75-76; “MIDEAST ACCORD; Three Letters That Sealed The Diplomatic Bargain,” The New York Times (September 10, 1993).
  26. Clyde Haberman, “MIDEAST ACCORD: The Overview; P.L.O. AND ISRAEL ACCEPT EACH OTHER AFTER 3 DECADES OF RELENTLESS STRIFE,” The New York Times (September 10, 1993); Tim Hains, “PLO Leader Hanan Ashrawi: Israel Is The Most Racist, Violent Government In World History,” Real Clear Politics (December 27, 2016).
  27. Karsh, op.cit.76; Terje Rød-Larsen, Fabrice Aidan, and Nur Laiq, Ed., The Search for Peace in the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Compendium of Documents and Analysis (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), 109.
  28. Karsh, op.cit. 76.
  29. Karsh, op.cit.80; see also Yossi Beilin, Israel: A Concise Political History (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1994); Yossi Beilin, Touching Peace: From the Oslo Accord to a Final Agreement (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1999); Yossi Beilin, “The Transformation of Shimon Peres,” Foreign Policy (July 24, 2014); Kenneth Levin, The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People Under Siege (Hanover, New Hampshire: Smith and Kraus Global, 2005); Geoffrey R. Watson, The Oslo Accords: International Law and the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreements (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000).
  30. “Faysal Al-Husseini in his Last Interview: The Oslo Accords Were a Trojan Horse: The Strategic Goal is the Liberation of Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea,’” Special Dispatch No.236 MEMRI (July 6, 2001)”Its Own Damning Testimony,” Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs Number 594 (February 20, 2013); Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “PA Mufti, the PA’s top religious leader: Muslims have religious obligation to “liberate Palestine,” Palestinian Media Watch (March 30, 2015); Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “Two-Faced PA: Different messages for different audiences,” Palestinian Media Watch (June 2, 2017).
  31. Remarks by Jason D. Greenblatt at the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting,” (May 4, 2017) https://il.usembassy.gov/remarks-jason-d-greenblatt-ad-hoc-liaison-committee-meeting/; “Special Representative for International Negotiations Greenblatt’s March 27-29 Trip to Jordan,” (March 29, 2017) https://jo.usembassy.gov/special-representative-international-negotiations-greenblatts-march-27-29-trip-jordan/; The JTA reported assistance to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will increase from $205.5 million to $215 million. “Trump’s State Dept. budget gives the Palestinians a slight increase amid major cuts elsewhere,” JTA (April 25, 2017); Barak Ravid, “EXCLUSIVE In Rare Move, U.S. Ambassador to Israel to Join Trump Envoy in Meeting With Palestinians,” Haaretz (July 11, 2017);Daniel Pipes, “The Paradoxical Peril of Warm U.S.-Israel Relations,” The Wall Street Journal (June 2, 2017);Franco Ordoñez, “Trump, son-in-law work towards a win on an Israel-Palestinian deal,” McClatchy (June 29, 2017); Franco Ordoñez, “Trump says forging peace in Middle East may not be so tough,” McClatchy (May 3, 2017).
  32. Martin Gilbert, Churchill and the Jews: A Lifelong Friendship (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2007), 60-61.
  33. David Ben-Gurion, My Talks With Arab Leaders (Jerusalem, Keter Books, 1972), 80); Zaki Shalom, David Ben-Gurion, the State of Israel, and the Arab World, 1949-1956 (Portland, Oregon: Sussex Academic Press, 2002), 6; Musa Alami, “The Lesson of Palestine,” The Middle East Journal Volume 3 Number 4 (October 1949): 375.
  34. Shimon Peres, “Address by FM Peres to the United Nations General Assembly-28-Sep-93,” Israel Foreign Ministry (September 28, 1993); Shimon Peres, The New Middle East (New York: Henry Holt, 1993), 35-36; 115-117.
  35. Peres, The New Middle East, op.cit.
  36. Alex Grobman, “Can’t Buy Me Love:” The Folly of Wolfensohn and Zuckerman and the Green Houses of Katif,” Israel National News (September 27, 2005); Corky Siemaszko, “Sickening plunder of Gaza’s green gems,” The New York Daily News (September 22, 2005).
  37. Jack Khoury, Barak Ravid and Amir Tibon, “After Kushner-Abbas Meeting, Issue of Payments to Palestinian Terrorists’ Families Remains Unresolved,” Haaretz (June 22, 2017); “Kushner meets Abbas, Netanyahu in bid to restart talks,” Al Jazeera (June 22, 2017).
  38. Elior Levy, “Palestinians disappointed with Kushner meeting,” Ynet (June 23, 2017).
  39. Jacob L. Talmon, Israel among the Nations (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1970), 172; Shlomo Avineri, Joseph Ben-David, Ernst Bergmann, Aryeh Dvoretzky, and Samuel Eisenstadt, et al. “Two Statements on the Mid-East War,” The New York Review of Books (November 13, 1973).
  40. Irwin Cotler, “The Legitimacy of Israel,” Middle East Focus (January 1981):12.
  41. Bernard Lewis, “On The Jewish Question,” The Wall Street Journal (November 26, 2007): A21; Sol Linowitz, “Analysis of a Tinderbox: The Legal Basis for the State of Israel,” American Bar Association Journal Volume 43 (June 1957): 525.
  42. Matt Lerner, “Israel’s Latest Prisoner Release is an Unconvincing Goodwill Gesture,” The Daily Beast (October 30, 2013); Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “Fatah leader calls for Israel’s destruction,” Palestinian Media Watch (April 29, 2014).
  43. Nadav Shragai, “The business of terrorism,” Israel Hayom (March 31, 2017).
  44. Ibid.
  45. Ibid.
  46. Ibid.
  47. Bassam Tawil, “Palestinians: Israel’s Goodwill Gestures Send Wrong Messages,” Gatestone (June 2, 2017).
  48. Ibid.
  49. Ibid; “Terrorism Against Israel: Comprehensive Listing of Fatalities,” (September 1993 – Present); The Jewish Virtual Library.
  50. Tawil, op.cit.
  51. Ibid.
  52. Ibid.
  53. Uzi Landau, “Oslo and Israel’s red lines,” The Jerusalem Post (September 11, 2013).
  54. Norimitsu Onishi, “Scattered by War, Syrian Family Struggles to Start Over,” The New York Times (October 16, 2013); http://www.usaid.gov/crisis/syria; Simon Tisdall and Josie Le Blond, “Assad did not order Syria chemical weapons attack, says German press,” The Guardian (September 8, 2013).
  55. Landau op.cit.
  56. Efraim Karsh, “Running Away from Statehood, Again,” Middle East Forum (April 28, 2014); Yoni Hirsch and Israel Hayom Staff, “Europe should reconsider its funding to the PA, says EU official,” Israel Hayom (April 13, 2014); Jonathan Spyer, “The Peace Process is Dead. Let it lay in Peace,” Middle East Forum (April 8, 2014); Jonathan Schanzer, “We Really Need to Talk About [Palestinian] Corruption,” The Tower (December 9, 2013); Joseph Puder, “The Self-Inflicted Palestinian Victimhood,” FrontPage Magazine (April 29, 2014).
  57. Efraim Karsh, “Running Away from Statehood, Again,” Middle East Forum (April 28, 2014); Lieutenant General Ion Mihai Pacepa, Red Horizons: The True Story of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescus’ Crimes, Lifestyle, and Corruption (Washington, D.C: Regency Gateway, 1987), 28.
  58. Martin Peretz, “A state without delusions,” The Times of Israel (March 24, 2012).
  59. Pacepa, op.cit.
  60. “Arafat’s Bodyguard: He Used To Lie When Denouncing Bombings In Israel,” MEMRI Special Dispatch Number 4225 (April 8, 2014).
  61. Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Kol Dodi Dofek: Listen, My Beloved Knocks (New York Yeshiva University Press, 2006), 79- 80, 83.

Alex Grobman, a Hebrew University-trained historian, is a member of the Council of Scholars for Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) and an advisor to Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET.)