Canadian Tax Dollars Shouldn't Subsidize Palestinian Terrorists: Casey Babb, National Post, Aug. 1, 2017 — On July 21, a Palestinian terrorist entered the home of a Jewish family in the West Bank settlement of Halamish and killed Yosef Salomon, 70, his daughter Chaya, 46, and son Elad, 36.
How to Sell a Suicide-Bomber Subsidy to Congress: Eli Lake, Bloomberg, Aug. 1, 2017— Husam Zomlot does not have an easy job. He is the Palestinian Liberation Organization's representative in Donald Trump's Washington.
On Terror Payments, Use Taylor Force Act to Call the Palestinians’ Bluff: Jonathan S. Tobin, JNS, Aug. 1, 2017 — The US Congress is just doing what it always does: pandering to the “Israel Lobby.”
Al Jazeera: The Terrorist Propaganda Network: John Rossomando, IPT News, Aug. 4, 2017— Al Jazeera's support for terrorism goes far beyond on-air cheerleading.
How Terrorists Use Foreign Aid to Fund Terror: Doug Lamborn and Elazar Stern, Washington Times, Aug. 1, 2017
Sophisticated Australian Airplane Bombing Plot a Warning To the West: Abigail R. Esman, IPT News, Aug. 3, 2017
Amid New US Sanctions, How Much of Iran’s Nuclear Deal Relief Funds Terrorism?: Ariel Ben Solomon, JNS, Aug. 8, 2017
India-US Counterterrorism Cooperation: The Way Forward: Vinay Kaura, BESA, August 8, 2017
National Post, Aug. 1, 2017
On July 21, a Palestinian terrorist entered the home of a Jewish family in the West Bank settlement of Halamish and killed Yosef Salomon, 70, his daughter Chaya, 46, and son Elad, 36. As a result of his attack, the assailant, 19-year-old Omar al-Abed will now be paid more than U.S.$3,120 a month by the Palestinian government.
Learning of this egregious arrangement will likely shock and sicken many of you. But for Israelis, these “pay-for-slay” stipends are nothing new. The Palestinian government has made terrorism the most lucrative job in the West Bank. If the international community continues to turn a blind eye to Palestinian terror payments and the role international aid plays in fuelling this cycle of violence, the conflict will only get worse.
For over 50 years, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have been making financial payments to Palestinian terrorists, prisoners and their families. It was in 1965 when Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat established the Society for the Care of the Families of Martyrs (SAMED) that these payments started, at least in any official capacity. Originally called the Palestine Mujahidin and Martyrs Fund in 1964, the fund was created to provide financial compensation for families of deceased terrorists, as well as maimed or captured terrorists. In 1965-1966, it was transferred over from Fatah to the PLO, and renamed SAMED. According to Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, within 15 years of its establishment, this fund was providing pension payments and social assistance payments to more than 20,000 Palestinian families.
Today, the PA is responsible for administering the disbursement of these funds, which are funnelled through the National Palestinian Fund (NPF). The NPF, along with the Institute for Care for the Families of Martyrs, co-ordinates these payments to prisoners, released convicts and deceased terrorists. Embedded in actual Palestinian law, financial support for prisoners and the families of martyrs is rooted in Laws No. 14 and No. 19 of 2004, and Law No. 1 of 2013. Described as “a fighting sector and an integral part of the weave of Arab Palestinian society,” these laws guarantee “the financial rights of the prisoner and his family.” They specifically state that the PA must provide prisoners with a monthly allowance throughout the entirety of their incarceration, as well as salaries and/or jobs upon their release.
To put the $3,120 dollar payment to al-Abed in perspective, consider that the minimum wage in the Palestinian territories is approximately US$397 a month, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). Furthermore, nearly 40 per cent of employees in the private sector earn less than the minimum wage in the Palestinian territories. The PCBS also states that, in 2016, nearly 20 per cent of West Bank employees in the private sector earned an average of US$292.
According to a new study by the Institute for Contemporary Affairs, the official 2017 PA Budget has committed to increase the salaries of imprisoned and released terrorists by 13 per cent to U.S.$154.4 million dollars. Moreover, the money allocated for the families of those “martyred” in the conflict against Zionism is set to be approximately US$192 million dollars, or about four to five per cent higher than 2016 figures. All in all, the total PA expenditures set aside in 2017 to pay terrorists and/or their families is set to be in the range of U.S.$344-$346 million. Shockingly, this figure amounts to 49.6 per cent percent of all foreign aid slated to be received by the Palestinian government in 2017.
If you’re wondering where the PLO is getting all of their money, experts such as Yigal Carmon, founder of the Middle East Media Research Institute and Yossi Kuperwasser, Project Director on Regional Middle East Developments at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, suggest it’s coming primarily from international aid — including aid from Canada. Of particular concern is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Many, including Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, have stated that UNRWA has direct ties to the Islamic terrorist organization Hamas. While the UNRWA lost Government of Canada funding in 2010, following allegations of the organization being connected to Hamas, the Liberal Government announced in November 2016 it would restore funding to UNRWA to the tune of $25 million Canadian dollars. The United States is also a major supporter of the Palestinian Authority. It is abhorrent to think that any money from North America governments might be rewarding terrorism, yet it’s hard to conclude otherwise.
The compensation of terrorists is deeply immoral and incomprehensible in and of itself. But it is most problematic because it undermines peace. In addition to directly violating the 1995 Oslo Peace Accords, paying terrorists incentivizes terrorism, which cyclically fuels conflict, erodes Israeli support for peace talks, and further entrenches Palestinian intolerance and extremism. The international community owes it to Israelis, Palestinians, the Salomon family, and the countless other victims of Palestinian violence and terrorism to raise awareness of Palestinian policies to pay terrorists. If we don’t, only time will tell how many more will suffer.
Bloomberg, Aug. 1, 2017
Husam Zomlot does not have an easy job. He is the Palestinian Liberation Organization's representative in Donald Trump's Washington. And despite Trump's early promise to seek the ultimate deal to bring peace to the Holy Land, his administration is focused on more pressing matters. Zomlot's biggest problem these days is a piece of legislation named for Taylor Force, a former U.S. army officer who was stabbed to death in 2016 when he was in Tel Aviv on tour with his fellow Vanderbilt University graduate students.
When Republican Senator Lindsey Graham learned that the family of the murderer would be receiving a lifetime stipend as part of a Palestinian program to pay the families of so-called martyrs and inmates in Israeli prisons, he drafted legislation to end U.S. economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority until the payments ended. The bill is now winding its way through the legislative process and, in some form, will likely end up on the president's desk. While the Trump administration has yet to take a position on it, Zomlot has had the unlucky task of defending the martyr payments to Congress.
In an interview last week, he gave me his argument for why the Palestinian Authority has budgeted more than $300 million for its next fiscal year to pay the families of terrorists and other prisoners. "This is a program that is used…for the victims of the occupation," he said. "It's a program to give the families a dignified life, they are provided for, so they and their kids can lead a different future." He said the money goes to pay for laptop computers and college tuition for children who otherwise would be facing a bleak future, and families who may have their homes razed by the Israelis as punishment for spawning a terrorist.
Zomlot says this gives no incentive for terrorism. Indeed, he assured me that some graduates of "the program" include high-ranking Palestinian security officials that have cooperated with the Israel Defense Forces. (The PLO has administered these martyr payments in some form since 1965.) What's more, he said, if the Palestinian Authority doesn't pay the families of prisoners, more radical groups likely will fill the void. All of this raises an obvious question. If the Palestinian Authority wants to give poor children laptops and college tuition, why not just do that? Why create a special allowance for only the children and families of Palestinians who kill Jews?
And here Zomlot gets to the heart of the matter. "Many of the U.S. officials and lawmakers judge us as if we are in a post-conflict scenario, as we have to behave like a social welfare state, we are not," he told me. "This is a conflict situation." Indeed it is. One needs no further proof of this than the clashes in the last two weeks over Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem after three Israeli Arabs launched a shooting spree from the compound that hosts the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam. Add to this the occupation itself. Palestinians living in the West Bank accused of crimes are given Israeli military trials and almost always convicted. Many of those prisoners have committed ghoulish acts, but many have not, Zomlot said. In this respect, he believes Congress should increase the aid it doles out to the Palestinian Authority, because despite all of this, the Palestinian security forces have helped keep order in the West Bank.
And that is true. But it's also true that the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has in recent years encouraged a resistance to the occupation that is measured in Jewish blood. His Palestinian Authority honors murderers by naming streets and parks after them. When Israel released violent prisoners in 2013 as an inducement to restart peace negotiations, there were official celebrations in Gaza and the West Bank. Two of those released, the cousins Mohammed and Hosni Sawalha, were arrested as teenagers after they entered a bus and began stabbing commuters. Another releasee was Al-Haaj Othman Amar Mustafa, who along with two other assailants posed for a picture outside of the settlement of Ariel with Frederick Steven Rosenfeld, a U.S. Marine who had emigrated to Israel. They confessed to stabbing Rosenfeld and leaving him for dead.
When these prisoners were released in 2013, Abbas personally met them and kissed them on the cheek. "We congratulate ourselves and our families for our brothers who left the darkness of the prisons for the light of the sun of freedom," Abbas said at the time. Abbas probably has to say things like this in order to survive. Palestinians have been celebrating such "martyrs" for decades. To speak honestly about Mustafa and the Sawalhas would be seen as betrayal. But Graham and his supporters are under no such constraints. They see Mustafa and the Sawalhas for what they are: murderers.
Jonathan S. Tobin
JNS, Aug. 1, 2017
The US Congress is just doing what it always does: pandering to the “Israel Lobby.” That’s how the foreign policy establishment and some on the left regard the bipartisan support for the Taylor Force Act, a bill named after a non-Jewish US Army veteran who was killed in a Palestinian terror attack last year. The legislation would cut off American aid for the Palestinian Authority (PA), unless the PA stops funding terrorism. The bill passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on August 3 in a 17-4 vote, with all of the committee’s Republicans, and six of its 10 Democrats supporting the measure.
The notion that the US would halt aid to the PA merely because it doesn’t want to be morally complicit in a “pay for slay” scheme strikes some on the left as lacking sympathy for the Palestinians, as well as self-defeating — since ending the funding might lead to the collapse of the PA. Their assumption is that PA President Mahmoud Abbas means what he says when he and his Fatah Party threaten to disband their Ramallah-based government if the foreign money that keeps it afloat is cut off. This would force Israel to re-assume full control over all of the disputed territories, which most Israelis think would be a disaster.
Stopping the terror payments may also be impossible for Abbas, because doing so would contradict the basic narrative of Palestinian history — in which violence against the Jews is viewed as self-defense, and a heroic act of resistance that is deserving of praise. Asking Abbas to take such a step would be tantamount to requesting that he commit suicide. So why do it? The answer is that those demanding a halt to funding the PA are not merely venting their outrage at the Palestinians. They are also pointing the way toward the only possible path to peace.
In just the last four years, the PA has spent more than $1.1 billion on salaries for terrorists and pensions for their families. In the next fiscal year, The PA will spend half of all the foreign aid that it receives on this effort. The PA has created a set of financial incentives that not only give Palestinians a reason to commit terror, but embolden their belief that only by shedding Israeli blood, will they ensure that their families are provided with enough money to live comfortably.
Those who rationalize the continuation of the current aid to the PA point to the security cooperation that the PA offers to Israel as proof that the Jewish state has a partner for peace. But while this cooperation has value, it has two main purposes: making sure that Abbas’s Hamas rivals don’t gain a foothold in the disputed territories, and ensuring the safety of the Fatah leadership against attacks from the Islamists. Thus, when the PA threatens to halt security cooperation, as it did during the recent controversy over the Temple Mount, the biggest potential loser from such an action would be Fatah, not Israel.
That’s why the talk of a PA collapse that Abbas and his apologists continue to invoke is a bluff. Fatah’s survival depends on its ability to use foreign donations to fund its corrupt practices in the disputed territories. The Palestinian faction’s obstruction of economic development or any measures that might end the corruption that enriches its leaders has created a situation in which much of the Palestinian population in the territories depends on fake jobs that Fatah gives out in exchange for support. Thus, while it is true that ending funding for Palestinian terror would be deeply unpopular and might boost Hamas, it would also be the end of Fatah.
We also shouldn’t accept the notion that there is any moral equivalence between anger about Western donations rewarding Palestinians who slaughter Jews, and Palestinian anger about settlements. Even if you accept the dubious argument that settlements are the real obstacle to peace — if you think that building a new house in a place Palestinians think should be free of Jews is just as bad as killing people — then all you are doing is making a case that peace between two peoples with such different moral codes is clearly impossible.
That’s why it is imperative that the West force Abbas to choose between giving up power, and giving up the gruesome terror-funding scheme. Far from obstructing the chances for peace, as some on the left claim, compelling the Palestinians to reject a culture of violence is the only hope for the resolution to the conflict. No matter where your political sympathies lie, it’s time to realize that opposing the Taylor Force Act undermines any hope for peace.
IPT News, Aug. 4, 2017
Al Jazeera's support for terrorism goes far beyond on-air cheerleading. Many of its employees have actively supported al-Qaida, Hamas and other terrorist groups. Concerns over the network's consistent pro-terrorist positions prompted several Gulf States to demand that Qatar shut it down in June.
Sheikh Said Bin Ahmed Al-Thani, director of Qatar's government information office, called such demands "a condescending view [that] demonstrates contempt for the intelligence and judgment of the people of the Middle East, who overwhelmingly choose to get their news from Al Jazeera rather than from their state-run broadcasters," Al-Thani wrote in Newsweek. But a week earlier, United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash detailed Al Jazeera's connections to terrorists and terror incitement in a letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Al Jazeera violates a 2005 U.N. Security Council resolution that called on member states to counter "incitement of terrorist acts motivated by extremism," Gargash charged.
The network has given a platform to terrorists like Osama bin Laden, Hamas leaders Khaled Meshaal and Mohammed Deif, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah and others, Gargash wrote. "These have not simply been topical interviews of the kind that other channels might run; Jazeera has presented opportunities for terrorist groups to threaten, recruit and incite without challenge or restraint," Gargash wrote.
Al Jazeera took credit for the wave of Arab Spring revolutions in early 2011. Network host Mehdi Hasan noted in a December 2011 column that Al Jazeera gave a regional voice to the irate Tunisian protesters who ousted their dictator that they would not have otherwise had. Faisal Al-Qassem, host of Al Jazeera's show "The Opposite Direction," boasted that television, not the Internet or Facebook, was responsible for the revolutions. Al Jazeera's influence during the Arab Spring and the subsequent revolutions is a factor in the effort by Qatar's Gulf neighbors to clip its wings.
Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi used his widely viewed Al Jazeera a program to incite the masses against their dictators. "We salute the [Tunisian] people, which has taught the Arab and Islamic peoples … the following lesson: Do not despair, and do not fear the tyrants, and more feeble the than a spider-web. They quickly collapse in the face of the power of steadfast and resolute peoples," Qaradawi said in a Jan. 16, 2011 Al Jazeera broadcast. "The tyrants never listen and never heed advice, until they are toppled."
He likewise called on former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down on his program later that month. "There is no staying longer, Mubarak, I advise you (to learn) the lesson of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali," Qaradawi said referencing Tunisia's toppled dictator. A month later, Qaradawi issued a fatwa calling for the death of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Libya still has not recovered from the toppling of Gaddafi in 2011. Qaradawi urged the overthrow of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad after demonstrations began in Syria that March, sparking the ongoing Syrian civil war.
Even before the Arab Spring, Al Jazeera acted as a platform for violent terrorists. Qaradawi's endorsement of suicide bombings aired on Al Jazeera. The network also glorified a female Palestinian suicide bomber whose 2003 attack killed 19 people at an Arab-owned restaurant in Haifa as a "martyr." It also broadcast a 2006 speech by al-Qaida leader Abdel Majid al-Zindani at a pro-Hamas conference in Yemen, even though the United States and United Nations already had designated him as a terrorist. Proceeds from the conference benefited Hamas. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and the widow of slain Hamas leader Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rantisi also attended.
"What is our duty towards this righteous jihad-fighting people, the vanguard of this nation? What is our duty? What is our obligation? " al-Zindani asked. "The Hamas government is the Palestinian people's government today. It is the jihad-fighting, steadfast, resolute government of Palestine. "I don't have it in my pocket right now, but I am making a pledge, and as you know, I keep my promises. So I'm donating 200,000 riyals. What about you? What will you donate? Go ahead."
Al Jazeera is not just another news organization like CNN, Fox News or the BBC, Qatari intelligence whistle-blower Ali al-Dahnim told Egypt's Al-Bawaba newspaper in April. Qatar's state security bureau both finances and operates Al Jazeera, he claimed. -"By and large, its [Al Jazeera] news content comes under the sway of security officials, rendering it as a mouthpiece for Qatar's security and intelligence apparatus," Al-Dahnim said on Egyptian television. "Not to mention its free publicity to hardened terrorists such as Osama bin Laden who used to use Al Jazeera as an outlet to disseminate his terror messages to the world."
Al Jazeera English likewise pushes the Qatari government's favored narratives, such as exaggerating the global importance of its emir. Its short-lived affiliate, Al Jazeera America (AJAM), aired pro-Palestinian propaganda. During the 2014 Gaza crisis, AJAM host Wajahat Ali pushed Hamas' talking points about the territory's population density without a single reference to how the terrorist group used mosques and civilian buildings to launch rockets. "I think it is simply providing one side of a story. It doesn't rise to Soviet propaganda, but it certainly is propaganda for one side," Temple University journalism professor Christopher Harper told the Investigative Project on Terrorism in 2014….
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
How Terrorists Use Foreign Aid to Fund Terror: Doug Lamborn and Elazar Stern, Washington Times, Aug. 1, 2017—On July 14, three Arab citizens of Israel entered Jerusalem’s Temple Mount armed to attack. They shot and killed two Israeli police officers — Hayil Satawi, 30, and Kamil Dhanaan, 22, members of the Israeli Druze community. The terrorists were shot and killed. Their families will receive monthly reward checks from the Palestinian Authority for the rest of their lives.
Sophisticated Australian Airplane Bombing Plot a Warning To the West: Abigail R. Esman, IPT News, Aug. 3, 2017—Australia's arrest Saturday of four men suspected of plotting a terrorist attack on a commercial airliner signals more than a resurgent terror threat to airplanes. Because the alleged weapon involved smuggling explosives and poison gasses in a standard kitchen utensil – a meat grinder or mincer – it demonstrates, too, the rapidly increasing sophistication of these plots and the development of new means of attack.
Amid New US Sanctions, How Much of Iran’s Nuclear Deal Relief Funds Terrorism?: Ariel Ben Solomon, JNS, Aug. 8, 2017—As the Trump administration ramps up sanctions against Iran, how much of Iran’s sanctions relief from the nuclear deal of 2015 is funding the Islamic Republic’s support for sectarian conflict and terrorism across the Middle East?
India-US Counterterrorism Cooperation: The Way Forward: Vinay Kaura, BESA, August 8, 2017 —State visits are a good indicator of the strength of bilateral relations, in terms of the hospitality bestowed on the visiting leader and the deals reached. According to these criteria, Indian PM Narendra Modi’s June visit to the US was successful.