With a vote on statehood about to come before the United Nations’ General Assembly in September it is incumbent on those who will consider this proposal to examine several facts. A recent report by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik makes the following points:
- The Palestinian Authority pays monthly salaries to 5,500 prisoners in Israeli prisons, many of them known terrorists;
- The Palestinian Authority honors terrorists who have killed civilians, presenting them as heroes and role models;
- The Palestinian Authority glorifies terror attacks as heroic, including suicide bombings;
- Funding for these salaries and activities comes from the general budget to which the U.S. contributes;
- U.S. law prohibits funding of any person who engages or engaged in terrorist activity.
At the moment Hamas and Fatah terrorist prisoners are receiving monthly checks, a total of almost 18 million shekels ($5 million) monthly. In fact, it pays to be a terrorist since these monthly stipends are more than the average salary for a Palestinian Authority civil servant or military officer.
While this practice is going on, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that an additional grant to the Palestinian Authority will be made bringing U.S. direct budget assistance to a total of $225 million annually. Of course, neither the American public, nor most members of Congress are aware that a substantial portion of this foreign aid could wind up supporting terrorists.
A Palestinian Authority sponsored summer camp for children is divided into three groups named after terrorists Dalal Mughrabi, Salah Khalaf, and Abu Ali Mustafa, each of whom planned and executed murders against civilians.
That these practices go on with U.S. subventions is outrageous. The Palestinian Authority is in direct violation of our laws and all salaries to imprisoned terrorists and money that honors terrorists should cease immediately. But there is also another lesson in these revelations.
Despite all of the rhetorical anodynes from the Obama administration, terrorism is the modus operandi of the Palestinian Authority. The creation of a Palestinian state is ipso facto the creation of a terrorist state with one goal, the destruction of Israel.
Despite all of the gamesmanship at the United Nations, despite President Obama’s assurance about adjoining states living in peace, the Palestinian Authority and its Hamas partner will not repudiate their goal of destruction and will not recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish state.
General Assembly members may be convinced that a newly created Arab state can live in peace with its Israeli neighbor; after all, petrodollars are very alluring, But the evidence that a narrative of violence is encouraged, alas funded, militates against an irenic scenario.
As I see it, the time has come for the United States to tell the truth about the West Bank and Gaza. We may not persuade Security Council members that this entire statehood enterprise is misguided, but at least we can state the American position clearly and unequivocally.
As long as terrorism prevails, as long as it is cultivated by government authorities, there will not be, there cannot be, a Palestinian nation. If a day comes when Israel lays down its arms, destruction will follow; if there is a day when the Palestinians repudiate terrorism, peace will follow. The alternatives are clear. The question, of course, is whether anyone is listening.
Herbert London is president emeritus of Hudson Institute and author of the book Decline and Revival in Higher Education (Transaction Publishers).
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