The PA conundrum

By Jonathan S Tobin, ISRAEL HAYOM

This week, critics were given another reason to be outraged about the massive funds given by the United States and its Western allies to the Palestinian Authority. A new study from the Hebrew University revealed that one of the PA’s elementary school textbooks “teaches students to be martyrs, demonizes and denies the existence of Israel, and focuses on a ‘return’ to an exclusively Palestinian homeland.”

The textbook is the latest evidence that — contrary to former U.S. President Barack Obama’s claim that it was a force for peace — the PA has been actively fomenting hate against Israel and educating its children to oppose peace with Israel and coexistence with Jews since it was empowered by the Oslo Accords in 1993. Since then, new generations of Palestinian Arabs have been inculcated in a version of national identity that is inextricably tied to a war against Zionism.

Those who want to hold the PA and its leader Mahmoud Abbas accountable advocate withholding U.S. funds until they stop supporting terror. But they must still answer this daunting question: Will depriving the PA of the money that keeps the kleptocratic West Bank government functioning do more harm than good? While the Israeli government has been vocal in condemning incitement it has been conspicuously silent about putting teeth into those criticisms.

The reason for that is obvious. The question is not whether the PA condones and even subsidizes the behavior that makes peace an impossible dream. Rather it is whether it is a sleazy partner that neither Israel nor the West can afford to lose. Were its foreign sponsors to cease the subsidies that provide the cash that keeps it in business, Israel would be forced to assume direct control over the West Bank and do without the help of the PA’s ambivalent security services. Since no one in Jerusalem wants that to happen, the PA must be considered too big to fail.

That glorification of terrorism involves more than education. Those who take Abbas’ occasional support for the idea of peace, as proof of the PA’s good intentions can’t explain away the pensions paid by the Palestinian Authority to terrorists and their families. The PA treats terrorists as heroes as village squares and soccer teams are named for them. They’re also given celebrity status on PA television programs. So long as the PA is paying for terror it will continue in one form or another.

That’s why many in the pro-Israel community in the United States are behind the Taylor Force Act — named after a non-Jewish American killed by a Palestinian terrorist in Jaffa last year — introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. The legislation would withhold the approximately $300 million that the U.S. gives the PA until the stipends to terrorists and their families are halted.

That should be a powerful incentive to the PA to cease paying for terror. But support for violence against Jews and the delegitimization of Israel is deeply embedded in the Palestinian political culture. Cutting off the terrorists would involve considerable risk for Abbas. Considering his unwillingness to accept even the most generous Israeli offers of statehood, there is little chance he is willing to risk a backlash from the clear majority of Palestinians who agree that terrorists are heroes.

This situation continues because Abbas thinks his foreign sugar daddies have no leverage over him. PA leaders and their families have stolen billions in aid they received during the last two decades without ever being held accountable. More to the point, the PA would collapse if it could not continue doling out salaries to supporters for the no show and no work jobs that are the basis of its political power. The costly and unpopular Israeli involvement in Palestinian life that might result from that collapse are why the Netanyahu government continues to tacitly support the continued flow of foreign funds to the PA though it deplores how the money is spent.

In this manner, the PA has not only gotten away with wasting the world’s charitable donations but also with policies that perpetuate the conflict their donors seek to end.

But neither Israel nor the U.S. should be so easily cowed by Abbas’ threats. The PA’s Fatah party leadership fears being seen as soft on the Jews or ready to end the war on Israel but it may also fear bankruptcy just as much. That’s why it is high time that someone at least try to make them pay a penalty for their criminal misconduct. Doing so would create some of the leverage the West needs to make the PA behave. It can be argued that the PA is too incorrigible to be reformed even by threats. But until somebody tries, we’ll never know if they can be nudged in the right direction on terror subsidies. Despite the risks, that’s an unimpeachable argument for passing and enforcing the Taylor Force Act.

April 9, 2017 | Comments Off on The PA conundrum | 69 views

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6 Comments / 0 Comments

  1. thinking back to the period 1967 – 1993 there was no p.a sugar daddies yes there was the organization that feed the to become grounding for terror gangs also known as the u.n. the illegals entered ISRAEL and Occupied hashimte EAST ISRAEL to do business they made, earned money, life was good, drove Volvo/merc cars, went to founded by ISRAEL universities. the only rule was no overnight staying within the 1948/9 arab-Russian surrender line (pencil marked in green.) all arab terror was world wide nothing to write home about as the yet to become terrorists enjoyed the good life. ISRAELIS went to jenin to shop, eat out. there was no East JERUSALEM. yes there was racism (wrong word) in arab bethlehem, HEVRON, arab waiters would not take an order nor serve a female. So Why All of A Sudden Would arabs In J-S Become An Economic Liability Instead Of An Ability?

  2. @ MELECH david:
    Just squeemishness, cowardice, and political correctness. There was much less terror during the occupation. Israel should militarily re-occupy everything, including Sinai — which is also a terror hot bed — and S. Lebanon. Then decide, whatever, long-term. Resistance should be liquidated with extreme prejudice on the spot.

  3. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    Plus, as in the case of the Munich Olympics Massacres and the abduction of Eichmann, special hit teams should be sent out to assassinate all terrorists out of jurisdiction where-ever they may try to hide. Needless, to say, Israel needs a mandatory death penalty for terrorists. There must be collective punishment for their families and their clans, up to and including expropriation without compensation and deportation. Needless to say, any one who resists by word or deed should be executed on the spot. What percentage of them survive should be a matter of supreme indifference. Making exceptions for collaborators and their families (within reason) of course.

  4. :
    Public education is everywhere and always a CATASTROPHE.

    It cannot be reformed. It needs to be ABOLISHED.

    However, in the case of the Arabs, I support the institution 100%.

    The Arabs need to fill their skulls with as much drek as possible.

  5. Sebastien Zorn Said:

    Israel needs a mandatory death penalty for terrorists

    i believe the Death Penalty is still on the books, carried over from the brits (notice how brits rhymes with *hits) occupation. of course ISRAEL high court is picky as to how and when it selects brit occupation law.

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