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 [PA] pays monthly salaries to 5,500 prisoners in Israeli prisons, many of them known terrorists;
- The P.A. honors terrorists who have killed civilians, presenting them as heroes and role models;
- The P.A. 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. It pays to be a terrorist: these monthly stipends are more than the average salary for a P.A. civil servant or military officer.
While this practice is going on, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that an additional grant to the P.A. will be made, bringing the 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 goes to support terrorists. Possibly Secretary Clinton may not know that a P.A. sponsored summer camp for children is divided into three groups named after the terrorists Dalal Mughrabi, Salah Khalaf and Abu Ali Mustafa, each of whom planned and executed murders against civilians. Possibly Secretary of State may not know that Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, a man whom she described as a “moderate,” routinely honors terrorist bombers on his radio broadcasts.
That these practices go on with U.S. subventions is an outrage. The P.A. 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 pabulum from the Obama administration, terrorism is the prescribed way of doing business in the P.A. The creation of a Palestinian state is therefore the creation of a terrorist state with one goal:, according to both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas Charters: The destruction of Israel.
Despite all of the gamesmanship at the U.N., despite President Obama’s assurance about adjoining states living in peace, the P.A. and its Hamas partner cannot and will not repudiate their goal of destruction, and they cannot and will not recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish state, lest they be called “:traitors” by their Arab neighbors. 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, even funded — and by the USA and Europe – militates against a peaceful scenario.
The time has come — and is overdue — for the United States to tell the truth about the West Bank and Gaza. We may not persuade Security Council members that this entire P.A. statehood enterprise will not result in peace for anyone; but at least we can state the American position clearly and unequivocally. As long as terrorism prevails, as long as it is officially cultivated by government authorities, there will not be, there cannot be, a Palestinian nation that brings peace to the region. If a day comes when Israel lays down its arms, destruction will follow; but if there is a day when the Palestinians repudiate terrorism, peace will follow. The alternatives are clear. The question, of course, is whether anyone cares.