Palestinian financial glorification of terrorism must cease

Armstrong Williams | 8/10/2017, 10:07 a.m.
The Palestinian Authority just made an announcement about cutting welfare payments to families who live in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Armstrong Williams

The Palestinian Authority just made an announcement about cutting welfare payments to families who live in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. I cannot help but wonder if it is simply a cynical PR stunt.

After all, less than two weeks ago July 2, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was quoted on the official Fatah Facebook page promising never to cease financial compensation to terrorists, even if it means losing his presidential title:

“Even if I will have to leave my position, 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. [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas.”

On the one hand, Abbas just avowed his undying financial support of terrorists and their families—an unwavering commitment to the monetary glorification of terrorism.

On the other hand, the Palestinian Authority’s Welfare Ministry under Abbas is making newfound pledges to intensify its pressure on Hamas in the Gaza Strip by slashing monthly stipends received by approximately 80,000 families, to allegedly be followed by additional cuts at later stages.

Plain and simple, this action represents the epitome of the Palestinian Authority’s leadership of hypocrisy that the Israelis have been warning about for decades.

That is why it comes as no surprise that Abbas was reportedly irate in the aftermath of his recent meeting in Ramallah with Jared Kushner, senior White House official and son-in-law of President Trump, and Jason Greenblatt, who serves as an international negotiator for Trump.

During this meeting, Kushner, who is serving as Trump’s chief Middle East adviser, made what we as Americans would consider a perfectly reasonable request: asking the Palestinian Authority to halt payments to convicted terrorists and their families.

Abbas reportedly took great personal offense to this request. This leader is supposed to be Israel’s future partner in peace? A man who has been and remains at the helm of championing the notion that terrorists who kill and harm innocent Israelis should be rewarded rather than punished?

Abbas not only refused to consider the U.S. demand to stop paying salaries to convicted terrorists and their families, but accused the Americans of siding with Israel.

Making ongoing payments to the families of terrorists is a moral outrage, and the world deserves to know the truth. It is simply unconscionable that the Palestinian Authority actually rewards, rather than discourages, terrorists, naming public squares in their honor and providing blood money payments to their families.

Abbas’ leadership is devoid of all ethical decency and only serves to embolden terrorists, incite unprovoked violence and foment a culture of Palestinian hatred toward Israelis.

When it comes to considering Abbas a worthy partner for peace, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been down this dangerous road too many times before.

And with the Trump administration’s efforts to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Netanyahu made an important public attempt to once again warn the international community about Abbas’ two-faced policies of deceit. A few days ahead of the Palestinian president’s contentious meeting with Kushner and Greenblatt Netanyahu tweeted, “Palestinian President Abbas tells the world that he educates Palestinian children for peace. That’s a lie.”