Israel Will Not Be Forced to Pay for the Murder of Its Own Citizens
The Palestinian Authority is again crying wolf over the financial crisis it is currently facing. Let there be no mistake: this is a fake, self-created crisis that is a direct result of the PA’s “pay for slay” policy. Since its creation, the PA has paid monthly salaries to imprisoned terrorists and allowances to the families of dead terrorists. These are not dependent on social need but are simply financial rewards for terrorism. Moreover, if a terrorist spends five years in an Israeli prison, he is entitled to a guaranteed “pension” for life.
In 2018, Israel passed legislation according to which any sum expended by the PA on “pay for slay” during a given year would be deducted from the tax revenues Israel transferred to it the following year. Accordingly, in February 2019, the Israeli cabinet decided to deduct $11.7 million a month from tax transfers to the PA – the sum the PA had publicly admitted to paying to terrorist prisoners.
While this monthly deduction was no more than 6.2% of the total amount to be transferred, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas decided to plunge the PA economy into the abyss by refusing to accept any tax revenues. True to form, instead of castigating the PA for squandering billions on incentivizing and rewarding terrorists, French President Macron, the EU and the UN are pressuring Israel to capitulate to Abbas’ blackmail and find a way to give the PA all the funds.
The Palestinian Authority is refusing to accept any funds transferred from Israel because Israel has begun deducting the value of stipends the PA pays to terrorists and their families. As a result, the PA is now telling the world it faces economic collapse. PA President Mahmoud Abbas is trying to scare Israel and the world community into believing the result will be chaos and terror. The PA leadership is emulating Hamas’ behavior by threatening that a humanitarian disaster will ensue unless more financial aid is rendered.
One way to reject the forthcoming American peace proposal and yet not be blamed is to engineer an economic crisis that diverts attention from continuous Palestinian intransigence regarding any and every attempt at peacemaking.
Israel is doing more than its share to bolster the Palestinian economy – providing jobs to Palestinians in the Israeli labor market; supplying water, electricity and health services to Palestinians; and keeping Hamas from overthrowing Abbas’ PA.
While it is best for all concerned to ensure a decent standard of living for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, it is highly unlikely that the PA will collapse since it is a source of significant income for Abbas and his coterie.
Dr. Martin Sherman: Let the PA collapse
PA collapse as an opportunity, not a threat
In this regard, there should be a sea-change in the prevailing perception of the significance for Israel of the collapse of the PA and with it, of the entire mendacious Oslowian edifice.
After all, if the only way for the PA to endure is for Israel to collaborate in the financing of the slaughter of its own citizens by transferring “pay-to-slay” funds to perpetrators of terror, grave doubts must be cast on the prudence—indeed, the sanity—of sustaining this state of affairs.
Moreover, for Israel to back down on this issue would not only greatly undermine its credibility—and hence its deterrence capabilities—but would constitute a sharp slap in the face for its staunch allies in the US Senate, who passed the Taylor Force Act to curtail American support for the PA—unless it halts payments to perpetuators of terror and/or their families.
It is generally considered that the imminent financial collapse of the PA comprises a threat to Israel, heralding increasing instability and security problems.
Although this may be true to some extent in the short run, it must be rejected as a long term constraint on Israeli strategic thinking. Indeed, rather than a threat, the impending collapse of the PA should be perceived as an opportunity to extricate the nation from the hazardous cul-de-sac into which the deceptive Oslo process lured it.
On May 1, 2019, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) introduced the “Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living under Israeli Military Occupation Act” (HR 2407), a version of a similar bill she proposed in 2017. The bill is based largely on the lobbying efforts and accusations of Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P).
DCI-P is closely tied to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S., EU, Canada, and Israel. Citibank, Arab Bank and Global Giving have closed DCI-P accounts due to these PFLP connections. Many of the citations in the bill simply copy lines from DCI-P publications.
NGO Monitor has identified at least 11 current and former DCI-P board members, officials, and employees linked to the PFLP – some of whom have been convicted of terror offences targeting Israeli civilians. The bill demands a U.S. taxpayer allocation of $19 million for DCI-P and its NGO allies.
Young Muslim boys, dressed in traditional Palestinian garb, passionately lip-sync the following words:
The blood of the martyrs is calling us.
Paradise, men desire it.
Revolutionaries, Revolutionaries …
Sword and Text, oh free men.
Until we liberate our lands … and we crush the traitor.
… Oh, the winds of Paradise. Oh rivers of the martyrs, lads
My Islam calls whoever responds. Stand up, O righteous ones.
The lyrics explicitly call on the next generation of Palestinian youth to embrace terrorism and glorify suicide bombers.
But these children are not performing in Ramallah or Gaza. This hate-filled song was played in Philadelphia and proudly broadcast on Facebook.
The Muslim American Society (MAS)’s Philadelphia chapter held an annual “Ummah Day” on April 17, featuring delegations of children representing several countries across the Middle East and North Africa. The event’s theme was advertised to focus on the “Golden age of Islamic science.”
Instead of focusing exclusively on the Islamic world’s scientific achievements, however, part of the day was devoted to showcasing children forced to embrace radical Islamist culture.
And it’s more common than most people realize.
Children in Philadelphia Muslim Society: We Will Sacrifice Ourselves for Al-Aqsa; Will Chop off Their Heads, Subject Them to Eternal Torture pic.twitter.com/6ySfz0Ylel
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) May 3, 2019
Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner said Thursday night the Trump administration’s peace proposal was an “in-depth operational document” that would serve as a “starting point” to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and indicated he was open to discussing Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank.
Speaking at the Washington Institute for Near East Affairs, Kushner said his boss and father-in-law President Donald Trump had yet to see the latest version of the plan, which he described in only vague terms ahead of its expected rollout next month.
“What we’ve put together over the last year is more of an in-depth operational document that shows what we think is possible,” Kushner told Washington Institute’s Executive Director Robert Satloff in an open interview.
He said the plan would lay out “a solution that we believe is a good starting point for the political issues and then an outline for what can be done to help these people start living a better life.”
The United Nations Security Council is set to hold an informal meeting on West Bank settlements next Thursday, in advance of the anticipated rollout of US President Donald Trump’s peace plan, expected as early as June.
The council last held such a meeting in 2016, under a mechanism known as the Arria Formula, which allows for a gathering of the council upon the request of a member state. No formal action can be taken at such a meeting.
Indonesian Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani, whose country has taken over the UNSC presidency for the month of May, announced the meeting at a news conference in New York late Wednesday.
“We are thinking of having an Arria Formula on the issue for Palestine, particularly focusing on the issue of settlements,” Djani said. “That will happen on May 9.”
In December 2016, the UNSC approved Resolution 2334, which condemned Israeli settlement activity and disavowed Israeli sovereignty anywhere in east Jerusalem, including the Western Wall.
The resolution demanded “that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard.”
Indonesia is among many UN member states which believe that Israel must comply with the resolution. At Monday’s Security Council meeting on the Middle East, many of those countries spoke out on the matter. They also expressed their concern that the peace plan of US President Donald Trump will deviate from the international understanding that the resolution of the conflict regarding the division of land should be based on pre-1967 lines. “Our position is very clear on the issue of Palestine: we want to make sure that Resolution 2334 is faithfully implemented,” Djani told reporters in New York on Wednesday. “It is a priority for us.”
President Trump’s plans to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group has the foreign-policy establishment wringing their hands at what they consider a blunder that will undermine U.S. influence in the Middle East and throughout the Islamic world. But such a move is long overdue.
Founded in 1928, the Brotherhood is the granddaddy of all Islamist terror groups. At its core is an Islamist worldview that sees its purpose as an effort to reject liberal, democratic and more moderate strains of Islam, and to enforce a strict vision of the faith that is rooted in jihad and intolerance for modernity, seeking to impose Muslim religious law (Sharia) everywhere it can.
The Brotherhood’s core beliefs have never been a secret. Its long-term goal is the overthrow of the West, as well as of Israel. It spawned groups like Hamas and influenced the creation of al-Qaeda. The Brotherhood is the glue that unites Sunni Muslim terror groups in terms of ideas and action.
The effort to maintain a distinction between the terrorists and the rest of the Brotherhood remains entirely artificial. The Brotherhood’s social-action and political wings operate in such a manner as to support the same violent goals as the terrorists.
Claims that this move is an expression of Islamophobia are not merely wrong; they are also slander of law-abiding American Muslims. The notion that an effort to limit the ability of radicals to operate freely harms all Muslims is false.
Designation of the Brotherhood is common-sense security policy that aims at protecting all Americans, no matter their faith or background.
The U.S. peace plan is not just another diplomatic effort at “peace processing.” It is a recognition that the Hundred Years War between the Jews and Arabs is over. The Palestinian leadership has very little leverage. A refusal to engage will be an invitation to the U.S. and Israel to unilaterally establish a new order in the West Bank. Some Palestinian leaders hope to do nothing and outwait Trump. But this administration has at least two years, and perhaps six, to establish irreversible facts.
Another option is appealing to the UN, the International Criminal Court or the EU. These appeals will be met with sympathy, resolutions, declarations and diplomatic posturing, but not more. Once, Palestinians could count on Israeli supporters of the Oslo Accords. But the Second Intifada, the Arab Spring, and the example of the quasi-state of Gaza have discredited Oslo’s solutions.
Nor can the Palestinians expect help from their fellow Arabs. The two most important Arab countries, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, will certainly proclaim their opposition to the Trump Plan. They will even more certainly do nothing to weaken their ties to the U.S.
The Palestinians do have another choice. They can accept reality, sit down at the table and bargain for the best possible terms. Like it or not, the Trump Deal is coming. And neither time nor the balance of power is on the Palestinian side.
The “two-state solution” was a phrase intended to create the aura of equality between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority. But acceptance of two ostensibly equal parties had Washington walking a fine line between a democratic friend and a sometimes-semi-reformed terror organization. That was a mistake. Israel is a free, democratic and open society with a free press and respect for the civil liberties of all its citizens. The Palestinian Authority (PA) is not.
In 2002, President Bush called his vision “two states, living side by side in peace and security,” but the Palestinians had obligations. Elect new leaders not compromised by terror. Build a “practicing democracy, based on tolerance and liberty.” “Reform must be more than cosmetic change….True reform will require entirely new political and economic institutions, based on democracy, market economics and action against terrorism. If the Palestinian people actively pursue these goals, America and the world will actively support their efforts.”
But after 23 years and billions of dollars in international aid, the 2017 Paris Peace Conference acknowledged that the Palestinians still lacked “infrastructure for a viable economy,” cannot manage “service delivery,” and have no “civil society” in PA areas able to express dissent. Gaza under Hamas is worse. The U.S. has recognized that the Palestinians are farther than ever from meeting obligations to their own people and to Israel.
The Israel Hayom Group will hold its first conference this June at the Jerusalem Archeological Park — Davidson Center, with former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley as the keynote speaker.
The forum will celebrate the strong bond between Washington and Jerusalem and will deal with a host of subjects, including the bilateral economic relations and trade, cultural ties and technological cooperation.
The forum will have some 500 participants and will be open to the press.
President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will take part in the event, as will Israel Hayom Publisher Dr. Miriam Adelson and Editor-in-Chief Boaz Bismuth. Other prominent figures from Israel and abroad will attend as well.
Philanthropist and businessman Sylvan Adams, who has dedicated his life to strengthening Israel, will be among the speakers.
The former French ambassador to the United States Gérard Araud retracted his statements on Friday after calling Israel an apartheid state during an interview with The Atlantic.
“I never said, I never thought that Israel, in which I spent more than six years of my life and continue to maintain close ties, is an apartheid state,” said Araud, according to a statement from the French Embassy.
“I expressed the concern shared by many friends of Israel that, in the future, the situation in the West Bank can lead to two peoples living in the same country, with different rights.”
Araud had previously told The Atlantic: “They won’t make them citizens of Israel. So they will have to make it official, which is, we know the situation, which is an apartheid. There will be officially an apartheid state.They are in fact already.”
Araud said this as he discussed the “disproportion of power,” between Israelis and Palestinians in mid-April.
In late April, Israel summoned France’s ambassador to Israel, Helene Le Gal, to the Foreign Ministry to protest the comments by Araud.
Of all the parties that ran in Spain’s April 28 parliamentary elections, it is the far-right Vox, which burst onto the national scene late last year, that is most openly supportive of the State of Israel. In a document published on its website, “VOX, Israel and the Middle East,” the group praises Israeli democracy and the Jewish state’s struggle against Islamic fundamentalism while condemning the BDS movement and affirming that “ties between Spain and Israel should be deepened in all areas.” The admiration has, at times, been reciprocated from Israel. “In the name of the Likud Party, I want to wish Vox and its president [Santiago Abascal] a great result in the general elections,” Likud Foreign Affairs Director Eli Hazan tweeted the day before the election. Hazan later apologized, “to all those who have been offended by my last tweet,” but concluded: “I only wish luck to all the Spanish parties that support Israel.”
Receiving just over 10% of votes in the Sunday’s election, Vox is now Spain’s fifth-largest party, holding 24 seats in the Parliament. That is, by any measure, a historic success for Vox and for far-right politics, which had been effectively kept out of mainstream discourse and government affairs since the end of the Francoist period in the mid-1970s. It would seem to be something of a riddle then for the political movement most closely associated with Spain’s fascist lineage to also boast about its pro-Israel attitudes, and yet a closer look at the party’s policies shows why this is. In Vox, support for Israel coexists with most of the distinctive features of other European parties on the far right: heightened nationalism, anti-immigration policies, and Islamophobia. Added are a number of specific Spanish peculiarities: an aggressive centralism that denies Spanish territorial, cultural, and political diversity, and the resurrection of traditions and mystified histories that seem to be taken from a school book of the national-Catholic Francoist period. The party understands its political quest as a “reconquista” (reconquest), and in an act full of symbolism started the election campaign on April 12 in Covadonga, in the northern region of Asturias, where the Christian King Don Pelayo defeated the Muslim troops in the year 722. As a result of the patriotic zeal that surrounded the Vox campaign rallies, secretary general Javier Ortega Smith is already facing a lawsuit for incitement to hatred against the Muslim population, in a case currently being investigated by the Prosecutor’s Office of Valencia.
Echoing other European far-right parties Vox also appealed to conspiracy theories. For instance, invoking the demonized figure of the Hungarian Jewish philanthropist George Soros, whom they accuse of supporting Catalan separatism and financing irregular immigration in Spain. “There is Soros redoubling his efforts to favor the Islamization of Europe and the chaos in the continent,” wrote Vox President Abascal in a June 2018 tweet, “and President Sanchez is already at his command.”
Germany’s leading Jewish organization expressed alarm Thursday over footage of flag-waving neo-Nazis in self-styled uniforms marching through an eastern German town on May Day unhindered by police.
Footage of the march prompted widespread outrage in Germany and calls for authorities in the state of Saxony, where far-right sentiment is particularly strong, to step in.
“The images of the neo-Nazi march by The Third Way party in Plauen are disturbing and frightening,” said Josef Schuster, the head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews.
Noting that the rally took place on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Schuster said that “right-wing extremists are marching in Saxony in a way that brings back memories of the darkest chapter in German history.”
German security agencies say The Third Way, a relatively small party, has close ties to far-right extremists. The march in Plauen took place to the beat of heavy drums made to look like those used by the Hitler Youth. Participants shouted slogans such as “Criminal foreigners out!” and “National Socialism now!”
Saxony police said several hundred people took part in the march. Counter-protesters were kept away.
The Finnish tabloid Iltalehti reported on Monday that the country’s office of the prosecutor-general requested that the police launch an investigation into antisemitic, racist and homophobic writings by pro-Iranian regime MP Hussein al-Taee.
The Jerusalem Post first reported Sunday on the scope of the newly elected Finnish Social Democratic MP’s hate-filled attacks on Jews, Israelis, Kurds, Somalis and Sunni Muslims. Al-Taee even compared Israel to Islamic State.
Al-Taee admitted on Monday at a press conference that he wrote the Facebook posts, including targeting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, stating: “Jew doing what a Jew does best. F***s up everybody to gain everything.”
He initially said that the Facebook posts were a plot to blackmail him, according to the Finnish News Agency STT.
The agency reported on Thursday that al-Taee was hospitalized on Tuesday and will go on sick leave.
Antti Ämmälä , a spokesman for the independent Finnish NGO Crisis Management Initiative – where al-Taee served as an advisor for Iraq – told the Post that, “at the moment, we don’t see a scenario where he would return to CMI.”
A Polish bishop said that “a certain nation” plotted in 1937 to divide and slander the Catholic Church by controlling the media.
Andrzej Jeż, who is the top Catholic spiritual leader in the city of Tarnow near Krakow, appeared to be referring to Jews last month in his Easter sermon, which was filmed.
The video aired Thursday in an article by the Kan public broadcaster.
“A certain nation, I can’t name it because I would be attacked from all sides immediately, said this: ‘Our natural enemy is the Catholic Church. We need to slander them and sow hatred against them, we have to create scandals about their private lives to incite hatred and ridicule against them. We must strengthen our media because then our control will be strong and secure’,” Jez said.
The High Court of Justice has delayed the deportation of Human Rights Watch’s director in Israel following a petition challenging the move, his lawyer said Thursday.
The Jerusalem District Court last month rejected an earlier petition against the decision to deport Omar Shakir, a US citizen, ruling he had until May 1 to leave.
But the High Court issued an injunction allowing Shakir to remain in Israel for seven days, attorney Michael Sfard said.
During this period, the Interior Ministry can submit its response to the appeal which Shakir lodged at the High Court.
After the May 7 deadline, the court “could theoretically issue a new decision” on the case, Sfard told AFP.
The Interior Ministry’s decision to deny Shakir his work and residency permits was due to his alleged support of a boycott of Israel over its policies toward Palestinians — a claim accepted by the district court.
All MKs from the Arab Hadash-Ta’al and Ra’am-Balad parties exited the hall during the national anthem, “Hatikva” (The Hope), at the end of the swearing-in ceremony for the 21st Knesset on Tuesday.
Separately, three of the 120 people elected to serve in the Knesset — Labor’s Shelly Yachimovich and Hadash-Ta’al’s Aida Touma-Sliman and Yousef Jabareen — were absent from the ceremony. They will still need to take their oaths of office before officially being considered MKs.
Yachimovich announced in advance she would miss the ceremony. Touma-Sliman said she wasn’t at the ceremony due to a family gathering overseas planned ahead of time.
“And with this opportunity I swear allegiance to fight for civic and national equality for the Arab Palestinian minority; to resist the occupation and for peace that will only be achieved with the establishment of a Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem,” Touma-Sliman wrote on Twitter.
Jabareen said he decided to stay home.
“I wasn’t eager to participate. I feel like a sort of foreigner to all the symbols [of state] there,” Jabareen told the Kan public broadcaster.
“I preferred to stay in the north and take part in the party for Hapoal Umm al-Fahm’s promotion to the Israeli Premier League,” Jabareen said, referring to a soccer club in the northern Arab Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm.
Roughly 2,500 Palestinians protest at the Gaza Strip border on Friday as part of what Palestinians call ‘March of Return,’ Maariv reported.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health twenty Palestinians were injured during clashes with IDF forces, the protesters attempted to assault IDF troops with explosives.
A fire broke out near Tkuma at the south of the country, fire fighters put it out and are now examining what caused it.
Hundreds of incendiary balloons were used by Hamas last week to cause damage in the south of the country, which led to an IAF strike in the Gaza Strip against Hamas targets.
Earlier on Friday IDF forces arrested a Palestinian armed with a knife as he attempted to cross the Gaza border fence.
The Palestinian Authority has demanded that Russia resolve the terror-payment crisis that could lead to the PA’s collapse as it rejected a European Union compromise solution.
“There have been attempts to find alternative channels to pay the prisoners and martyrs allowances, which we will not accept,” PA Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Information Nabil Abu Rudaineh said on Thursday.
To protest Israel’s withholding of taxes equal to the sum of money that the PA uses to pay terrorists and their families, the PA has refused to accept any of its tax revenues, a move which many believe could lead to its financial collapse. According to the UN, tax revenues make up 65% of the PA’s budget.
The Palestinian Authority had hoped the EU would support its policy of providing merit-based payments to security prisoners. Instead, it suggested that a compromise position would be placing the Palestinian prisoners on the social welfare roll, where money would be provided on a needs-based system.
Abu Rudaineh said that the PA rejected the EU proposal.
Evidence Emerges of Iran Aiding Maduro Government
As the humanitarian and political crisis continues, international interests in the country’s oil are coming to the forefront. Our Bianca explores how Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah have decades long ties to Latina America and to the Venezuelan government in particular.
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