June 20, 2018

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09-Jan-18: Money, deception and terror: Israel is taking some concrete steps

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Image Source: “The Palestinian Dream

Over at the Jerusalem Post this afternoon, there’s an important summary of information placed before the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee this afternoon [Palestinian Authority paid terrorists nearly $350 million in 2017“, Lahav Harkov, January 9, 2018].

If you’re not already familiar with them, the data are simply eye-popping. In a society where the average income is about US$580 per month, the PA regime headed by Mahmoud Abbas gives that sort of money to anyone sentenced by the Israeli court system to three to five years in prison.

But since serious terrorist offences often come with sentences stiffer than 3-5, it’s worth understanding what those offenders get paid by their perennially-broke government and what other benefits they can expect to get.
  • A terrorist sentenced to 20 years or more in prison is paid five times the average salary. It starts to flow while he or she is still in prison. And it then keeps coming – for the rest of the recipient’s life. Does anyone think there might be some subtle message here about where the PA and Abbas are placing the emphasis in the vision they offer their citizens?
  • Then the fine print: If the imprisoned terrorist holds Israeli citizenship (there were about 1.8 million such Arabs in 2017 according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, meaning they represent 20.8% of Israel’s total population), then they qualify for a US$145 bonus.
  • The sum paid each month by the PA for what the article calls “the most severe crimes” exceeds US$2,900 which is larger than the average Israeli income (currently about US$2,700 per month according to the article and about US$2,955 according to another source). 
  • Being married gets a terrorist a further increment, and there are add-ons for each child parented by the convicted terrorist.
  • There are also specific pay increases for (a) being married and (b) each child a terrorist parents.
  • If and when the terrorist beneficiary of all this largess gets out of prison, the PA law entitles him or her to a prestigious civil service post in its government
And as we observed not long ago [“25-Jul-17: The scale of the PA’s terror-funding scheme keeps growing“], it’s all getting worse, not better. 
At various times, advocates for the Palestinian Arabs contend that this is nothing more than social welfare and the Israelis are making a big deal out of nothing. But that’s not so: the fact that you get more money according to the severity of the crime and/or the length of the sentence means that the payments are there to encourage serious crime – the more serious the better. And as Palestinian Media Watch has pointed out, the PA defines the entitlement to these payments in terms that ensure PA salaries do not go to Palestinian Arabs convicted of crimes such as theft – who may very well be social welfare cases – but do go to terrorist murderers in the service of Hamas and Fatah. Further elaboration is really not needed: anyone taking a dispassionate look at the realities knows the PA scheme has one clear purpose, and it’s not the alleviation of poverty.
From a recent US summary of the scheme’s impact:

The PA spent an estimated $300 million last year, roughly seven percent of its total budget, on these payments to more than 30,000 terrorists and their families. It does so at the direct expense of helping provide a better future for its own citizens, and despite its heavy dependence on foreign aid for income. Much of that aid comes from the United States – an average of $335 million annually over the last five years. The lion’s share, roughly $280 million per year in that span, is economic assistance to cover the PA’s significant debts, freeing up funds for their “pay-to-slay” system. The issue has not gone unnoticed by Congress. [Passing the Taylor Force Act will mark a vital step in the War on Terror“, TheHill.com, November 15, 2017]

We also noticed. See “08-Jul-16: Violence, terror, cash and the PA Rewards for Terror Scheme: Congress takes a look“. And before that, we had posted dozens of reports and analyses [click here for more of them.)

The report delivered today to Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, is part of the current efforts to create a new law that will deduct the total of what the PA pays its terrorists and their families from the taxes Israel collects and until now has handed across to the PA. There’s more money at stake there than most people would guess. A July 2016 Reuters report estimated the scale of Israel-to-PA transfers at between US$130 and US$155 million per month. Translating this to annual figures, it’s something between US$1.5 and US$1.9 billion.
The new Israeli bill, says the Jerusalem Post, “will likely go to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation in three weeks, with a first reading in the Knesset in the ensuing days“. It’s said to be largely inspired by the Taylor Force Act, a United States law that will stop all US aid to the Palestinian Arabs as long as the PA keeps paying salaries to terrorists and their families. (Our take:
11-Jul-17: Incitement to terror: Sometimes it really is all about the money“) The House of Representatives passed the bill in December 2017. It’s now awaiting Senate approval.
The US is of course not the only state giving aid to the Abbas regime. Others include [according to this source] UNRWA and the EU through the European Commission [see “02-Jun-15: The obvious, petty lies that keep European money flowing into the hands of the PA’s terrorists“], Japan, Canada, Norway [see “02-May-16: Norway’s polite and cautious funding of Palestinian Arab terror“], Germany, Sweden, Spain, France and the United Kingdom [see “14-Jun-16: In the UK, law-makers (some) worry over the bloodshed funded by their taxpayers“].
The deep and corrosive damage on Arab lives and on ours depends on the unquestioning passivity of ordinary tax-payers of (mainly) Europe and North America, leading us to ask some years ago: “20-May-11: Rewarding the Palestinian Arab terrorists: is this being done in your name?” 
It also depends on much less innocent, faceless government bureaucrats who silently and with little-to-no publicity (especially to their own citizens) sign the wire transfers behind closed doors and pay next to no attention to how those funds are spent or what’s done with them. Darkness, secrecy and deception [see “6-Oct-06: Crying poor: The terror-laden rise and rise of the Palestinian national payroll and the men who allow it to happen“] have been part of the whole story pretty much from the outset.

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