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Palestinian Financial Glorification of Terrorism Must Cease

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

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 on 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, President Abbas just avowed his undying financial support of terrorists and their families – an unwavering commitment to the monetary glorification of terrorism. 

Yet on the other hand, the Palestinian Authority’s Welfare Ministry under President 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 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 President 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 President Trump. 

During this meeting, Kushner, who is serving as President 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. 

President Abbas reportedly took great personal offense to this request.  This leader who 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? 

President 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. 

Mahmoud 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, Prime Minister Netanyahu made an important public attempt to once again warn the international community about President 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.”

The truth is that each new generation of Palestinian youth, starting as young as kindergarten and even preschool, is poisoned with anti-Israel myths and anti-Jewish lies. And this abhorrent brainwashing process is breeding a violent, hate-inspired generation of children who are trained to believe that becoming a terrorist is a legitimate way to secure the financial future of their families. 

As young Palestinian girls and boys grow up, they are taught to believe that the use of terrorist tactics that harm innocent Israelis is a justified means to secure financial stability for their families. 

The Palestinian Authority is intentionally manipulating the early childhood education of its own youth, and hijacking the innocence of its own children with lessons of hate that encourage terrorism targeting Jews and the destruction of Israel at all costs.  

The powerful propaganda machine run by Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority is compounded by the fact that corrupt PA officials pocket money, maintain poverty-stricken conditions for their people, who in turn seek terrorism and financial compensation for attacks as a way out of their desperate situation. 

Abbas’ resolute policy to keep funneling money to terrorists, and to continue glorifying them as martyrs makes the future of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations seem unattainable.   

The Trump Administration’s efforts to demand the cessation of salaries awarded to Palestinian terrorists by the Palestinian Authority is one of the first and most necessary steps toward even skimming the surface of the prospects for peace. 

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