Contrary to the wishes of the U.S. State Department, the U.S. House of Representatives has just frozen $370 million in financial aid to the Palestinian Authority in response to mounting criticism concerning Palestinian anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement that has led to the rash of lethal attacks that have left over a dozen Israeli civilians dead over the past several weeks. This money was intended to develop Palestinian infrastructure and foster economic growth, but instead, it is being used by the Palestinian Authority to incite the murder of Jews and to sow destruction within Israel.
Elliott Abrams, a former deputy national security advisor under President George W. Bush who is now with the Council on Foreign Relations, went further and has suggested that additional penalties should be imposed including the closing of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington, sanctioning PA officials and others with visa bans, and earmarking U.S. aid for specific programs untainted by corruption so long as Palestinian leaders continue to incite their people to murder Israelis.
Hopefully, the U.S. government will no longer be swayed by the fallacious arguments that Palestinian terrorism is motivated by “political and social desperation”, “frustration and alienation”, “Israeli settlement activity”, “failure to agree on borders”, and “the inevitable consequence of neglect” – phrases that are often used by administration officials and members of the mainstream media to excuse and/or justify Palestinian terrorist actions. Truth is, Palestinian violence is not induced by any of the above, but it is in fact driven by hope – the hope of annulling Jewish national sovereignty and dismantling the Jewish nation-state.
The U.S. action is therefore long overdue. The large number of stabbings, vehicular murders, shootings, fire-bombings, and other deadly attacks throughout Israel are a product of the war being waged by Palestinian leadership – a war designed to inculcate in the minds of its younger generation that Judaism is only a religion; that the Jews are not entitled to a nation state of their own; that Israel is “occupying” sacred Islamic land in violation of Islamic law, that it intends to undermine the status of the al-Aqsa Mosque/Temple Mount, and that Jews have no history of having ever ruled the Land which (they falsely proclaim) is, was and always will be part of the Muslim umma. As such, the mission of the Palestinians – despite all the rhetoric to the contrary – is to bring about Israel’s destruction.
To achieve this goal, Palestinian leaders have created a culture of death throughout their society nurtured over many years in mosques, schools, newspapers, TV channels and through their social media. The brainwashing has been so effective that these young “martyr wannabes” – as we are witnessing today – are ready and willing to die in the act of killing a Jew.
The most vivid current example is a video clip, translated by the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute (memri.org) of Gaza cleric Abu Rajab wielding a knife and urging Palestinians in the West Bank to “stab the myth about the Temple in [Jews’] hearts.” He doesn’t mean that rhetorically. Nor is Rajab alone in promoting this psychotic behavior. In another video clip, Palestinian cleric Muhammad Salah stands at the pulpit of his mosque in Gaza clutching a large kitchen knife. His hand repeatedly comes down in a violent stabbing motion as he delivers a very specific command: “Form stabbing squads. We don’t want just a single stabber. Attack in threes and fours. Some should restrain the victim, while the others attack him with axes and butcher knives. Cut them into body parts”, and he lists Israeli cities where they are to strike – Afula, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Nor are these Palestinian maniacal preachers alone in their hatred. Dr. Subhi Al-Yaziji, Dean of Quranic Studies at the Islamic University of Gaza told Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV on October 16th: “All Jews in Palestine today are fair game – even the women. Every single Jew in Palestine is a combatant, even the children. Attacks “should be carried out in the very heart of the enemy – in Haifa, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, and Hadera.”
This culture of death follows years in which Palestinian children have been taught to idolize the murder of Jews as a sacred duty and to regard their own death in this jihad as the pinnacle of their aspirations. In September, PA President Mahmoud Abbas spoke of not wanting “filthy Jewish feet” to “desecrate” the al-Aqsa Mosque, and in early October, in the midst of the terror attacks throughout Israel, he stated: “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah. With the help of Allah, every martyr (read “murderer”) will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.” Similarly, Jibril Rajoub, a member of the Fatah leadership, has praised the Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis, calling them “acts of courage,” and said Palestinian schools should show last will and testament videos recorded by terrorists as part of their curriculum!
On numerous occasions, Abbas has proclaimed deceitfully that Israel wants to undermine the status of the al-Aqsa Mosque or change the status quo on the Temple Mount. Such a lie (as David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Peace noted recently) is equivalent to yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, given the role that such allegations have played in provoking past violence in a society whose educational system continues to teach its children that “Jews are the descendants of pigs and monkeys”.
That system teaches Palestinian youth that “armed conflict” (the Palestinian euphemism for the murder of Jews) against “the so-called State of Israel” is both a religious duty and an act purportedly legitimized by the United Nations – a falsehood repeated in a number of 12th-grade Palestinian textbooks. Is it any wonder then that viewers of official PA television recently were treated to the sight of a Palestinian boy, dressed up in battle fatigues, telling a smiling talk-show host of his wish to become an engineer “so that I can build bombs to blow up all the Jews.”
The Palestinian Authority also pays handsome stipends to terrorists and their families using U.S. foreign aid dollars. This serves as a powerful incentive to carry out further acts of terror. Apprehended, convicted and incarcerated terrorists – including mass murderers – are paid substantial monthly stipends while in prison. Similarly compensated are their family members. The wherewithal lavished on these killers and their kin is the tangible expression of their community’s and officialdom’s gratitude for spilling Jewish blood. Abdullah Barghouti, Hamas’s notorious bomb-maker who is serving 67 life sentences for killing 66 people and wounding some 500 others – has already amassed more than six figures in PA “salaries”. For two years, Barghouti sent suicide bombers to ordinary places, the names of which no Israeli will ever forget – The Moment Café, the Hebrew University cafeteria, and the Sbarro Pizzeria in Jerusalem, where seven children were killed when a suicide bomber self-detonated in the restaurant.
These funds are being paid to murderer-heroes at a time when Abbas bemoans the fact that Ramallah is in dire economic straits! No doubt, the latest group of Abbas’s homegrown killers fully expect to be officially celebrated as “martyrs” instead of being castigated as the murderers they are.
The unending stream of blood-drenched caricatures and the video clips that circulate virally through Palestinian social media are further telling indications of how profoundly the worship of violence, death and Jew-hatred is entrenched in Palestinian society, not to mention the many schools, city squares and sports tournaments named in “honor” of these terrorist “martyrs”.
As Daniel Greenfield writes in Front Page Magazine, imagine a society that uses U.S. and European foreign aid dollars to build an educational and religious system dedicated to creating thousands of “psychotic serial killers” – a society that publishes “postcards featuring the dead body parts of terror victims that were sold”; that exhibits scenes of mass murders “complete with blood and body parts”; that shows crowds swarming “to grab pieces of body parts of their victims and then shows them off”; and proudly features media clips showing Islamic clerics giving “very specific instructions on mutilating their Jewish victims”.
In an Oct. 16th children’s show on the Palestinian Al-Kitab TV channel, the child host praised the Palestinians who stabbed Israelis as heroes. Music CDs sold in the West Bank feature songs like “Stab, Stab”. “Stab the Zionist and say God is great,” one song declares. “Let the knives stab your enemy,” says another. A third song urges, “Say hello to being a martyr.” Then there is “Run Over, Run Over the Settler.” And an article in the official PA daily described a dead terrorist’s blood in romantic and poetic terms presenting it as something Palestinians should cherish.
Nor is this new. During the PA terror campaign from 2000-2005 (the Second Intifada), official PA TV broadcast a video hundreds of times aimed at children, presenting martyrdom (death) as the key to open the gates of Paradise.
The false canards about the Temple Mount that Abbas continues to promote have only one purpose – to focus Palestinians on pushing Jews out and to mobilize international opinion against any Israeli measures of self-defense to ensure that Jews can live without fear. These terrorist attacks make it clear that the Palestinian goal isn’t to achieve a two- state solution (which was the overriding premise behind the Oslo Accords) regardless of any generous terms offered. This slow buildup to a third Intifada is about anti-Jewish hate not complaints over settlements or borders.
Any student of Middle East history knows that hatred of the Jewish presence in the Land of Israel pre-dates “occupation,” “settlements,” claims for Palestinian statehood, even the invention of the “Palestinians” themselves (circa 1964) on the advice of the Russian KGB.
Since its beginnings, Palestinian nationalism has always been inextricably tied to the effort to deny Jews sovereignty over any part of the country. The Palestinians have always been more concerned with destroying the Jewish state than with creating a state of their own. The core of the conflict was, is and remains the refusal of the Palestinians to recognize the nation-state of the Jewish people in any borders. Thus, it is time to end Western illusions that the Palestinian Authority is a reliable peace partner for Israel and its actions today are a compelling reason for the international community to seriously rethink the strange tolerance it continually exhibits toward the Palestinian death-culture.
To excuse Palestinians from normal standards of moral behavior as we’ve seen in the mainstream media and from many European and some U.S. leaders is to patronize them. Palestinians marauding through the streets of Jerusalem, Beersheva, Raanana, Beit Shemesh and numerous other Israeli cities and towns with knife and gun in hand are not acceptable by any human standard – not here, not there, not now, and not ever. The only way to halt the bloodshed is an unambiguous American stance in favor of Israel’s right to take tough measures to suppress Palestinian terrorism in all its forms and forums.
The clearer it becomes to the Palestinians that the U.S. has lost its patience and is prepared to withdraw millions more in economic aid and to deny any and all special political privileges to Palestinian leaders and the PA, and that Israel has the determination, right and obligation to its citizens to thwart their goals, the more likely it is that Palestinian leaders will fear losing control and will be increasingly willing to calm the situation.