Tag Archive | PA

Palestinian Leadership To USA – We Despise You, Now Give Us Our Money

BY BASSAM TAWIL/GATESTONE INSTITUTE

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The question of Palestinian responsiveness is once again on display as Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and his senior officials in Ramallah step up their verbal attacks on the US administration after its decision to cut $200 million in American financial aid to the Palestinians.
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Abbas and the PA leadership are again behaving like spoiled, angry children whose candy has been taken away from them, hurling abuse at the Trump administration. Recall that earlier this year, Abbas called US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman a “son of a dog.”
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For the past 9 months, the Palestinian leaders have been waging a massive and unprecedented campaign of incitement and abuse against Trump and his administration. This campaign began immediately after Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017, and the campaign is continuing to this day as a reply to the US decision to slash $200 million from the American financial aid to the Palestinians.
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Significantly, the PA and its leaders were the ones who initiated the crisis with the US administration. Their dissatisfaction with Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem may be understandable, but they chose to take their protest to an extreme by boycotting the US administration and waging a smear campaign against Trump and his “Jewish advisors and envoys.”

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It is clear that the Palestinian boycott of the US administration did not include receiving funds from the Americans. One the one hand, the Palestinians have been boycotting and badmouthing US administration officials. On the other hand, Abbas and his representatives are now crying that the US administration is slashing $200 million of its financial aid to the Palestinians. If this isn’t cheek in its finest form, what is?
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The Arabic word for cheek, by the way, is wakaha. Were Abbas to behave in the same manner towards an Arab country for cutting financial aid to the Palestinians, he would have been accused by his Arab brothers of displaying wakaha at its best. Abbas, however, would think ten times before he uttered a bad word against any Arab country.
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The Palestinians are basically telling the Americans: We have the right to condemn you every day, to burn your flags and photos of your president, to incite against you, to launch weekly protests against you, to accuse you of being under the “influence of the Jewish and Zionist lobby” and, at the same time, we have the right to continue receiving US taxpayer money.
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Judging from their actions and assertions in the past few months, the Palestinians have turned the US into an enemy. They consider the US to be in “collusion” with the Israeli government and a “full partner in Israeli crimes against the Palestinians.” They say they no longer trust the US to play any role in a peace process with Israel because of the Trump administration’s “blind bias” in favor of Israel and its “hostile” policies towards the Palestinians.
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The Palestinians, of course, are entitled to voice their anger at the US. However, if they are so fed up with the US that they are even boycotting US administration officials, why are they demanding that the Americans continue to supply them with hundreds of millions of dollars each year? Where’s the vaunted Arab dignity, which requires an Arab not to humiliate himself in return for money, especially if it comes from someone you consider an enemy?
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The answer to this question can be found in a statement issued on August 25 by PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat in response to the US decision to cut the $200 million in aid to the Palestinians. “The international community is not doing the Palestinians a favor by providing them with financial aid,” Erekat argued. “This is a due duty of the international community, which bears responsibility for the continued Israeli occupation.”
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Erekat’s statement reflects a long-standing Palestinian position according to which the US and the rest of the international community owe the Palestinians money for supporting Israel’s existence. The Palestinian position stems from a belief that the international community, specifically the Americans and Europeans, were responsible for the establishment of Israel in 1948 at the cost of the Palestinians. This position was best echoed by Abbas himself, who has said that Israel is a “colonial project” imposed on the Palestinians by Western powers.
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This attitude means that the Palestinians have never seen the massive financial aid they have received from the West as a gift but rather as something that the world owes them for imposing a “colonial project” on them. The billions of dollars the Palestinians have received in the past few decades have evidently left no positive impression on the Palestinians, who feel that the funds are something they are fully entitled to because of the world’s support for the existence of Israel.
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The Palestinians, in other words, apparently do not feel they have to be grateful to those who have been funding them for decades. If the Europeans were to take a similar decision today and cut funding to the Palestinians, they too would be condemned by Abbas and his officials for being “hostile” towards the Palestinians and “biased” in favor of Israel.
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The ongoing Palestinian rhetorical attacks on the US administration are dangerous because they further radicalize the Palestinian public and turn the Americans into an enemy in the eyes of many Palestinians. In recent months, we have seen increased hostility towards American officials and citizens visiting the West Bank as a direct result of this incitement.
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Last July, the US Consul-General in Jerusalem was forced to cancel a visit to the Palestinian city of Nablus after Palestinians threatened to stage protests against him and his entourage.
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A month earlier, Palestinian protesters expelled a US consular delegation from the city of Bethlehem and threw tomatoes at their vehicles. No one was hurt, but the incident, which was documented on camera, was impolite and degrading for the Americans.
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The Palestinians are now accusing the US of attempting to “blackmail” them by cutting the funds. According to the Palestinians, the US administration wants to force them to accept Trump’s yet-to-be-unveiled plan for peace in the Middle East.
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It is worth noting, however, that the US administration has not yet presented its purported plan to the Palestinians or to any other party. So how can the US administration be trying to pressure or “blackmail” the Palestinians when no peace plan has ever been made public? Can the Palestinians point to one US administration official who asked them to accept the unseen plan or support Trump’s policies? Of course not.
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There is indeed blackmail going on — but in precisely the opposite direction. The Palestinians are trying to blackmail the US by claiming, absurdly, that the recent US decisions jeopardize the two-state solution and prospects for peace in the Middle East.
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These are the very Palestinians, however, who have refused to resume peace talks with Israel for the past four years, since long before Trump was elected as president.
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Common sense would have it that the US has a right to demand something from any party it helps to support — including the Palestinians. But the Palestinians see things differently. In their view, billions of dollars are owed to them as some sort of divine right. And if their behavior calls into question whether they deserve that money — well, those asking questions can just go back where they came from.

 

The Palestinians race to the bottom

by Caroline Glick

The PLO and the Palestinian cause more generally are sinking into irrelevance and rather than reform their policies to rebuild their position, they have adopted a scorched earth policy that only intensifies their race to the bottom.

On the face of things, the situation isn’t bad. Last month the PLO got 128 nations to vote in favor of their anti-American resolution rejecting US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. One of the states that voted with them was India.

Israel was shocked by India’s move.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rightly touts the growth of Israel’s bilateral ties with the largest democracy in the world. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s extraordinary visit to Israel last July highlighted the change. Netanyahu’s visit to New Delhi later this month will cement the new alliance.

Not only has Modi enthusiastically cultivated close ties with Israel, he has moved closer to Israel in its conflict with the PLO than any of his predecessors. In 2015, India abstained from an anti-Israel resolution at the UN Human Rights Council. Modi refused to visit the Palestinian Authority during his visit to Israel. And PLO chief and PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s visit to India earlier this year, Modi refused to say – as his predecessors have said – that the capital of a Palestinian state should be located in eastern Jerusalem.

And yet, last month at the UN, it felt like none of this had happened. India reverted to its previous posture of blind support for the PLO and joined the chorus in attacking America for recognizing that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

The Palestinians for their part were justifiably elated. Now, they thought, they were back in the driver’s seat. Trump is an aberration and the world – including India, continues to support them no matter what. They are today where they were in 1975 when the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 3371 defining the Jewish national liberation movement as a form of racism.

Then, less than a week after the UN vote, the PLO’s envoy to Pakistan, Walid Abu Ali, shared a stage in Rawalpindi with the mastermind of the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Lashkar e-Taibi leader Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is wanted by India not only for the massacre of more than 160 people in the Mumbai attacks. He is also wanted for his involvement in terrorist attacks in the city in 2006, which killed more than 200 people, and for a shooting at the Indian Parliament, an incident in which another 14 were killed in 2001.

Abu Ali didn’t think there would be any price to pay for his decision to embrace a mass-murdering terrorist. It’s what the PLO has always done. And so he posted photos of himself with Saeed online.

But it turns out that despite India’s vote, things have changed. A lot.

Indian social media exploded in rage against the Palestinians and the PLO. The most common sentiment was, “This is how they pay us back for abandoning the US and Israel to support them at the UN.”

Abu Ali’s embraces of Saeed were widely and angrily reported in the Indian media.

In response, Abbas announced that he was recalling Abu Ali. This would have been fine if it were true.

But this week it was reported that Abu Ali is back in business in Islamabad.

The PLO’s behavior with Abu Ali and India indicates three things. First, that the PLO/PA is no longer immune from criticism in quarters where it received five decades of unconditional support. Second, it indicates that the PLO/PA is incapable of changing its behavior, even when it is aware that it ought to. Finally, the PLO/PA is still operating under the impression that nations will continue to support them forever because the basis of that support is unchanged.

The problem for the PLO/PA is that the world has changed fundamentally while they were busy embracing terrorists and getting away with it.

This week, The Economist published its annual data on per capita GDP in countries throughout the world. For the first time, Israel’s GDP per capita has jumped above $40,000. According to the Economist’s data, per capita GDP in Israel jumped from $38,127 in 2016 to $44,019 in 2017. GDP grew 4.4% last year. Today Israel’s GDP per capita is higher than GDP per capita in Japan, Britain and France. The gap in Israel’s favor is expected to widen in the years to come as Israel’s GDP continues to grow and the GDPs of European states and Japan continue to stagnate due to negative fertility, continued migration of uneducated newcomers and lack of innovation.

In its own neighborhood, Israel’s neighbors remain economic and political basket cases. As Dr. Guy Bechor noted in his analysis of the data earlier this week, Egypt’s per capita GDP of $2,519 is one seventeenth of Israel’s. Jordan’s per capita income dropped last year from $4,648 to $4,135 and prospects for 2018 aren’t positive.

The situation is similarly bleak in the Gulf States, despite their oil and gas reserves. Iran, for instance, is poor and forecasts for the future are terrible. Last year, despite the $100 billion windfall the regime received from sanctions relief, per capita GDP in Iran dropped from $6,144 in 2016 to $5,879. Wars in Syria, Yemen, Iran, Lebanon and Gaza don’t come cheap.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states are drawn to Israel not only because of their joint security concerns about Iran. They are also eager to expand ties with Israel to benefit from its civilian technologies in everything from agriculture and water technologies to digital communications. And they are not about to allow the Palestinians to stop their cavalcade to Israel.

As The New York Times reported last week, Egyptian intelligence officer Capt. Ashrag al-Kholi called four different television hosts last and told them that Ramallah can serve as the capital of a Palestinian state just as well as Jerusalem. Kholi was also taped telling them that the Palestinians have to compromise for peace. In his words, “How is Jerusalem different from Ramallah, really? At the end of the day, later on, Jerusalem won’t be different from Ramallah. What matters is ending the suffering of the Palestinian people. Concessions are a must and if we reach a concession whereby… Ramallah will be the capital of Palestine, to end the war and so no one else dies, then we should go for it.”

Kholi explained that a new Palestinian campaign of terrorism against Israel will harm Egypt by strengthening Islamic State (ISIS), Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

So while it is true that 128 countries – including India, Egypt and Saudi Arabia – voted with the PLO against Israel and the US at the UN last month, it is also true that their votes don’t signify as much as they used to. It is equally true that the Palestinians can’t try their patience by pushing anti-Israel resolutions every day as they have for the past 45 years. Because as the Palestinians keep playing their old tricks, Israel is becoming a more and more significant regional and global power and the nations of the world aren’t interested in weakening Israel when Israel is helping them survive and prosper.

As Abu Ali’s continued tenure in Pakistan shows, rather than recognize the shifting power balance and update their positions to align with it, the PLO has become even more brittle and reactionary and extreme. If Egypt doesn’t support their war against Israel, then they will take their roadshow to Tehran, or its Lebanese satrapy.

On December 31, Fatah Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad met with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut. After meeting with al-Ahmad, Nasrallah told al Mayadeen TV that Fatah – led by Abbas – agreed to “activate a third intifada,” or terror war, against Israel. PA parliament members also visited Lebanon and met with Iranian-controlled Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Sunday night, Israel Channel 2 reported that terrorist incitement is rising steeply in the official PA media and social media networks. One video, of a faked shooting of a Palestinian teenage girl by an actor dressed in an IDF uniform, has gone viral. Thousands of viewers have responded to the fake scene with pledges to kill Israelis to avenge the fake death.

When later this month Netanyahu meets Modi in Delhi, India’s UN vote and Abu Ali’s embrace of Saeed will be on the agenda. And there is good reason to believe that Modi will recognize the linkage and vote differently in the future. Like Netanyahu, he recognizes that the PLO’s basic case is wrong. Peace is achieved by defeating terrorists, not by empowering them.

Moreover, Israel beckons. The economic and strategic realities of Israel cannot be ignored. Modi and his counterparts worldwide are now recognizing that the Palestinians have nothing to offer them, not even gratitude. When a critical mass of Palestinians recognize that the PLO’s jig is up, they will make peace with Israel. Until then, they will continue to serve as an irritating irrelevancy and nothing more.

Holding the PLO (and the State Department) accountable

by Caroline Glick

 

Is the PLO’s long vacation from accountability coming to an end? How about the State Department’s?

In 1987 the US State Department placed the PLO on its list of foreign terrorist organizations. The PLO was removed from the list in 1994, following the initiation of its peace process with Israel in 1993.

As part of the Clinton administration’s efforts to conclude a long-term peace deal between the PLO and Israel, in 1994 then president Bill Clinton signed an executive order waiving enforcement of laws that barred the PLO and its front groups from operating in the US. His move enabled the PLO to open a mission in Washington.

In 2010, then president Barack Obama upgraded the mission’s status to the level of “Delegation General.” The move was seen as a signal that the Obama administration supported moves by the PLO to initiate recognition of the “State of Palestine” by European governments and international bodies.

Whereas Obama’s PLO upgrade was legally dubious, the PLO’s campaign to get recognized as a state breached both of its agreements with Israel and the terms under which the US recognized it and permitted it to operate missions on US soil.

The operation of the PLO’s missions in the US was contingent on periodic certification by the secretary of state that the PLO was not engaged in terrorism, including incitement of terrorism, was not encouraging the boycott of Israel and was not seeking to bypass its bilateral negotiations with Israel in order to achieve either diplomatic recognition or statehood. Under Obama, the State Department refused to acknowledge the PLO’s breach of all the conditions of US recognition.

Angry at the administration’s facilitation of PLO breaches, in 2015 Congress mandated stricter and more precise conditions for continued operation of the PLO’s mission in Washington. Starting in 2016, the PLO was explicitly banned from advocating the prosecution of Israelis by the International Criminal Court. In 2015 the PLO joined the ICC with the explicit purpose of advocating the prosecution of Israelis. And in conformance with this purpose, in his speech before the UN General Assembly in September 2017, PLO/PA chief Mahmoud Abbas called for the ICC to prosecute Israelis for building communities in Judea and Samaria.

Given his experience with US administrations since Clinton, Abbas had every reason to believe that he would suffer no repercussions for his statement. No US administration had ever called the PLO/PA to account for its open breach of the terms of US recognition. So it isn’t surprising that Abbas and his advisers were utterly shocked when on Friday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent a letter to the PLO mission in Washington informing PLO envoy Husam Zomlot that he could not renew certification of PLO compliance with US law in light of Abbas’s statement in September.

The only way for the mission to remain in place is if President Donald Trump certifies within 90 days that the PLO is engaged in “direct, meaningful negotiations with Israel.”

One of the primary functions of the PLO mission in Washington is to promote and fund the boycott movement against Israel – in contravention of the terms of its operation and the terms of its agreements with Israel.

In written testimony to the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa in February, Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies revealed that the mission is “said to be actively promoting campus BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] activity in the US.”

“PLO operatives in Washington, DC,” Schanzer said, “are reportedly involved in coordinating the activities of Palestinian students in the US who receive funds from the PLO to engage in BDS activism. This, of course, suggests that the BDS movement is not a grassroots activist movement, but rather one that is heavily influenced by PLO-sponsored persons.”

In April 2016, Schanzer informed Congress that the PLO consulate in Chicago is a major funder of the BDS campus group Students for Justice in Palestine. The chairman of the US Coalition to Boycott Israel, which among other things funds BDS, is Ghassan Barakat, an official at the PLO’s Chicago consulate. His colleague, Senan Shaqdeh, is a member of the coalition. Shaqdeh also claims to be the founder of Students for Justice in Palestine, the antisemitic BDS group that operates on campuses throughout the US.

As Schanzer noted, in 2014 Shaqdeh traveled to Ramallah to meet with Abbas and PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

Aside from the fact that the US has refused to hold the PLO accountable for its actions for a quarter century, the PLO has another good reason to be shocked by Tillerson’s letter: the US consulate in Jerusalem operates as almost a mirror to the PLO mission in Washington.

The US consulate in Jerusalem has the same status as an embassy. Like the US ambassador in Tel Aviv, the US consul general in Jerusalem reports directly to the State Department. He is not accredited to Israel. His area of operations includes Jerusalem and its environs within and beyond the 1949 armistice lines, including Beit Shemesh, Mevasseret Zion, Judea and Samaria.

Israeli citizens who live within the consulate’s area of operations are not permitted to receive consular and visa services from the embassy in Tel Aviv. Among the over a million Israeli Jews that are required to receive US consular services from the consulate rather than the embassy are tens of thousands of Jewish dual nationals.

And yet, as Yisrael Medad has exhaustively documented, the Jerusalem consulate maintains an effective boycott of both these dual nationals and Israeli nationals who live in its area of operation. All of the consulate’s activities for US citizens are directed specifically and openly toward “Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and the West Bank.”

Consul General Donald Blome similarly directs all of his efforts toward reaching out to the Palestinians, ignoring as a regular practice the millions of Jews who live in his area of responsibility.

The consulate also openly rejects the notion that Israel and Jews have ties to its area of operations. For instance, Blome went on a hike around Judea and Samaria in July where he effectively erased the Jewish heritage sites in the areas. The consulate echoed UNESCO’s Jew-free version of the history of the land of Israel in a press release that celebrated his walk along the “Masar Ibrahim Al-Khalil” trail in celebration of “the connection of the people with the land.” Jews were not mentioned in the press release. And the historical name of the route he took is “Abraham’s path.”

Scholarships to study in the US and jobs listed on the website are open to “Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and the West Bank.”

In other words, while the PLO missions are pushing the BDS agenda in the US, the US consulate in Jerusalem is implementing it on the ground in Israel.

Tillerson’s letter to the PLO mission on Friday came two weeks before Trump will have to decide whether or not to sign a related waiver. On December 1, Trump will either allow the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act to come into force or he will sign a waiver postponing the embassy move for yet another six months.

In a congressional hearing on the issue of moving the embassy to Jerusalem on November 8, Rep. Ron DeSantis said that transfer of the embassy may be delayed due to the Trump administration’s “efforts to pursue a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.”

DeSantis argued that until the embassy is moved the Trump administration should take “incremental steps” that move it toward the goal.

Among the steps he advocated, DeSantis said “the American consulates in Jerusalem should report to the American embassy in Israel, not directly to the State Department.”

Tillerson’s letter to Zomlot was shocking because it represented the first time since 1993 that the PLO has been held accountable for its actions. The time has come for the State Department, too, to be held accountable for its behavior. And the best way to start this process is to follow DeSantis’s advice, subordinate the US consulates in Jerusalem to the US ambassador and end their boycott of Jews – US citizens and non-citizens – who live in the Jerusalem area, in Judea and Samaria.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

SHOULD SECRETARY OF STATE TILLERSON RESIGN?


by Morton Klein
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The USA State Department released a falsehood-filled, anti-Israel Terrorism Report and Tillerson bears the responsibility for it.
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When Rex Tillerson was nominated for Secretary of State, the pro-Israel community harbored concerns about Tillerson’s reported closeness to Jim Baker, ties to Arab states such as terrorism-financier Qatar, and minimal knowledge about the Arab war against Israel. Still, we hoped those nagging concerns would prove unfounded, and that Tillerson would implement President Trump’s anti-terrorism, pro-Israel policies, and drain the notoriously biased-against-Israel swamp at the State Department.
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Unfortunately, the State Department’s new anti-Semitic, Israel-bashing, falsehood-filled “Country Reports on Terrorism 2016” (issued July 2017) – which blames Israel for Palestinian Arab terrorism against innocent Israelis – has caused us to lose confidence in Secretary Tillerson’s ability to promote President Trump’s Mideast agenda.
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President Trump’s courageous speech in Riyadh appropriately blamed extreme barbaric Islamist ideologies for terrorism targeting innocent Jews, Christians and Muslims. The President sensibly insisted that we must “honestly confront the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires” and “cut off the financial channels” that enable terrorism.
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Stopping worldwide terrorism requires honestly confronting Islamist genocidal incitement to murder Jews. There cannot be a double standard when Jews are the victims. Because every method that Palestinian Arabs “pioneered” for murdering Jews – suicide bombing, truck ramming – is copied by terrorists in Boston, Nice and elsewhere.
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The report… re-characterizes the PA’s heinous payments as helpful “financial packages to Palestinian security prisoners . . . to reintegrate them into society.”
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We must honestly confront Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas’ Islamist incitement and unconscionable $355 million per year of “pay to slay” martyr payments incentivizing Palestinian Arabs to murder Jews.
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Disturbingly, the State Department terrorism report never even mentions that the PA pays terrorists to murder Jews. Shockingly, the report instead re-characterizes the PA’s heinous payments as helpful “financial packages to Palestinian security prisoners . . . to reintegrate them into society.”
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If we are serious about stopping terror, we must also honestly confront that Abbas has been inciting the ongoing deadly wave of terror by repeatedly rebroadcasting his Islamist call to spill blood to prevent Jews’ and Christians’ “filthy feet” from “defiling” Jewish and Christian sites in Jerusalem, that the Muslims are claiming as their own. We must honestly confront the PA leadership’s constant incitement against Israel and Jews in PA schools, children’s camps, mosques, newspapers and media.
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Instead of confronting these issues, the State Department terrorism report lies. It whitewashes the PA, falsely asserts that explicit PA calls for violence are “rare” and that the PA “leadership generally does not tolerate it.” Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL), in his July 20th letter to Tillerson, correctly called those assertions “demonstrably false.”
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Congressman Roskam wrote: “The State Department report includes multiple findings that are both inaccurate and harmful to combating Palestinian terrorism . . . At the highest level, the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership incites, rewards, and, in some cases, carries out terrorist attacks against innocent Israelis. In order to effectively combat terrorism, it is imperative that the United States accurately characterize its root cause – PA leadership. . . .”
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Absurdly, instead of acknowledging that PA incitement causes Palestinian Arab terror, the State Department terrorism report instead wrongly blames “lack of hope in achieving statehood” (although Palestinian Arabs repeatedly rejected generous statehood offers in 2000, ’01, ’08); “Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank” (an excuse that says the very presence of Jews living in the historic, legally designated Jewish homeland justifies killing Jews); “settler violence” (although this is virtually non-existent); “the perception that the Israeli government was changing the status quo on the Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount” (although PA President Abbas’s “filthy feet” incitement caused this false “perception”); and “IDF tactics that the Palestinians considered overly aggressive” (although IDF anti-terrorism methods are humane, reasonable and necessary steps such as weapons checkpoints and arresting murderers).
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The State Department report also woefully under-reports the number of Israelis murdered by Palestinian terrorists, and tries to turn incidents of Jewish teenagers painting graffiti into capital cases, while ignoring and downplaying the real capital cases of Palestinian Arabs murdering and maiming Jews. (Since the current wave of terror began in September 2015, Palestinian terrorists have murdered 52 Jews and Americans and wounded 789 Jews, and cause Israelis enormous stress when they are simply walking the streets and going shopping).
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Interestingly, the State Department report’s litany of falsehoods and false excuses for Palestinian Arab terrorism come straight from false anti-Israel UN reports, and an anti-Israel NGO that gives the UN false information. President Trump’s excellent Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley has been pushing the UN to retract those very same false reports!
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Notably, Secretary Tillerson was previously involved in denying and sanitizing the PA’s horrendous financial rewards to terrorists. At a June 13 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Tillerson testified that he was informed that the PA had changed its pay-to-slay policy. PA officials immediately contradicted Tillerson’s testimony, and told Reuters that the PA’s “martyr” payments to terrorists “are not going to be stopped.”
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In the wake of the fact that the PA is still paying Arabs to murder Jews, it is shocking that the State Department report still whitewashed PA payments that help drive terrorism.
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We need a State Department that honestly confronts the PA’s genocidal Islamist ideology and incitement. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is incapable of leading such an effort and must be replaced.

Israel: The Country That Europeans Love To Hate

By Guy Millière/Gatestone Institute
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On July 7, UNESCO voted for a resolution defining the Old City of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs as Palestinian heritage sites. Before that, in 2016, two resolutions making the same type of counterfactual assertions concerning the Old City of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall were adopted.
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And the year before that, in 2015, UNESCO again upended history to rename two ancient biblical sites, Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs, Islamic holy sites — even though Islam did not even exist at that time.
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Three days before this month’s Hebron resolution, still another resolution, reaffirming the Jerusalem resolutions, was passed.
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The Israeli government reacted with indignation. It decided to stop cooperating with UNESCO. US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said she was shocked and that the decision would not be without consequences.
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The rest of the world has remained silent. How come?
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The July 7 resolution received the support of a large majority of the countries participating in the deliberations. Six countries abstained. Only three countries voted against the text. The resolutions concerning Jerusalem were adopted with equally significant majorities. The voting, tellingly, took place by secret ballot.
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The purpose of UNESCO is supposedly to:
“contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, science and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.”
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Sadly, UNESCO has become simply an anti-Semitic fraud, governed by fabrications rather than by facts. It betrays its mission, falsifies history, and wages a campaign of raw racism against the Jewish people and Judaism — and the world accepts that.
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UNESCO acts as an instrument for propaganda seeking to annihilate the legitimacy of the existence of Israel — and the world supports this behavior.
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The Palestinian Authority (PA), which aspires to replace Israel with itself, is behind the resolutions on Jerusalem and Hebron and plays a key role in the transformation of UNESCO.
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The PA has constantly advocated and supported terrorism and has never stopped wanting to destroy Israel. Allowing the PA to have entered UNESCO is now having serious consequences.
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That the Muslim world supports the transformation of UNESCO and the resolutions proposed by the Palestinian Authority is predictable. Many Muslim countries directly or indirectly finance terrorism and approve the PA’s genocidal goals.
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A large part of the Muslim world mentally lives in a parallel reality, in which a seventh century “Muslim history” of the world replaces the factual history of the world. The Muslim world considers itself in a conflict with the Western world, and sees Israel as a Western enclave to be excised or at least suppressed.
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That Third World countries also support the transformation of UNESCO and these resolutions is also predictable. Many Third World countries are imbued with an anti-Western resentment that leads them to conclude that that they are in a conflict with the West and must therefore support decisions taken by the countries of the Muslim world.
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What is worrying is that most European countries, with few exceptions, accept these resolutions and the transformation of UNESCO.
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Seven decades after the Holocaust, European countries act as if they would like to destroy all evidence of the existence of Jews — and with it, their own complicity.
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Europe, while claiming that it has the utmost respect for knowledge, tramples on the most basic elements of knowledge.
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No worthy historian can deny that Jerusalem — especially so-called East Jerusalem — was the seat of the City of David; the first and second Temples that were destroyed in 586 BC and 70 AD; the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. Hebron, Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs are also essential places of the Jews’ biblical past. The Islamic invasions of Jerusalem and Judea took place centuries later.
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Moreover, although Europe claims to respect human rights and the rights of peoples, it has been a party to violating the most essential right of the Jewish people: the recognition of its existence for more than 3,000 years, and the anchoring of this existence to its sacred monuments.
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Worse, Europe does so in the name of a people fictitiously invented less than 50 years ago. No serious scholar can find any trace of a “Palestinian people” before the 1960s. Europe has apparently been all too happy to accept lies.
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Despite claiming to be resolutely hostile to anti-Semitism, Europe supports and endorses decisions that deny the Jewish character of the most essential Jewish sites, thereby denying the foundations of Judaism and consequently even denying the existence of a Jewish people.
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Although self-righteously claiming to be ready to fight any form of genocide, Europe keeps contributing to this more subtle genocide against the Jews, behind which it is not difficult to see a Palestinian desire for real genocide.
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While claiming to fight terrorism, Europe complies with the demands of a terrorist movement that does not even bother to hide its terrorist nature. When Mahmoud Abbas speaks Arabic, he continually incites the murder of Jews.
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He recently repeated that he would not stop paying salaries to tried, convicted and imprisoned murderers of Jews, and still calls these murderers heroic “martyrs”. On all maps used by the Palestinian Authority and in Palestinian textbooks, Israel does not exist; it is labelled as Palestine.
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A decade ago, a Spanish writer, Sebastian Vilar Rodriguez, wrote that Europe died in Auschwitz. He may well be right.
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In 1945, Europe, the continent of Nazism, was in ruins, physically and morally. It had caused a World War so gruesome — the crimes committed on its soil were so abominable — that it did not have the courage to face them for more than two decades.
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Europe rebuilt itself by affirming noble-sounding values of “integration” in the abstract, but without any thought to where they could lead.
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As Europe had made Nazism the source of all evil, European leaders, in a desperate attempt to ward off their past, came to reject nationalism, patriotism, all Western national identities and now, it appears, even Western Enlightenment culture.

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Most European countries, to show that they had fully turned the page, advocated peace at any price and gradually slipped into a spirit of submission.
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Europeans, imbued with a generic sense of guilt, began attributing all that is wrong in the world to Western civilization. Because they had colonized parts of the Muslim world, they failed to note that Muslim culture had, in fact, colonized Persia, the Byzantine Empire, the Middle East, Greece, Cyprus, the Balkans, North Africa, Southern Spain, and, more recently, northern Cyprus.
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Europe has rewritten history. In the textbooks of most European countries, the West is described almost unanimously as having “plundered” and “exploited” poor countries; never mind that poor countries were for centuries just as plundered and exploited by the Ottoman Empire. Europe has gradually abandoned itself to exaggerated repentance and Islamic influence.
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In Europe today, Islam is inaccurately presented as imbued with tolerance and as having been “humiliated” by the West. Slavery is portrayed solely as a Western crime, despite still being common in Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Sudan and elsewhere in the Muslim world.
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In 2014, the United Nations estimated that 21 million people are still “trapped in slavery” — a number equivalent to the entire population of Romania. In Europe, however, slavery in the Muslim world is never mentioned. Islamic anti-Semitism is never mentioned, either. It is thought of merely as a “far-right” monstrosity.
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Europe began to face the horror of the Holocaust only in the late 1970s, when an American television series, Holocaust, directed by Marvin Chomsky, was broadcast. A “duty of memory” was proclaimed.
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At the same time, Europe was becoming increasingly anti-Israel — considered by polite society a respectable way of hating Jews.
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Europeans now accuse Israel of “crimes” under the pretext of supporting the “Palestinian cause”. Europeans do not support genuine help for the Palestinians, such as freedom of speech, more and better jobs, human rights or uncorrupt governance; they just support the noble-sounding abstract idea of a “Palestinian state” — but one that would like to eliminate Israel.
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The destruction of Israel, under the name of the “peace process” became for European leaders a way to show that they sympathized with Islam, “understood” the “mischief of the West “, and were searching for a way to exonerate themselves from their guilt regarding their treatment of the Jews — while at the same time, surreptitiously, continuing to undermine them.
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The thinking seems to be: if Israeli Jews are supposedly committing crimes similar to Nazi crimes — which they are not — one can claim that anyone can be a Nazi, even Jews; that accordingly the Jews are not so innocent, after all, and therefore deserve whatever might be coming to them.
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Israel, the country that Europeans love to hate, is thereby not only made to embody the “mischief of the West” in the eyes of the Muslim world; it can comfortably be accused of anything without fear of retaliation.
Israel also happen to embody what Europe rejects: it is a nation-state proud of its identity. It does not have the luxury of talking blindly about “peace” while submitting to its enemies.
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By accepting the decisions taken at UNESCO, European countries are unfortunately taking yet more steps in the direction of cowardice and their own self-destruction.
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In a speech on July 5 in Warsaw, US President Donald Trump, recalling the accomplishments of Western civilization, observed that the fundamental question of our time is whether or not the West has the will to survive.
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Just two days later, the UNESCO resolution on Hebron was voted on in Krakow, fewer than 50 miles from the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. Before the vote, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, remarked that the UNESCO meeting was held near the largest mass grave of the Jewish people.
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His remarks clearly did not faze any of the participants, or induce anyone in Europe to think about the symbolic dimension of a vote like that in a place like that.
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Obscenely — and in a massive insult to the memory of those who died in Auschwitz — a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the Holocaust was immediately followed by a minute of silence in memory of the “victims of Israel”.
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The Europeans, in other words, participated in one minute of silence for a free and democratic country which for seven decades has sued for peace, and one minute of silence for a repressive government that promotes and sponsors terrorism. Such a false moral equivalence could not have been more illuminating.
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Europe has turned its back on Judaism — which brought the first social laws to the West, and without which the West would not exist. By behaving ignominiously towards Israel and the Jews, and by supporting the anti-Jewish hatred ingrained in the Palestinian cause, as embodied by the Palestinian Authority, Europe continues to turn its back on all the values it professes to embody.
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One can only assume that Europe has lost the will to survive as a part of the West.
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Israel and the United States, on the other hand, by being outraged over what has become of UNESCO, at least show respect for the values that have made the West great.
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Showing full respect for these values, however, still involves a decision that should have been taken long ago: leaving UNESCO. Countries that still have a sense of decency have no place in an organization that has become so corrupted.
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Israeli journalists have attributed responsibility for the murderous attack on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on July 14 to these recent UNESCO resolutions, which have only emboldened Israel’s enemies to continue their attempted genocide.
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UNESCO’s latest decision — defining Jerusalem as “Palestinian” and supposedly as “illegally occupied” — has led Israel’s enemies to conclude that UNESCO has given attacks in Jerusalem or Hebron a green-light legitimacy.
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Based on UNESCO’s fraudulent decisions, who can blame them for thinking that?

Why Do We Help Fund Palestinians To Pay Terrorists?

By Sander Gerber/Algemeiner.com

On March 8, 2016, Taylor Force, a 28-year-old West Point graduate and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, was visiting Israel with members of his graduate class from Vanderbilt University when a Palestinian terrorist attacked civilians in Jaffa with a knife.

Force was killed, and 10 others, including a pregnant woman, were wounded.

US vice president Joe Biden, who happened to be in Israel on a state visit at the time, said: “The kind of violence we saw yesterday, the failure to condemn it, the rhetoric that incites that violence, the retribution that it generates, has to stop.”

But the rhetoric and the Palestinian payments to terrorists have not stopped.

In fact, the very next day, Abbas’ Fatah party praised the attacker, Bashar Masalha, as a “hero and martyr,” and added that these attacks would continue as “long as Israel does not believe in a two-state solution and ending its occupation.”

Masalha, who was shot and killed by police after he stabbed his last victim, was given a hero’s funeral with thousands in attendance.

The PA even criticized Israel for not releasing Masalha’s body in a timelier fashion.

But the truly obscene part of this story is not really Masalha’s killing spree; it is the PA ‘s efforts to incentivize more terrorists to commit acts of violence against civilians in Israel.

According to Law Number 14, Articles 1 and 2, enacted by the PA in 2004, Masalha’s family will receive a pension for life, amounting to three times the average yearly salary in the West Bank.

The Palestinian government makes absolutely no attempt to hide its rewards for terrorism. In the Amended Palestinian Prisoners Law 19 of 2013, the payments were actually enhanced for a terrorist who commits a violent act and is jailed.

Under this law, the longer the sentence (i.e., the greater the violence), the higher the salary that a terrorist receives.

Article 4 offers free tuition to the children of those jailed. In Article 6, there is even a clothing allowance and monthly stipend linked to the cost-of-living index.

Health insurance is included in Article 4, section 12. Article 5 provides the ultimate bonus: a lifetime pension for a prison term of five years (or only two years in the case of a female terrorist).

In response, some members of the US Congress are planning to introduce the Taylor Force Act, which would cut off funds to the PA until it revokes its laws supporting terrorism.

Why the Israeli government fails to highlight that the PA has legislation incentivizing terrorism, and that it allocates $315 million, nearly 8% of its budget, to pay terrorists in prison and the families of the “martyrs,” is bewildering.

While the Israeli government has begun to criticize the PA for paying terrorists, it has never done anything to stop the PA from doing so.

The PA has named 25 schools throughout the West Bank after terrorist murderers. Three of them honor Dalal Mughrabi, a member of the Fatah faction of the PLO (the precursor to the PA ), who was part of the group that ambushed a bus near Tel Aviv in 1978 (38 Israeli citizens were killed, including 13 children).

The late Ms. Mughrabi also has a public square, a soccer tournament, a summer camp and a computer center named after her.

Perhaps it is time for Israel to admit that no two-state solution and no peace will ever be achieved if the Palestinian leadership continues to incentivize terrorism against Israel and teaches its children to hate and kill Jews.

There has been a continued argument that being too forceful with the PA could weaken it, which would lead to the rise of an even more lethal entity, like Hamas or Hezbollah.

This is simply wrong, and the US, under President Donald Trump, is now setting into motion the simple idea that terrorism of any sort and against any people is completely unacceptable.

For more than 50 years, much of the world has accepted the Palestinians’ argument of moral equivalence: that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

We’ve heard this in response to the PLO airplane hijackings of the 1960s, the Munich Olympic massacre, the Ma’alot slaughter of Jewish children and the stabbing death of Taylor Force.

But things appear to finally be changing.

In December, Great Britain temporarily suspended funding to the PA because the UK claims, correctly, that the money winds up in the hands of terrorists.

Shortly after his inauguration, President Trump held up a last-minute cash giveaway of $221 million to the Palestinians that Barack Obama authorized just hours before he left office.

Too many innocent victims like Taylor Force have suffered at the hands of Palestinian terrorists. It’s time we stop adding to this list.

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In fact, the very next day, Abbas’ Fatah party praised the attacker, Bashar Masalha, as a “hero and martyr,” and added that these attacks would continue as “long as Israel does not believe in a two-state solution and ending its occupation.”

That quote highlights the lies and hypocrisy spread by the Palestinian propaganda machine. Al Jazeera recently broadcast a documentary on the Israel/Palestine conflict that proved the Palestinian terrorism was never a fight for a two-state division of the land. 

The Fatah controlled PLO began their campaign of terrorism when the West-Bank was under Jordanian control, and they stated at the time that they had no claim to it.

Their true goal was, and still is to drive all Jews off all the land “from the river to the sea”.

 

MOVE THE USA EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM – ISRAEL

by Morton Klein (Arutz Sheva News)

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With Donald Trump in the White House, speculation is mounting: does he intend to act on his pre-election promise, dating back to January 2016, and reaffirmed both before (personally to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) and since his election, that he will transfer the US embassy in Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, in accordance with standard diplomatic practice and the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act? Doubt is being cast on the President’s intention to follow through.
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Why?
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It has been argued, apparently by Egyptian and Jordanian leaders, that such a move would inflame the Arab world, especially the Palestinian Arabs, and expose Americans to attack, while causing disorders for these regimes.
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It is even said that Israel’s subterranean contacts and quiet cooperation with certain Arab states, united by fear of a nuclear Iran, might be imperiled by the tumult such a move would cause on the Arab street. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has reportedly threatened to revoke its official recognition of Israel (which in reality it did not ever accept as Jewish state).
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Indeed, PA President Mahmoud Abbas — no stranger to urging violence over Jerusalem; just recall his September 2015 call upon Palestinians to violence to defend the Al Aqsa Mosque, which he falsely claimed was under assault from the Jews’ “filthy feet” — has threatened that if the embassy is moved, “it will destroy the peace process.”
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Weighty as these considerations against moving the embassy might seem, President Trump would be wise to act on his pledge (as well as his original inclination) and move the embassy, for four reasons:
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First, President Trump spoke in his inaugural address of the imperative of “eradicating from the face of the Earth” radical Islamic terrorism.  It would ill-serve his credibility and thus American interests to renege on a emphatic, explicit commitment to move the embassy in the face of jihadist terrorist threats as virtually the first act of his Presidency.
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Second, how are allies to put trust in American commitments that can be undone at the first hint of violence or intimidation? Retracting his commitment to move the embassy would appear to be the worst possible way for President Trump to tackle, as he has pledged to do, reversing the perception that America doesn’t stand by friends while being concessionary to violent enemies.
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Third, jihadist terrorists, dedicated to destroying or transforming America into a sharia-compliant state irrespective of Israel’s existence, have either planned or launched at least 91 attacks within the U.S. since 9/11 (ten during 2016 alone). It’s unlikely that moving the U.S. embassy will engender attacks that would not otherwise be undertaken.  But even if it did, the idea that U.S foreign policy is to be determined by the probability of resort to murderous force by terrorists is unworthy of a sovereign country, let alone a world power.
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Fourth,  this is especially so where such a move might be beneficial to peace.  Far from harming peace prospects, a clear U.S. policy that corrects an historic anomaly and unambiguously recognizes the reality of Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital by relocating the US embassy there might serve to dissipate the unrealistic Palestinian ambition that Israel can be detached from Jerusalem.
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Islam possesses holy sites in Jerusalem, but the city is neither sacred to Islam nor has it ever served as an Islamic capital; Jordan, which illegally occupied and annexed Jerusalem’s eastern half (1948-67), neglected it and retained Amman as its capital.  During this period, no Arab leader, other than Jordan’s King Hussein, even visited it.   Indeed, the Quran never refers to the city and Muslim prayers are directed towards Mecca.  But detaching Israel from Jerusalem is one of the holy grails of the Palestinian movement.
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PA senior official and former ambassador, Abbas Zaki, succinctly explained why in 2011: “if they get out of Jerusalem, what will become of all the talk about the Promised Land and the Chosen People? They consider Jerusalem to have a spiritual status. If the Jews leave those places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse.”
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Accordingly, the Palestinian ambition to detach Jerusalem from Israel is itself an impediment to peace prospects – and so therefore is America’s present policy that even the western half of Jerusalem in Israeli hands since the 1949 Israeli/Jordanian armistice is not treated as Israel.
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The standing US position on Jerusalem emboldens jihadist aggression and reinforces Palestinian hopes that Jerusalem, and eventually Israel, will pass out of Jewish hands.
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Deferring or refusing to move the embassy entrenches this aspiration. This is scarcely a signal that the U.S. should wish to send.  America’s reputation and reliability, as also the opportunity to remove an obstacle to eventual peacemaking, are at stake.  Hopefully, President Trump understands this.