Amona residents take deal, avert forced evacuation
In a move likely to quell fears of a violent showdown between settlers and security forces, residents of Amona voted Sunday to evacuate their outpost peacefully, accepting a proposal from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that would see 24 families moved to an adjacent plot of land while the rest set up in nearby Ofra.
The state said earlier that it would request an extension for the evacuation notice — set for December 25 — which the High Court is likely to accept, in order to allow time for the implementation of the compromise deal.
The residents voted 45 in favor of the proposal, with 25 opposed and two abstentions. A few hours later, cabinet ministers embraced it in a unanimous vote.
The last-ditch effort to prevent the forced evacuation of Amona, presented Saturday night, was built on a previous proposal, rejected by the settlers last week that would have seen only half as many families remain on the hilltop.
Under the agreement, presented by Netanyahu, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Yossi Dagan, head of the Shomron Regional Council, 24 of Amona’s 40 families would receive mobile homes on a plot just meters from the outpost — as opposed to the 12 in last week’s offer — while the remaining families would be given temporary residences in Ofra.
MK Bezalel Smotrich, who had taken up the cause of the Amona settlers in the Knesset, praised them for taking the deal and said their struggle brought hope for the future of the settlement enterprise.
“Today with their decision, the people of Amona are continuing on the path of hope. My brothers who are heroes of hope, thanks to you, the settlements will continue to grow and strengthen,” he said in a statement.
Likud MK Yehudah Glick also thanks them for their “respectful struggle,” “their ethical stand” and their “brave decision.”
MK Tamar Zandberg, of the left-wing Meretz party, criticized the deal, calling it a “capitulation” to the settlers. In seeking a deal, she said, the state had “danced to the tune of 40 families who have no qualms about trampling the Israeli interest and rule of law.”
The deal came as at least 1,000 people gathered in Amona in a show of support for the illegal outpost as the court-ordered deadline for its evacuation loomed.
One protester who had come to Amona to fight off the evacuation said he was unhappy with the decision. “I feel betrayed by the residents. They decided not to fight but to go against their interests. It’s against the Torah. It’s not the truth,” the protester, who declined to be named, said.
“The fight isn’t over,” said a spokesman from Ofra, the nearby settlement. “We’re taking our foot off the gas for a month. If in the next month the state lives up to its promise to build 52 houses and public structures, then the struggle will be crowned a success and Amona will stay on the hill. If the state doesn’t fulfill its promises, we won’t hesitate to renew the fight with more grit and more strength.”
As with the earlier, rejected proposal, the government promised to work toward a more permanent solution with the possibility of creating a settlement in the area, in exchange for a pledge by the residents that they would leave their homes peacefully, in compliance with the court order.
Now that an agreement has been accepted, the state will request a one-month postponement for the evacuation from the High Court of Justice. The court has denied a similar request before, but with the residents agreeing to the terms of the new proposal, “all the lawyers think the court will accept it,” Glick told The Times of Israel.
Although the final date for the evacuation was set just seven days from Sunday, the High Court is obligated to rule on an extension as long as it is presented before the December 25 deadline, according to a spokesperson for the court.
Netanyahu and Bennett did not meet directly with the Amona residents to present the deal; rather, Netanyahu’s aide Yoav Rabinovitch acted as a go-between with the settlers, Glick said.
“And then at about 12:30-1:00 [Saturday night], there was a meeting between Netanyahu, Bennett and Dagan, where they put together the whole thing in writing,” he said.
On Sunday morning, Avichai Boaron, the head of the campaign for the Amona residents, said the current deal was “much better” than the one previously presented
But “this deal also has risks and we will have to ask ourselves if we are willing to take that risk in order to move forward,” he told Army Radio.
The original agreement outlined a five-week timeline for residents to move to the alternate plots but also included a clause saying that the state will provide temporary accommodation in the nearby Ofra settlement in the event that “there is a delay in the implementation.”
For their part, the residents would have to sign a declaration, which Jewish Home party sources said was legally binding, that they would leave their homes peacefully, avoiding a repeat of the violence that followed the destruction of several permanent buildings in the outpost in 2006. (the Times of Israel)
Israeli lightly injured in shooting attack in West Bank
An Israeli man was lightly injured in a drive-by shooting attack near the Israeli settlement of Halamish in the West Bank on Sunday, the Israeli military said.
The injured man, said to be in his 20s, received medical treatment on the scene for wounds to his face from glass shards, sustained when the gunfire shattered the window on the driver’s side. He was later transfered to hospital.
The vehicle sustained some damage.
According to preliminary reports, the perpetrators opened fire from a passing vehicle on the road near the Palestinian village of Aboud, close to Ramallah.
IDF troops were scouring the area for the suspected attackers. Security forces were checking whether an abandoned vehicle found near the scene was the one used in the attack.
The shooting came just a few days after a gunman opened fire on an Israeli car with two children in the back seat outside Ramallah on Wednesday evening, causing damage to the vehicle, but no injuries.
Earlier that day, a 21-year-old Palestinian man attacked a group of police officers in the Old City of Jerusalem with a screwdriver, stabbing one of them in the head and another in the upper body, police said. In response, the officers opened fire, shooting the assailant and mortally wounding him. He later died in hospital.
A spate of stabbings, car-rammings and shooting attacks by Palestinian assailants that began a year ago has waned over the last six months, though sporadic incidents have persisted.
From October 2015 to October 2016, 36 Israelis, two Americans and an Eritrean national were killed in stabbing, car-ramming and shooting attacks.
According to AFP figures, some 238 Palestinians, a Jordanian and a Sudanese migrant were also killed during the violent spurt, most of them in the course of carrying out attacks, Israel says, and many of the others in clashes with troops in the West Bank and at the Gaza border, as well as in Israeli airstrikes in the Strip. (the Times of Israel)
IDF uncovers large weapons-making factory in Hebron basement
Security forces uncovered the largest illegal weapons factory this year overnight between Sunday and Monday in Hebron, a senior IDF officer said Monday morning.
According to the senior officer, the factory, found in the basement of a family house in the al-Fah industrial zone, included 15 lathes used to produced weapons components, including M16s, Carlo Gustav rifles, Russian 7.62 sniper rifles.
While the factory did not seem to be producing ammunition, in addition to the metal-working machines, security forces found 70 barrels full of hundreds of different types of ammunition. The ammunition for the M16’s and Carlo Gustav rifles were found hidden in the walls of the building along with dozens of other firearm components.
This is the most significant arms find by the army and security personnel, the senior officer said, adding that “I have never seen a workshop that makes so many arms, at such an accurate level and for so many different types of weapons.”
Hundreds of soldiers from the 890th Paratrooper Brigade, the 77th armored brigade, combat engineers and Border Police took part in the raid.
Security forces suspected that at least 10 to 15 people worked in the weapons factory, which had been in operation for a while. The owner of the building, who had initially claimed to be producing agricultural equipment, and his son were arrested with his son and taken in for questioning by the Shin Bet.
Earlier on Sunday evening assailants opened fire towards an Israeli car near the West Bank settlement of Halamisch, causing damage to the car but no injuries.
Security forces believe that most of shooting attacks which have occurred in the West Bank and inside Israel were carried out with weapons locally produced in the West Bank. Israeli security forces, including the Shin Bet intelligence agency, Israeli Defense Forces and police, have increased their efforts to uncover unofficial workshops producing illegal weapons, carrying out near-nightly raids in the West Bank, shutting down weapons factories and confiscating arms, greatly reducing the number of illegal explosive devices and other weapons that could end up in the hands of potential attackers.
According to the army, over 40 gun-making workshops have been shut down and over 420 weapons have been confiscated. (Jerusalem Post)
Aliya from France great for economy, Bar-Ilan profs say
The boom in French aliya has been a boon for the economy, but Israel risks discouraging additional arrivals if the too many of the newcomers continue to have trouble getting good jobs, two professors say.
“… for every one shekel the state spends on them [French olim], the state receives 15 shekels back,” Prof. Daphna Aviram-Nitzan, head of the Migration Research Unit at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, told The Jerusalem Post in an interview on Sunday.
Research conducted by Aviram- Nitzan and economics professor Elise S. Brezis at the Migration Research Unit at the university’s Aharon Meir Center for Banking and Economic Policy suggests that the wave of aliya from France in recent years directly contributed to national economic growth, and that the future growth that the olim can bring far outweighs the cost of their aliya. However, aliya from France is in decline.
The research was commissioned by an undisclosed donor to the Migration Research Unit and was completed in August.
The researchers analyzed data from the Central Bureau of Statistics and the Jewish Agency, as well as interviews with relevant officials in Israel and in France, looking at it through the Solow-Swan model of economic growth.
The Solow-Swan model attempts to explain long-term growth by examining capital accumulation, labor force and population growth, and increases in productivity.
“The growth potential is empiric, we added in the cost benefit outlook because that’s the language that the relevant government authorities need to hear in order to realize the importance of the French olim,” Aviram-Nitzan explained.
According to the research, which studied the 20,000 French olim who arrived in Israel in the last two years and constructed a long-term model for the next decade based on this data and potential future aliya, the olim increase GDP by an estimated annual 0.46%, which at the time of writing the research translated to NIS 5 billion a year. The accumulated growth for the next decade is estimated at 4.9% addition to the GDP. In addition, the research suggests that if the number of olim is maintained according to the researchers’ projections the state will reap an additional NIS 16.2 billion in taxes over that 10 years.
“The growth potential in French aliya stems from the characteristics of the French olim. As opposed to other waves of aliya, this one arrives with preexisting skills and qualifications for a Western labor market, 50% of them have academic degrees. The Israeli economy would receive a ‘free gift’ as the state invests billions in order to produce the much needed academics for its labor force, and here we have a potential for a wave of such academics that the state didn’t spend a single shekel on creating, Aviram-Nitzan told the Post.
“Also in terms of retired French olim, the state has nothing to fear or lose since French pensioners will not constitute a burden to the state. Due to the economic association agreements between Israel and the European Union, France continues to pay the pensions for French retirees who made aliya. We are talking about €12b.-13b. a year are wired by France to Israel for the pensions. This is purchasing power that Israel will gain without doing anything,” she said.
The entire projection, however, is theoretical and depends on the state’s ability to ensure that immigration from France continues in high numbers. But as the research’s appendixes show, aliya from France dropped from 7,500 olim in 2015 to 4,000 in 2016, and the projection for 2017 suggest number closer to 2,000.
“There is a great potential for aliya in France, but it is decreasing and losing momentum mainly due to employment fears by potential French olim,” Ariel Kandel, CEO of the Qualita umbrella-organization for French olim, told the Post.
“Today it is not enough to simply come up to Jews in France and tell them to come to Israel, the state has to realign its priorities in order to facilitate the aliya and offer the olim better absorption solutions, especially in the employment field.”
Both Kandel and Aviram- Nitzan said that many young French Jews are looking at their friends who immigrated to Israel and see that they are still unemployed, or work outside their vocation.
According to Aviram- Nitzan, the state is about to miss an opportunity for an economic growth spurt by neglecting the French aliya, and will only reap these benefits if the numbers of olim are substantial and those olim are gainfully employed in accordance with their skill sets and education. (Jerusalem Post)
Alleged Australian BDS activist writer may be forced to leave Israel
A journalist who has allegedly engaged in activity supportive of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement may not be able to remain in Israel, the Government Press Office revealed on Sunday.
GPO director Nitzan Chen said he was leaning against renewing the press card of Antony Loewenstein, a Jerusalem- based freelance reporter who writes for The Guardian and other publications. If the card is not renewed when it expires in March, the Interior Ministry will not allow him to remain in Israel.
“We are leaning toward recommending that his work permit not be renewed due to suspected BDS activity,” Chen said. “We are checking the incident because unfortunately, the journalist did not give enough information to our staff. We will learn to check better so there won’t be such incidents in the future.
When told by the Post of the office’s intentions, Loewenstein responded that he had provided all the information required when his application for a press card was assessed last March.
“I didn’t hide anything, and to suggest the card was obtained in any other way is simply untrue,” Loewenstein said. “There was nothing hidden, and the GPO knows that.
There was nothing dishonest about it at all. In a free and open country, free speech is essential, as it is in normal democracies.”
Foreign Press Association chairman Josef Federman, who is the Associated Press’s bureau chief, said, “Mr. Loewenstein was accepted as an associate, nonvoting member of the FPA based on his career as a freelance journalist. While we do not endorse his views, we also do not screen our members for their opinions.”
Loewenstein noticeably directed what was seen as a hostile question toward Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid at an FPA event last Monday.
“Is there not a deluded idea here that many Israeli politicians, including yourself, continue to believe that one can talk to the world about democracy, freedom and human rights while denying that to millions of Palestinians, and will there not come a time soon, in a year, five years, 10 years, when you and other politicians will be treated like South African politicians during Apartheid?” he asked.
After the Post wrote about the event, Honest Reporting managing editor Simon Plosker investigated Loewenstein.
“He is a prominent anti-Israel activist in his native Australia and a public supporter of the BDS movement,” Plosker wrote. “His own blog includes a post titled Personally supporting BDS against Israel where he published a statement that he made at a BDS event in Sydney in 2014.”
At the rally, Loewenstein said, “BDS is growing and I’m proud to be part of a global movement that’s led by the Palestinians most directly affected.”
The Guardian distanced itself from Loewenstein. Its Jerusalem correspondent, Peter Beaumont, said he knew nothing about him.
The Guardian’s head of international news, Jamie Wilson, said Loewenstein was contracted to write comment pieces for Guardian Australia and remains an occasional comment contributor but he “is not a news correspondent for the Guardian in Israel.”
According to Honest Reporting, Loewenstein was told by the Guardian not to reference the publication at future press conferences unless he is working on a direct commission.
Lapid praised the GPO’s move. “Freedom of speech and freedom of the media are key in a democracy likes ours, but that doesn’t extend to BDS activists pretending to be journalists,” he said. “It harms Israel and it harms the media.
This is another example of the lies of the BDS movement. We have a duty to protect ourselves from people who seek to demonize and delegitimize the State of Israel.” (Jerusalem Post)
Peace in the Middle East
by Tim Blair The Daily Telegraph
Shortly after meeting Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, former PM Tony Abbott and Labor leader Bill Shorten arrived at a Jerusalem restaurant filled with Australian journalists.
How, asked the assembled reporters, had the meeting gone?
“I wanted to know about their commitment to renewable energy targets,” Abbott answered, to laughter.
“I wanted to find out what they thought about same sex marriage,” added another member of the bipartisan Australian delegation, to more laughter.
“They weren’t sure what a plebiscite was,” Shorten revealed. Further laughter.
By their own accounts, the unlikely Abbott and Shorten double act did in fact cover some serious ground during today’s Hamdallah encounter. “He was at his most interesting when talking about Daesh,” Abbott, using his preferred term for Islamic State, said of the Palestinian PM. Hamdallah described Islamic State as “terrorists using religion as a pretext for crime.”
Given the Palestinian Authority’s acceptance and support of terrorists from within their own movement, of course, this statement comes with certain qualifications – as does a claim from Hamdallah that “only three or four” of his people had joined Islamic State in Syria and northern Iraq.
If true, this would mean that substantially fewer Hamas and Fatah members had signed up for Islamic State jihad than have Australian citizens from Western Sydney alone.
The Palestinian PM “was at his most evasive”, Abbott added, “when talking about general accommodation of a two-state solution between Palestinians and Israelis.” Overall, said Shorten, the meeting was positive and beneficial, but came with this proviso: “It’s one thing to be thoughtful and reasonable when speaking in English during a closed meeting.
“It’s another thing to be thoughtful and reasonable when discussing the same issues in public in Arabic.”
Both Abbott and Shorten, here in Jerusalem for the Australia Israel UK Leadership dialogue, are on their third trip to Israel. Abbott first visited in 1982 while a student at Oxford and recalls sleeping on a beach. Shorten first enjoyed Israel in 2004.
The pair share an evident fondness for the country and a realistic optimism over the possibility of advancement for Palestinians. “I think some of the [Palestinian] delegates smiled when I asked about the minimum wage,” Shorten said during a post-meeting chat alongside Abbott in the King David Hotel bar.
Abbott was taken by the fact that four out of five advisors to the Palestinian Financial Minister were women, and that only one wore anything even similar to a traditional Islamic head covering. This sparked a discussion between Abbott and Shorten on the PLO’s initial secular foundation in 1964 and the very Westernised worlds of Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran prior to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.
For the record, Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah holds this opinion of US president elect Donald Trump: “We are hoping that his actions prove very different to his words.” By contrast, when it comes to Hamdallah’s moderate remarks, the world will be hoping they match exactly his future intentions.
Palestinians: Welcome to the World of Western-Funded Terrorism
by Bassam Tawil The Gatestone Institute
Palestinians and their families are being financially rewarded by the West for taking part in terror attacks against Jews. It does not take a brain surgeon to figure out that this promotes terrorism.
Palestinian terrorists released from prison have far higher chances of getting a job with the Palestinian Authority (PA) government than people who went to university, because by carrying out an attack against Jews they become heroes, entitled to a superior job and salary.
The more time you spend in an Israeli prison, the more prestigious the job you will receive. Graduating from an Israeli prison is better than graduating from an Ivy League university.
These people have not been imprisoned for running a red light. Most of them are behind bars because they have masterminded suicide bombings and other terror attacks that have killed and maimed hundreds of innocent civilians during the past few decades.
So, when you hear that it is the PLO, not the PA, that pays the terrorists’ salaries, you might want to mention that this statement is a sleight of hand designed to dupe unsuspecting and well-intentioned American and European donors.
It is time to tell Abbas and his associates, in terms that they understand, that the West will no longer fund terrorists. This message, above all others, will discourage terrorism — and perhaps even encourage peace.
Killing Jews has become a profitable business. Palestinians who think of launching a terror attack against Jews can rest assured that their well-being and that of their family will be guaranteed while they are in Israeli prison. Here is how it works:
The Western-funded Palestinian Authority (PA) government, through its various institutions, provides a monthly salary and different financial benefits to jailed Palestinian terrorists and their families. Upon their release, they will continue to receive financial aid, and are given top priority when it comes to employment in the public sector. Their chances of getting a job with the PA government are higher than those who went to university, because by carrying out an attack against Jews they become heroes, entitled to a superior job and salary.
For the record, these people have not been imprisoned for running a red light. Most of them are behind bars because they have masterminded suicide bombings and other terror attacks that have killed and maimed hundreds of innocent civilians during the past few decades. In the U.S., these convicted Palestinian terrorists would have been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, or the death penalty. What they would not be receiving are the privileges offered to them by Abbas and the PA leadership.
Ready for a dose of linguistic reality? In addition to his title as president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas is also chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). So it makes no difference at all whether the PA or the PLO is paying salaries to the terrorists: the same man is authorizing the funds. In reality, the PA and the PLO are one and the same. Israel signed the Oslo Accords with the PLO, and as a result of these agreements, the PA was created. We are dealing with the same people and same ideology.
So, when you hear that it is the PLO, not the PA, that pays the terrorists’ salaries, you might want to mention that this statement is a sleight of hand designed to dupe unsuspecting and well-intentioned American and European donors.
Let us look beyond the smoke and mirrors: Palestinians and their families are being financially rewarded by the West for taking part in terror attacks against Jews. It does not take a brain surgeon to figure out that this promotes terrorism. A Palestinian who kills or wounds a Jew can lie comfortably in his prison cell, secure in the knowledge that his future and that of his wife and children taken care of.
Welcome to the world of President Abbas and his government. By providing financial and other aid to those involved in terrorism against Israel, these leaders actively encourage Palestinians to choose the path of violence, and not peace, in dealing with the Israelis.
Let us get specific. The more time you spend in an Israeli prison, the more prestigious the job you will receive. If, for example, you spent more than 15 years in an Israeli prison, and you are affiliated in one way or another with Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction, you will most likely be offered the rank of Colonel or Lieutenant General in one of the Western-funded PA security services.
If, by chance, you masterminded a series of terror attacks that resulted in the deaths of multiple Jews, and your name is Marwan Barghouti, your chances of becoming the next Palestinian president are very high. Barghouti, who is serving five life terms in an Israeli prison for his role in a series of terror attacks that killed at least five Jews, is so popular that he won the first slot in the Fatah “primaries” that were held in Ramallah in late October.
Issa Qaraqi, the head of the Palestinian National Commission for Prisoners and Detainees Affairs, described the election of Barghouti as a “victory for the prisoners and their sacrifices.” In other words, the terrorists should be happy because a bright future awaits them.
Qaraqi’s description is accurate. Like many Palestinians, he too believes that a terrorist who was responsible for the killing of Jews should be honored and offered the finest privileges. Palestinian public opinion polls indicate that Barghouti’s chances of succeeding Abbas as the next PA president are very strong. According to these polls, Barghouti, who has been imprisoned for 15 years, is the Palestinians’ front-runner for the presidency.
These polling results should come as no surprise whatsoever. Palestinians regularly rise to power on the fact of having killed or wounded a Jew. These are, shall we say, optimum credentials for leadership. “Graduating” from an Israeli prison is better than graduating from an Ivy League university.
Moreover, the payments made to the prisoners and their families are far from “humanitarian” in nature. Many of those who receive the benefits are, in fact, not in need of the money: they own their own houses and their families own agricultural lands and farms. In addition, the Palestinian tribal system, where the clan rallies behind one of its members, allows for the prisoners and their families to benefit from financial and moral support. The family bond is very strong in these instances, and it is the duty of each member of the clan to help in accordance with his or her abilities.
Instead, the payments have a political and national goal, as Palestinian leaders themselves remind us again and again. The declared goal is to support the “steadfastness” of the prisoners and their families, “alleviate their suffering,” and pave the way for their “rehabilitation and reintegration” into Palestinian society.
The Palestinian leadership and many Palestinians consider the terrorist prisoners “heroes” — “soldiers” in the fight against Israel. These are the “good boys,” who “sacrificed their lives and freedom” in order to fight the “Zionist enemy.” Take, for example, Maher Hashlamoun, a 32-year-old Palestinian man from Hebron who was recently sentenced to two life terms in prison for murdering a Jewish woman and wounding others in a car-ramming and stabbing attack near Bethlehem. Hashlamoun is now being praised by the PA and many Palestinians as a “hero” and “struggler.” At his sentencing, Hashlamoun laughed, sarcastically telling the judge: “Do you think you will remain on my homeland for another 200 years?”
The terrorist had good reason to laugh in the face of the judge. He knows that Abbas, the Palestinian Authority, or some other entity will look after his family and him while he is sitting in prison. He knows that thanks to Western donations to the Palestinians, his family and he will enjoy monthly payments. The family will even be exempt from paying school and university tuition, as well as their electric and water bills, which will be fully covered by the PA government, directly or indirectly. He also knows that if and when he is released from prison, his chances of finding a job in the public sector are much higher than those of someone who did not kill a Jew or spend time in an Israeli prison.
Until a few years ago, the PA government was dealing with the Palestinian prisoners held in Israel through the Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, which was established in 1995, shortly after the signing of the Oslo Accords.
The ministry aims, among other things, to “ensure a decent life for prisoners and care for their children and their families.” Its mission also includes the “rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-detainees into Palestinian society.”
In 2014, the Palestinian Authority, under pressure from Western donors, abolished the ministry and replaced it with a new body called the Higher National Commission for Prisoners and Detainees Affairs. The decision to abolish the ministry and turn it into a PLO-associated commission was seen as an attempt by Abbas to appease Israel and the Western donors. As a consequence of the change, the PLO, and not the PA government, would be in charge of paying salaries and other social benefits to the prisoners and their families. The move was aimed at showing Western donors that their financial aid to the Palestinian Authority was not going to support terrorists in Israeli prison. (The PLO does not receive direct funds from Western donors).
But Abbas’s move was nothing but another dirty deception. The so-called Higher National Commission for Prisoners and Detainees Affairs is actually the same abolished ministry, but under a different name. The commission is directly linked to the Palestinian Authority government and appears as one of its institutions on its official website. The website declares that the Commission provides the prisoners and their families with “legal and material services,” as well as professional training, health insurance, loans, grants and university scholarships for ex-prisoners.
While many in the international community have fallen for Abbas’s trickery concerning the support of convicted terrorists who are imprisoned by Israel, a few have discovered the ploy. Earlier this year, the British government’s Department for International Development reportedly froze part of its aid to the PA, following demands for action from UK lawmakers, after revelations that British aid was being used to fund payments to Palestinian terrorists. Some of the funds were reported to have gone to families of Palestinian suicide bombers and teenagers who have attacked Israelis.
But the world according to the PA is still not the world according to the international community. Taxpayers have the right to know if their money is covering the dental expenses of a terrorist and his family. It is time to tell Abbas and his associates, in terms that they understand, that the West will no longer fund terrorists. This message, above all others, will discourage terrorism — and perhaps even encourage peace.