EMET Calls Upon the U.S. Government to Sever Relations and Financial Support to the Palestinian Authority (November 19, 2014, Washington, DC) – The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) once again calls upon the U.S. Government to sever relations and financial support to the Palestinian Authority (PA). In light of unrelenting Palestinian incitement that has fueled yet more deadly attacks on Israelis, it is past time the U.S. took real action to improve Palestinian behavior rather than limit itself to empty statements lacking consequences.
In a letter to the family of Mu’taz Hijazi, the Palestinian suspected of attempting, on October 29, to assassinate Yehuda Glick, a proponent of Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, a site holy to Jews as well as Muslims, Palestinian President Abbas wrote, “Hijazi died as a martyr while he was defending the rights of our people and our holy places.” Glick said that, before opening fire, Hijazi called him “an enemy of al-Aqsa,” the mosque atop the Temple Mount. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu deplored Abbas’ letter saying, “As we attempt to calm down the situation, [Abbas] sends condolences over the death of a man who attempted a vile murder. It is time for the international community to condemn these acts.”
Last month, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor implored the UN to pay attention to Abbas’ “campaign to vilify Israel.” Prosor noted Abbas’ recent call on Palestinians to prevent Jews from visiting the Temple Mount using “all means” necessary. After Abbas’ remarks were broadcast on official PA television 19 times in three days, hundreds of Arabs rioted in Jerusalem, and a Palestinian terrorist deliberately drove a car into a crowd at a Jerusalem light rail station killing two people, including a three-month-old baby girl. As Prosor stated, “Rather than trying to extinguish the flames of conflict, the Palestinian leadership is adding fuel to the fire.”
The PA encouraged yesterday’s gruesome attack at a Jerusalem synagogue that killed five Israelis and injured seven others, one critically, during morning prayers by prejudging the death of a Palestinian bus driver earlier this week. Palestinians quickly blamed and continue to blame Israel for the death, although an autopsy has determined the death a suicide. Mahmoud al-Habbash, the highest-ranking PA judge, said the death was “a brutal crime which sows the criminal mentality that dominates Israeli society” and warned of an uncontrollable popular Palestinian reaction which would lead to a religious war.
Secretary of State John Kerry correctly called the Jerusalem attack a “pure result of incitement, of calls for ‘days of rage’…. The Palestinian leadership must… begin to take serious steps to restrain any kind of incitement… and exhibit the kind of leadership that is necessary to put this region on a different path…. We need to hear from leaders who are going to lead their people to a different place.” Kerry should spell out and follow through on specific consequences should Palestinian leaders fail to heed his call.
EMET’s Founder and President Sarah Stern said, “Both the PA and Hamas have been inciting toward the murder of Jews for over a generation, and this hatred has metastasized like a virulent cancer. We have been advocating cutting off all aid to the PA unless there is an immediate halt to incitement.” Stern added, “The U.S. also funds UNRWA schools which employ Hamas members as teachers and further educate towards hatred and murder. U.S. taxpayer dollars should no longer go to the PA and UNRWA.”
Sarah Stern added, “For years and years innocent lives have been slaughtered mercilessly by Palestinians, and their murderers have been glorified as heroes by the official Palestinian websites, newspapers, and television stations, yet these facts have been dismissed and ignored by our own State Department. Further, three of the five victims were American citizens. We, at EMET, have been fighting for decades now for equal justice under the law, when American citizens have been killed or injured by Palestinian terrorist attacks. It was our work that resulted in the passage of a law, the Koby Mandell Act, which led to the opening of the Office for Justice for Victims of Oversees Terrorism in the Department of Justice in May 2005. When it was opened, US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said, ‘This new office guarantees a voice for victims and their families in the investigation and prosecution of terrorists who prey on Americans overseas,’ and ‘Our commitment to these victims is as strong as our dedication to bringing their terrorist attackers to justice.’”
“Yet,” Stern continued, “Scores and scores of Americans have been killed or injured in acts similar to the one that happened yesterday in a synagogue in Jerusalem, and not one has been brought to justice on American shores, as U.S. law allows for. It is as though these victims are the invisible, disposable Americans. That is not right, and that is not what our country is all about. By dismissing and excusing the years and years of incitement and by turning their backs on the need for equal justice under the law, our government has reinforced the triumphalism of the jihadists and therefore has played an enabling hand in Tuesday’s horrific tragedy. Islamist triumphalism at the slaughter of innocents is not limited to what occurs on the streets and synagogues of Jerusalem, but is seen as another success in the ascendancy of radical Islam throughout the globe. To make a distinction between those terrorists that hack to death with axes people who are praying in a synagogue in Jerusalem, and those that hack American journalists to death in Iraq or Syria, is to make a distinction without a difference.”
Founded in 2005, EMET’s mission is to educate policymakers in Washington DC and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam. For more information, please visit www.emetonline.org.
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