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(November 23rd, Washington, DC)

This morning, in Jerusalem, two horrific bombings occurred, injuring at least 21 innocent civilians and killing one 16-year-old boy, Aryeh Shechopek. We, at EMET, want to express our profound sadness over the loss of another innocent life at the brutal hands of Palestinian terrorism and hope that this does not signal a return to the cruel days of the ’90s and early 2000s when every Israeli realized that when you went out to go to work or to school the cost of the bus trip may well be your life.

EMET is grateful for the tweet that the U.S. Embassy stated on Twitter that “Terrorism is a dead end that accomplishes absolutely nothing”, and to the European Union and the United Nations for condemning the attack. However, we urge the U.S. State Department, the European Union, and the United Nations to probe deeper and examine the real root causes of these brutal Palestinian terrorist attacks on innocent Israeli and Jewish civilians.

The real root causes lie in two factors: UNRWA textbooks classroom teachings, which are most usually taught by members of HAMAS or Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as well as summer camps, which have consistently taught the hatred of Jews and Israelis; teaching their Palestinian children about the glories of armed struggle and martyrdom and that all of Palestine “from the River to the Sea” will be theirs, leaving no room for the state of Israel. These children are born innocent, and EMET has long argued that exhorting their children to be “shahids” (martyrs) is the worst form of child abuse imaginable. This has been going on for decades and decades now, and despite multiple promises to correct these textbooks, many powerful lobbyists for UNRWA have been whitewashing the exact content of the instruction in the schools and the summer camps

The other factor is the lucrative payments that the Palestinian Authority gives to the families of the so-called “martyrs” and Palestinian prisoners. This simply incentivizes the abominable “pay for slay” program that has resulted in the loss of over 2,000 innocent American and Israeli civilians over the years. It is tragic that despite the passage of the Taylor Force Act in 2018, an act of federal law named for a US army combat veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan fatally stabbed by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv in March of 2016. The law clearly states that the amount of money going to these lavish payments must be deducted from the US aid given to the Palestinian Authority, US State Department has chosen to overlook and ignore their statutory requirements and has recently given another $316 million to the Palestinian Authority, on top of the $500 million given this year without any consideration to this act of federal law.

Says Sarah Stern, Founder and President of EMET, “EMET mourns together with the Shecopech family and prays for the speedy recovery of all of those injured in these horrific acts of Palestinian terrorism. All of this could be avoided if the exhortation in the Palestinian schools to honor and to become like the “shahids” were immediately stopped, along with the abhorrent practice of rewarding Palestinian terrorists with lavish inducements to maim and murder innocent civilians.”

About the Author

Sarah Stern
Sarah Stern is founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).

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