Biden Courts Abbas, Ignores Palestinian Pay-for-Slay - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Biden Courts Abbas, Ignores Palestinian Pay-for-Slay
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President Joe Biden delivers speech with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, July 15, 2022 (NBC News/YouTube)

Last week’s meeting between President Joe Biden and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has awakened Palestinians to the fact that they now have a friend in the White House. After refusing Israeli offers to accompany him to Augusta Victoria Hospital, Biden became the first president to visit an East Jerusalem landmark without Israeli officials. Further symbolizing administration efforts to redivide Jerusalem, the Israeli flag was noticeably missing from Biden’s motorcade on its way to Ramallah. Moreover, during the leaders’ joint press conference, Abbas’ invoking the anti-semitic Israeli-apartheid libel yielded an unresponsive Biden, who instead pledged an additional $300 million in Palestinian assistance.

Former President Donald Trump stopped all payments to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza because of their culpability in fomenting terror against Americans and Israelis. Biden’s decision to reverse Trump’s policy and increase funding for the Palestinians by $316 million follows his earlier commitment of almost half a billion dollars in Palestinian aid. Biden’s misguided strategy directly violates the Taylor Force Act (TFA), which was approved by Congress in 2017 and signed into law the following year by President Trump. The TFA prohibits U.S. assistance to the Palestinians until its leadership ceases its pay-for-slay program, also known as the PA’s financial reward system for terrorists and their families.

In March 2016, U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force was visiting Israel on a graduate school trip when Bashar Masalha, a 22-year-old Palestinian, went on a stabbing spree near Tel Aviv. Masalha’s rampage killed Force and wounded about a dozen others. After murdering Force, Masalha was predictably hailed by Abbas’ ruling Fatah party as a “heroic martyr.” The encouragement and subsequent celebrations surrounding terror attacks such as the one carried out by Masalha are bolstered by pay-for-slay, which compensates families of terrorists who, like Masalha’s, receive a monthly stipend from the Palestinian Martyrs Fund. Monthly disbursements are based on the severity of the attack. The more egregious the crime, the higher the salary. According to estimates, the PA’s allocation of benefits to surviving family members amounts to over $300 million annually.

The Biden administration’s disbursement of American tax dollars through entities like the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) is redirected to fund Palestinian terrorism, which includes establishing terrorist training summer camps for children. According to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), campers as young as 7 years old sing songs glorifying terrorists and are taught how to assemble weapons for their “battle with the sons of dogs.”

Rather than provide Biden with proof of moderating these efforts, the PA responded to Friday’s placation of Abbas by ramping up its pay-for-slay program. PMW notes, “From September 2000 through March 2002, Palestinian terrorists carried out approximately 14,000 terrorist acts [against Israel].” After being in prison for 20 years, many Palestinian perpetrators of these gruesome incidents are considered “veteran prisoners.” Under PA expenditure rules, their monthly allowance rises by over 14 percent this year. For its part, UNRWA has made no revisions to the textbooks used in Palestinian schools. Study cards instruct fifth graders to commit jihad against Israelis, while ninth graders are taught that those who die as martyrs by killing Christians and Jews will “receive God’s grace and be greatly rewarded.” (READ MORE: The Amazing Shrinking Biden)

It bears mentioning that accommodating Palestinian terrorism extends beyond the limits of the Biden administration. Last year, on a party-line vote, House Democrats rejected a bid to consider the Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act. The bill was introduced by Florida Republican Rep. Brian Mast and, if passed, would have imposed sanctions on foreign establishments known to have assisted Hamas. Most alarming is a report by the Washington Examiner exposing at least eight Democrats connected to American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a nonprofit organization with financial ties to Hamas. The AMP is currently embroiled in a federal civil lawsuit. In 1996, David Boim, a 17-year-old American student traveling in Israel, was brutally murdered by members of Hamas. His parents are following up on a previous lawsuit for which they were never compensated and suing AMP and other Palestinian “charities” for their role in providing material support for Hamas. Several Democrats have voiced support for AMP, with Reps. Betty McCollum, Rashida Tlaib, and André Carson among the lawmakers applauding the group. And while GOP Sen. Tom Cotton is leading efforts to target martyr payments by introducing the Taylor Force Martyr Payment Prevent Act, the proposed legislation has so far garnered only Republican support.

From America’s president down to the halls of Congress, many Democrats financially and publicly buoy terrorists for their role in murdering Americans and Israelis. Biden’s unlawful dismissiveness of the TFA is strengthening the Palestinians’ pay-for-slay program and ensuring that the PA’s terrorist-fueled resolve will continue under its current leadership.

Irit Tratt is a writer who resides in New York. Her work has appeared in the Jerusalem Post, JNS, the Algemeiner, and Israel Hayom

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