In this week’s edition of the CUFI Action Update, we look at the rising concerns about Palestinian terrorism emanating from Judea and Samaria, and the impact American policy is having on the future prospects for peace in the region. Spoiler alert: things are not going well.

Gearing Up

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan is often a time period during which there is an uptick in violent activity by Palestinian terror groups. The conventional wisdom is that during this period, more time is spent in the Mosque, and some Islamic religious leaders preach extremism. This is, of course, an abomination, as killing in God’s name may just be the worst of all ways to take His name in vain, but we digress. The reality is that Palestinian terror groups increase attacks during Ramadan in the hopes of creating a wider conflagration between Israelis and Palestinians.

In order to prepare for the potential violence, Israel has been stepping up the number of police officers that will be in sensitive areas in Jerusalem, among other locations. Tensions are already high given the series of Palestinian terror attacks we’ve seen in recent weeks, but there are efforts to address the potential for violence that go beyond traditional security measures.

Representatives of the Israeli, Jordanian, Egyptian and U.S. governments, as well as emissaries from the Palestinian Authority met this past Sunday in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt. The stated goal was to try to tamp down the prospects for conflict in the coming month, but, sadly, even as the representatives were meeting, yet another Palestinian terror attack took place – this time wounding a retired U.S. Marine now living in Israel.

Since the beginning of the year, 14 people have been killed and many more wounded as a result of Palestinian terror. In fact, things have become so violent and tense that Jordan is now concerned that Palestinian terrorism could spill over into its borders. Like the Israelis, we’ll be praying for the best while preparing for the worst.

Abbas is Not Immortal

One eventuality for which no one in the U.S. government seems to be prepared is the eventual demise of PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Some facts: born in 1935, Abbas is 87 years old. He is entering the 18th year of his four-year term. He smokes a lot. He will not live forever. There is no clear successor post-Abbas.  

Mix the above facts with the increasingly violent acts of terror we’re seeing from Palestinian terror groups, and you have all the ingredients for a disaster. Part of the problem is that successive American presidents have propped up the PA while demanding very little – if anything – in return, all while crossing their fingers and hoping Abbas will stay alive until the next U.S. president takes office.

This must change. The U.S. must tie any support to any Palestinian-controlled entities to demonstrable changes in the way the PA operates both internally and externally. We cannot continue to double down on the same failed policy that has gotten us to this point.

Your Money Promoting Terrorism

Case in point: the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), a government entity funded by your tax dollars, has been funding the Omariya Secondary School for Girls in Qalqilya that not that long ago glorified a Palestinian terrorist who murdered seven people. Through USAID, the Biden administration has already pumped $150 million dollars into Palestinian entities over the past six months, and has plans to give hundreds of millions of dollars more in support for “the Palestinian people.”

 What has the U.S. government gotten in return for such largess? Terror, murder, and intransigence. And this shouldn’t really come as a surprise. The Palestinian leadership has been indoctrinating children into a hate-filled society for whom antisemitic violence is a laudable activity. It’s no wonder that those same children grow up to commit acts of murder or celebrate those very acts by passing out sweets as is regularly seen in the aftermath of these events. And aside from a few strongly worded missives, the current administration has done nothing to curb the violence or the indoctrination. The money just flows, regardless of where it ends up or who it harms. This policy is damning the next generation of Palestinians to know only hate. It is also the worst possible policy for those who seek peace in the region.

This said, we must remember that the White House isn’t the only center of power in the U.S. As such,  we are working with Congressional allies to address the woeful state of U.S. policy toward the Palestinians – starting with support for terrorism.

Earlier this month, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO), and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) introduced the Taylor Force Martyr Payment Prevention Act. This bipartisan legislation would “deter foreign banks from processing [so-called martyr] payments for the Palestinian Authority by cutting off their access to the United States financial system.”

As Cotton noted when introducing the legislation, “Radical Islamic terrorists shouldn’t be rewarded for killing innocent people, and banks should be held responsible for processing any sort of ‘martyr payments.’ Our bill will build upon the original Taylor Force Act to ensure Palestinian terrorists don’t benefit financially for committing these senseless murders.”

The truth is that this legislation will not address the impending Palestinian power vacuum or USAID’s support for terror-backing schools, but it could address the most immediate issue of the PA’s direct support for terrorism. And, for now, that’s a much-needed step in the right direction.


The CUFI Action Fund Team


Email Marketing by ActiveCampaign