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Our World: Ending the Palestinian exception

Saturday, October 1, 2016 14:22
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[Video: Mahmoud Abbas: Palestinians who murder Israelis must not be arrested

"We remain committed to the agreements reached with Israel since 1993.
However, Israel must ...cease the arrest of our people, and must release the
thousands of our prisoners and detainees..."
Mahmoud Abbas UN General Assembly September 22, 2016]
Our World: Ending the Palestinian exception

By CAROLINE B. GLICK The Jerusalem Post 09/26/2016

It was never about building “Palestine.”

Ahead of Monday night’s first presidential debate, Rudolph Giuliani – former
New York mayor and Republican nominee Donald Trump’s current adviser – spoke
at the Israeli American Council’s annual conference. Four days of intense
debate preparation with Trump preceded the talk. Giuliani insisted the time
has come for the US to “reject the whole notion of a two-state solution in

It can only be hoped that regardless of who prevails in November, Giuliani’s
statement will become the official position of the next US administration.

In his speech before the UN General Assembly last week PLO and Fatah chief
and unelected Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said many things
to drive home the basic point that he is not interested in peace with
Israel. He is interested in destroying Israel. But one particular demand
stands out.

It stands out not because it is new. It isn’t new.

Abbas says it all the time and his advisers say it all the time. They say it
to Palestinian and international audiences alike, and it always is met with
support or at least sympathy.

Abbas demanded that Israel stop arresting Palestinian terrorists and release
all Palestinian terrorists from its prisons. That is, he demanded that
Israel allow thousands of convicted terrorists to walk free and refrain from
doing anything to interfere with terrorists engaged planning and carrying
out the murder of its citizens.

The overwhelming majority of Palestinians support this demand. And so does
the US government.

During US Secretary of State John Kerry’s failed peace process in 2013-14,
President Barack Obama and Kerry embraced Abbas’s demand that Israel release
104 terrorist murderers from its prisons as a precondition for agreeing to
negotiate with the Jewish state.

Bowing to US pressure, Israel released 78 terrorists from its jails in three
tranches. Ahead of the fourth scheduled release, Abbas and his advisers
bragged that they would cut off talks with Israel as soon as the last group
of terrorist murderers were released.

That is, they admitted that the negotiations, such as they were, were
nothing more than a means to achieve the goal of freeing murderers.

Rather than condemn Abbas and his colleagues for their cynical bad faith and
repulsive immorality, the Obama administration chastised Israel for refusing
to play along. When Israel responded to their statements by refusing to
release the last group of 26 convicted terrorists, the administration
accused Israel of breaching the terms of the negotiations.

Obama, Kerry and their advisers held Israel responsible for the talks’

It’s important to consider what Abbas’s demand for free-range terrorists
says about him. It is important to ponder what the fact that the
overwhelming majority of Palestinians are partners in this demand says about
them as a society.

And it is worth pondering as well the strategic rationality and moral
stature of a US government that supports this position.

As far as Abbas and the Palestinians are concerned, their refusal to view
mass murderers as criminals tells us a great deal about who they are and
what they want.

The Palestinian national movement they have come to embody was never about a
deep-seated desire for national liberation. It was never about building

From the time it was created by Amin el-Husseini in 1920, Palestinian
identity has been about the negation of the Jewish national liberation
movement – Zionism. And since Israel achieved independence in 1948, the
Palestinians have defined themselves by their collective dedication to
annihilating the Jewish state – hence their support for terrorists who kill

Husseini’s heir Yasser Arafat shared his view that terrorism was a both
strategic goal in and of itself and a means to achieve the ultimate end of
the Palestinian movement – that is, the violent eradication of Israel.

As the heir to both men, Abbas, like his sometimes partners and sometimes
rivals in Hamas, has never been interested in building anything. And indeed,
he hasn’t.

Consider what is loosely referred to as the “Palestinian economy.”

In an article published this week by the Hebrew-language online journal
Mida, economist Uri Redler showed that the Palestinian economy isn’t
actually an economy. It is an extortion racket.

Using World Bank data, Redler showed that the Palestinian economy is an
optical illusion. In its 22 years of existence, the PA has almost entirely
destroyed the private sector in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Seventy-five
percent of its tax income comes from indirect taxes that Israel collects for
it on imports. Forty percent of its budget comes from donors. Only 18% of it
income comes from direct taxation. And most of that comes from deduction at
source of PA employees.

Since Operation Protective Edge in 2014, only 15% of foreign aid toward the
reconstruction of Gaza has been used for reconstruction projects. The rest
of the money has been used as discretionary funds by Hamas. Seventy percent
of the funds have come from American and EU taxpayers. This means that the
US and the EU have been directly funding Hamas terrorists.

It is not surprising that the aid has been diverted.

And it is not surprising that the US and the EU have continued to provide
money they know is being diverted by Hamas.

Hamas, like Fatah, has no interest in developing a Palestinian economy.
Economic development doesn’t bring in the money. Terrorism does.
Palestinians with economic freedom won’t be dependent on the likes of Abbas
and his Hamas counterparts for their livelihoods. So they block all
independent paths to prosperity.

Rather than build roads, the PA and Hamas pay people to kill Jews. The more
Jews you kill, the more money you receive.

They can maintain this policy because the US and Europe pay them to do so.
The more terrorism they commit, the more headlines the Palestinians receive.
And the more headlines they receive, the more money they are paid by the UN
and Western governments – to advance the cause of the “twostate solution.”

This then brings us to the US and Europe, and their unstinting support for
Palestinian demands for the release of terrorists. What are they thinking?
Earlier this month Prof. Eugene Kontorovich of Northwestern University Law
School and the Kohelet Forum published a paper on the international
community’s general interpretation of paragraph 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva
Protocol from 1949. The relevant clause states that an “Occupying Power
shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the
territory it occupies.”

As Kontorovich noted, this clause the forms the basis of the international
community’s constant refrain that Israeli communities built beyond the 1949
armistice lines in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria are illegal.

In other words, it forms the basis of the West’s case against Israel and, by
extraction, for the Palestinians’.

Just last week during his speech before the UN General Assembly, Obama
attacked Israel for its continued settlement activity.

Kontorovich investigated the same international community’s view of
communities built by citizens of a dozen other states in lands occupied by
their governments in armed conflicts.

He noted that the activities of Moroccans in the Western Sahara, of Turks in
Northern Cyprus, of Indonesians in East Timor and of other nationals in
multiple other territories are legally indistinguishable from Israel’s
activities in the areas it took control over from Jordan in the 1967
Arab-Israel war.

In none of these other cases, however, has the US, EU, UN or any other
international or national authority ever invoked the Fourth Geneva
Convention or otherwise claimed that those activities are a breach of
international law. In other words, the legal basis for the criminalization
and political condemnation of Israel in relation to the Palestinians is
entirely specious and discriminatory.

In other words, US support for the so-called twostate solution, like the
international community’s support for it, is really just a means of
discriminating against Israel. It does not advance the cause of peace or
justice, for Israelis or for Palestinians. It merely empowers terrorist
gangsters to kill Israelis and extort both the Palestinians and the
international community.

So again, Giuliani is absolutely right.


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