Biden & Co. Keep Funding Palestinian Terror — in Defiance of Congress
US Permanent Representative to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield rightly condemned in a recent speech Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ antisemitic statements that equated Israelis to the Nazis.
With no sense of the irony, she then called for foreign aid to the very same PA he continues to lead, 18 years into his four-year term.
An even more distressing irony: President Joe Biden recently launched a first-ever National Strategy To Counter Antisemitism amid a spike in Jew-hatred, yet at the same time — in defiance of Congress’ intent — his team continues to provide material support for the PA, even as it not only spouts antisemitic speech but funds anti-Jewish terrorism through its “pay-for-slay” program.
Congress clearly determined that PA terror payments encourage violence, which is why it passed the Taylor Force Act, barring economic assistance that “directly benefits the Palestinian Authority” until it “stops all payments incentivizing terror.”
In recent months, the West Bank has seen a spate of fatal Palestinian terror attacks, with each of the perpetrators and their families then eligible for PA payments.
Among other things, the law urges our UN representative to “use the voice, vote and influence of the United States at the United Nations” and the State Department “to use its bilateral and multilateral engagements” to highlight the issue of pay-for-slay and push for governments to stop funding the PA.
The Biden administration is violating these requirements.
It has renewed aid to Palestinian and Palestinian-funding entities, like the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, potentially subsidizing the pay-to-slay program.
Money is fungible, so if the PA doesn’t need to spend money because of an UNRWA program, it can allocate more funds to pay-for-slay payments.
With her May 24 remarks, Thomas-Greenfield went beyond skirting the Taylor Force Act’s legal restrictions to outright defy the law’s intended purpose.
As she condemned Abbas for antisemitism, Thomas-Greenfield also promised the United States will “encourage all parties in the region to consider ways to support the Palestinian Authority.”
Instead of highlighting the PA’s pay-for-slay horrors, she called on the international community to provide more PA funding, enabling Abbas to keep making more of those perverse payments.
She admitted as much in what must’ve been a Freudian slip, noting “the severe crisis that the Palestinian Authority faces in fostering further instability in the West Bank.”
If, as Thomas-Greenfield claims, the PA faces a financial crisis, it should start by cutting its payments to murderers.
And make no mistake: Team Biden knows full well that Abbas & Co. fund terror. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf openly admitted in recent congressional testimony that the PA continues to pay terrorists and their families.
In questioning Leaf, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was right to call out the administration’s decision last year to waive sanctions on Hussein al-Sheikh, secretary general of the Palestinian Liberation Organization Executive Committee, so he could travel to Washington.
“Publicly, when the administration defends engaging with terrorists, you claim things are going well,” charged Cruz.
“But when you file a statutorily mandated report with Congress, you admit the PLO is continuing what are called pay-to-slay payments.”
Leaf claims Team Biden is “working to bring pay-to-slay to an end” yet admits it has “not yet” succeeded.
The Biden administration should abide by the Taylor Force Act in its entirety and use all available means to end the PA’s pay-for-slay program.
US officials also have an obligation to hold Abbas accountable for his antisemitism and incitement of violence.
Having failed to stop PA-backed terrorism, the Biden team should also reverse its support for UNRWA, to pressure Abbas to change his ways.
A senior US government official starting a speech condemning antisemitism and ending it calling for support of the perpetrator’s organization shows a shocking lack of awareness (if not administration hypocrisy).
More troubling, Team Biden’s policies and statements undercut efforts to rein in Palestinian terror.
The violence will continue so long as there are funders — like Biden & Co. — who keep incentivizing it.
Sander Gerber is the CEO of Hudson Bay Capital Management, a distinguished fellow at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America and a fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
Originally published in NY Post.