Why the play on Lenin’s famous dictum about rope and capitalists? Fox News is reporting that part of the $148 million in aid from the US government to the Palestinian Authority has gone for “grants” paid to terrorists recently released from Israeli prisons.
The Palestinian Authority is doling out millions of dollars in cash grants to convicted terrorists recently released from Israeli prisons in a program announced the same day as the P.A. accepted $148 million in the latest round of U.S. aid.
The authority announced Aug. 18 it would disburse $15 million in so-called “Dignified Life Grants” to more than 5,000 prisoners who had served more than five years in Israeli lockups, but had been recently released as a show of good faith by the Jewish state to bolster the Middle East peace process, according to Palestinian Media Watch.
The announcement came on the same day the State Department’s Michael Ratney, consulate general of the U.S. in Jerusalem, signed off on $148 million in aid to the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority, currently in the throes of a budget crisis.
Although the U.S. funnels about $400 million per year in aid to the authority, none of the money, by law, is supposed to go to terrorists or former terrorists. Critics say there is no way to separate money from U.S. taxpayers and the funds which go to the former prisoners.
“We have a lot of funding that goes to the PA that is fungible and co-mingled and there is a lot of concern the money is going to radical causes and extremist issues,” Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at the bipartisan think tank, Foundation for Defense of Democracy, told FoxNews.com.
“There are many problematic questions concerning the way the Palestinian Authority disperses funds and especially those coming from the U.S. This is not unique. We’ve seen in the past, monies allocated from the PA’s budget to the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, which is a designated terrorist organization, and all of this points to a troubling trend whereby the U.S. has tried to get a handle on financing within the P.A.”
In August, The Associated Press reported that Israel published the names of 26 men to be freed before the latest peace talks between the Jewish State and the P.A. In all, 104 prisoners have been slated for release in four phases over a period of nine months that the U.S. has set aside for negotiations. But their freedom is reportedly contingent on progress in the talks.
No, you can’t draw a straight line directly from the US Treasury to the payment of grants to terrorists. But what’s the difference between that and giving the PA the wherewithal to dole out the money in the first place? We are enabling people who would strike an American down in a heartbeat if they stood in front of them.
There is the myth of the “good Palestinian” who really doesn’t want anyone to die, who doesn’t hate Israel, who only wants to live their lives in peace on a plot of land in a country called “Palestine.” I have no doubt there are many Palestinians who believe in that. But are they the ones in charge? Do they have any influence? Or, if those views became known among their neighbors, would they be harassed, beaten, perhaps even killed by those “bad Palestinians”?
It is the impulse to help the “good Palestinians” from which this taxpayer money flows. It is noble, it is generous — and it is suicidal. One hundred forty eight million dollars in the scheme of at $3.7 trillion federal budget isn’t even walking around money. Congress spends that much every time it sneezes. But it’s enough to fund a people whose stated goal is the destruction of an ally and the genocide of a people.
One thing is sure; $148 million will buy a lot of swords.