Forgotten Exodus is a film about the mass exodus of up to a million Jews living in the Middle East and North Africa in communities dating back more than three millennia. Who are these Jews? What precipitated their mass-exodus in the 20th century? Where did they go? And why do we not know these Jewish refugees existed?
“This goes to the heart of speaking hard truths in the name of moving peace forward,” says former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. By Aaron Bandler
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley addresses the General Assembly in June 2018. Credit: U.N. Photo/Evan Schneider.
(November 26, 2020 / Jewish Journal)
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Wednesday called on the administration to declassify a report detailing the current number of Palestinian refugees who are receiving aid from the United Nations Works and Relief Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).
“Very important that the Trump administration declassify the report that provides a current estimate of the number of Palestinian refugees who are receiving support. This goes to the heart of speaking hard truths in the name of moving peace forward,” she tweeted.
Her tweet linked to a Nov. 23 New York Post op-ed authored by Foundation for Defense of Democracies Senior Adviser Richard Goldberg and Senior Vice President for Research Jonathan Schanzer. The op-ed noted that Congress required the State Department in 2012 to produce a report on the number of Palestinian refugees receiving aid from UNRWA that were alive in 1948; the report was completed and sent to congressional appropriations committees years later, but remains classified today.
“The public release of these figures could spark an international debate over UNRWA’s mandate,” Goldberg and Schanzer wrote. “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo should also announce an official US policy change that for purposes of future US funding and planning, Palestinian refugees are narrowly defined as people who were personally displaced from then-Palestine between 1948 and 1949 and aren’t currently citizens or permanent residents of the Palestinian Authority or any country.”
They added that adopting this policy would show how UNRWA “has kept people in poverty” and “encouraged multiple generations of helpless people to remain erroneously identified as refugees.” Additionally, it would “upend the mythology of a Palestinian ‘right of return’ — making it clear that Israel determines who becomes Israeli citizens, not a UN agency,” they argued.
In January 2018, the conservative news site Washington Free Beacon reported that the State Department has been suppressing the report, with one source telling the Free Beacon that there are “officials at the State Department who do not want this information out as it could and would lead to a call to reform UNRWA.”
The Trump administration zeroed out funding to the U.N. agency in 2018; according to Fox News, President-elect Joe Biden hasn’t specifically commented on UNRWA but his campaign website does state that he will “restore economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, consistent with U.S. law, including assistance to refugees.”
This article was first published by the Jewish Journal.
Court orders eviction of 8 Arab families from Shiloah village who lived on land that belonged to Jewish charity. Peace Now furious.
Arutz Sheva Staff , Nov 26 , 2020 9:44 AM Share
Shiloach Hezki Baruch
The Jerusalem District Court ordered the eviction of eight Arab families living in the Shiloah village in eastern Jerusalem.
The court accepted the petition by Ateret Cohanim and ordered the evacuation of the families from the Al-Hawa compound, after it was proven that 100 years ago the land belonged to a Jewish charity that took care of the Yemenite poor of Jerusalem.
The Arab families intend to appeal to the Supreme Court. Mazen Duweck, the father of the family, told Haaretz that “since 2007 we have been with them in court, there is a G-d in heaven and we will not lose with Him. What we can do, we must continue until the last breath.”
“Quietly, quietly, under the radar, entire families in Jerusalem are in immediate danger of evacuation,” said Peace Now. “In the last week, the court ordered the eviction of 8 families from their homes in the east of the city, even though they legally purchased the land. 45 people could be thrown into the street.”
“Ateret Cohanim members filed eviction lawsuits against dozens of families in Al-Hawa on the pretext that 100 years ago the land belonged to a Jewish charity that cared for the Yemenite poor of Jerusalem. Their purpose is clear: to take over the charity and demand in its name the evacuation of families who have lived in the compound for decades without question.”
Peace Now is furious: “Hard-working families find themselves in courts, in front of a well-funded association, in long, exhausting and impoverishing proceedings. To this are added threats and harassment by settlers.”
According to them, the entire government system is mobilized to assist “settlers”: the Custodian General, the law, the registrar, and the police. “There are important national interests that are harmed here: preserving the residents of East Jerusalem and preserving the resolution of the conflict.”
Peace Now is asking its supporters to take part in the struggle for the Arab families, and to take part in demonstrations, tours, field information or social media propaganda, in the hope of changing the “sector.”
Settlement Affairs Minister Tzachi Hanegbi announces decision to regulate ‘young settlements’ in Judea and Samaria.
Arutz Sheva Staff , Nov 25 , 2020 7:42 PM Share
Binyamin Netanyahu and Tzachi Hanegbi FLASH90
Settlement Affairs Minister Tzachi Hanegbi announced Wednesday evening at the Knesset plenum that he will promote a move to regulate ‘outposts’ in Judea and Samaria in agreement with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Minister Michael Biton.
“We have jointly agreed to formulate a resolution to the government to promote all legal moves that will lead to the regulation of young settlements. I am convinced that the government will take the issue very seriously and examine it with in-depth consideration,” Hanegbi said.
“I thank the Knesset members who raised the issue on the agenda. The mobilization of many forces to finally regulate the young settlement is to be welcomed. After 20 years of these pioneers working for us, it is time for us to work for them,” he added.
National Union chairman MK Bezalel Smotrich responded to Minister Hanegbi’s announcement. “I congratulate Prime Minister Netanyahu on the statement of intent. The test will be in deeds. I sincerely hope that this will not be another bait and switch in the form of a declarative and meaningless decision but a decision that will allow a real regulation, including the the signs of new settlements.”
“The 20,000 residents of the young settlement are not second-class citizens and they deserve to be equal citizens. Congratulations to MK Haim Katz, who has been a partner in this struggle. Tonight we took an important step and will continue with all our might to strengthen the entire settlement in Judea and Samaria,” Smotrich said.
The Young Settlement Forum said in response, “A significant step by Prime Minister and Ministers Biton and Hanegbi. Congratulations. We hope to sit down immediately with the professional teams to formulate the decision,. In order to implement the statement, the decision must be passed in the government in the next two weeks.”
The Yesha Council also welcomed the announcement. “This is good news for anyone who is close to the heart of the Israeli settlement in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley. For many years, hundreds of families living in the young settlements have not been able to enjoy the most basic things – running water, regular electricity, the internet and communications and security components. “
“We welcome the significant announcement by Minister Hanegbi, together with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Minister Michael Biton, and look forward to seeing the government’s decision approved soon and its progressing in practical terms.
Tags: Tzachi Hanegbi
While many cling to the view that the Palestinian issue is merely a human-rights struggle, think for a moment of the families of all of those who have had loved ones murdered by terrorists.
(November 25, 2020 / JNS)
Imagine, if you will, going to Charleston, S.C., and seeing posters throughout the city praising the brave actions of Dylann Roof, the heinous white supremacist who walked into Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015, and shot and murdered in cold blood nine African-Americans who were engaged in a Bible-study class.
Imagine that the teachers in the school system throughout the south were to, God forbid, hold him up in constant lessons as a heroic role model for your children to emulate. Imagine sports pageants and school buildings named in his honor.
This gives you a glimpse of the sort of toxic environment that has permeated the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas since the signing of the Oslo Accords.
In a recent EMET webinar, Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reveals some of the findings about Palestinian society, which he has assiduously studied for the last 25 years. He has documented how the P.A. uses every means of communication possible, including textbooks, the official P.A. television station, newspapers and official Facebook pages for incitement against Israeli and Jews. Subscribe to The JNS Daily Syndicate by email and never miss our top stories
It is in the very oxygen that the Palestinians are breathing and is the worst sort of child abuse imaginable. Because they are condemning their children, as well as ours, to a lifetime of suffering.
He shows, for example, a football tournament for young girls on March 13, 2019 in the Dalal Mughrabi Sports Festival. Every single girl wore a red sweatshirt with the picture of Dalal Mughrabi, one of the worst terrorists in Israeli history, who had killed 31 Israelis on a bus traveling between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, including 18 children. They are giving the message: “This is who we exhort you to emulate.”
This is not ancient history. Just last month, on Oct. 18 at a Palestinian Polytechnic Institute, a new arch was named in memory of Saleh Khalaf, the terrorist who planned the 1978 massacre of Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich, Germany, with the words: “We are proud of the distinguished leaders whose bodies are no more, but whose spirit remains among us.”
This is a cautionary tale. According to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, a Biden administration is “committed to a two-state solution, and we will oppose any unilateral steps that undermine that goal. We will also oppose annexation and settlement expansion.”
She further stated that a Biden administration will take immediate steps to restore economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, reopen the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem and work to reopen the PLO mission in Washington.”
Last week, the P.A. made several surprise announcements. This was done in order to whitewash their tarnished image before the incoming Biden administration assumes office.
Suddenly, they announced that they now will be willing to accept the tax payments that Israel collects on its behalf, and that they are now willing to resume security coordination with the Israel Defenses Forces.
These two are of obvious benefit to the P.A., which is going broke and could use the Israeli tax dividends. It also needs the IDF to keep them alive against the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organizations.
But the most major announcement of all came on Saturday in a New York Times interview when chairman of the P.A. Prisoner Affairs Commission Qadr Abu Bakr said they will change the basis for paying out salaries to terrorists. He said that from now on, they will be based on economic need, rather than on how long the prisoners are behind bars.
This would be extremely problematic for Palestinian society to accept because they have created and nurtured a culture where the most valued members of this society are terrorists and murders.
According to P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas, “Even if we had only a penny left, it would only be spent on the families of the martyrs and the prisoners, and only afterwards will be spent on the rest of the people.” He added, “We view the martyrs and prisoners as the stars in the sky of the Palestinian people, and of the Palestinian people’s struggle and they have priority in everything.”
The “pay for slay” system is something that Itamar Marcus and PMW first unearthed in July of 2011. The Palestinian Authority pays monthly stipends to terrorists who are in prison and lifetime allowances to the families of the “martyrs.” The more lethal the terrorist attack, the more money the P.A. doles out.
There are more than 30,000 people in this martyrs’ group (composed of families of mass murderers and suicide bombers) and 4,000 prisoners. Every terrorist who is arrested gets at least a monthly stipend of $400 a month.
The more horrific the crime, the longer the terrorist is in jail, and the longer he is jail, the more the monthly stipend grows. Many families receive about $3,500 a month—about three times the average Palestinian salary. For each wife and child, more is given. There is more if one is a Jerusalem resident or Israeli Arab.
Under the Obama administration, the P.A. was getting $300 to $400 million a year. This stopped during the Trump administration.
It stopped because the Taylor Force Act was passed in 2017, prohibiting this incentivizing of terrorism. Many countries, including the Netherlands, Australia and Canada, have ended their payments to the P.A. entirely because of this morally abhorrent practice.
In order for the Biden administration to immediately give money to the P.A., as promised, they have to find a way to circumvent the Taylor Force Act.
The deification of terrorists is such a regnant part of Palestinian society that a few hours after the Times published the article, Abu Bakr announced on Fatah’s Facebook page that “the salaries of the prisoners’ families are non-negotiable, and the Palestinian leadership’s position is firm and will not change, regardless of the circumstances and pressures,” reported Palestinian Media Watch.
In retrospect, the excitement about the changing of the payment structure to the “martyrs and prisoners” reminds me of the excitement in the worldwide media about the Palestinians changing their highly anti-Semitic National Covenant, which lays out the plan for the gradual takeover of all of Israel through “armed struggle.”
In 1997, Peter Jennings of “World News Tonight” stunned many throughout the world by saying, “They said it couldn’t be done. The Palestinian Legislative Council has met, and they have decided to amend the Palestinian National Covenant.”
Yes, it couldn’t. The Palestinian National Committee met in Gaza and decided to have a committee to look into it. PLO spokesman Marwan Kanafani was videotaped telling reporters, “This is not an amendment. This is a license to start a committee to look into it.”
In 2009, Fatah officials, among them Azzam al-Ahmad and Nabil Shaath, confirmed that the Charter would remain unchanged
A note of caution to the incoming Biden administration: Be wary of those who use words to obfuscate their true meanings.
In order to understand a culture and a society, look at the people they choose to lionize.
While many cling to the view that the Palestinian issue is merely a human-rights struggle, think for a moment of the families of all of those who have had loved ones murdered by terrorists. And of what America would be like if, God forbid, Dylann Roof was to become a national hero.
Sarah N. Stern is founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), a pro-Israel and pro-American think tank and policy institute in Washington, D.C.
Micha Gefen2 weeks ago
Israel has always put up with the King of Jordan’s addiction to the Muslim Brotherhood. After all, the King has served the Israeli government’s interest by providing a sort of known quantity on its Eastern border. True, he supports repressive laws in his country, a form of Apartheid against Palestinians living there and he cozies up to anti-semites around the Middle East.
Israel put up with the King’s hatred of the Jewish people and their right to Jerusalem and the Land of Israel, because until this summer Jordan and Egypt represented the only Arab states that were willing to make peace with the Jewish State.
With the UAE and Bahrain signing the Abraham Accord, Jordan’s King no longer has a use for Israel nor the Gulf States. In fact, his long standing pact with the Muslim Brotherhood may in fact be the very reason none of the Sunni Gulf States want to put up with him anymore.
This is why the recent elections in Jordan were such a blow to the King and his Islamicist partners.
Abed AlMaala, deputy secretary general of the Jordanian opposition said: “In Jordan, 3 things are clear. First, the King has placed himself above the Constitution, so he can do what he wants. Second, he appoints both the Prime Minister and all the members of the Upper House of Parliament. Finally, no one can run for office of any type without the king’s permission. Usually this means swearing allegiance and paying a hefty fee (bribe) to be on the ballot. Once on the ballot, it is almost assured that you will win, because it implies that the king has blessed your candidacy.”
For years now, there has been a growing grassroots movement opposing the Hashemite Royal Family. As the average Jordanian has seen a steep decline in his finances and quality of life, the animosity between the masses and the regime has grown.
In order to hold back the citizenry, the King has instituted repressive measures, but now they are in fact beginning to falter as well.
If the King cannot stablize his Kingdom, Israel may see its Eastern neighbor enter the type of chaos it was worried about to its North. Then again, with the UAE and Bahrain, it may be high time that the King is shown the door anyway. It is kind of hard to distract your citizens by blaming their lot on Israel when the UAE and Bahrain, both very successful see things quite differently.
“The Supreme Court of Canada has decided that, where a “First Nation” maintains demographic and cultural connections with the land, aboriginal title (including self-government rights) can survive both sovereignty changes and the influx of a new majority population, resulting from foreign conquest.” Delgamuukw v. British Columbia,  3 SCR 1010 (Case Number 23799).
This jurisprudence is an important decision because it is only Jews who are indigenous to “Palestine” (Eretz Yisrael) that have maintained an “indigenous demographic and cultural connection” to the Land of Eretz Yisrael, have survived foreign (Arab) conquest/colonialism and were guaranteed POLITICAL rights to self-government within Mandate for Palestine “Treaty Territories” pursuant to the San Remo Resolution!
(The Arabs acquired independence, as contemplated by the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement via the Kingdom of the Hejaz, were guaranteed political rights at the San Remo Conference via the Mandates for Syria, Lebanon, and Mesopotamia (Iraq) and are indigenous to Arabia!)
The Canadian Treaty Land Entitlements Agreements process, and the Jurisprudence decided in behalf of Indigenous First Peoples provides a useful model that could be negotiated as part of a comprehensive Arab-Israeli settlement under a ‘post-Oslo‘ Trusteeship Agreement as contemplated by Chapter XII (Articles 75 through 85) of the UN Charter, to “set aside” Land Reserves for “close Jewish and Arab settlement” in historical “Eretz Yisrael” (Palestine) both East and West of the Jordan River.
A person’s track record is usually essential for predicting his behavior. Blinken’s Middle East policies do not bode well for Israel. Op-ed/
Amb. (ret.) Yoram Ettinger , Nov 25 , 2020 8:00 AM Share
Dr. Albert Ellis, one of the world’s top psychologists, suggests that the study of past track records is an essential undertaking for an effective assessment of the future: “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.”
This suggestion is also applicable to the assessment of policy formulation by the next US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, who will be the most influential foreign and national security policy-maker in President-elect Joe Biden’s Administration.
Blinken’s close ties with Biden, dating back to Biden’s chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, make him, potentially, as influential as were Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Jim Baker during the presidency of Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush respectively.
Israel policy. Blinken opposes Israel’s annexation of – and expanded Jewish presence in – any part of Judea and Samaria, as well as in Jerusalem beyond the 1949 ceasefire lines. He considers Israeli dramatic land concessions to be a prerequisite for peace. He supports the establishment of a Palestinian state in Gaza and the pre-1967 Jordan-occupied-Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem.
However, according to Blinken, “US aid to Israel is beyond debate and should never be used as leverage to influence Israel’s policies toward Palestinians…. It’s in the US interest that Israel has the means to secure itself…. Israel’s security is challenged on a daily basis. Israel faces existential threats every single day.”
Palestinian policy. Blinken assumes that a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and East Jerusalem would serve justice and would spare Israel a demographic calamity. He ignores the well-documented demographic reality, which exposes the myth of the Arab demographic timebomb. He approaches the Palestinian issue from the human rights angle, notwithstanding the Palestinian track record as a role model for anti-Jewish hate-education and incitement, 100-year-old anti-Jewish terrorism and intra-Arab terrorism and treachery.
Irrespective of Middle East reality, he believes in the centrality of the Palestinian issue on the Arab agenda and the pursuit of Israel-Arab peace.
Blinken aims to restore annual financial aid to the Palestinian Authority (which was suspended due to the PA’s financial support of families of terrorists and the systematic heralding of terrorists), as well as the annual financial transfer to UNRWA (which was suspended due to its funding of the PA’s hate education). Also, he will reopen the PLO office in Washington, DC.
Libya policy. Blinken believes that the introduction of human rights and democracy to the Arab World would constitute a most effective foundation of peaceful coexistence. In 2011, as the National Security Advisor to Vice President Biden, along with Ben Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Advisor to
Contrary to the well-intentioned Blinken worldview, in the real Middle East, the choice is between pro-Western – or anti-Western – non-democratic anti human rights regimes.
President Obama, he urged a US/NATO military offensive against Qadhafi, in order to stop “Qadhafi’s human rights violations and slaughter of his own people.” The war on the arch human rights violator, Qadhafi, evolved Libya into a major platform of arch human rights violating Islamic terrorists, which is still haunting Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Europe and Africa. The war on Qadhafi – and his eventual lynching by Islamic terrorists – ignored his transformation (since 2003!) from a ruthless supporter of terrorism into a ruthless warrior against Islamic terrorism in north, central and western Africa, who provided the US with invaluable intelligence on global terrorism, and transferred his nuclear infrastructure to the US.
Sadly, contrary to the well-intentioned Blinken worldview, in the real Middle East, the choice is between pro-Western – or anti-Western – non-democratic anti human rights regimes.
“Arab Spring” policy. The Libya policy was reflective of the worldview of key foreign policy and national security players – including Blinken – who formulated the US Middle East policy during the 2010/2011 volcanic eruption of violence, including terrorism, from Morocco in northwest Africa through Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula to Bahrain in the Persian Gulf.
Blinken assessed the brutal confrontations on the Arab Street – which has been an intrinsic feature of the Arab World since the 7th century – through the prism of human rights. He overlooked the complexity of these confrontations (among non-democratic, violent elements) and underestimated the dominant role of Islamic terrorism and inherent intra-Arab domestic and regional brutal power struggles.
Along with most of the Western foreign policy establishment, Blinken referred to this wave of violence, which still haunts the Arab Street, as the “Arab Spring,” “youth revolution” and “march for democracy;” while, in fact, it has been a tectonic Arab Tsunami all along.
Saudi Arabia policy. A reassessment of US policy toward Saudi Arabia, and putting on notice Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman (whom he considers “impulsive and reckless”), are expected due to Blinken’s focus on human rights, while underestimating the impact on the intensified anti-Western Shite and Muslim Brotherhood Sunni terrorism, which aim to topple all pro-US and relatively-moderate Arab regimes, establish a pan-Islamic state, and proliferate Islamic terrorism globally.
Blinken may precondition the sale of advanced weaponry to Saudi Arabia upon improved human rights (which would increase Chinese, Russian and European military sales to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf).
In addition, Blinken opposes the Saudi involvement in the civil war in Yemen, which has become a most active Iranian beachhead against Saudi Arabia aiming to topple the Saudi regime. He, also, objects to the Saudi aggressive policy toward Qatar, which is a strategic ally of Iran’s Ayatollahs and Turkey’s Erdogan and a chief financier of Muslim Brotherhood terrorists – three major threats to the House of Saud.
Egypt policy. In 2009, Blinken supported the human rights-centered US policy toward Egypt, courting the Muslim Brotherhood terroristic opposition, which led to its 2012-2013 rise to power, while toppling the pro-US President Mubarak (similar to President Carter’s policy, which betrayed the Shah of Iran, providing a tailwind to the rise of Iran’s Ayatollahs).
Blinken’s pledge to renew US emphasis on human rights violations in Egypt was expressed via November 19 and 20, 2020 Tweets, protesting the arrest of three Egyptian human rights activists. However, Middle East reality suggests that, notwithstanding his honorable intentions, Blinken’s only choice is between a pro-US and an anti-US non-democratic Egypt.
Iran policy. Driven by his globalist, multilateralist, joint leadership world view (contrary to unilateral US national security action), Blinken was closely involved in the formulation of the game-changing 2015 nuclear accord with Tehran.
Therefore, Blinken will reenter the accord, seeking a stronger and longer-lasting agreement, playing down Iranian human rights violations, lifting as many sanctions as possible, which will yield a robust tailwind to Iran’s economy (as documented by the 2015 precedent), bolstering Iran’s efforts to topple all pro-Western Arab regimes and expand its terror network in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, South and Central America.
Will Antony Blinken learn from past errors by repeating – or avoiding them?
Will Blinken adjust his policy recommendations to Middle East reality, or is he determined to export “cancel-culture” to the Middle East, with the well-intentioned aim to introduce human rights, democracy and peaceful-coexistence into the ruthlessly entrenched Middle East culture?
Yoram Ettinger is a former ambassador and head of “Second Thought: a U.S.-Israel initiative.” A writer, lecturer and consultant on US affairs, he is former Minister for Congressional Affairs and former Consul General in Houston, Texas.
“Sympathizers in the Democratic Party are trying to convince the Palestinians to make changes in the law so salaries will be based on economic conditions and not just on terrorism,” said Yossi Kuperwasser, a senior intelligence and security expert at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden meets with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on March 9, 2016. Photo by Flash90.
(November 24, 2020 / JNS)
The incoming Biden administration has made clear it intends to renew funding to the Palestinian Authority and reopen the PLO mission in Washington, D.C. In November, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said in an interview, “We will take immediate steps to restore economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, reopen the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem and work to reopen the PLO mission in Washington.”
But how will that comport with the Taylor Force Act and the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA), which prohibit funding to entities that fund terrorism?
Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president at Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the incoming Biden administration “can certainly reopen the PLO mission unilaterally.”
He told JNS, however, that funding “could be complicated by congressional Republicans or even pro-Israel Democrats.”
He also warned against renewing funding for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
“Funding for U.N. organizations that promote Palestinian narratives or refugee narratives may come under similar scrutiny, and for good reason,” he said.
In 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump pulled funding from UNRWA due to corruption and its anti-Israel stance.
The Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA) of 2018, and the Promoting Security and Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act (PSJVTA) of 2019 are two amendments to the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) that have significant implications for U.S. aid to the Palestinians and U.S. courts’ ability to exercise jurisdiction over Palestinian entities.
PSJVTA, which came into effect in December 2019, reverses ATCA, which says that a defendant consents to personal jurisdiction in the United States for lawsuits related to international terrorism if the defendant accepts American foreign aid.
After the P.A. requested to not receive such aid so as to sidestep this legislation and avoid being brought to court on terrorism charges, Congress passed the PSJVTA, which eliminates the defendant’s acceptance of U.S. foreign aid as a trigger of consent to personal jurisdiction. Instead, PSJVTA says that any P.A. or PLO payments related to terrorist acts that kill or injure a U.S. national act is a trigger of consent to personal jurisdiction.
Thus, PSJVTA seeks to force the P.A. to pay damages to U.S. terror victims and their families, whether or not the P.A. receives U.S. aid.
‘Policies and legislation will act as a balance’
According to Yossi Kuperwasser, a senior intelligence and security expert, and a fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, “it is clear that the Biden administration is keen to resume aid to the Palestinian Authority. Several people have spoken about it, including Harris, so obviously, this is what they plan to do.”
However, he told JNS that the Biden administration is required to abide by the legislation that Congress adopted over the last few years, which will make it quite difficult to give money to the Palestinians.
The Taylor Force Act demands that the Palestinians stop paying salaries to terrorists, which “will be difficult for the Palestinians to do,” noted Kuperwasser.
“All kinds of sympathizers in the Democratic Party are trying to convince the Palestinians to make changes in the law so the salaries will be based on some sort of economic conditions and not just on the issue of terrorism,” he added.
What worries Kuperwasser is that the Palestinians are “going to play all sorts of tricks.”
“They are not really going to change anything significant,” he said. “They will keep paying salaries to terrorists and pretend it is based on economic characteristics. But they will not change anything. Terrorists will continue receiving salaries from the Palestinian Authority.”
What also worries Kuperwasser is that some people may try to do exactly what the Obama administration did in 2014 when it came under pressure to prevent funds from reaching Palestinian terrorists.
“The Obama administration simply asked the Palestinians to not pay terrorists from the P.A. budget,” he said.
According to Kuperwasser, the Palestinians simply moved the office responsible for paying terrorists from the P.A. to the PLO, and in the P.A. budget, there was a clause that gave money to the PLO, which then gave the money to the terrorists.
“On the basis of that move, which changed nothing, the State Department wrote that there are efforts, and things are moving in the right direction,” he said. “But no action was taken.”
“I am worried that something similar is going to happen now,” said Kuperwasser. “The new State Department under Biden may say they are in the midst of making changes. They might say: ‘We should wait and encourage the Palestinians, so let’s resume the aid even if they are still paying terrorists.’ ”
He said that while the situation “is much better than it was in 2014,” the Palestinians continue to be worried about ATCA, the United States continues to worry about the Palestinians, and Israel is worried that America will renew funding to the P.A.—funding that will end up in the pockets of terrorists.
But Kuperwasser said Israel will be watching the Biden administration’s decisions with regard to renewing aid to the Palestinians, hoping that the new administration will move beyond the Obama administration’s foreign-policy approach and move closer to the moves of the Trump administration, which placed more pressure on the Palestinians.
“The Taylor Force Act and other relevant legislation remain a deterrent to Palestinian terror support, although it clearly hasn’t halted that activity,” said Schanzer.
“Opposition to Palestinian intransigence and radicalism will remain a centrist issue in Congress, even if the incoming administration is eager to re-establish ties with the Palestinians,” he added. “In short, existing policies and legislation will act as a balance against some of the moves the next administration might consider.”
‘Trump is not going to win. I made ****ing sure of that’
One America speaks with founder of FEC United, Joe Oltmann, who made bombshell discovery about key member of Dominion leadership.
One America’s Chief White House Correspondent Chanel Rion spoke with the founder of FEC United, Joe Oltmann, who made a bombshell discovery about a key member of Dominion’s leadership.