The Unbalanced US Arab-Israeli Balancing Act

The US and others, while suggesting they are strong supporters of Israel and its need for security, in reality are not promoting peace. Their policies are actually sustaining and rewarding terror.

Let me explain…

President Obama for example has repeatedly stated throughout his administration  America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakable. No doubt these are reassuring words to Israel and its friends around the world. However,  his actions contradict his words.

How so? It has been the policy of the US and others to condemn the “settlements” and the  “occupation” as the main obstacles to achieving peace with the Palestinians. For those who subscribe to said view, where were the occupation or settlements in 1948 or 1967? They did not exist.

However, in order to see the folly of blaming the lack of peace on these issues, we must look at what the statements imply.

  1. They suggest the US is attempting to be balanced. This is meant to appeal to the Arab world, which believes the US has been too supportive of Israel for many years.
  2. They allow the US to avoid tackling the real issues which are preventing peace.

Placing blame where it belongs

The  Palestinians flatly refuse to accept the right of Israel to exist. The charters of the PLO, Hamas, and Mahmoud Abbas’s own party Fatah, all require its destruction. Is the US devoting as much attention to combatting this as they are about condemning ‘settlements?’ Absolutely not.  Abbas has repeatedly said he will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state.  Israeli leadership has consistently committed to recognizing a ‘Palestinian’ state, yet is the US applying pressure on him to recognize Israel? Again, no.

Another issue is money.

The US and others believe if there is measurable improvement in the overall economic environment of the Palestinians it would reduce their “frustration,” which many believe motivates their terror against Israelis. In my view, there exists no moral equivalence between justice and terror.

Moreover, if the Palestinians wish to express frustration regarding their poor economic condition, Israel is not to blame.

The responsibility of the economic plight of the Palestinians belongs to their own leadership.

When Yasser Arafat formed the Palestinian Authority in 1994 he promised new hospitals, clinics, educational institutions and improvement to the general infrastructure. He also promised greater employment opportunities. However, instead of delivering on his promises he took complete control of all media, as well as the flow of money. None of the promised improvements took place. With virtually no independent oversight this became a recipe for corruption.

He and his cronies systematically stole huge sums of money, while the average ‘Arabstinian’ remained in abject poverty, which is still the case today under Mahmoud Abbas.

Such information rarely gets much attention, and certainly not in’ Arabstinian’ media, heaven forbid! 

Tracking the money

Here are some rather incredible facts:

Since formation of the Palestinian Authority it has received over $31 billion in foreign aid. In 2014 alone they received well over $2 billion. Of that amount the US provides the most, by far- roughly $400 million, followed by the European Commission ($140 million), Saudi Arabia ($103 million) the UK ($95 million), etc. [see chart]  The Palestinians  have received more money than any other group of people in human history. In fact “if you take into account historic inflation, the PA has received 15 times more money than the US gave all of Europe under the Marshall Plan after WWll,” according to Calev Myers of the Jerusalem Institute of Justice who has studied this extensively.

With respect to Arafat, while the average ‘Arabstinian’ suffered, his wife Suha who lived in Paris received $200,000 per month from him. She also is alleged to have received numerous bulk payments, one of which was $11 million according to reports.  Where did this money come from? More important, what happened with the vast amount of international aid given to the PA?

When Arafat died in 2004 an investigation showed he had $1 billion stashed away in Swiss bank accounts. Plus, he supposedly was in control of up to $6 billion in assets.  His widow negotiated a rather tidy settlement before pointing investigators toward Arafat’s hidden assets. Rumor is she collected as much as $40 million.

Since then, the tradition of corruption has been well maintained by Arafat’s successor Mahmoud Abbas, whose personal wealth is said to be $1 billion. He is currently constructing a $13 million mansion for himself.

In reality the economic well-being of the Palestinians has long been in their own hands. However, their leadership has literally stolen it. Meanwhile, the world does nothing, and the money keeps lining the pockets of corrupt leaders.

As for the Arabstinian health care system, it remains so under developed many of them in desperation come to Israel for needed care. Indeed, in 2014 when tensions were extremely high due to the disappearance of three Jewish teens, who were later found murdered, Abbas’s wife was having surgery in an Israeli hospital. Plus, in the midst of the current spate of terror, which Abbas has fueled with hateful rhetoric, his brother-in-law had life-saving surgery in Israel. Israel even treated the granddaughter of Ismael Haniyeh, Hamas’s leader in the Gaza Strip.

International aid funding murderers

Aside from pilfering money meant to improve the lot of the average ‘Arabstinian,’ there is another disturbing aspect of how international aid is being used by the PA.

Approximately 16% of their total budget is designated to reward terrorists and their families. This is done under what is called The Law of the Prisoner.”
Here’s how it works:

 If an ‘Arabstinian’ commits a crime against an Israeli and is imprisoned he becomes eligible to earn a large monthly income. It can be as much as $3,500, ($42,000 annually) which is five times greater than the average ‘Arabstinian’ earns. The more heinous the crime, the higher the stipend.

You’ve heard the old saying “crime doesn’t pay?” These terrorists are proof it does pay. US and European taxpayers are the ones who are “paying.”

Given the current state of affairs, what should the US do? While I don’t pretend to have all the answers   here are some suggestions:

  1. Stop blaming Israeli ‘settlements’ and ‘occupation’ for the lack of progress toward peace.
  2. Demand Abbas condemn terror against Israeli’s and take steps to eliminate it.
  3. Require mutual national recognition and hold him accountable if he refuses.
  4. Demand the PLO, Fatah and Hamas amend their charters which call for Israel’s destruction. (no legitimate peace partner is party to a charter calling for the others destruction)
  5. Insist the PA set up independent oversight and engage in complete financial transparency and accountability.
  6. Demand the Law of the Prisoner be scrapped. Inform the PA financial aid will be terminated if murderers continue to be financially rewarded.

At the end of the day the effort of the US to appear balanced by maintaining the status quo is not only failing to move the peace process forward, it is actually perpetuating an environment which will never produce peace.

What is needed is for world leaders, especially the US to stand up to the Arabs and stop trying to persuade Israel to further compromise its security by rewarding those who uncompromisingly seek its destruction with land and money.

Dan Calic is a writer, history student and speaker. See additional articles on his Facebook page.

The US and others, while suggesting they are strong supporters of Israel and its need for security, in reality are not promoting peace. Their policies are actually sustaining and rewarding terror.

Let me explain…

President Obama for example has repeatedly stated throughout his administration  America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakable. No doubt these are reassuring words to Israel and its friends around the world. However,  his actions contradict his words.

How so? It has been the policy of the US and others to condemn the “settlements” and the  “occupation” as the main obstacles to achieving peace with the Palestinians. For those who subscribe to said view, where were the occupation or settlements in 1948 or 1967? They did not exist.

However, in order to see the folly of blaming the lack of peace on these issues, we must look at what the statements imply.

  1. They suggest the US is attempting to be balanced. This is meant to appeal to the Arab world, which believes the US has been too supportive of Israel for many years.
  2. They allow the US to avoid tackling the real issues which are preventing peace.

Placing blame where it belongs

The  Palestinians flatly refuse to accept the right of Israel to exist. The charters of the PLO, Hamas, and Mahmoud Abbas’s own party Fatah, all require its destruction. Is the US devoting as much attention to combatting this as they are about condemning ‘settlements?’ Absolutely not.  Abbas has repeatedly said he will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state.  Israeli leadership has consistently committed to recognizing a ‘Palestinian’ state, yet is the US applying pressure on him to recognize Israel? Again, no.

Another issue is money.

The US and others believe if there is measurable improvement in the overall economic environment of the Palestinians it would reduce their “frustration,” which many believe motivates their terror against Israelis. In my view, there exists no moral equivalence between justice and terror.

Moreover, if the Palestinians wish to express frustration regarding their poor economic condition, Israel is not to blame.

The responsibility of the economic plight of the Palestinians belongs to their own leadership.

When Yasser Arafat formed the Palestinian Authority in 1994 he promised new hospitals, clinics, educational institutions and improvement to the general infrastructure. He also promised greater employment opportunities. However, instead of delivering on his promises he took complete control of all media, as well as the flow of money. None of the promised improvements took place. With virtually no independent oversight this became a recipe for corruption.

He and his cronies systematically stole huge sums of money, while the average ‘Arabstinian’ remained in abject poverty, which is still the case today under Mahmoud Abbas.

Such information rarely gets much attention, and certainly not in’ Arabstinian’ media, heaven forbid! 

Tracking the money

Here are some rather incredible facts:

Since formation of the Palestinian Authority it has received over $31 billion in foreign aid. In 2014 alone they received well over $2 billion. Of that amount the US provides the most, by far- roughly $400 million, followed by the European Commission ($140 million), Saudi Arabia ($103 million) the UK ($95 million), etc. [see chart]  The Palestinians  have received more money than any other group of people in human history. In fact “if you take into account historic inflation, the PA has received 15 times more money than the US gave all of Europe under the Marshall Plan after WWll,” according to Calev Myers of the Jerusalem Institute of Justice who has studied this extensively.

With respect to Arafat, while the average ‘Arabstinian’ suffered, his wife Suha who lived in Paris received $200,000 per month from him. She also is alleged to have received numerous bulk payments, one of which was $11 million according to reports.  Where did this money come from? More important, what happened with the vast amount of international aid given to the PA?

When Arafat died in 2004 an investigation showed he had $1 billion stashed away in Swiss bank accounts. Plus, he supposedly was in control of up to $6 billion in assets.  His widow negotiated a rather tidy settlement before pointing investigators toward Arafat’s hidden assets. Rumor is she collected as much as $40 million.

Since then, the tradition of corruption has been well maintained by Arafat’s successor Mahmoud Abbas, whose personal wealth is said to be $1 billion. He is currently constructing a $13 million mansion for himself.

In reality the economic well-being of the Palestinians has long been in their own hands. However, their leadership has literally stolen it. Meanwhile, the world does nothing, and the money keeps lining the pockets of corrupt leaders.

As for the Arabstinian health care system, it remains so under developed many of them in desperation come to Israel for needed care. Indeed, in 2014 when tensions were extremely high due to the disappearance of three Jewish teens, who were later found murdered, Abbas’s wife was having surgery in an Israeli hospital. Plus, in the midst of the current spate of terror, which Abbas has fueled with hateful rhetoric, his brother-in-law had life-saving surgery in Israel. Israel even treated the granddaughter of Ismael Haniyeh, Hamas’s leader in the Gaza Strip.

International aid funding murderers

Aside from pilfering money meant to improve the lot of the average ‘Arabstinian,’ there is another disturbing aspect of how international aid is being used by the PA.

Approximately 16% of their total budget is designated to reward terrorists and their families. This is done under what is called The Law of the Prisoner.”
Here’s how it works:

 If an ‘Arabstinian’ commits a crime against an Israeli and is imprisoned he becomes eligible to earn a large monthly income. It can be as much as $3,500, ($42,000 annually) which is five times greater than the average ‘Arabstinian’ earns. The more heinous the crime, the higher the stipend.

You’ve heard the old saying “crime doesn’t pay?” These terrorists are proof it does pay. US and European taxpayers are the ones who are “paying.”

Given the current state of affairs, what should the US do? While I don’t pretend to have all the answers   here are some suggestions:

  1. Stop blaming Israeli ‘settlements’ and ‘occupation’ for the lack of progress toward peace.
  2. Demand Abbas condemn terror against Israeli’s and take steps to eliminate it.
  3. Require mutual national recognition and hold him accountable if he refuses.
  4. Demand the PLO, Fatah and Hamas amend their charters which call for Israel’s destruction. (no legitimate peace partner is party to a charter calling for the others destruction)
  5. Insist the PA set up independent oversight and engage in complete financial transparency and accountability.
  6. Demand the Law of the Prisoner be scrapped. Inform the PA financial aid will be terminated if murderers continue to be financially rewarded.

At the end of the day the effort of the US to appear balanced by maintaining the status quo is not only failing to move the peace process forward, it is actually perpetuating an environment which will never produce peace.

What is needed is for world leaders, especially the US to stand up to the Arabs and stop trying to persuade Israel to further compromise its security by rewarding those who uncompromisingly seek its destruction with land and money.

Dan Calic is a writer, history student and speaker. See additional articles on his Facebook page.