Biden rewards Palestinians for terrorism, incitement – analysis

Biden administration’s recent decision to upgrade its relations with the PA is another sign the U.S. is rewarding the Palestinians for their ongoing toxic incitement and terrorism against Israel.

By Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute

The Biden administration’s recent decision to upgrade its relations with the Palestinian Authority (PA) is yet another sign of how the U.S. is rewarding the Palestinians, as they are the Iranian regime, for their ongoing toxic incitement and terrorism against Israel.

The decision sends a message to the PA and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, that the Biden administration does not care if the Palestinians continue to glorify and embrace terrorists who murder and wound Jews and others.

A senior U.S. State Department official was quoted as saying the Biden administration notified Congress that it has appointed Hady Amr as a new “special representative for Palestinian affairs.”

The move is an upgrade in U.S.-Palestinian relations. It is the first time the US has created a position at the State Department that is solely responsible for Palestinian affairs.

The decision coincided with two bomb attacks in Jerusalem, in which a 16-year-old Jewish boy was killed and 14 other people wounded.

It also came hours after Palestinian gunmen snatched the body of Tiran Fero, a 17-year-old Israeli Druze, from a hospital in the West Bank city of Jenin. Pero was taken to the hospital after being critically injured in a car accident near Jenin. His family said that the gunmen who stormed the hospital disconnected Pero from the life support machines while he was still alive. The gunmen held his body for more than 24 hours before handing it over to the Palestinian Authority.

The PA has not condemned the twin bombings in Jerusalem. In fact, its leaders stopped denouncing terror attacks against Israel a long time ago. Instead, Palestinian leaders often praise terrorists who murder Jews as “heroes” and “martyrs.”

They, in fact, offer stipends to the terrorists and their families as part of the PA’s “Pay-for-Slay” program — which serves as an incentive, especially in an area that is not wealthy, for its citizens to continue their violence.

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The Biden administration’s decision to upgrade US-Palestinian relations also came as Palestinians were celebrating the Jerusalem terror attacks by handing out sweets and praising the terrorists. Some of the celebrations took place in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, which did not take any measures to stop this practice — one that has been taking place after almost every terror attack against Israel.

Several Palestinian groups issued separate statements lauding the Jerusalem bombings as “heroic operations” and calling for the murder of more Jews. Two of the groups, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) are part of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which is headed by Mahmoud Abbas. The Palestinian Authority president did not criticize these groups for praising the terror attacks.

The abduction of the Israeli-Druze teenager took place in Jenin, a city which is under the exclusive control of Abbas’s security forces. In the past few years, Jenin has become a hub for various terror groups responsible for a series of attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians. These groups have been able to operate freely in Jenin thanks to the Palestinian Authority’s failure or unwillingness to crack down on terrorism.

One of the terror groups, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, is openly affiliated with the ruling Fatah faction headed by Mahmoud Abbas. This group continues to claim responsibility for shooting attacks against Israelis in the West Bank. Abbas has never called on the terror groups to halt their attacks.

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One would have expected the Biden administration to demand that the Palestinian leadership dismantle the terror groups operating under its auspices in the West Bank.

One would have expected the Biden administration to demand that the Palestinian leadership stop its massive campaign to delegitimize Israel and demonize Jews through mosques, the media and official speeches.

One would have expected the Biden administration to demand that the Palestinian Authority halt the monthly payments for terrorism to the terrorists and their families.

Moreover, one would have expected the Biden administration to pressure the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table with Israel and abandon their long-time policy of rejecting all offers without even proposing a counteroffer.

The Biden administration, which resumed financial aid to the Palestinians — without any conditions attached — has chosen to ignore the Palestinian leadership’s role in encouraging violence, hate and efforts to eliminate Israel, and to erect, in its place, yet another Islamic state.

The payments to the terrorists and their families successfully encourage many Palestinians to carry out attacks against Israelis: they know that they or their families will be added to the Palestinian Authority’s payroll. The daily incitement against Israel by the PA and its leaders is what prompts young men and women to carry a knife to go out to stab the first Jew they meet.

The Biden administration is dead wrong if it thinks that upgrading its relations with the Palestinian Authority will have a moderating effect on the Palestinians or prompt them to improve their policies toward Israel. On the contrary, the move is likely to increase the Palestinian leaders’ intransigence because now they feel that the US is on their side, notwithstanding their incitement and support for terrorism.

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The policies of the Biden administration do not bode well for the future of any peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Biden administration is also ignoring the fact that Palestinian leaders were the first to condemn the Abraham Accords between Israel and four Arab countries – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.

By upgrading U.S.-Palestinian relations, the Biden administration is also sending a message to these Arab countries that it stands behind the Palestinians’ rejection of normalization and peace between the Arabs and Israel.

The Biden administration has anyway done nothing to support the Abraham Accords or try to get more Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, on board. Instead, the Biden administration has done everything in its power to antagonize America’s traditional allies in the Arab world, first and foremost Saudi Arabia. The Biden administration’s policy of appeasement of the mullahs in Iran has already alienated some Arabs, especially the Gulf states.

Some of these Arab countries have turned their back on the Palestinians, accusing them of being ungrateful and biting the hand that fed them for decades. Because of their rhetorical attacks on the Arabs who signed peace treaties with Israel, the Palestinians have lost the financial and political support of several Arab countries, especially the wealthy Gulf states.

While the Arabs have finally woken up to the fact that the Palestinians are dead-set on continuing their jihad (holy war) to eliminate Israel, the Biden team is rushing to embrace Mahmoud Abbas and his associates, who have rejected every peace offer made to them by Israeli leaders over the past two decades, and who continue to push their people to bathe in Jewish blood.

Bassam Tawil is a Muslim Arab based in the Middle East.