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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The pressure is certainly on the Palestinians for paying prisoners - which is the most sacred part of the Palestinian Authority budget, and the one that has been under international scrutiny for the past month or two.

Hassan Abed Rabbo, media adviser for the Palestinian Prisoners Affairs, wrote an article rejecting any effort by any party to reduce the PA budget so it cannot pay terrorists and their families. He says that the West is informed that changing the salaries of "prisoners and martyrs  would lead to the collapse of the PA, and the people would protest in the streets."

Abed Rabbo staunchly defends the institution of paying prisoners as part of Palestinian resistance. (Which we all agree with!) he ends off by calling for Palestinians to unify and come up with alternative methods of paying terrorist salaries in case the West cuts them off.

Odeh Bisharat, writing in Haaretz, advances a much more bizarre argument supporting salaries to terrorists:

Did Israel pay child benefits to the family of Yigal Amir, the man who murdered Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin? Will Ehud Yatom, who killed the two Bus 300 hijackers with his own hands, get an old-age allowance? Does the state pay old-age benefits to Moshe Zar, who was the driver for the Jewish underground cell that in 1980 planted a bomb that led to the amputation of the legs of Nablus Mayor Bassam Shaka?

These are just some examples of Jews who were involved in acts of terror and the killing of prisoners. There are more. The answers to the questions, of course, are clear; these and others who committed acts of terror are getting social benefits. And that’s fine, because a properly run state makes a distinction between rights and duties. Lawbreakers must be punished, but not deprived of their social rights; otherwise, it would be a jungle here. Even criminals have the right to live in dignity, not to mention their families, who are entitled to social benefits no matter what their relatives have done.

U.S. President Donald Trump violates this fundamental principle. He claims to want to achieve peace in the Middle East, while at the same time demanding that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas halt stipends to the families of Palestinian prisoners, thus sentencing tens of thousands of people, including many children, to poverty or even starvation, which sooner or later will fuel another outburst of violence.
Yes, this was a serious argument published in Haaretz this week.

Bisharat's arguments are laughable. If paying salaries to these terrorists was part of a normal social program, then the PA should also pay the equivalent amount to people in its own prisons and their families.

But the PA and the PLO pay these people not because they are poor but because they are heroes. Bisharat calls paying salaries specifically to murderers to be a "right."

The Palestinians love this  argument. This drivel that does not distinguish between normal social programs and specific programs to deliberately pay and honor terrorists was republished in Ma'an, Al Quds al Arabi and elsewhere.

Not surprisingly, Bisharat's justifications for supporting terror are partially supported by the New Israel Fund. 

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