Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel were teenagers. They were abducted and brutally murdered by Palestinian terrorists from Hamas, a partner in the Palestinian Authority’s unity government, and a terrorist organization dedicated to the annihilation of Israel and the Jewish people.
The teens’ abduction and murder was supported by Palestinian society as a whole. While Israelis were united as never before in worry and prayer for the missing boys, Palestinian society was united in its expressed delight at the abduction and murder of the boys.
The government’s response to this war crime, and to the support Palestinian society as a whole provides war criminals while reveling in their atrocities, will be significant. The vast majority of Israelis recognizes that maintaining faith with the mordant peace process can no longer be justified. Fatah and Hamas are equally dedicated to our destruction. By continuing to empower and legitimize the PA, Israel is facilitating its debilitation and victimization.
By legitimizing the PA, Israel has enabled the PA to conduct a massive campaign throughout the world to destroy Israel’s moral, legal and diplomatic standing.
The international community’s indifferent response to the Palestinian abduction of the boys demonstrated how far the Palestinian campaign to deny the legitimacy of Israel and to dehumanize Israelis has advanced.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton took five days to issue a milquetoast condemnation of their abduction. But as execrable as Ashton’s silence was, US President Barack Obama’s response was even worse.
Obama waited for the boys’ bodies to be found before ever mentioning them. And when he finally spoke, he made no distinction between Israel, the victim of this war crime, and the Palestinians who facilitated, perpetrated and celebrated this war crime.
In Obama’s words, “From the outset, I have offered our full support to Israel and the Palestinian Authority to find the perpetrators of this crime and bring them to justice, and I encourage Israel and the Palestinian Authority to continue working together in that effort. I also urge all parties to refrain from steps that could further destabilize the situation.”
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki’s reaction to the Israel’s discovery of the boys’ bodies was even more offensive than the president’s refusal to draw a distinction between the victim and the perpetrator.
Diminishing the cold-blooded murder of the boys by Palestinian savages to the level of a mere “tragedy,” Psaki said that the cooperation must continue between Israeli security forces and Palestinian terrorists “despite the pain on the ground.”
Not the pain inflicted on Israelis by the Palestinians who kidnapped and murdered and who overwhelmingly supported and celebrated the teens’ abduction and murder. Rather, in Psaki’s world, a general, amorphous “pain on the ground.”
Under questioning by AP reporter Matt Lee, Psaki defended the PA’s Fatah- Hamas government and claimed that its members “are making every effort” to abide by US requirements, including the rejection of violence.
Now it is true that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas did once condemn the kidnapping of the teens, and called for his Hamas governing partners to free them. But after he was attacked from all corners of the PA and Palestinian society, he quickly backtracked.
Abbas blamed Israel for the abduction, and accused it of killing “Palestinian teenagers in cold blood.”
It is also true that the media and the Obama administration have repeatedly claimed that PA security forces assisted Israel in locating the teenagers. But if such assistance was provided, it was not helpful. The bodies were found by Israelis, based on intelligence gleaned by Israeli forces in Israeli operations.
So why is the administration pretending otherwise? Obama and Psaki are not motivated primarily by their increasingly apparent antipathy for the Jewish state. They are trying to avoid having to abide by US law.
Standing legislation prohibits the US government from funding foreign terror organizations. Hamas is an officially designated foreign terror organization. If Fatah were ever treated on the basis of its actions, it would also be labeled a foreign terror organization because according to US law, it meets all the criteria for such a designation.
And at any rate, Hamas’s participation in the Palestinian government makes it illegal for the US to transfer any funds or grant any political recognition to the Palestinian government.
Since Obama and Psaki and their colleagues are aware of this fact, they have chosen to lie in order to protect the Hamas-Fatah government from the letter of US law.
This situation is simply unacceptable. The facts are incontrovertible. Thorough the actions of Fatah terrorists and Hamas terrorists, PA is a terrorist organization.
Even if Abbas were sincere in his devotion to peace with Israel – and clearly he is not – he would be nothing more than a figurehead at the top of a governing apparatus, and of a society as a whole that is dedicated to the eradication of Israel and the genocide of the Jewish people.
Every year the US gives the PA up to $500 million in aid. At this point, it is impossible to rationally argue that aid to the PA advances the cause of peace, which is supposed to be the point of the aid.
The PA – including Abbas – refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist. The PA denies Jewish nationhood. It fabricates Jewish history. And the PA – led by Abbas – supports, facilitates and engages in terrorism against Israel.
US assistance to the PA is instrumental to Palestinian efforts. The PA uses the legitimacy afforded it by US political and economic support to advance its campaign to delegitimize Israel and legitimize its destruction and the murder of its citizens.
In other words, every dollar the US gives the PA advances the goal of destroying Israel. By continuing to support the PA despite its actions, the US is making a singular contribution to the dehumanization of Jews and the destruction of our state.
Obama’s silence during the 18 days the teens were missing, and his hostile and duplicitous statement after their mutilated bodies were found makes clear that he remains committed to continuing this contribution.
In acting in this way, Obama stands in opposition to the will of the American people, who do not wish to contribute to the destruction of Israel. Consequently, the time has come for the people’s representatives in Congress to take action to remedy this unacceptable state of affairs.
To some extent, Congress already has stepped in. Last week the House of Representatives Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, which is responsible for allocating aid to the PA, did not include aid to the PA in the appropriations bill for 2015. The sub-committee’s counterpart in the Senate took a similar, if less forceful step.
Yet despite these actions, both the House and Senate bills assume that the aid will be restored and so they include stipulations for what Obama must do to waive Congressional limits on aid.
This is very problematic. By assuming that aid will be allocated, US lawmakers take for granted that US law will be broken, and indeed, they green-light such unlawful and repugnant actions.
Immediately after the boys were taken, Reps. Michele Bachmann and Trent Franks co-authored a House resolution defining the PA as a foreign terrorist organization.
As Rep. Franks said on June 12, “All US assistance to the Palestinian Authority should have been be suspended years ago, but openly joining a terrorist organization that kills women and children simply because they are Jewish should convince even the Obama administration to wake up and defund this madness.”
Obviously, the Obama administration remains unconvinced – and undaunted by the resolution, despite the fact that it now enjoys more than a score of co-sponsors, including two Democrats. Obama may continue to fund the PA no matter what Congress does. But only Congress can take action that has a chance of ending US support for the destruction of Israel. If Congress were to transform the language of the Bachmann-Franks resolution into a bill and pass it as a rider on an appropriations bill, then like the Boland Amendment of the 1980s, it could force the executive branch to heel.
The cold-blooded murder of Fraenkel, Shaer and Yifrah requires Israel to stop playing a sucker’s game. The PA is not our partner. It is our enemy.
The US is not our enemy. It is our friend. The American people are our friends.
The time has come for our friends to also take action and stop funding and supporting our enemy and his efforts to destroy us.
The writer is the author of The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East.