Speaking Sunday at the UN’s conference of donors to the Palestinian Authority,
Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon warned that while Israel supports economic
assistance to the PA now, that is liable to change within the week.
put it, “Future assistance and cooperation could be severely and irreparably
compromised if the Palestinian leadership continues on its path of essentially
acting in contravention of all signed agreements which also regulate existing
economic relations between Israel and the Palestinian
Ayalon’s position is eminently reasonable. Unfortunately, it
contradicts utterly the official position of the Government of
The government’s position was transmitted on Friday to the same
donor conference that Ayalon was participating in. According to the government
document, “Israel calls for ongoing international support for the PA budget and
development projects that will contribute to the growth of a vibrant private
sector, which will provide the PA an expanded base for generating internal
Israel’s move was reportedly championed by the Defense Ministry
and the IDF senior brass, which reportedly adamantly opposes cutting off any aid
to the PA, including aid to the US-trained and financed Palestinian army in
Judea and Samaria. As The Jerusalem Post
reported on Sunday, senior Defense
Ministry officials argue that an aid cutoff is liable to lead to the PA’s
collapse and PA employees – which comprise the majority of Palestinian workers –
may become violent.
As one Defense Ministry senior official told the
paper, “It is important that we retain financial stability, even after their
unilateral moves. Stopping money transfers could lead to a financial crisis
which could lead to a violent escalation.”
In other words, the Defense
Ministry argues that if the donor countries stop paying off the Palestinian
militias – including the US-trained and funded Palestinian army – then their
supposedly moderate forces will turn to the terror business to support
Aside from being strategically insane, this position bespeaks
an unjustifiable unwillingness on the part of the leftist-dominated Defense
Ministry to understand the basic nature of the Palestinian cause and what it
requires from Israel.
Since the IDF and the Foreign Ministry and the rest
of the government bureaucracy embraced the PLO as Israel’s “peace partner” 18
years ago, they have been operating on the assumption that the PLO and its
spinoffs – Fatah and the PA – are interested in reaching a peace deal with
Israel. But this has never been the case.
For the PLO and its spinoffs,
the Palestinian conflict has always been and will always be a zero sum
game. The goal of the Oslo process, the goal of the PA, of the
Palestinian militias, and of the UN bid is one: to strengthen the Palestinians
and weaken Israel.
As far as Israel’s “peace partner” is concerned,
Israel can never concede enough. There is no deal that Israel can ever offer
that the Palestinians will ever accept. Even if Israel offered to destroy
itself and hand its ruins to the Palestinians, the Palestinians would pocket the
concession and then declare war against whatever remnants remain of the defunct
Jewish state in order to “liberate” the land from its Jewish
We know this is the case because this is what the
Palestinians – led by the PLO/Fatah/PA – did in Gaza after Israel unilaterally
surrendered. The last military vehicle had barely cleared the border when the
Palestinians torched the synagogues Israel had left standing.
after Ehud Barak essentially offered the Palestinians Israel’s head on a platter
when he offered them the Temple Mount, they pocketed his offer and began
butchering Israelis in a bid to “liberate” the Temple Mount.
vaunted Palestinian security forces organized, funded and directed the terror
war. And the internationally financed PA budget paid for it.
that the Palestinians are turning to the UN is not because they cannot receive
statehood in the framework of a peace deal with Israel. They are going to the UN
because they don’t want a peace deal with Israel. They want sovereignty and they
want to remain at war with Israel.
For 18 years the IDF’s top brass has
refused to recognize the game that the PLO has been playing since the onset of
the fake peace process. Informed by the leftist establishment, the IDF’s senior
officers vacuously argue that Israel’s only option is to strengthen the PA,
including its US-trained and funded army.
This appeasement mindset has
paralyzed the IDF’s ability to develop comprehensive strategies for victory for
nearly a generation. And the IDF’s leadership clings to appeasement despite the
fact that the public has completely rejected it due to its consistent
The basic rule of commonsense policy-making is to be good to your
friends and bad to your enemies because then people will want to be your friends
and they will not want to be your enemies. The appeasement mindset turns this
rule on its head.
As far as the appeasers are concerned, you must be good
to your enemies and bad to your friends because your enemies will stop hating
you if you’re nice to them. As for your friends, they are wrong to be your
friends since you have yet to be worthy of friendship since you have not yet
appeased your enemies.
By supporting continued foreign aid to the
Palestinians in the aftermath of their UN bid the government has adopted a
classic appeasement policy. It has told the Palestinians that they will pay no
price for their act of aggression. Worse, Israel just told them they will be
rewarded. Israel has gone on record saying it cannot manage without the
Palestinian governing body that exists to destroy it.
As for Israel’s
friends, the government just pulled the rug out from under their feet. Cong.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is a
true friend of Israel. Her bill calling for a cutoff of US aid to the PA and a
massive decrease of US aid to the UN in the event the UN upgrades the
Palestinians’ diplomatic status is one of the most important pieces of
pro-Israel legislation to be introduced in the US Congress in a
By announcing it opposes an aid cutoff, Israel undermined
Ros-Lehtinen’s position. It betrayed its good friend.
No doubt Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman were under
great pressure from the IDF and from the Obama administration to call for
continued international funding of the PA. But the public didn’t elect them with
the expectation that they would abandon Israel’s national interest and harm its
friends just because they feel the heat.
The appeasers claim that Israel
wins international approval by being good to its enemies. But 18 years of
consistently attacking its friends and praising its foes has brought Israel to
the brink of international isolation. We have empowered our foes and
demoralized our friends. And now we continue to squander what little diplomatic
influence we still have left in a bid to again aid the Palestinians in their
continued war against us.
If the government thinks that Ayalon’s
statement can repair the damage it just caused the country, it should think
again. The only way to fix what just happened is for the government to issue a
new policy supporting the cutting off of foreign aid to the Palestinians and
announcing that Israel will stop transferring tax revenues to them if their
status at the UN is upgraded in any way. And Netanyahu should pick up the phone
and personally apologize to Ros-Lehtinen for his government’s disgraceful