The PLO were the founding fathers of modern day Islamic terrorism that is now spreading throughout the western world. Why then are they showered with honors and money?
Last week marked 45 years since the Munich massacre, when Arab terrorists murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic games in Germany. The terrorist attack was more than a national tragedy for Israel. It became an historical landmark. It placed the Arab terrorism against Israel firmly in the public eye and helped propel it into international prominence.
A terrorist atrocity that should have drawn the world’s universal condemnation and collective disgust instead became an early steppingstone – one outrageous terrorist atrocity in a long line of future atrocities – to an astounding level of worldwide diplomatic and financial support for the “Palestinian” Arab cause. ‘‘Before Munich, we were simply terrorists. After Munich, at least people started asking who are these terrorists … Before Munich, nobody had the slightest idea about Palestine”, as Mohamed Oudeh, also known as Abu Daoud, the mastermind behind the Munich massacre later said.
According to Abu Daoud’s autobiography, published in France in 1999, Mahmoud Abbas was responsible for the financing of the Munich massacre. Forty five years later, Abbas, now the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, is strutting down the red carpets of this world with impunity, including that of the White House. He even received a standing ovation from European parliamentarians for a speech he gave before them in June 2016. A speech where he drew heavily on old anti-Semitic blood libels in falsely accusing Israeli rabbis of calling on the Israeli government to poison water used by Arabs. In a world of short memory and selective moral outrage, the heinous crimes of one of the co-founders of modern terrorism, Abbas, are considered more palatable than those of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of ISIS or of Osama Bin Laden.
At the time of the Munich massacre, Abbas could hardly have imagined that one day the world community would aid and abet the PLO’s efforts to murder Jews so willingly and generously. Economic analysts have estimated that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has received a total of $25 billion in foreign aid since the mid-1990s, making the PA one of the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid. The United States alone has contributed $ 5 billion of that sum.
How has the PA spent the money? Primarily on the thing that launched it to begin with: Terrorism. Since its inception in 1993, the PA has systematically indoctrinated its citizens with an incessant barrage of incitement to commit jihad against Jews. From the moment they enter kindergarten, children learn, as per the Quranic passages 5:60 and 7:166, that the Jews are cursed and that Allah transformed them into apes and pigs. The violent hatred of Jews never abates, but is taught in the schools, where Israel is erased from the map, Jewish nationhood denied and the Holocaust never mentioned. It is preached in the mosques, on the internet, TV and radio, and manifests itself in the statues the PA erects in its city squares in the memory of terrorists – perceived as ‘martyrs’- as examples for its youth to emulate. Official Palestinian Arab culture is saturated with adulation of the jihadist who dies in the pursuit of murdering Jews.
In addition, Abbas operates a generous and efficient system of “rewards”, which are paid to terrorists and their families as motivation and compensation for their sacrifice for murdering Jews. In 2017 alone the PA is budgeted to spend a sum amounting to half of the foreign aid it is expected to receive this year, in stipends to terrorists – convicted inmates of Israeli prisons – and the families of ‘martyrs’. This is nearly $345 million out of an expected total donor sum of $693 million. This sum represents an increase of 13 % from 2016. Some Fatah terrorists held in Israeli prisons are said to receive monthly stipends of up to $4,000. Many of them are also rewarded with top jobs in both Fatah and the PA.
When the US recently suggested that Abbas cease paying terrorists, Abbas became enraged and his foreign advisor, Naabil Shaath, described the proposition as ‘insane’. “It’s absurd to request that we stop paying the families of prisoners,” Shaath said. “That would be like asking Israel to stop paying its soldiers.”
Evidently, nothing much has changed in the mindset or goals of Abbas and his cohorts since the Munich massacre. However, what were once considered heinous crimes by the world community – and are still considered such, as long as they are performed by the likes of ISIS against Europeans or Americans – have been whitewashed and elevated to noble ‘resistance’, considered worthy of billions of dollars in foreign aid by the world community. A world community which lost its moral compass many decades ago. It is good to be Mahmoud Abbas.
This September marks another anniversary: Sixteen years since the 9/11 Al Qaeda terror attacks against the United States. This was a barbaric act, which rightly infuriated the world and drew not only worldwide condemnation, but also a massive military response from the United States and its allies – a coalition that Israel was deliberately excluded from.
Unlike the ‘good’ terrorism of Abbas and the PLO, which is rewarded with red carpet treatment in the capitals of the world and billions of dollars in aid, the terror wrought by Osama bin Laden, leader of Al Qaeda, was considered ‘bad’. Therefore, instead of being showered with standing ovations, Osama bin Laden died in a shower of bullets. After 9/11, Israel nevertheless hoped that the world would finally realize that the terror Israel is fighting is no different than the terror that was unleashed against the United States on 9/11. The Al Qaeda attacks turned out to be just the beginning of a prolonged campaign of Islamic terrorism, which by now plays itself out, on a regular basis, in the form of bombing, stabbing and car ramming attacks in the capitals of Europe. All of this inspired by the Palestinian Arab godfathers of terrorism in the PLO and the Hamas.
Double standards lead to no standards. From an Israeli point of view it is unsurprising that the world now finds itself embroiled in a terrorist onslaught by ISIS and its thousands of supporters – it is estimated that there are now 50,000 jihadists living in the EU alone – that shows no signs of letting up anytime soon. When you aid and abet terrorism in someone else’s backyard, you should not act all surprised when it turns up in your own doorstep.
Judith Bergman is a columnist and political analyst.