Last week Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas made his view on terrorist funding absolutely clear when he said that he would never stop funding terrorists. Why then does the UK government not only fund this organisation, but fail to speak out strongly against such wicked actions?
Abbas’s exact words last week were as follows: “Even if I will have to leave my position, I will not compromise on the salary (rawatib) of a Martyr (Shahid) or a prisoner, as I am the president of the entire Palestinian people, including the prisoners, the Martyrs, the injured, the expelled, and the uprooted.”
This was not just a rogue comment by Abbas. It is a statement backed up by years of fulfilment and was officially endorsed by the Fatah party, the political party that Abbas leads. To most of us who read this statement, it gives a very clear and strong message that both President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority support terrorism.
While we may see this as a fact, it seems the UK government is not entirely sure where Mahmoud Abbas or the Palestinians stand on the issue. When the question of terrorist payments was raised in Parliament on Tuesday, the response from the government was lacklustre to say the least.
WATCH: The Government's Middle East Minister, Alistair Burt, says the Palestinian Authority must make sure it doesn't send 'wrong signals' in reply to a question by Andrew Percy MP in which Percy raised Mahmoud Abbas's comments last week about never stopping payments to Palestinian terrorists even if it cost him his job.'Wrong signals'?? Mahmoud Abbas is supporting the funding of terrorism! What clearer signal is required to shake the UK Foreign Office into understanding that the Palestinian leadership supports terror.#Abbas #Israel #Parliament #AlistairBurt #AndrewPercy #nototerror #CUFI
Posted by Christians United for Israel – UK on Tuesday, July 11, 2017
The exchange went as follows:
Andrew Percy MP: “Last week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that he’d continue paying prisoner salaries even to people who have murdered innocent civilians, if it cost him his job. Does the Foreign Secretary/Minister agree with me that there is no way we will have peace in the Middle East unless there are coexistence projects and support for coexistence on the Palestinian side?”
Middle East Minister Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP: “My Hon friend is right, there are a number of barriers on the Palestinian side to make progress – support for incitement and terror is one of those. DfID is looking extremely carefully to make sure no payments go in the wrong direction but it’s certainly true the Palestinian Authority needs to look very hard to make sure it’s not giving the wrong signals as we try and make progress on the Middle East Peace Process.”
Here are some problems we have with this response:
Firstly, the Department for International Development (DfID) does not need to look “extremely carefully” to see that the Palestinian Authority is paying terrorists. For many years the Palestinian Authority has been fairly open about this practice, and over the past five years the Palestinian Authority has given an estimated £1 billion to terrorists and their families. And now the Palestinian president has not only admitted the practice, but vowed to never stop.
This proves beyond any doubt that the Palestinian Authority actively supports terrorism.
The argument the government gives is that DfID ensures British taxpayer money does not go directly to pay terrorists salaries. However, we feel that is misguided as clearly the organisation as a whole supports terrorism. The UK government gives around £70 million per year to the Palestinian Authority, our funding of their humanitarian needs gives them the freedom to put money towards their terrorist ambitions. Far from ensuring “no payments go in the wrong direction” it is instead sending money in precisely “the wrong direction”.
The second part of Mr Burt’s response was that the Palestinian Authority needs to ensure it is not “giving the wrong signals”. What does this actually mean?
Does it mean that it is acceptable for the Palestinian Authority to fund terrorism, but only as long as they don’t publicly tell people they are doing so. Was their open admission of funding terrorism a “wrong signal”?
Or does it mean that we accept the Palestinian Authority funding terrorism, but only if they promise to stop at some point in the future?
Mahmoud Abbas gave a clear signal. The Palestinian leadership is not willing to compromise its position – it has always supported terrorism and has no intention of stopping. We are not sure if this was Mr Burt’s personal attempt to not “rock the boat” or if this is government policy. However, it appears that our government is so eager to bring about a two-state-solution that they are willing to look the other way when it comes to the Palestinian leaderships open support for terror.
The Palestinian Authority is as close to being a terrorist organisation as one can get without officially being labelled a terrorist organisation. They publicly incite terror, openly fund terror, and continue to honour terrorists and teach hate to their children, BUT, governments around the world keep telling us that far from being terrorists, they are in fact “partners for peace”.
For example, last week French President Emmanuel Macron met with Abbas and spoke of his “constant commitment to non-violence”, just days after Abbas pledged his constant commitment to violence.
The world continues to turn a blind eye to the Palestinian Authority’s active support of terrorism. And worse, they continue to send tens-of-millions of pounds each year to the Palestinian Authority, helping to fund their actions towards a false expectation of peace.
You cannot make peace with organisations that seek your destruction. Our government’s response is not good enough.