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May 19, 2017

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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 19, 2017 By Jonathan Feldstein On March 8, 2016, American Taylor Force was murdered along the Tel Aviv beach. Bashar Masalha stabbed Force and wounded 12 others, including a pregnant woman. Sadly, Force was not the first, and will likely not be the last, American victim of Palestinian Arab terror. More sadly, and shocking, your U.S. tax dol- lars indirectly motivate, and fund, such acts of terror against Americans, Israelis and others. In light of Palestinian Authority President Ab- bas meeting~with President Trump ~recently, and outrageously claiming that they teach their children peace, it's important to highlight a perversion of the U.S.-PA relationship. The Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to incite and support violence and terror. These are the supposed "partners" with which Israel is to make peace. The dehumanizing of Jews and Israelis that's so widespread within the PA echoes the similar behavior of the Nazi regime, and precipitating the Final Solution. Yet this is not a precursor but rather a symptom of an ongoing, decades old, pathology. The PA also pays monthly stipends for families of "martyrs," terrorists killed while attempting to murder others, and "salaries" to terrorists that are caught and imprisoned. While it's nonsense that poverty motivates ter- ror since there's poverty worldwide, but none with the culture of murder and "martyrdom" like the PA, providing such a stipend for one to go on a murderous terror spree is certainly an added perk. It's like getting a bonus at work for a job well done. Imprisoned terrorists' "salaries" can range from $364 to $3,120 a month, increasing with the length of the prison term. A stipend to the family of a married civilian "martyr" with two kids starts at about $2500 a year. The PA cumulatively allocates more than $303 million (in 2016) for this, representing about 7 percent of its annual budget. Here's the thing however. Rather than generating income to pay for a budget to op- erate the Palestinian Authority and its terror network through taxes on building, investing, and creating things, most of the PA's annual budget is paid for by other countries. The U.S. alone provides the PAwith $300 million annu- ally. At that rate, every American is actually underwriting a"terror tax" of almost $1 each. Therefore, at least indirectly, all Americans are paying the families of murderers of U.S. citi- zens and others, encouraging more terrorism and death. With the official PA news agency celebrating and reinforcing the perversion that Palestinian terrorists are heroes, they inspire kids to grow up and become murderers. Now, initiated by S.C. Senator Lindsay Graham, a group of U.S. senators are propos- ing the Taylor Force Act which would restrict funds "available for assistance for the West Bank and Gaza" unless the president affirms that the PA is "taking credible steps to end acts of violence against Israeli citizens" and that it "terminated payments for acts of terrorism against Israeli citizens." It's possible that cutting off of funding could destabilize the PA and eliminate meaningful projects that actually benefit Palestinians without harming others. It's not in Israel's interest to see anarchy and infighting that may spill over into Israel, creating more bloodshed. But if the alternative is continued U.S. fund- ing of Palestinian terrorism and incitement, the Taylor Force Act certainly has merit and deserves support. Fortunately, President Trump addressed the issue head on. "There cannot be lasting peace unless the Palestinian leaders speak in a unified voice against incitement.., to violence and hate. All children of God must be taught to value and respect human life, and condemn all of those who target the innocent." Perhaps that, along with a financial carrot and stick, the PA might actually make changes from celebrating their terrorists as national rate, every heroes, paying them and their families, and inspiring others to do so as well. Perhaps. Financial incentives have worked with other countries. Maybe this will work. It's certainly a step in the right direction. In addition to the Taylor Force Act, there's also the Koby Mandell Act. Named for 13-year- old Koby Mandell, an American-Israeli who was murdered by Palestinian Arab terrorists 16 years ago this week. The Koby Mandell Act directs the Department of Justice to "under- take steps to ensure that all American citizens harmed by terrorism overseas receive equal treatment by the ~3.S. government regardless of the terrorists' country of origin or residence, and to ensure that all terrorists involved in such attacks are pursued, prosecuted, and punished Koby Mandell, Kristine Lukin and Taylor Force--three Americans killed by Palestinian terrorists who receive money from the Palestinian Authgrity. with equal vigor, regardless of the terrorists' country of origin or residence." Recently, the U.S. government requested the extradition of a Palestinian terrorist in Jordan. In another case, the U.S. has sought to bring charges against the murderers of Kristine Luken, an American Christian murdered by Palestinian terrorists, who have already been tried and convicted in Israel. The wheels of justice are slow, but supporting efforts like the Taylor Force Act today, and the American is actu- a "terror tax" of Koby MandellAct of 2001, provide momentum, and teeth, to make that happen. While the family of the murderer of Taylor Force continues to receive a stipend from the PA, that's not so with the murderers of Koby Mandell, and his friend Yosef Ishran. They escaped, and have never been found or brought to justice. Presumably, they are anonymous and get no stipend from the PA. In the year following his murder, Koby's parents, Rabbi Seth and Sherri Mandell, established the Koby Mandell Foundation (KMF). They turned their pain and grief into something inspiring that continues to help other families like theirs who have lost someone due to terror or other tragedy. The paradox, however, isvivid. The Palestin- ian Authority pays terrorists and families of "martyred" terrorists, and incredible organiza- tions like the Koby Mandell Foundation that provide healing and comfort to the victims of these terrorists spend all year raising money to provide support for families of these ter- rorists' victims. The paradigm must change. KMF programs like the year-round Camp Koby for bereaved children, and the Women's Healing Program, connect family members of terror victims, and provide an array of therapeutic healing in an environment of unrestricted caring and love, in which these survivors can express themselves openly, ver- bally, just with a hug, or in absolute silence, among others who understand intuitively and completely. The KMF has established ascholarship fund, to enable more bereaved Israeli children to benefit from these invaluable programs. Other scholarships are needed as it costs $2000 to fund one child for a year of Camp Koby activi- ties each year, as the programs are all free, and no government support is received. In advance of the busy summer Camp Koby season, this scholarship campaign will provide support for at least 100 bereaved children. It's outrageous that a family of a terrorist gets more money than it costs to provide one scholarship for a child of a terror victim. Regardless of, or maybe specifically because U.S. tax dollars fund PA terrorists, you can support Camp Koby's healing programs and make a positive difference. Jonathan Feldstein was born and educated in the U.S. and immigrated to Israel in 2004. He is married and the father of six. He has a three-decade career in nonprofit fundraising and marketing and throughout his life and career, he has become a respected bridge between Jews and Christians. He writes regularly on major Christian web sites about Israel and shares experiences of living as an Orthodox Jew in Israel. He can be reached at By Stephen M. Flatow Trump to press PA President Mahmoud Ab- bas "to stop social welfare payments that the Palestinian Authority makes to the families The Washington Post's chief correspondent of Palestinian prisoners and assailants either in Israel has discarded all pretense ofobjectiv- wounded or killed by Israeli forces during ity and is now openly lobbying for a political terrorist attacks." cause--and it's one of the most distasteful Let's dissect that remarkable sentence. causes imaginable: justifying the Palestinian Start with Booth's phrase "social welfare Authority's (PA) policy of paying imprisoned payments." The obvious purpose of the phrase terrorists and their families. "social welfare" is to make the payments seem William Booth, the Post's longtime Jerusa- more palatable. The dictionary definition lem bureau chief, has never been very careful of "social welfare" is: "organized public or about keeping his personal opinions out of private social services for the assistance of his news articles. But his May 3 report on PA disadvantaged groups." payments to terrorists crossed the line from Booth apparently wants Washington Post journalism to outright advocacy, readers to think the recipients of the funds "Israel and its congressional supporters," are innocent widows and orphans--who, Booth reported, are urging President Donald after all, should not be blamed for the acts of THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 45 Press Awards FLORIDA HERITAGE Florida Jewish News (ISN 0199-0721) is published weekly for $37.95 per year to Florida ad- dresses ($46.95 for the rest of the U.S.) by HERITAGE Central Florida Jewish News, Inc., 207 O'Brien Road, Suite 101, Fern Park, FL 32730. Periodicals postage paid at Fern Park and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes and other correspondence to: HERITAGE, P.O. Box 300742, Fern Park, FL 32730. MAILINGADDRESS PHONE NUMBER P.O. Box300742 (407) 834-8787 Fern Park, FL32730 FAX(407) 831-0507 Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor News Editor Gene Stare Kim Fischer Christine DeSouza Society Editor Office Manager Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives Kim Fischer Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley Ira Sharkansky David Bomstein * Ed Ziegler Production Department David Lehman Gil Dombrosky Joyce Gore their terrorist relatives, and therefore deserve government support. That line of thinking is, of course, absurd. The family of Dylann Roof, perpetrator of the June 2015 South Carolina church massacre, is not responsible for what he did--but that does not mean they deserve to be supported by the U.S. government. The siblings of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh were not to blame for his deeds, but that does not mean they merit receiving "social welfare" payments because their brother was executed. There are two obvious reasons the PA financially supports terrorists' families. One is the PA wants to encourage the terrorists to proceed with their murderous plans, by giving them the peace of mind that their families will be taken care of if they are killed or jailed. The second is the PA reveres the terrorists' fami- lies, viewing them as an admired part of the Palestinian war against Israel. But you won't find any acknowledgment of these obvious facts in William Booth's dispatches. The payments to the families, however, are just part of the problem. There is also the matter of PA payments made directly to the terrorists themselves. Mr. Booth somehow for- got to mention this inconvenient information. Thanks to a detailed report published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, we know that Palestinian terrorists who are currently in Israeli prisons receive up to $3,429 monthly from the PA. The longer a terrorist's sentence-- meaning, the more Jews murdered--the more the terrorist is paid. Some of the terrorists involved in the murder of my daughter Alisa, in 1995, are among the recipients of these generous PA stipends. There is an additional category of terrorists who receive payments directly from the PA. Terrorists who have been released from prison receive a grant of up to $25,000. Once again, the PA uses a sliding scale--the more time you served, the more you get paid. There are quite a few released terrorists who have received these PAgrants. Some completed their jail sentences (why they were not given life sentences is beyond me). Some were set free in lopsided prisoner exchanges. Some were released in unreciprocated "gestures"--the kind of "gestures" State Department officials such as Dennis Ross and Martin Indyk were always pressuring Israel to make, supposedly to encourage the PA to return to the negotiat- ing table. I don't recall those "gestures" ever accom- plishing anything except putting more killers on Israel's streets. Nor do I recall William Booth everwriting any follow-up stories in The Washington Post about Palestinian terrorists who are set free and then return to terrorism. I don't remember Booth ever asking Ross or Indyk if they regret pressuring Israel to set terrorists free. The Post recently announced Booth is be- ing promoted. Sometime this summer, he will relocate to London to become the newspaper's bureau chief there. Is there any chance his suc- cessors in Jerusalem will be objective reporters, rather than advocates for the Palestinians, like Booth? I'm not holding my breath. Stephen M. Flatow, a vice president of the Religious Zionists of America, is an attorney in New Jersey. He is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.