Taking sides on terrorism

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Att'y Stephen M. Flatow,

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טרור בלונדון
צילום: רויטרס

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

We all remember President George W. Bush’s powerful declaration when he spoke at a joint session of Congress on September 21, 2001, shortly after the 9/11 attacks: “Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make,” he said. “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

When it comes to Palestinian terrorists and their colleagues, unfortunately, much of the world has for too long shied away from taking a clear-cut stand. But that is beginning to change. Perhaps the 6 dead on London Bridge will do the trick.

The United States finally seems to be abandoning the old tried-and-failed policy of ignoring the Palestinian Authority’s incitement and support of terrorism. According to media reports, when President Trump recently met PA leader Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, he “accused Abbas of supporting incitement and terrorism with the salaries paid to prisoners” and said Abbas was "personally responsible for incitement" to violence.

This would represent a very significant change from the previous U.S. administration. President Obama and secretaries of state Clinton and Kerry looked the other way when the PA paid terrorists and incited violence by praising terrorists as “heroes” and “martyrs.”

              

And America is not alone. In a remarkable break from West European appeasement of the PA, the government of Norway last week demanded that Abbas return Norway’s donation to a Palestinian women’s center that the PA named in honor of mass-murderer Dalal Mughrabi. She led the terror gang that carried out the 1978 Tel Aviv Highway massacre of 37 Israelis (including 13 children) and American nature photographer Gail Rubin, the niece of U.S. Senator Abraham Ribicoff.

              

Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende was unequivocal: "The glorification of terrorist attacks is completely unacceptable, and I deplore this decision in the strongest possible terms. Norway will not allow itself to be associated with institutions that take the names of terrorists in this way. We will not accept the use of Norwegian aid funding for such purposes.” Even the United Nations (!), under new secretary-general Antonio Guterres, has denounced the naming of the center after Mughrabi as “offensive” and removed its name from the facility.

So the United States, Norway, and even the United Nations are standing against Palestinian terrorism.

Who’s on the terrorists’ side? British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn is. The Daily Mail revealed that Corbyn, leader of England’s Labor Party, took part in a ceremony honoring Palestinian terrorists, including one of the key planners of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre. At the ceremony, which was held in Tunisia in 2014, Corbyn placed wreaths on the graves of terrorists, including Munich mastermind Atef Bseiso, and wrote about the “poignant” event in the British radical newspaper Morning Star.

Who else is lining up on the side of the terrorists? The city of Barcelona, Spain last week hosted and subsidized a book fair at which one of the featured speakers was the unrepentant Palestinian hijacker Leila Khaled. The mayor and city council members should be ashamed of themselves.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, Members of Congress are preparing to cast their votes on legislation that is intended take a strong and clear stand against terrorism. The Taylor Force Act would stop U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority if the PA continues paying salaries to terrorists and their families. Named after an American murdered by Palestinians in 2016, the law is long-overdue. It would take a real stand against the PA’s outrageous sponsorship of terrorists.

So far, all 41 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, and all 10 co-sponsors in the Senate, are Republicans. That concerns me. At a time when even the United Nations is denouncing the PA’s glorification of terrorists, there is simply no good reason for Democrats not to support the Taylor Force Act just as much as the GOP. No matter how much ill-will there is right now between Republicans and Democrats on other issues, the fight against terrorism is an issue on which the two parties should be able to unite without the slightest hesitation.

And maybe then even Europe will wake up and realize that all terrorists are colleagues.