The well-known mass chant of the Palestinian liberation movement “With our soul and blood we will redeem you” has rarely been so apt than in recent weeks.
This worldview is very difficult for many in the West to accept. Few can imagine a cause so important that they are prepared to sacrifice countless lives in order to achieve it.
Thus, it is arguably one of the major points of misunderstanding that people around the world have when they think of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. They believe it is a conflict conducted by mostly rational players in an attempt to get the best deal, mostly in terms of territory, for their people in a final peace deal.
However, the threat of the spread of the Coronavirus, a crisis that is bringing economies to their knees around the world, is, for the Palestinian Authority still not their major priority, even as lives continue to be lost in areas under its control.
On March 29th, according to Palestinian Media Watch, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh released a statement which stressed that because of the Coronavirus, they will work according to an emergency austerity budget, and the PA government’s revenues will drop by more than 50%.
Shtayyeh then laid out the list of priorities for his government’s flagging resources.
One of the first groups that will be paid in full, despite the lack of funds and cost cutting measures elsewhere, was the generous stipends to “prisoners and [the families of] the Martyrs.”
This group will be paid before teachers and public employees, and welfare payments are made.
In other words, murderers, attempted murderers and their families are considered more important to the Palestinian Authority than their poor, workers and educators.
According to Maurice Hirsch, the Head of Legal Strategies for Palestinian Media Watch who served previously as Director of the Military Prosecution in Judea and Samaria, the amount the PA is paying terrorists this month could buy them 387,143 Coronavirus test kits or 465 ventilators instead.
To give the PA decision perspective, Hirsch argues, one must take into account that in 2019 the average monthly PA expenditure on the payment of the terror incentives and rewards was in excess of 50,000,000 shekels ($13,937,170/ €12,579,425).
That means, that based on the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s price for Coronavirus test kits, the PA just positively chose to incentivize and reward terror instead of buying 387,143 Coronavirus test kits or buying 465 of the low-cost MIT ventilators.
This is of course, not the first time that the PA has put its terrorists, incentivizing a whole new generation of potential murderers, before the needs of its people.
Nevertheless, done in such a brazen manner is beneath contempt.
The PA will still ask the international donor community to prop up its economy, and many will acquiesce.
After the global Coronavirus threat has hopefully receded, the economic ramifications will undoubtedly continue.
It is hoped that this will finally present an opportunity for a cash-strapped international community to present preconditions for any further aid. It should state clearly that it will no longer give the PA any more funds until it reverses its priorities and removes any and all stipends and financial rewards to its terrorists and their families.
The PA continues these payments because it sees them as a crucial step in the long road to ultimate victory over Israel, and in its over 100-year violent rejectionism of Jewish sovereignty.
The PA’s victory priorities have to end, there can no longer be any blank cheques from the international community.
Nor should Israel bail it out with the hundreds of millions in taxes it collects for the Palestinian Authority.
If the Palestinian leadership is so obsessed with putting victory over the welfare and development of its own people, it should not be supported or buttressed in any manner.
These budgetary considerations by the PA should be a defining moment. It should lay bare the Palestinian victory priorities even in the middle of the greatest global crisis for many generations.
These victory priorities should be defeated and not accepted or ignored.
As part of the overall battle against the Palestinian war aims of destroying the Jewish State, Israel must stop assist, it should defeat them.
If they want to spill their blood for their fantastical dreams, no one should provide support and aid.
Alex Selsky is a member of the board of directors of and adviser to the Middle East Forum Israel, which leads the Israel Victory Project, and a former adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu