We Must Impose Sanctions on the Palestinian Authority
Keeping a registry of “martyrs” who have earned that title while murdering Jews may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you consider the tasks of a health ministry. But welcome to the Health Ministry of the Palestinian Authority, where good “health” includes paying tribute to Jew-killers.
Nashat Milhem, the Israeli Arab terrorist who perpetrated a terror attack in Tel Aviv on Jan. 1 was added to the Palestinian Health Ministry’s register of “martyrs” within two hours of his death, but was subsequently removed. According to Palestinian Affairs expert Khaled Abu Toameh, speaking to The Algemeiner on Sunday, “Someone must have told the PA that having Milhem deemed a ‘martyr’ might not be such a wise move, due to the way it would be perceived in Israel and abroad, so it suddenly disappeared.”
However, Palestinian Arab social media exploded in a frenzy against the PA for having removed the name. The PA issued the following as a response to the criticism, as posted and translated by MEMRI:
”The Palestinian Ministry of Health stressed that the recording of martyrs’ names is defined as one of its official functions and its areas of responsibility in the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, and in the Gaza Strip [but not elsewhere]. The ministry added, in a press statement issued today, Saturday[Jan. 9], that the non-inclusion of the martyr Nashat Milhem’s name in its register [of martyrs] does not indicate that the title [of martyr] has been denied him. On the contrary, he is one of the most valued martyrs, and his name is inscribed in his pure blood that watered the soil of our free homeland. [The ministry] noted that the non-inclusion of the martyr Nashat Milhem’s name [in the register] stems from the fact that, as part of its activity, the ministry is in charge of recording patients, diseases, martyrs and the wounded [in the West Bank and Gaza only]. The non-inclusion of Milhem in its register does not indicate that he is not [considered] a martyr. On the contrary, he is like any other Palestinian martyr anywhere in the world.
“The ministry said: We are proud of our Palestinian people in the ’48 territories, and are proud of their sacrifices that have gone down in history and of their accomplishments in every domain — ideological, academic and national. Their profound affiliation with their motherland, Palestine, cannot be denied under any circumstances.”
Pay close attention not only to the high praise of a terrorist who set out in cold blood to mass-murder Jews, but the reference to Tel Aviv as “the soil of our free homeland” and the reference to “our Palestinian people in the ’48 territories.”
Anyone left with any illusions of the official intentions of the PA after reading the above is truly delusional. Not only are the murders of Jews praised — in accordance with the intense incitement against Jews and the State of Israel for decades on PA TV, in schools and kindergartens, mosques and on the streets — but it is evident beyond any doubt that the PA considers all of Israel “Palestine.”
The PA is a cunning and unceasing enemy with no intentions of ever giving up its terrorist war against Israel. The fact that two-thirds of the inhabitants in the PA support the current onslaught against Israeli civilians as a result of the PA’s ceaseless incitement should convince any doubters.
The question remains what to do. Demanding that the PA stop the incitement is clearly not working, since the PA continues to incite and instigate around the clock. We have let them do this for decades, thus helping create an entire generation of youngsters who wish to see our demise. Surely, more of the same is not going to change the predicament that we find ourselves in now. In the long term, it does not matter how many terrorists we shoot in self-defense, since the PA only keeps sending more our way.
Since talk clearly is not working, it is time for action. We could start by putting in place effective sanctions on the PA. After all, Israel supplies the PA with everything that it needs. It seems only reasonable to impose sanctions as long as the declared goal of the PA is to “water the soil” of our country with their “pure blood” while shooting, car ramming and stabbing Israelis to further our demise.
The idea of putting hard sanctions on the PA may sound unpalatable to some, especially on the Israeli Left, but then they might consider that being murdered every day simply for living and breathing as Jews in Israel should be even more unpalatable.
You cannot wage war against Israel with one hand and enjoy the benefits of Israeli cooperation on the other. We need to stop acting as if we live in Chelm. If we want to end this, we need to treat the PA as the thing it really is: our enemy.
Judith Bergman is a writer and political analyst living in Israel.
This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.