Money Can’t Buy Love (or Peace from Terrorists Who Want to Murder Jews)
JNS.org – A $50 billion “Peace to Prosperity” economic development plan won’t buy peace from those Palestinian Arabs who have been indoctrinated since birth to hate and murder Jews. The Arab-Islamic war to extinguish Jews and Israel’s existence is not based on economics.
To attain real peace, the first step must be overhauling Palestinian Authority (PA) textbooks and broadcasts, the Hamas charter and its genocidal Koranic quotes, and the pervasive preaching and teaching of hatred against Jews, Christians, and Israel. If this does not occur, nothing else will bring peace. Instead, economic investments will increase the PA’s and Hamas’ ability to carry out their murderous goals.
The Marshall Plan began only after the Nazis and their ideology were completely defeated — not while the Nazis were still in power and killing Jews, gays, and gypsies.
The “Peace to Prosperity” plan creates massive security risks. The $5.562 billion highway/rail corridor from Gaza to the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) would cut Israel in two, usurp Israeli-owned homes and farms, and enable terror operations. Building “Palestinian public sector capacity to manage crossing points and inspect goods” could lead to inspectors who allow the passage of weapons and terrorists.
Decades of economic approaches have failed. The United States gave $11 billion to Palestinian Arabs through the PA, various programs, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Yet the PA still pays terrorists $400 million of annual “pay to slay” payments to murder Jews and Americans; teaches schoolchildren to “martyr” themselves to kill Jews; and employs their media, public square-namings, television specials, and government-controlled mosques to idolize terrorists and incite more terror.
Since September 2015, PA-incited terrorists have murdered 82 and maimed 1,282 innocent Israelis.
Terrorists’ huge wealth further demonstrates that money doesn’t transform terror-mongers into peace-lovers. PA chairman/arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat had a net worth of somewhere between $4.2 billion to $6.5 billion, including hotels and business investments. PA dictator and terror-inciter Mahmoud Abbas just bought a private $50 million luxury airplane. Abbas and his sons have an estimated $100 million business empire, plus $600 million in hidden assets, according to reports.
The Arabs also turned down previous peace offers that offered them huge sums.
Past infrastructure investments have not fared well. Arab looters and terrorists immediately destroyed the valuable greenhouses Jewish residents left in Gaza, which previously exported more than $100 million of produce annually. Gazan terrorists and rioters recently repeatedly set fire to gas pipes, electricity infrastructure, and a conveyor belt used to transfer fuel and goods from Israel into Gaza, causing millions of dollars of damage. And Hamas diverted electricity, concrete, and building materials intended for reconstruction to instead build sophisticated terror tunnels, costing some $120 million.
The Trump plan’s envisioned educational investments ($1.895 billion), including for STEM (science, technical, engineering, and mathematics) education; international scholarships ($400 million); and a new Palestinian university ($500 million) are also likely to backfire if the culture of hatred towards Jews and the West is not changed.
Italian journalist Guilio Meotti stated: “Palestinian terrorism is led by academics, surgeons, scientists, scholars, intellectuals, people with an enviable curriculum vitae.”
Physician terrorists responsible for murdering numerous innocent Jews include Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) co-founder George Habash; PFLP special operations head Wadi Haddad; Islamic Jihad founder Fathi Shaqaqi; and Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Zahar.
A study found that 45 percent of the 200 leading 21st-century Islamic terrorists had engineering degrees. Another study found that engineering and medicine were the most popular studies of university-educated jihadis responsible for serious terror incidents.
The $400 million in international scholarships and internships will also bring more anti-Israel agitators to US and European college campuses and communities to torment Jewish students.
We also don’t need another $500 million Palestinian terror university. Let’s first transform existing Palestinian-Arab universities Birzeit (14,000 students), Al Quds, University of Gaza, and An-Najah, which are hotbeds of terrorism and terror recruitment. Hamas won Birzeit’s student elections each of the last four years. Birzeit professors and students promote “armed resistance” against Israelis. In a student elections debate, a Hamas candidate boasted: “Hamas activists in this university killed 135 Zionists. How many did Fatah activists from Birzeit kill?”
We shouldn’t invest $230 million in Palestinian-Arab arts and culture while such arts spew non-stop anti-Israel and anti-Jewish propaganda and hatred. “National resistance poet” Mahmoud Darwish’s infamous poems helped incite the deadly intifadas, in which thousands of Israelis were maimed and murdered.
Spending $60 million to enhance Palestinian court capacity to “resolve property disputes and contested-ownership claims” can empower “Palestinian courts” to confiscate Jewish-owned lands. Palestinian courts cannot be fair when selling land to a Jew is punishable by death under PA law.
Power-generation expenditures ($2.539 billion) and generators for Gazan hospitals make little sense when Hamas siphons off massive amounts of power for terror tunnels and activities, and Hamas’ headquarters and main command bunkers remain under Al-Shifa hospital.
Will the $400 million to promote, repair, restore and upgrade “cultural, historical and religious sites” rebuild important Jewish and Christian sites that Palestinian Arabs destroyed, including Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem, Samaria, and Gaza City’s Byzantine Church? If so, how will Jews and Christians safely visit them?
And $6.325 billion for road corridors, airports, railroads, and other infrastructure in Hezbollah-dominated Lebanon would likely enhance Hezbollah’s military capabilities. No such investment should occur while Hezbollah has 150,000 missiles pointed at Israel.
Without first completely transforming the violent Palestinian-Arab culture, leadership, and education, the “Peace to Prosperity” plan’s envisioned investments will only make Israel’s neighborhood more dangerous.
Morton A. Klein is the national president of the Zionist Organization of America. Elizabeth A. Berney is ZOA’s director of special projects.