PMW op-ed: When the Dutch stopped funding the PA’s ‘Pay-for-Slay’
If the international community covers the needs of the Palestinian population, the PA can use its own funds to reward terrorism
In a demonstration of moral clarity, and setting the continental precedent, Holland just became the first European country to discontinue aid to the Palestinian Authority because of its “Pay-for-Slay” terror reward policy.
Since its creation, the PA has been paying ever increasing salaries to terrorist prisoners and released terrorist prisoners and allowances to wounded terrorists and the families of dead terrorists, including suicide bombers. These payments, have become known as the PA’s “Pay-for-Slay” policy. In 2018 alone, the PA admitted to spending 502 million shekels (over €131 million) on the salaries to the terrorist prisoners and released prisoners and it is estimated that it spent an additional 241 million shekels (€63 million) just on the allowances to the families of the dead terrorists. The salaries and the allowances are paid irrespective of any needs based criteria. Rather they are paid solely as a reward for terrorism.
When the Dutch parliament was originally exposed to the PA’s noxious policy, its first steps were cautious, calling on the government to further investigate. As the unequivocal evidence of the policy grew, the parliament decided to reduce their aid to the PA by a symbolic seven percent – a sum equivalent to the percentage the PA devoted from its entire 2018 budget to its policy. Having further engaged with the PA, and noting the PA’s refusal to cease funding the policy, the Dutch government decided to discontinue all the aid.
The Dutch decision was monumental, not only because it was the first European country to cut all aid to the PA, but rather because the Dutch knew definitively that their aid was not supporting the “Pay-for-Slay” policy. The Dutch were actually supporting the PA judicial system.
Nonetheless, the Dutch reasoning was clear: Why should the Dutch taxpayer subsidize the PA’s legal system, if the PA itself has hundreds of millions of shekels spare to squander, paying substantial financial rewards to terrorists and their families?
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World governments have been acutely aware of the details of the PA’s “Pay-for-Slay” policy since Palestinian Media Watch traveled to the US Congress and many parliaments in Europe to expose new regulations and huge salary increases to terrorist prisoners passed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in 2011.
Despite that knowledge, individual European governments and the European Union have plowed billions of pounds and euros of aid into the PA. According to EU figures, since 2007, over €9 billion of aid has been donated by the EU members to the PA and different Palestinian causes. The European Commission provided €4.8 billion of the aid, Germany contributed over €1 billion and the UK contributed over €724 million.
So as not to offend the sensibilities of the foreign taxpayers, the PA allowed the donor countries to fund almost every aspect of Palestinian life, from health to education to welfare. In 2017, of the 605 million shekels (€158 million) the PA paid in welfare benefits to “needy Palestinians,” 515 million shekels (€135 million) were donated by the international community. In that same year, the PA expenditure on “Pay-for-Slay” payments was in excess of 700 million shekels (€183 million).
While the EU and the UK could comfortably claim that the PA was not paying their taxpayer monies to terrorists as rewards for murdering Jews, the reality was and remains simple: if the international community provides for the needs of the Palestinian population, the PA is free to use its own funds to reward terrorism.
Abusing the good will (or wanton blindness) of the international community, Abbas has often claimed that, even if he only had one penny left in the PA coffers, he would use it to reward the terrorists.
However, if Abbas were left financially alone to face the abject poverty of the millions of law abiding Palestinians, it is clear that he would need to change his priorities. He would no longer be able to reward terrorism by paying salaries to terrorist prisoners (in certain instances, 18 times more than the allowances the PA gives to needy Palestinians). Instead, he would have to deal with his own impoverished and education and health-seeking people.
Let there be no misunderstanding. Allowing the PA to squander 7% of its entire budget to reward terrorism against Israel does not promote peace. By joining the US, Canada and Australia, Holland just made the right choice to promote peace.
The question now, is whether the UK, under the leadership of Boris Johnson or any other prime minister, and the EU will have enough moral fiber and desire to promote peace, to condition their continued aid to the PA on the PA abolishing its “Pay-for-Slay” policy. If they do not, peace will continue to elude the region.