As Alana noted yesterday, President Barack Obama still seems to be waffling on Hamas, asserting in his AIPAC speech both that Israel can’t negotiate with a terrorist organization and that it must do so anyway. Yet really, why should he cavil at Hamas’s support for anti-Israel terror when the Palestinian Authority, to which the U.S. donates hundreds of millions of dollars a year, uses that money for the exact same purpose?
Last week, Palestinian Media Watch reported on a new PA law to grant a monthly salary plus various benefits to any Palestinian or Israeli Arab imprisoned in Israel on terrorism charges. The law was published in the official PA registry on April 13.
Lest anyone doubt that its purpose is specifically to reward people who murder Israelis, it creates a sliding scale under which prisoners serving longer sentences receive higher salaries. Since longer sentences obviously correlate to more serious crimes, that means the greater the crime, the greater the reward—a clear incentive to commit anti-Israel terror.
President Obama’s speech on the Middle East last Thursday has already had five predictable consequences:
First, the President’s closing remarks on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ensured that everything else he said on the Middle East would largely go unnoticed. Everybody is discussing his remark about “June 4, 1967, lines,” hardly anyone is speaking about freedom across the Arab world.
Second, his departure from long-standing U.S. policy regarding final status issues and the most explicit enunciation of Obama’s repudiation of the Bush-Sharon April 2004 understandings has caused a very public disagreement with Israel—the worst possible way for the President to persuade Israel to deliver those “hard choices” the President called for in his speech.
Third, the President has yet again given Europe a free pass to chastise Israel as the only obstacle to peace in the Middle East. This morning’s statements from the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council attendees border on the usual stupidity. Carl Bildt, for example, derided the notion that the 1967 lines are indefensible by saying, in an echo of European interwar thinking, that “the only defense that is possible is peace.”