It has been reported in the press that Mahmood Abbas, the putative head of the Palestinian Authority (PA), is scheduled to meet President Donald Trump in Washington on May 3rd. This meeting is a step in the wrong direction for a president who has made the fight against terror a cornerstone of his administration.
Abbas himself is recognized as the president of the PA, though his term formally ended in 2009. Picture George W. Bush roaming the halls of the White House throughout the Obama years and even today giving orders as if he had never left; George Bush, whose term also ended in 2009 actually left office, while Abbas has not. Everyone knows that if Abbas were to run again for president there is a very significant chance he would lose to a Hamas or other anti-Western candidate. He thus serves forever, like his predecessor, arch-terrorist Yassir Arafat. The West likes the Palestinian president who now and then reassures the world he wants peace with the Israelis, while at home dedicates streets and parks to the memory of mass-murderers who killed Israeli women and children.
The Palestinian Authority is a terrorist organization, no different than Hamas, Hezbollah or ISIS. Actually, the PA enjoys one distinction over those groups: the PA was found guilty with its mother ship, the PLO, in a NY federal district court on twenty-four counts related to six terror attacks in which American citizens were killed or injured. The twelve impartial jurors required less than two days of deliberations to conclude that the PA and the PLO were guilty in providing material support to terrorists and assess damages for plaintiffs for $218.5 million. The verdict was thrown out on appeal on due process grounds (and not guilt) and is currently being appealed to the Supreme Court. The PA was involved in planning, supporting, financing and praising numerous attacks during the Second Intifada. Between 2000 and 2006, several dozen American citizens were killed or injured in bombings, shooting, stabbings, and stonings by Palestinian terrorists, many of them employees of the PA. Today, many ageing terrorists are receiving lifetime salaries in Israeli jails. The more killing, the longer the jail term and the higher the PA payments. The US, in providing approximately $400 million per year to the PA, is effectively the largest state sponsor of terrorism after Iran as all of the PA’s budget is commingled. Last week the PA announced a cost-of-living increase for its jailed terrorists.
In meeting Abbas, President Trump should advance the interests of the United States. President Trump should demand the immediate cessation of all payments from any source to Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails. Many wannabe terrorists have explicitly stated that they hoped to get caught so as to get a stipend while in jail. Additionally, President Trump should demand that Abbas settle with all American victims of PA terror who brought cases under the 1992 Anti-Terror Act (ATA) in American courts. There are about 20 such families and we are looking for closure for the horrors we suffered. When my son and I were blown up on King George Street in March of 2002 (below), we were unaware that the bomber who detonated himself behind us was a Palestinian Authority policeman or that his handler was a senior officer in the PA intelligence services. While the former literally blew his head off, the latter has gone up four ranks and received increasing salaries from the PA while serving multiple life sentences in Israeli prison. During the attack, a young couple leaving an ultrasound appointment was murdered; she was pregnant with twins. A third person was killed while taking a break from work. We were two of eighty-seven injured.
President Trump has often met with and featured victims of illegal immigrant violence. Victims of Palestinian terror have also suffered horribly and are seeking similar support from our elected leaders. When we won our case in 2015 in the southern district of New York, John Kerry’s State Department came down squarely on the side of the terrorists as they sought a reduced appeal bond. We would like our government to be on our side, not on that of the terrorists. President Trump should either cancel his meeting with Mahmood Abbas or demand that Abbas get the Palestinian Authority out of the terror business for once and for all. Abbas cannot play it both ways, pretending to aspire to peace while financing and praising the Palestinian cult of murder and death.
President Trump, please put Americans first and please help us close this painful chapter in our lives.
American blood should not be cheap.