Photo Credit: US State Dept. / YouTube
US State Dept. spokesperson Ned Price at a briefing in Washington DC

The Biden Administration is continuing its policy of moral equivalency between Palestinian Authority terrorists whose attacks on Israelis are backed by the Ramallah government, and the Israel Defense Forces operating to end the wave of terror that began with the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

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“We are deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in the West Bank. This year alone, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank and more than 30 in Gaza, while more than 20 Israelis and other civilians have been killed in terrorist attacks,” spokesperson Ned Price said Wednesday in a briefing at the State Department.

“We call on all parties to do everything in their power to de-escalate the situation and return to a period of calm,” Price said. “This is in the interest of all Israelis and Palestinians.

“As we have said for some time, we call on the parties themselves to contain the violence. The United States and other international partners stand ready to help but we cannot substitute for vital actions by the parties to mitigate conflict and to restore calm.”

Also on Wednesday, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan pressured Israel to “improve the lives of Palestinians” in his meeting at the White House with Israeli National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata.

According to a readout from the White House, Sullivan “stressed the need to take steps to de-escalate tensions in the West Bank and to continue to take steps to improve the lives of Palestinians.”

No mention of improving the lives of more than half a million Israelis who live with the daily threat of terrorism aimed at the families and homes in Judea and Samaria.

On the same day, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield quoted the so-called “stated commitment to non-violence and reaffirmation of his support for a two-state solution” by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in her remarks to the UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation in the Middle East.

“It is incumbent on both parties to work in good faith toward two states for two peoples,” the ambassador said. “We strongly oppose unilateral actions that exacerbate tensions and move us further away from a two-state solution – that move us further away from peace.”

While citing the obvious – “terrorist attacks and incitement to violence against Israelis” – Thomas-Greenfield also cited “plans to develop Har Gilo west, which would further fragment the West Bank – and possible demolitions in Masafer Yatta. And this includes violence inflicted by Israeli settlers on Palestinians in their neighborhoods, and in some cases escorted by Israeli Security Forces.

“I’ll also note that the United States is concerned about increasing tensions and violence in the West Bank among Palestinians, including the recent clashes in Jenin and Nablus,” she added.

“We are troubled by the overall trend of growing violence. Instability in the West Bank is neither in the interests of Israel nor the Palestinian people. We call on both sides to work toward peace without delay.”

The United States, she said, is “doing its part to help” with measures to improve the conditions for Palestinian Authority citizens that included additional funding for UNRWA, expanding 4G digital connectivity and improving accessibility to the Allenby Bridge. “And we encourage the Government of Israel to move these projects forward quickly,” she added.

She did not acknowledge the Israeli government’s decision, announced Wednesday, to begin operating the Allenby Crossing on a 24/7 basis, starting next month.

Curiously, she also did not mention any US measures “to help” Israelis, although she had no problem insisting on moral equivalence when dishing out the blame for violence.

She called on the Palestinian Authority to “ensure respect for human rights and refrain from making payments to those who harm Israelis” – two laughable, wishful fantasies at best.

The Palestinian Authority government has no respect whatsoever for “human rights” – not even those of its own citizens – a fact made clear by its Draconian penalties for any collaboration or cooperation with Israelis, up to and including torture of those detained for such “crimes.”

As for the Palestinian Authority “refraining” from paying its citizens to murder Israelis, it is important to note here that the Taylor Force Act, passed by the US Congress and signed into law by then-President Donald Trump on March 23, 2018, prohibits the US from funding the Ramallah government unless it does, in fact, cease its active encouragement of terrorism through financial incentives.

But the Biden Administration has actively ignored that law, which mandates a halt to US economic aid to the Palestinian Authority until the PA ceases paying salaries to terrorists and their families who are killed, injured and/or imprisoned after attempting to kill Israelis.

The bill was named in honor of Taylor force, a native of Lubbock, Texas, a US military veteran who was murdered in Tel Aviv on March 8, 2016, in a terrorist attack by a Palestinian Authority killer from the city of Kalkilya. Eleven other people were injured in the attack.

The killer’s family is paid a monthly pension by the Palestinian Authority government that is exponentially higher than that of the average PA citizen, because he died carrying out a terrorist attack in Israel.

In direct defiance of the Taylor Force Act, the Biden Administration quickly restored funding to the Abbas regime shortly after President Joe Biden took office, thus eliminating the need for the Ramallah government to end its support for terrorism.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.