Paying to Murder Jews: From Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran to the Palestinian Authority

On December 5, 2017, the US House of Representatives voted to approve the Taylor Force Act. Congress finally reached a point where it decided to use some financial pressure on the Palestinian Authority to stop the incitement to terror. Specifically, it sought to end the PA’s financial payments to the families of Palestinian Arab terrorists who were imprisoned or killed.

The “Manna-for-Murderers” has a sad history in the Arab world, particularly as it relates to funding the murder of Israeli Jews.

Iraq

Early in the Second Intifada which began in September 2000 at the urging of PA head Yasser Arafat (fungus be upon him), Iraq began sending $10,000 to families of Palestinian Arab suicide bombers. In March 2002, Iraq upped the amount to $25,000 per family. US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was appalled at the actions of Saddam Hussein and said:

“Here is an individual who is the head of a country, Iraq, who has proudly, publicly made a decision to go out and actively promote and finance human sacrifice for families that will have their youngsters kill innocent men, women and children…. I am simply trying to let the people of Iraq understand what their leadership is doing, to let the people of the Middle East and the rest of the world … know what is in fact being done to arm young people and send them out to blow up restaurants and shopping malls and pizza parlors.”

Iraq was not alone in financing terrorism of Palestinian Arabs killing and maiming Israeli families.

Saudi Arabia

The Congressional Research Service completed a report for Congress in December 2004 about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It noted that the KSA provided $2.6 billion in aid to Palestinians in 2002. The Saudis had two official charities to help out the Palestinians in the Second Intifada: the Saudi Popular Committee for Assisting the Palestinian Mujahideen, and the Saudi Committee for the Support of the Al Quds Intifada. According to Saudi reports, the first organization gave Palestinians $8.8 million between October 2000 and April 2003, while the second gave roughly $140 million in various projects and another $194 million in various services between October 2000 and December 2003.

The report added:

“Since 2000, both Committees have issued public solicitations encouraging Saudi citizens to make donations to support the welfare of the Palestinian people. In one often cited instance, the Al Quds Intifada Committee organized a telethon sponsored by King Fahd in April 2002 that raised over $110 million for families of Palestinians killed or injured in the uprising.

That’s hundreds of millions going to families of murderers with the backing of Saudi Arabia and coordination of the Palestinian Authority. As the report noted:

“These individuals include suicide bombers and gunmen who were killed during actual and attempted attacks inside Israel and the Palestinian territories.
The following is a sample of five names of beneficiaries featured on the Committee
website which match those of individuals associated with attacks:

  • Said Hassan Hussein Hotari – identified as suicide bomber in June
    1, 2001, attack on Dolphinarium nightclub in Tel Aviv. Hamas
    claimed responsibility.
  • Izzedin Shahil Ahmed Masri – identified as suicide bomber in
    August 9, 2001 attack on Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem.
    Hamas claimed responsibility.”

The list continued, and noted that the committees stated that the terrorists were killed in “martyrdom operations,” quite a revolting terminology. Evidence of the payments were found in raids on Palestinian offices during Operation Defensive Shield which contained lists of terrorist families that received monies from KSA.

Saudi Arabia also funded Hamas, a heinous terrorist group that rules Gaza. However, by 2004, the funding dried up, as described by ‘former Treasury Department General Counsel David Aufhauser who quoted “informed intelligence sources” as saying that “for whatever reason, the money going to Hamas from Saudi Arabia has substantially dried up.” Aufhauser indicated that Saudi financial support “has been supplemented by money from Iran and Syria flowing through even more dangerous rejectionist groups in the West Bank.’

Iran

Shortly after the Obama administration sent billions of dollars to Iran as part of the JCPOA nuclear agreement, Iran announced its intention to fund Palestinian “martyrs.” As reported by JTA: “Mohammad Fateh Ali, the Iranian ambassador to Lebanon, said Wednesday his country is allocating $7,000 to families of “martyrs of the intifada in occupied Jerusalem” and will give $30,000 to each family “whose home the occupation has demolished for the participation of one of its sons.”

No surprise for a leading state sponsor of terrorism.

Palestinian Authority

The PA was established after the Oslo Accords in 1993 under Yasser Arafat (fungus be upon him). It has existed in its current state since 2007, after Mahmoud Abbas won the four-year term for presidency in 2005 and never left, and the terrorist group Hamas won 58% of parliament in 2006 and took over control of Gaza in 2007.

Over these ten years, Hamas waged three wars from Gaza (2008, 2012 and 2014) and the Palestinian Authority oversaw a “stabbing intifada” in the “West Bank” in which Palestinian Arabs used everyday items like cars and knives to kill innocent Israeli Jews. The PA needed to support such terrorism as the Palestinians preferred the armed “resistance” of Hamas over the “moderate” negotiating approach of Abbas’s Fatah.

Hamas waged wars. Fatah supported terrorism.

The support included direct financial aid to terrorist families, and naming schools and municipal buildings after the murderers. The incitement included calls for the masses to use all means possible to defend the al Aqsa Mosque (when it was never at risk) and having laws that demand a death sentence for any Arab that sells land to a Jew.


MEMRI footage from the Facebook post titled
“This Is The Call Of Brother President Abu Mazen [‘Abbas]…”

The United States labelled the popular Palestinian terrorist group Hamas a terrorist organization in 1997 along with several other Palestinian Arab groups, and does not engage with it. Meanwhile, it has propped up the failed acting-President of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas as the lesser-evil, even while he incites and supports terrorism.

The Taylor Force Act will likely soon become law and hundreds of millions of dollars of US aid to the PA may be suspended if the pay-to-slay program remains in place.

But as described above, there is wide support in the Arab world to slaughter Jews.

The Obama administration gave Iran $100 billion upfront and has enabled it to get $100 billion PER YEAR from oil and other commerce. Those monies are going to fund terrorists in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Palestinian territories. The Trump administration is taking actions to stop the flow of funds to terrorists.

Congressman Eliot Engel, one of the sponsors of the Taylor Force Act, was clear in his condemnation of the “martyr payments,” even as he made exceptions for monies to still flow to the PA for other purposes. The exemptions have come under attack as monies are fungible, especially when there are so many parties willing to fund the terrorists and support their families.

Hopefully the United States’ Taylor Force Act will save lives in the Middle East. It will require an entirely new level of Arab orientation to end the sick antisemitism that festers in the Middle East.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

“Mainstream” and Abbas’ Jihad

The UN Fails on its Own Measures to address the Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism

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The End of Together

Over July 24-6, 2014, a chapter of religious pluralism ended in the city of Mosul, Iraq and its sister city across the Tigris, the ancient city of Ninveh. The Islamic militants of ISIS forced out all of the Christians, and blew up the Tombs of Seth (son of Adam and Eve) and of the Prophet Jonah.

Jonah

Jonah was the last prophet considered holy to each of the monotheistic religions. His story was unusual in several respects which enabled him to capture the imagination and dreams of Christians, Muslims and Jews.

Thousands of years ago, Judaism was the only monotheistic religion. The people in the Middle East practiced a variety of religions and worshiped many gods. The non-Jews were not particularly interested in the Hebrew Bible, and the Bible – seemingly – did not address them. The prophets in the Old Testament almost universally addressed the Jews: the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

That held true until Jonah. Jonah was given an unusual task by God: leave the land of Israel and go to a far away land because the people there did not behave properly:

Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim against it;
for their wickedness is come up before Me.

The story of what comes next is famous. Jonah fled from God and boarded a ship that was tossed in a storm. The sailors reluctantly threw Jonah overboard to appease his angry God whereupon Jonah was swallowed by a big fish. After three days, the fish vomited him onto land to fulfill his task of admonishing the people of Ninveh. The people of Ninveh – including the king- took Jonah’s words to heart, repented, and all was forgiven.

The story of Jonah has many messages. The Jewish rabbis consider them so important that the only time the story is read in synagogue is on the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur. The lessons of Jonah include that:

  • Repentance through prayer and action can save a great city (Ninveh) and a lone individual (Jonah in the fish);
  • It is not sufficient for Jews to only be concerned with the welfare of their people, but must work to help others as well;
  • A person should not run from a divine mission;
  • God is everywhere, and you cannot hide from Him

For Christians, the story of Jonah is not just about prayer and repentance, but about rebirth. They consider the story of Jonah’s reemergence from the great fish after three days as a precursor to the resurrection of Jesus.

For Muslims, Jonah was the only one of the twelve minor prophets mentioned in the Koran. Mohammed was said to recognize the holiness of Jonah and referred to Ninveh as “the city of Jonah”.

Three monotheistic religions embraced the mission of a man who (perhaps reluctantly) tried to help other people change their ways, while not trying to make them change their religion.


Religions in Modern Iraq

When Iraq became an independent state in 1932, roughly 120,000 Jews lived in the country comfortably. However, when the UN voted to partition Palestine in 1947, the Iraqi government and people turned on the Jews. Pogroms and public hangings became celebrated events. Operation Ezra & Nechemia from 1949 to 1951 got most of the Jews out of the country, with the balance leaving over the 1960s and 1970s. Almost no Jews remain today.

The Christian community in Iraq extends back roughly 1600 years, before the founding of Islam. As recently as 2003, the number of Christians in the country numbered about 1.5 million. However, the numbers declined rapidly during the US-Iraq war. In 2014, ISIS took over much of the country and actively pushed to remove Christians. In Mosul, the Christian community was given a choice that had historically been put before Jews in various countries over the past 1000 years: convert; pay a huge tax; or be killed. There may only be 100,000 Christians left in the country by the end of 2014.

ISIS belongs to the Salafi movement of Islam which is against the worship of the dead, and therefore opposes the use of tombs as shrines. They have destroyed many tombs of Muslim leaders, in addition to those that are important to Jews and Christians. They razed the tomb of Seth, the fifth person created in the Bible (not as famous as his siblings Cain and Abel) for the same reason. They are also slaying fellow Muslims who practice differently by the thousands.


Religions- God and Practice

During the time of Jonah, most people believed in many Gods. When Jonah addressed the sailors on the ship and the king of Ninveh, they readily accepted the words of the Jewish God – not exclusively- but alongside the other Gods they worshiped. Their openness to various Gods let them listen and pray openly together. Such receptiveness to a new God was not universal as demonstrated by the Greeks and Romans who defiled the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem centuries later.

As new monotheistic religions emerged – first Christianity and then Islam – that openness was further challenged. As each religion accepted a single God, the uniqueness of each religion became based on either: 1) unique Gods; or 2) the same God, but with a different set of practices. If the Gods were different, then only one religion could be correct. If the religions had the same God, then distinction between them was based on the method of worship and priorities.

Religious scholars debate whether the monotheistic religions all believe in the same God, just with different names and observances. In practice, the religions have battled each with the fervor of unique Gods for centuries: Muslim invasions; Christian Crusades; enforced Inquisitions. Religious wars scar most of mankind’s history.

For Muslims, it has been intra-religious battles that have been the bloodiest. Since 1948, 90% of all deaths in wars involving Muslim countries have been at the hands of other Muslim countries. In 2014, ISIS killed many more Muslims than other religious groups, and Syrian President Assad killed many more Muslims than people of other faiths. The peculiarities of practice position the battle lines.


The Demise of the Shared

July 2014 yielded a sad watershed moment. The Tomb of Jonah, whom Jews, Christians and Muslims all revered as a religious leader, was demolished. The Tomb of Seth, for whom Bible believers consider a common forbear, was destroyed. In a single week, religious fanatics dismantled physical and metaphysical symbols that united the three monotheistic faiths. If the religions shared a common God, they had a common prophet. If they had different Gods, they still had the same forbears. The tombs were not just shrines to the ancients; they were opportunities for Jews, Christians and Muslims to meet and re-establish their common bonds today. No longer.

Thousands of years ago, a Jew left his homeland to help non-Jews. He did not seek to convert or change their methods of worship, just to pass along a message from God to end evil behavior. He became a celebrated hero to billions of people of different faiths and different practices. As recently as 70 years ago, Jews, Christians and a variety of Muslims (including Sunni and Shiites) prayed together at the tomb of this common hero. But the advance of bigotry consumed them: first they got rid of the Jews, then the Christians. Now they are ridding fellow Muslims.  God’s message through Jonah of reaching out to “others” has been replaced by man’s effort to destroy the “others”.  Perhaps that was the original wickedness of Ninveh 2600 years ago.


Part of the magic of the story of Jonah was that there were no casualties: Jonah; the city of Ninveh and all of its inhabitants; the sailors; and even the fish, all escaped harm.

In today’s dark reality, we may marvel more at that part of the legend and forget what we all have lost.


Sources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/07/25/after-leveling-iraqs-tomb-of-jonah-the-islamic-state-could-destroy-anything-in-the-bible/

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt1701.htm

http://www.newsweek.com/isis-destroys-shiite-mosques-and-shrines-iraq-257683

http://www.jewsnews.co.il/2014/07/25/muslims-just-made-history-in-mosul-killing-and-exiling-every-last-christian/

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/07/26/ISIS-destroy-Prophet-Sheth-shrine-in-Mosul-.html

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/iraqijews.html

http://nypost.com/2014/07/27/iraqs-abandoned-christians/

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/isis-militants-destroy-tomb-jonah-mosul-1458469