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EXCLUSIVE: Lamborn and 34 GOP lawmakers urge Biden against resuming U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority

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Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-CO, is urging President Joe Biden to continue to support a strong U.S.-Israel relationship and to hold the Palestinian leadership accountable for supporting terrorism in the region, according to a letter exclusively obtained by this reporter. He is joined by 34 Republican House lawmakers who have co-signed the letter.

“We write today encouraging you to build upon the solid partnership that currently exists between the United States and Israel,” Lamborn writes in Wednesday’s letter. “We sincerely hope you will strengthen the strong relationship the previous administration worked so diligently to achieve, and maintain the historical progress that was made on the path to lasting peace in the Middle East.”

He adds, “In 2015, you stated that ‘Israel is absolutely essential—absolutely essential—[for the] security of Jews around the world … Imagine what it would say about humanity and the future of the 21st century if Israel were not sustained, vibrant and free.’ We couldn’t agree more, and we hope your administration will back up your words with policy actions and personnel appointments reflecting this view.”

However, despite Biden’s previous support for Israel, members of his administration threaten the alliance between the two countries, Lamborn says. Biden’s Special Envoy to Iran Robert Malley and Director for Intelligence on the National Security Council Maher Bitar are both problematic for that longstanding relationship, according to Lamborn, who says the Biden administration should “reconsider” those appointments.

Lamborn cites Malley’s “friendly relationships with members of Hamas,” a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization based in Gaza. Malley, when he was working for the nonprofit International Crisis Group in 2008, met with members of Hamas. He received backlash for the meeting and soon resigned from his post as an informal adviser to then-presidential candidate Barack Obama. After Obama’s presidential election victory, Malley was named Senior Advisor to the President for the Counter-ISIL Campaign in Iraq and Syria.

More recently, despite the success of the Trump administration’s Middle East diplomatic policies, Malley said the Biden administration would likely “walk back or dilute parts of the normalization deals” brokered between Israel and a number of Arab countries, according to a December 2020 New York Times report. Notably, Malley clarified that he wasn’t then speaking on behalf of the Biden administration.

“If the goal in the region truly is peace, why would we tap negotiators whose goal is to undo a peace agreement between Israel and some of her Sunni Gulf neighbors? America needs a negotiator trusted by all parties involved, not just the Iranians. Mr. Malley is not the man for the job. We also share strong concerns that he may even have violated the Logan Act when he met with Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the UN in 2019,” the letter reads.

Meanwhile, Bitar has a “track record” of supporting the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel (BDS). BDS was founded by activists who have routinely called for an end to the Jewish state. Further, in his Oxford University thesis, Bitar wrote of the “Nakba” or “the catastrophe” of Israel’s founding.

Lamborn was the leading sponsor of the Taylor Force Act which became law in 2018. The law conditions U.S. aid to the Palestinians on the ending of their leadership’s “pay for slay” programs, which was named after American veteran and student Taylor Force, who was killed by a Palestinian terrorist while on a college trip to Israel.

The PA reportedly pays thousands of dollars each month for a jailed terrorist and to the families of “martyrs.” In total, the PA’s “pay for slay” program amounts to nearly $360 million per year, according to 2018’s budget.

Lamborn says he’s “disappointed, but not surprised by President Biden’s desire to undermine America’s strong relationship with Israel,” in an exclusive statement to this reporter, adding “During the course of the Obama administration, America repeatedly appeased Iran and ignored the atrocities of the Palestinian Authority and their ‘pay-to-slay’ program. As the author of the Taylor Force Act in Congress, I strongly oppose restarting funding to the Palestinian Authority. In addition, Biden’s decision to tap pro-Iranian advisors for top positions indicate his goal of propping up not only the PA, but Iran as well. America must stand by our friend and the greatest democracy in the Middle East, Israel.”

In Wednesday’s letter, Lamborn calls a debate on the issue of “pay for slay” “shocking.” And he makes clear that taxpayer dollars shouldn’t pay the “stipends to those who murder Jews in cold blood, with the incentive being the more Jews murdered the greater the reward. This will be paid to the murderer for the rest of their life, or to their family in the event of their death during execution of their crime.”

“Your administration, should it seek to restore payments of any kind to the [Palestinian Authority], must ensure that the Palestinians are not paying stipends to terrorists,” the letter says.

“With these specific priorities in mind, we urge you to maintain and strengthen the close relationship we have with Israel. Any deviation from the current trajectory of our partnership would dramatically undermine the historic progress towards peace in the Middle East that has been made in recent years. We are hopeful your administration will avoid the tragic foreign policy mistakes made by previous administrations with a ‘blame Israel first’ approach to managing the Israel/Palestinian conflict. It has been clearly demonstrated that such an approach will only end in failure, while standing up for our dear friend Israel can lead to significant positive changes that benefit all parties.”

“President Biden, we urge you to recognize the importance of the U.S. relationship with Israel. We are eager to see your words supported by policy actions and personnel decisions and we stand ready to work with you to that end,” Lamborn concludes.

Co-signers of the letter include Reps. Yvette Herrell, NM, Greg Steube, FL, Brian Babin, TX, Chip Roy, TX, David Mckinley, WV, Scott Perry, PA, Paul Gosar, AZ, Don Bacon, NE, Ted Budd, NC, Louie Gohmert, TX, Trent Kelly, MS, Lee Zeldin, NY, Glenn Grothman, WI, Barry Moore, AL, Matt Gaetz, FL, Tom McLintock, CA, Scott DesJarlais, TN, Ronny L. Jackson, TX, Gus M. Bilirakis, FL, Mike Bost, IL, Joe Wilson, SC, Andy Biggs, AZ, Jim Jordan, OH, Bob Good, VA, Fred Keller, PA, Ralph Norman, SC, Guy Reschenthaler, PA, Andrew S. Clyde, GA, Russ Fulcher, ID, Jeff Duncan, SC, Scott Franklin, FL, Michael Cloud, TX, Elise Stefanik, NY, Garrett Graves, LA.

Follow Jennie Taer on Twitter @JennieSTaer

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PA President Abbas pushes ‘institutionalized anti-Semitism’ against Jews

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, while in Germany and standing next to German chancellor Olaf Scholz, accused Israel of committing “50 holocausts” against the Palestinians. This follows a long tradition of Abbas’ anti-Semitic statements on the Holocaust. In 2018, Abbas accused Jews of being “subjected to a massacre every 10 to 15 years…not because of their religion, but rather their social behavior related to usury and banks.” In 2015, Abbas also stated that “[i]f they [Jews] say they made sacrifices in World War II, and we respect what they say, they should not treat us the way they were treated [by the Nazis].” And in his 1984 book, The Other Side: The Secret Relationship between Nazism and Zionism, Abbas stated that “We find that Zionists believe in the purity of the Jewish race, as Hitler believed in the purity of the Aryan race.”

Such anti-Semitism runs rampant in the Palestinian Authority (PA). PA political figures and press have consistently defamed Israel by comparing it to Nazi Germany to brainwash the Palestinian population against reconciliation and normalization with the Jewish state. Since 2021 alone, there have been ample examples of the PA using such drivel in their propaganda machine. This is part of a much larger, institutionalized anti-Semitism embedded in Palestinian nationalism itself.

 

Claim #1: Israel, Israelis are Nazi Germany, Nazis

PA media and political figures liken Israel to Nazi Germany, and Israelis to Nazis. Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub called “Zionism and this racist fascist occupation” “the ugly face of Nazism,” and called Israelis “the new Nazis who are working to eliminate the Palestinian people.” The Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida has accused Israel of “carrying out the Hitleresque holocaust anew against the Palestinian Arab people and the peoples of the Arab world.” Al-Hayat Al-Jadida also stated that, regarding Jewish violence against Arabs in the May 2021 riots in Israel, that “Israel has repeated Kristallnacht.” [The reality was that Jewish violence against Arabs was widely condemned in Israel and paled in comparison to Arab violence against Jews during that same time.] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida also stated that “Israel is becoming a state most similar to Nazi Germany.”

 

Claim #2: Israel’s Leadership are Nazis

 

PA media and political figures also liken Israel’s leaders to Nazis. Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub calledNetanyahu “the ugly face of Mussolini and Hitler.” A political cartoon on the website of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture portrays Benjamin Netanyahu dressed as Hitler giving a Nazi-salute with a blood-drenched hand with the caption “Adolf Netanyahu.” A host on PA TV stated that “What Eichmann did to the Jews in Austria, they’re doing- [Israeli Parliament Member] Naftali Bennett is doing to us, exactly. They have copied the experience.”

 

Claim #3: Israel’s Prisons Are Nazi Death Camps

 

Lastly, PA media and political figures also liken Israel’s prison system to the Nazi death camps and crematoria. Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub called Israeli prisons “an identical copy of Auschwitz and the death camps.” PA Shari’ah Judge Nasser Al-Qirem referred to Israel’s prisons as the “Nazi occupation’s bastilles.” The Official PA dailyAl-Hayat Al-Jadida  accused Israel of carrying out crimes against Palestinian civilians similar to “Hitler’s Nazi detention camps,” and earlier had stated that Israel’s “detention camps have become most similar to the Nazi crematoriums.”

Abbas’ statement that Israel has committed “50 holocausts” against the Palestinian people should not be surprising, given that Abbas has made similar anti-Semitic statements for years. The Palestinian Authority in turn, through various political figures and its press propagate similar statements. Coupled with other anti-Semitic, anti-Israeli, and even jihadi comments, the Biden administration should not further accommodate the PA, nor seek to join it in the Abraham Accords.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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