After three national elections, Israel has finally formed a government. Aside from re-opening the country after the devastating pandemic, the new government’s first order of business seems to be the extension of sovereignty to the Jordan Valley. With a seeming majority of Israel’s parliament being on board, several European states have condemned the prospect of this move and hinted at retaliations.
The French ambassador to the United Nations, Nicolas de la Rivière, expressed his concerns regarding Israel’s plan to extend its sovereignty to nearly 30% of the West Bank: “it would not pass unchallenged and shall not be overlooked in our relationship with Israel.” That could potentially mean a decision, by the EU, to recognize a State of Palestine.
Proponents of Israel’s extension of sovereignty to the Jordan Valley argue that the move would diminish Israel’s security risks and opponents insist that such it would infuriate Palestinians, as well as the Gulf countries, and further perpetuate the belligerency of the conflict.
While coherent arguments have been made for both, any decision to recognize a Palestine as a sovereign nation, could pose a fundamental threat to the international fight against terrorism.
In February of 2019, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas admitted to the PA’s “pay-for-slay,” policy, which provides life-lasting salaries to those who commit acts of terrorism and their families, against Israelis: “Since 1965, we have been paying them and their families…”
This policy would certainly explain why the Palestinian Authority used nearly 50% of its foreign aid in 2017 to fund its terrorist enterprise.
It would also explain how, amidst the vicious COVID-19 pandemic, the Palestinian Authority chose to distribute the salaries of terrorists before those of teachers and social welfare recipients. Even as it anticipated a 50% decrease in income due to the harsh measures taken to combat the spread of the virus.
The international community needs to look no further than these statistics to understand that terrorism, for the Palestinian Authority, continues to be a priority.
What would be the consequences of rewarding Palestinian leaders with a sovereign and recognized state, without first demanding that a resolution to the conflict be reached with Israel?
Nothing short that the appeasement of terrorism.
Appeasement, a word Europeans should be more than familiar with.
The ramifications of allowing the Palestinian Authority, a political entity which has institutionalized antisemitism, disseminated Nazi-style propaganda, and glorified terrorists, could send a dangerous message: Practice terrorism long enough and eventually you will be rewarded.
In the last three decades, the Palestinian Authority has failed to uphold any stipulation of the 1993 Oslo Accords involving the renouncement of terrorism. In both 2000 and 2008, the Palestinian Authority rejected generous peace offers made by Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, which would have also demanded a complete halt of Palestinian-sponsored terrorism.
Religious inspired terrorism in the European Union has been on the rise. From 2014-2018, there have been over 3,000 arrests related to religious terrorism in Europe. In the same time period, 364 civilians died, and nearly 90 attacks were successfully executed.
With European authorities prioritizing the fight against terrorism, the recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state, without first achieving a viable resolution to the conflict with Israel, is more than counterintuitive — it poses a strategic threat to any sovereign country in the world attempting to engage in efficient counter-terrorism.
Finally, if the European Union insists on differentiating between ISIS-claimed terror attacks in London or Niece and those attacks in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, sponsored and financed by the Palestinian Authority – the international message will be clear: the life of European civilians is worth more than the life of those inhabiting the Jewish-majority country. The repercussions of this blatant antisemitism could have disastrous impacts Jewish communities throughout the world.
I urge the European Union to remember the failures of Munich, and understand that if it decides to unilaterally recognize Palestine as a sovereign state, without the Palestinian Authority first finalizing a peace agreement with Israel, it could potentially contribute to a rise of terrorism and antisemitism at a global scale.