OpinionIsrael at War

Biden must realize the PA is not the answer

The terror-supporting P.A. should not be allowed to govern Gaza once the war is over.

U.S President Joe Biden in Tel Aviv, Oct. 18, 2023. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.
U.S President Joe Biden in Tel Aviv, Oct. 18, 2023. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.
Farley Weiss
Farley Weiss is chairman of the Israel Heritage Foundation (IHF) and former president of the National Council of Young Israel.

The Biden administration has repeatedly said that Israel needs to think about what will come after it destroys Hamas. The administration has expressed the desire for an “effective and revitalized Palestinian Authority” to govern the Gaza Strip. This would only repeat the same failed policies that helped lead to the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre.

The massacre could not have happened without significant arms and training from Iran. The Biden administration’s decision to relax sanctions on the Islamic Republic almost certainly helped generate some of the cash used for this purpose. Under President Joe Biden, Iran went from having under $10 billion in foreign currency reserves due to the maximum sanctions enacted by former President Donald Trump to over $50 billion. So far, there has been no change in Biden’s Iran policy despite huge bipartisan support for such a change.

Moreover, the Biden administration has spent the last three years pressuring Israel to allow more Palestinian Arabs from Gaza to work in Israel and to expand the area in which they are permitted to fish. It has now been discovered that the workers from Gaza mapped out Israeli communities to facilitate the Hamas attacks and Gaza’s “fishermen” smuggled arms into the Strip.  

The administration has been equally generous towards the P.A. It handed hundreds of millions of dollars to it, as well as the U.N.’s Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, that had been cut off by the Trump administration. It now appears that a significant part of those funds benefited Hamas and UNRWA officials celebrated the Oct. 7 massacre. Nonetheless, Biden continues to provide these funds.

Money has continued to flow to the P.A. despite its “pay-to-slay” policy that financially rewards terrorists, presumably including those who took part in the Oct. 7 massacre, for murdering civilians—including babies and grandparents. The policy pays terrorists based on the number of civilians they murder. U.S. taxpayers are, in effect, being forced to subsidize terrorism. Biden’s largesse has already led to an increase in terrorism in the areas controlled by the P.A.

On Oct. 7 and afterwards, rallies in support of Hamas and its genocidal slaughter took place in numerous P.A.-controlled areas, with no pushback from the P.A. Support for Hamas is widespread in these areas. A poll taken in 2021 by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that, in a free and fair election, senior Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh would defeat P.A. chief Mahmoud Abbas by 56% to 34%. This is not surprising, given that a 2014 ADL survey found that over 93% of Palestinian Arabs are antisemitic.

The steps the Biden administration must take are fairly clear.

It must stop circumventing the Taylor Force Act, which forbids the use of taxpayer funds to finance the “pay-to-slay” policy. It must end all aid to the P.A. and UNRWA. The Trump sanctions on Iran must be reinstated. Instead of meeting with the virulently antisemitic Abbas, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken should make it clear that Abbas is a Holocaust denier, financed the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, honors and financially rewards the murderers of Jews, and is thus persona non grata

The administration must also stop interfering with Israel’s sacred mission of eradicating Hamas and its cohorts and rescuing the hostages. Biden should cease his repeated calls for aid to Gaza even though this aid will be stolen by Hamas to continue its terrorist war. Israel is conducting a just war and doing so in compliance with the laws of war. The president must stop implying that Israel is doing anything other than that. 

Oct. 7 demonstrated in no uncertain terms that the Biden administration’s delusions about Hamas, the P.A., Iran and the possibility of a viable two-state solution have resulted in abject failure. This reality is inescapable. The administration’s policies have only made Israel’s hostile environment more dangerous and ensured the outbreak of the war that is currently underway.

Hamas’s goal was not just to massacre 1,400 people but to destroy Israel. This is also the goal of Fatah, the P.A. and their allies in the axis of evil led by the terrorist Iranian regime and its proxies. This axis is antithetical to American values and threatens the entire Western world, as well as all non-Muslims in the Middle East. The Biden administration must wake up to the reality that this axis cannot be appeased. It cannot be part of a peaceful future for the Middle East. Destroying Hamas and replacing it with the P.A. in Gaza would only strengthen this axis and push peace further away.   

Peace is possible with a former enemy who wants peace. It is not possible with a current enemy who does not. Judged by these standards, the P.A. clearly cannot be a true peace partner. Biden must accept that the P.A. is not the answer and move on.

Until an alternative is found, there should be no equivocation or ambiguity about the U.S.’s support for Israel and its war against a monstrous evil. May Israel succeed in its sacred mission and may the valiant soldiers of the IDF and the hostages return home safely.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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