Western countries, including the United States, give significant financial support to the Palestinian Arabs, under the assumption that they are a stateless people who simply yearn for peace, self-determination and independence in their own land.
Yet all objective evidence painfully contradicts this assumption. In reality, the Palestinians display an obstinate refusal to accept peace. Rather, they nurture a culture of virulent hate against their Jewish neighbors.
It’s no surprise that a Pew survey of antisemitic values among the world’s peoples reported that some 93% of Palestinians hold antisemitic views—the highest rate of Jew hatred in the world.
This hateful culture is acted out in a continuous series of murders of innocent Israelis, as well as a 75-year-long, ongoing war against the Jewish state.
Perhaps the best reflection of the Palestinians’ toxic animus toward Jews—and drive to kill them—is the celebratory mood that fills their streets whenever innocent Jews are murdered by Palestinian terrorists. Celebrations were particularly jubilant two weeks ago, when seven Jews—men, women and children—were shot dead outside a Jerusalem synagogue by a lone terrorist.
We should ask ourselves: In light of the Palestinians’ well-publicized death culture, how can the United States and many American—even Jewish—citizens continue to support the Palestinian cause? How can we—no matter how “progressive”—justify the Palestinians’ entrenched culture of hate and strategy of cold-blooded murder? Would we dare admit to supporting any other cause motivated by such poisonous, life-destroying values?
Those who truly care about the cause of peace between Israel and the Palestinians should withhold support for the Palestinians until they demonstrate an effort to end pervasive Jew hatred and cease terrorist attacks on innocents. We should also demand to see political statements on the part of Palestinian leaders that indicate an actual desire for peace, instead of chants calling for Israel’s destruction, such as, “From the river to the sea, Palestine shall be free.”
Despite signing agreements to the contrary, the Palestinians have never given up on their ultimate goal of destroying Israel. It’s why they have repeatedly rejected offers of statehood, in 2000, 2001 and 2008, which would have given them nearly all of Judea and Samaria (aka, the West Bank) and a capital in Jerusalem, along with the Gaza Strip. One proposal even offered land inside of pre-1967 Israel.
No surprise, then, that we find zero mention of even the idea of peace with Israel in Palestinian school textbooks. What we do find, however, is plenty of material encouraging Palestinian children to hate and murder Jews—the kind of material found in the textbooks of 13-year-old Palestinian boy, Muhammad Aliwat, who shot and wounded an Israeli man and his son just one day after the synagogue massacre that killed seven.
Aliwat’s textbooks glorify violence, telling children to “cut the throats of enemy soldiers” and “put on explosive belts,” because “martyrdom” is required to fight the enemy. Apparently, the young boy took this to heart, as he left a note for his mother before carrying out his attack. He wrote, “God or victory or martyrdom.”
Palestinian textbooks contain a steady diet of such antisemitism. In schools run by the United Nations’ Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), for example, Palestinian children are taught that Jews are “impure” and “inherently treacherous and hostile to Islam and Muslims.”
Palestinian children are also taught to celebrate the murder of Jews—whenever Palestinians kill Jews, children see jubilation in the streets. Sweets are passed out, fireworks explode, and motorists honk their horns, as reveling Palestinians fire their guns in the air. Chants calling for more murder and more dead Jews ring out.
As Palestinian children get older, they learn that not only is killing Jews a righteous deed, but it’s also lucrative, since the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) pays lifetime salaries to those who commit terrorist acts against Israelis.
Per the P.A.’s “pay-for-slay” policy, the more Jews a Palestinian kills, the more he or she is paid—up to $4,000 per month, three times the average Palestinian wage. In 2021, the P.A. was in dire financial straits. Nevertheless, its leaders still doled out some $270 million in salaries to jailed and released terrorists, as well as for wounded terrorists and the families of dead terrorists.
Would the U.S. government or American citizens ever consider subsidizing such a murderous culture? In fact, American taxpayer dollars handsomely support the Palestinians and their culture of death by sending them hundreds of millions of dollars every year.
Indeed, following the synagogue massacre in Jerusalem a few weeks ago, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced an additional $50 million in new aid to UNRWA, the U.N. agency that runs schools where Palestinian children learn to vilify and kill Jews. UNRWA alone has received a total of $940 million from U.S. taxpayers since President Joe Biden took office.
Yet, Palestinian society continues to encourage its citizens of all ages to participate in and celebrate the cold-blooded murder of innocent Jews. Even as other Arab countries, like the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco are beginning to promote peace between Jews and Arabs after decades of hostility, Palestinian leaders are doubling down—promoting increased hatred and violence toward their Jewish neighbors.
How can any American, no matter where their sympathies on the political spectrum, justify supporting the cult of heartless murder of innocents that defines the Palestinian cause?
The United States must stop subsidizing the Palestinians’ virulently antisemitic murder culture. American citizens should not have to see their tax dollars used to aid the Palestinians, unless the Palestinians commit to 1) ending their ferocious campaign of antisemitic hate against Jews, 2) purging their society of its death culture and incitement to violence against Israel and the Jewish people, and 3) ending their financial support for terrorists who murder Jews.
Jason Shvili is Contributing Editor at Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME), which publishes educational messages to correct lies and misperceptions about Israel and its relationship to the United States.