While you were still trying to figure out how to seat 12 people at a table for 10, seven-year-old Israeli Demir Ladigin and his brother were burying their father Michael. On the same day, Tamir Avihai and Motti Ashkenazi were buried as well. Eleven children were robbed of their fathers by Palestinian terrorists.
While you were cooking your turkey, an 18-year-old Israeli, Tiran Fero, was in a car accident in the Palestinian-ruled city of Jenin. He was taken to a Jenin hospital and put on life support, but was then snatched by Palestinian gunmen. Later, his lifeless body was returned. His uncle, Edri Fero, who was at the hospital, said his nephew was still alive when he was taken.
“They were shooting in the air and shouting in Arabic,” he said, “nobody dared to stop them. They disconnected him from the machines and tossed him into a car.” A senior Palestinian official said the suspects kidnapped Tiran because they thought the teen was an undercover Israeli soldier.
While you were setting the table last Wednesday, two terror bombings at Jerusalem bus stops killed 15-year-old Aryeh Shechopek and injured 18 other people. While you were cleaning up on Friday, Tedsa Tschuma, a father of three, died of his injuries.
There are several reasons that Palestinian terror attacks have increased to a level not seen in Israel in several years, but they are traceable to a single source: the Biden administration.
This administration has encouraged the Palestinian Authority to believe in the “two-state solution.” To believe that the P.A. will pay no price for inciting terror and paying salaries to terrorists when they kill Israelis. To believe that the bipartisan Taylor Force Act is dead and American money will be forthcoming no matter what. To believe the administration is committed to putting a Palestinian embassy in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. To believe that a special American envoy will be their ambassador. To believe that no matter what P.A. does or says, the Americans won’t complain.
And the Palestinians are right to believe all of this.
According to the State Department, “Since April 2021, the United States has provided over half a billion dollars … for the Palestinians. … The U.S. government plans to provide an additional $75 million in economic assistance to the Palestinian people this year [and] $45 million for programs to support the security sector.”
This Thanksgiving week, the administration announced the creation of a special representative post focused solely on the Palestinians. This will be an enormous upgrade in relations. A State Department official said, “As the president reiterated in Israel and the West Bank, we remain committed to reopening our Consulate General in Jerusalem and to the vision of a two-state solution.”
While the Palestinians are cosseted and rewarded for intransigence and violence, the Biden administration is attacking Israel by upgrading Israel’s enemies, undermining its ability to defend itself and calling its democratic bona fides into question.
First, the administration called the Abraham Accords “normalization agreements,” rather than the historic peace accords they are. But that was a minor slap compared to the gifts Israel’s chief nemesis Iran received. The administration lifted sanctions on Iran’s proxy terror organization, the Houthis. It pressured South Korea to free up more than a billion dollars in frozen Iranian funds. It provided sanctions waivers that allowed Iran to sell more oil to China—a boon for both countries.
And the administration did all of this while the U.S. sat outside the room in Vienna where talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear accord are underway. The U.S., in other words, acted like the pariah Iran should be, and allowed Russia, China and the E.U. to offer Iran “inducements” to rejoin an agreement Iran has been violating for years. There has been no penalty for stealing U.S. technology, putting it in Iranian drones and exporting the drones to Russia in violation of U.N. sanctions.
In addition, Iran’s proxy Hezbollah was gifted with a maritime gas agreement between Israel and Lebanon brokered by the U.S. The Biden administration put heavy pressure on Israel’s outgoing government to reach a deal before the Israeli elections. Worst of all was that Israel received unspecified American “security assurances” should Hezbollah attack. This undermined Israel’s decades-long policy that it would “defend itself by itself” and not ask the U.S. to provide American soldiers for its security.
The administration also undermined Israel’s position as a democratic ally by announcing the opening of an FBI investigation into the battlefield death of an Al Jazeera journalist, having previously accepted the findings of Israeli and Palestinian investigations and declaring the case closed. The announcement brought cheers from the P.A., which demanded that the case go to the International Criminal Court.
The only saving grace was that U.S. Ambassador Thomas Nides and President Joe Biden later said they had no idea such an investigation had been ordered by the attorney general. Really? President Biden didn’t know? The U.S. has a rogue attorney general?
The Palestinians had a very good Thanksgiving week. The Israelis much less so. Most Americans were too busy to notice.
Shoshana Bryen is senior director of the Jewish Policy Center and editor of inFOCUS Quarterly.
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