Rules Are for Schmucks: Defunding Palestine

While all the attention was focused on President Trump’s decision to finally carry out the law passed by enormous bipartisan majorities in Congress over twenty years ago, honoring the sovereign right of Israel to choose its own capital city, another development may help drive an even larger nail into the coffin of the long-dead “two state solution.”

The House of Representatives on December 5, by overwhelming voice vote, approved the “Taylor Force Act.” Taylor Force was a twenty-eight-year-old American student, trying to earn an MBA after military service in both Iraq and Afghanistan. While touring in Tel Aviv last year on a university project to study global entrepreneurship, Taylor was brutally murdered by a knife-wielding Palestinian trying to make a political point.

The killer was himself killed by police after he stabbed ten other innocents. His family, though, is being well taken care of. They receive generous “martyr payments” from the Palestinian Authority, which in turn receives money from you and me, the American sucker taxpayers. Three hundred million dollars a year—more than enough for sticky-fingered Palestinian politicians to support themselves in comfort, with a little left over to fill the stomachs of the widows and mothers of mass killers. Nice work, Uncle Sam.

The Taylor Force Act would cut off subsidies to the Palestinian Authority unless these “martyr payments” are discontinued. With an administration in power that, for all its faults, rather enjoys kicking over apple carts, maybe it will become law.

I would vote for the Taylor Force bill, if given the chance. First, though, I would offer an amendment to shorten the bill to a single sentence: “No more American money for the Palestinian Authority, or anything like it—ever.” Let the lawyers add a few more syllables, if it makes them happy.

The Palestinian Authority is one of the most corrupt institutions on earth. The level of corruption is so staggering, even its own ministers quit in disgust. Journalists who try to report on the cesspool get shut down—hard. Even without a free press, 96 percent of the Palestinian population agrees that the Palestinian Authority is corrupt. That’s hardly surprising, since its whole raison d’etre is a fraud. A government, that’s not allowed to govern, and never will be. Good luck with that.

The Palestinian Authority that grabs our three hundred million every year is under the thumb of religious zealots. That’s who we’re funding. The constitution of the state of Palestine explicitly defines Islam as the “official religion.” Bureaucrats whose salaries we pay scrupulously instruct Muslim imams each week about what their sermons should and should not say. Hamas, which won the Palestinian elections in 2006 but was not allowed to take power, bulldozes homes to make room for more religious structures. Palestinians who criticize Islam quickly find themselves behind bars. I suppose our money goes to pay for these prisons, too.

The Palestinians we finance are stunningly intolerant. Christians report intense pressure to convert to Islam, knuckle under to Islamic law, or leave. Jews? Forget about it. The Palestinian ambassador to the US is quite clear that any future Palestinian state must be “free of Jews.” They adamantly refuse to allow their schools to teach children about the Holocaust, because it’s “a lie made up by the Zionists.” Their children’s television show calls Jews “barbaric monkeys” who are “the most evil among creation.” Our money helps pay for that, too.

The original purpose of these payments was to bribe the Palestinians into being nicer during the peace negotiations. Now, though, the Palestinians adamantly insist  that the US can no longer be involved in the peace process. So the point of spending all this money is … what, exactly? If we’re just trying to be humanitarian nice guys, there are plenty of electricity-less Puerto Ricans who need the money as much as these people do.

Severing all relations with the Palestinian pseudo-government would be a major step toward busting the myth of the “two-state solution.” There never was a two-state solution, and there will never be one. Israel never had the slightest intention of allowing Palestine any more sovereignty rights than a South African Bantustan during apartheid, and it never will. Nor should it. The whole idea of drawing a line on a map and putting God experts who loathe each other in charge of the guns on either side is idiotic, has never worked, and will never work.

If we stop thinking about a two-state solution, then by my math we’re down to a one-state solution. There are three paths that one state could follow:

  1. It could be dominated by religious Jews, treating non-Jews like dirt, not letting them vote, and richly earning the condemnation for violating the international law against apartheid described in a censored UN report last spring.
  2. It could be dominated by religious Muslims, who would almost certainly treat the Jews even worse.
  3. It could be dominated by humans, living out humanist values, whether or not they use that precise term. Everyone gets to vote. Everyone gets to worship. No one gets special treatment, positive or negative, because of his or her racial identity or beliefs about the supernatural.

The only truly unrealistic option in this group is to think that path #1 can last another seventy years without a cataclysm, nuclear or otherwise. Path #3—the general scheme already in place in most of the non-communist, non-Muslim dominated world—is not a pipe dream. There are plenty of people in this troubled land, Jews and non-Jews alike, who just want to live happy lives not centered around whom God wants them to hate. Diverting our three hundred million dollars a year to give these folks a louder voice is a choice worth considering.