House Foreign Affairs C’ttee Passes Resolution on Palestinian Incitement
The House Foreign Affairs Committee held on Thursday a hearing focused on the recent terror wave across Israel, with experts and former state officials testifying about the Palestinian Authority’s role in inciting against Israel.
The hearing, entitled “Words Have Consequences: Palestinian Authority Incitement to Violence,” heard testimonies by Elliott Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, Jonathan Schanzer, VP for the Defense of Democracies, and David Makovsky, a former administration official and an expert of the Middle East peace process.
Following the hearing, the Committee considered legislation (H. Res. 293) that expresses concern over the Palestinians’ anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL).
The resolution reiterates “strong condemnation of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement in the Palestinian Authority as antithetical to the cause of peace; urges President Abbas and Palestinian Authority officials to discontinue all official incitement and exert influence to discourage anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement in Palestinian civil society; and directs the United States Department of State to regularly monitor and publish information on all official incitement by the Palestinian Authority against Jews and the State of Israel.”
“Israel is contending with a deep-seated hatred, nurtured by Palestinian leaders over many years in mosques, schools, newspapers, and TV channels,” the committee’s chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) said in his opening remarks Thursday morning. “Perhaps most concerning, this culture of hate is being cultivated by Palestinian leaders. After being exposed day-in and day-out to these types of messages for most of their young lives, how else do we expect young people will react once the Palestinian president declares, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem?” Where is the international outcry for the generations of children which are growing up on blind hatred?”
“The U.S. should be speaking loudly and clearly – Palestinian officials must work to restore calm and renounce incendiary statements,” added Royce.
During his testimony, Elliott Abrams suggested to close the PLO offices in Washington, DC, stop the illegal personal funding and prevent the corruption going on in the Palestinian Authority, as well as keep track of the individuals doing the incitement, barring them from entering the United States. He also asserted that Abbas is not paying a price for his actions. “As long he pays not price, he will keep it up. Getting a meeting with Sec. Kerry sends a message that it’s okay,” said Abrams.
Jonathan Schanzer further suggested that the U.S. should investigate the Palestine National Fund (PNF) and stop the ‘Palestine 194’ campaign.
David Makovsky, who most recently served as a senior advisor on Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace team, said that the conflict will not stop as long as the Palestinians refuse recognize Israel’s religious rights to the land. He also raised the idea of socializing with the Europeans, who tend to sympathize and side with the Palestinians.
Posing it as a question to the experts, Rep. Brad Sherman explored the idea of reducing aid to $250 million and stop the transfer of cash, instead deliver food and printed text books.