Young Israel statement on the Palestinian Partnership Fund Act

October 25, 2018

The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) today expressed concern about the introduction of the Palestinian Partnership Fund Act of 2018. The federal legislation would “establish the Palestinian Partnership Fund to promote joint economic development and finance joint ventures between Palestinian entrepreneurs and companies in the United States, Israel, and countries in the Middle East to improve economic cooperation and people to people exchanges to further shared community building, peaceful coexistence, dialogue, and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.” The bill would also require the Administration to solicit contributions for the Palestinian Partnership Fund from Middle Eastern and European countries and the rest of the international community.

The House bill (H.R.7060) was introduced by Reps. Jeff Fortenberry and Nita Lowey. The Senate version of the bill (S.3549) was introduced by Sens. Chris Coons, Lindsey Graham, Tim Kaine, and Cory Gardner.

The following is a statement from NCYI President Farley Weiss:

“While it may be well-intentioned, we see absolutely no need for this particular bill. This legislation would benefit Palestinian Arabs, whose income from this program will in turn result in more taxes being paid to the Palestinian Authority, which openly finances their infamous ‘pay to slay program’ that rewards Palestinian Arab terrorists who murder Americans and Israelis.

“At a time when the Trump administration is cutting aid to the Palestinian Authority due to its ongoing support of terrorism, Congress should not be exploring ways to send additional funds to individuals in the Palestinian Authority. The crux of the problem is not economic; rather, it is the education system sanctioned by the Palestinian Authority that has taught an entire generation of Palestinian children to despise their Israeli neighbors, and it is the Palestinian Authority’s interminable and contemptible practice of glorifying terrorism and inciting violence. Congress’ focus should be on ending the culture of ‘pay to slay’ and rehabilitating the Palestinian education system, not on an economic plan that fails to address the underlying issues that breed hatred and violence.

“An ADL study conducted several years ago found that 93% of Palestinian Arabs harbor anti-Semitic beliefs. Palestinian television promotes terrorism and the Palestinian Authority names public squares after terrorists who killed innocent individuals. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas helped finance the massacre that killed eleven Israelis at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich and honored Abu Daoud, the terrorist mastermind behind the Munich attack, as a hero upon his death several years ago. Bolstering the economy of such a regime, which has displayed no willingness whatsoever to terminate its terrorist tendencies, is an imprudent approach.

“Legislation that advocates funding for entities that encourage and espouse terrorism has no place in the U.S. Congress. We would oppose comparable legislation were it to provide money to individual Iranians while Iran continues to be the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. Congress would presumably not contemplate a similar funding program for Iran, and it therefore should not consider implementing such a program for the Palestinian Authority.

“Further, Palestinian Arab professionals are leaving due to the Palestinian Authority’s corruption and its oppression of the Palestinian Arabs, and this bill neglects to address this issue. Finally, this legislation mentions support for a so-called two-state solution; however, the creation of an anti-American and anti-Semitic ‘pay to slay’ Palestinian Arab state is by no means in the United States’ strategic interest.”