Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday cartoon: Islam and terror

Some people say Islam is a religion of peace. Some say it is the religion of peace, suggesting that this particular religion exemplifies 'peace' better than any other religion. Others disagree. They say Islam is not a religion of peace. They say it's the religion of terror (John Burger, "Islam: religion of peace or font of terror", aleteia, January 21, 2015). Still others say Islam is a religion of peace, all right. But it's been hijacked by terrorists (or, alternatively, extremists) (ibid).

Certainly, two things are true when Westerners talk about Islam: first, it's politically correct to say Islam is a religion of peace. Second, it's 'Islamophobic' if you put 'Islam' and 'terror' in the same sentence.

Now that we've got that straightened out, let's put analysis aside. Let's talk about reality.

Here's a cartoon from Israel. It's about Islam. It's about terror (please note: I do not use 'Islam' and 'terror' in the same sentence). This is not a cartoon about religion. It's not about politics. It's just a picture about reality in Israel: 

from: dirouge, at arutzsheva,  July 19, 2017

It's an ugly cartoon. But then, it depicts an ugly reality.

In Israel, relatively few people have much to say about the extent to which Islam provokes bad behavior (notice how I do not use 'Islam' and 'terror' in the same sentence). 

We don't spend a lot of time thinking about Islam and the world. We're too busy looking over our shoulder, worried about hearing the words, 'allahu akbar!'. 

We don't care about Islamic theology. We care about staying alive.

We're Jews. We don't know much about Islam. We know a lot about being the targets of terror. 

We're realists. We know that those who seek to murder us like to shout out the name of their god while they attack us. 

Do we need to know anything else?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

In Jerusalem, metal detectors humiliate Muslims!

The saga of 'anti-Palestinian metal detectors' at the Temple Mount continues (see below). The outrage caused by these metal detectors frightens Israel's leaders. They don't know if they should keep the detectors in place or take them down to appease 'Palestinian' leaders and local Islamic clerics (Raphael Ahren, Dov Lieber, "Amid protests, Israel weighs taking down Temple Mt. metal detectors", timesofisrael, July 19, 2017).  

While our Jewish leaders fiddled with this question, Arabs in eastern Jerusalem threw rocks and firebombs at police (Stuart Winer, "Rioters clash with police around Jerusalem over Temple Mount metal detectors", timesofisrael, July 19, 2017). The Fatah organization, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, called for 'Palestinians' to march on security checkpoints in Judea-Samaria (ibid)--essentially, calling for mass disturbances against security forces.

If you advocate peace through a two-state solution, please note that the Arab-Israel war is far from over--and is much   
farther from a peaceful resolution than you realize. This 'metal detector' story proves how far away peace really is. 

The 'metal detector' uproar is 'fake news'. Metal detectors throughout Israel are a non-issue. But now, 'metal detectors' becomes a 'Palestinian war-cry' to provoke rioting.   

In Israel, metal detectors are almost ubiquitous. They stand at entrances to all kinds of buildings, especially in Jerusalem. In the city where I live (outside Jerusalem), I have to pass through a metal detector--a process that includes a baggage search--every time I go into our community shopping mall. There are no exceptions. 

I have never seen anyone--Jew or Arab--put up a stink while going through our metal detector. I have never seen anyone--Jew or Arab--complain about having a bag searched or pockets emptied. 

I see  the same thing in Jerusalem. That is, I have never seen anyone in Jerusalem--Jew or Arab--put up a stink about any metal detector anywhere. Everyone I have ever seen at these devices passes through them acting as if they understand/accept the need to use detectors to help create a 'safe place' for them. 

This doesn't mean no one ever complains. But it does say that this one person's experience is clear: so far as I can see, metal detectors are not a problem.

It's not like Israel is the only place Muslims see a metal detector. Arab governments use them, too. 

For example, in 2011, the Saudi government announced it would install metal detectors at Mecca's Holy mosque (Riazat Butt, "Explosives detectors to be installed at gates of Mecca's holy mosque", guardian, August 15, 2011). There were no Arab protests or violence over this announcement (Zvi, "The hypocrisy of denouncing metal detectors at the Temple Mount", elderofzyion, July 17, 2017). 

No Arabs protested when metal detectors were installed for certain Christian sites in Egypt (ibid). No Arabs protested when metal detectors were installed for other Christians in Qatar (ibid).

More to our point here, no Arabs complained that the Saudi metal detectors at a revered Islamic holy site (in Mecca) had 'humiliated' them. No Arab complained that the Saudi metal detectors were a 'collective punishment' against Muslims (Ali Waked, "Exclusive: Fatah official: Israeli metal detectors at Temple  Mount are 'collective punishment' of Muslim worshipers", breitbart, July 18, 2017). No Arab politicians called for a Day of Rage anywhere in the Arab world because of new metal detectors. No Arab cleric anywhere in the Arab world announced that metal detectors are religiously unacceptable because anyone who passes through them will have their prayers to Heaven nullified (see below). 

The King of Saudi Arabia (Salman) has spoken out about the Israeli metal detectors. He said metal detectors aren't a problem at holy places (Hana Levi Julian, "King of Saudi Arabia personally intervenes in Temple Mount Crisis, says metal detectors routine in holy places", jewishpress, July 18, 2017). They are, he said, routine in holy places because of the threat of terror (ibid). When he heard about metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, he expressed no reservations about them (ibid).

These comments by the Saudi King are significant for three reasons. First, the Saudis have used metal detectors at their own holy site for almost six years with no reported outrage from anyone; second, the holy site in question (in Saudi Arabia) isn't an  anonymous holy place which few know about, or a holy place considered to be less holy than the Temple Mount. That Saudi holy place is the holiest Islamic site in the world; and third, the Mecca site isn't a seldom-visited shrine where few would have to walk through a metal detector.  It's the largest gathering site in the world (Kate Nelson, "Haj 2016: when is the annual Mecca pilgrimage? Who goes? Is it safe? Everything you need to know", theindependent, September 6, 2016). It attracts millions of Muslims each year (ibid).

So if Muslims accept the metal detectors at Mecca without complaint, how do Muslims in the Palestinian Authority react to Israel installing its own metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount after a terror attack? They
claim it 'humiliates' them ("Palestinian Authority says aim of Temple  Mount metal detectors is to humiliate worshipers", elderofzyion, July 17, 2017).

'Humiliation' to an Arab isn't a small thing. It's a very big deal. 'Humiliation' and 'honor' may be as important to Arabs as Shabbat observance is to Jews--perhaps even more important. Arabs tend to define their entire reality--and justify much of their violence--through the concepts humiliation and honor (Mahmood Delkhasteh, "Humiliation: the catalyst for Arab's revolutions", huffingtonpost, no date, retrieved July 20, 20). The sense of humiliation especially has been said to lie at the core of Arab violence (ibid).

 The practical result of this 'ideology of humiliation' is that when Jews install metal detectors to protect against terror, PA Muslims declare, "humiliation!" They become violent. They riot. They howl with rage:

-The Jordanian Parliament called for Jordan to cancel its 1992 peace agreement with Israel because Israel installed these detectors (Dalit Halevi, "Jordanians: cancel peace agreement with Israel", arutzsheva, July 15, 2017);

-The Jordanian Parliament praised the killings (Deborah Danan, "Jordanian Parliament praises Temple  Mount terror attack", breitbart, July 17, 2017);

-Fatah, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas' ruling political party, called for violence because Israel installed the detectors ("Fatah calls for violence and rage following terror attack", arutzsheva, July 16, 2017);

-Hamas, Fatah's partner in governing the PA, called for Israelis to be murdered because of the insult Israel had given to Muslims by installing the detectors ("Hamas calls for more violence after Temple Mount attack", ynet, July 15, 2017);

-Fatah declared the metal detectors to be a 'terrorist procedure' . For that, Fatah called for an Islamic 'Day of Rage' (Fatah calls for Day of Rage amid  new Temple Mount security in wake of attack", timesofisrael, July 18, 2017);

-No less an Islamic cleric than the Mufti of Jerusalem issued a religious edit: the prayers of any Muslim who goes to the Temple  Mount through the 'Zionist' metal detectors will be rendered invalid in Heaven (Jameel, "Mufti: allah won't accept prayers through a Zionist metal detector", jewishpress, July 18, 2017). 

The Palestinian Authority wages war against Israel. On the diplomatic front, this war is white-hot ("Arabs call on ICC [International Criminal Court] to investigate Israel", arutzsheva, July 20,  2017). On the religious front, the heat of PA Jew-hate almost melts the pavement in Jerusalem.

By July 19, 2017, the US Administration became alarmed by the rage. It expressed 'concern' over the Temple Mount troubles (Eldad Benari, "White House 'concerned' over Temple Mount", arutzsheva, July 20, 2017). The US said it was 'monitoring' the issue (ibid). 

Some in Israel have become frightened by this 'concern'. They begin to panic (Nitsan Keidar, "Will Israel cave on Temple Mount security?", arutzsheva, July 20, 2017).

Will the PA win this battle? It could. Metal detectors at the Temple Mount are a horrific, unacceptable 'Zionist' 'humiliation'. For the PA, there's only one cure for such humiliation--violence, rage and rioting. 

In Jerusalem, there is no peace between Arab and Jew. There is only the 'humiliation' of metal detectors. 

Thee will be no peace in the Arab-Israel war.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A picture of Muslims bowing--and a Jewish prophecy

Perhaps you've seen recent news from Israel about the Temple Mount (Udi Shaham , "Muslim authority protests Temple Mount security measures, blocks entrance" jerusalempost, July 16, 2017). The Muslim Waqf, the authority referred to above, is angry. So far as it is concerned, the Jews are the cause of that anger.

Here's the story: on Friday morning, July 14, 2017, three Arabs shot and killed two Israeli police officers on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (Liel Leibovitz, "Palestinian terrorists murder two Israeli police officers  in shooting attack on Temple Mount", tablet, July 14, 2017). Moments later, the three attackers were killed by other police on the Mount (ibid). As a consequence of the attack, Israeli officials shut down all access to the Mount (ibid). 

The Temple Mount was shut down for less than two days. During that shut-down, Israeli police searched the Temple Mount area for weapons other Muslims might have hidden there to use in future attacks against police and Jews on the Mount.  Police also initiated an investigation into who might have assisted the attackers. 

Two days isn't enough to do a complete search of the Temple Mount, so the search wasn't as thorough as it might have been. Still, police found dozens of  hidden weapons, including knives, cudgels, spikes, unexploded munitions and stun grenades (Judah Ari gross, "Police uncover weapons, but no guns, in Temple Mount searches", timesofisrael, July 16, 2017). Police arrested eight Arabs, including 3 Waqf officials who work on the Temple Mount ("Temple Mount terror weapons hidden days in advance", jewishpress, July 16, 2017).  Police also concluded that the terrorists had brought their weapons up to the Temple Mount in the days leading up to the attack (ibid). 

In the end, with Arab outrage growing over the closing of the Mount, Israeli authorities reopened the Temple Mount on Sunday, July 16, 2017--with new metal detectors installed at all points leading up to the Temple  Mount ("Israel to reopen Temple Mt.on Sunday; 3 Waqf officials held", timesofisrael, July 14, 2017). 

This was done for obvious reasons. Weapons had been found hidden on the Temple Mount, a serious attack against police had just taken place on the Temple Mount and Arab incitement against Jews on the Temple Mount was beginning to grow.

Israelis are accustomed to passing through a metal detector. Municipal buildings, public transportation centers, many stores and government buildings in Israel use them. They are not offensive to Jews.

But these same metal detectors are very offensive to the Muslim authority which runs the Temple Mount. Even though the metal detectors the Israeli police installed were not located on the Temple Mount itself--but at entrances to the Temple Mount--Muslims became outraged (Judah Ari Gross, "Worshipers protest metal detectors as Israel reopens Temple Mount", timesofisrael, July 16, 2017).  

Arab anger at Israeli defensive actions following an Arab terror attack is nothing new for Israel. Apparently, Arabs get very offended when Jews do something to make Israel safer for Jews. 

To protest this horrific Jewish offense (installing metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount), the Waqf ordered that Muslim prayers on Sunday should not be done at the Temple Mount, but at the entrance to the Mount.   

Here's a picture (from the timesofisrael) of that protest worship outside one Temple Mount entrance.   

Muslim worshippers stage a prayer protest outside the Temple Mount compound against metal detectors that were set up at the entrance to the holy site after a terror attack two days prior, on July 16, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

This picture is the focal point of this essay. Consider how the worshipers bow as Israeli police stand before them. 

Israel MK (Member of Knesset) Bezalal Smotrich saw this picture and remembered a posuk (sentence) from the Prophet Yeshayahu. He remembered Yeshayahu 60:14, and the words, "The children of your oppressors will come bowing before you; and those who despise you will bow down at your feet" (loose translation, but accurate). 

Look at this picture. What do you see?

MK Smotrich superimposed words from this quote onto the picture and sent it to the internet. The picture certainly seemed to show those who despise us bowing down at our feet.

I found this picture at the blogsite, lifeinisrael, dated July 17, 2017 as 'Tweet of the Day". 

What are we looking at in this photo--a scene of outdoor prayer? A protest? A Biblical prophecy come true? Some kind of eerie coincidence?  Or, a harbinger of a Biblical-driven future?

Stay tuned to get the answer.

Monday, July 17, 2017

New Israel Fund cries 'foul'. We shouldn't care

The New Israel Fund (NIF) is an organization that dedicates itself to one goal: to strengthen and expand what it calls pro-democracy, progressive forces in Israel (NGO Monitor-homepage-search-New Israel Fund-New Israel Fund-NGO Monitor,  January 15, 2017). To achieve this goal, the NIF puts its money where its mouth is. It's backed more than 900 organizations over the last 38 years. 

The NIF wants social justice (New Israel Fund homepage-About). It's paid out more than $300 million US dollars to get it (ibid). It's still waiting to get it. 

In practice, however, the NIF isn't about justice of any kind for Israel . It's about funding organizations that are closer to the viciously anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (NGO Monitor, ibid) than to Israel. 

The NIF is comfortable with its anti-Israel bed-fellows. It's given financial backing to such Israeli anti-Israel NGOs as Adalah, Breaking the Silence, +972 Magazine and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (ibid). It has also backed the Israeli anti-Israel NGO, B'tselem (NGO  Monitor-search- B'tselem-B'tselem-NGO Monitor, November 24, 2016).

These organizations are not pro-Israel. They don't help Israel. They delegitimize it.

B'Tselem, in particular, makes a regular habit of accusing Israel of Apartheid, war crimes, forced deportations and abusing 'Palestinians' (ibid). Like all its brothers-in-slime who receive NIF money, it operates to harm Israel by using unsupported (and sometimes false) allegations of deliberate and systematic abuses against innocent 'Palestinians' (New Israel Fund-NGO Monitor, ibid). 

If there's one unifying statement that captures what these NIF-backed organizations aim to do, it's this: they aim to delegitimize and criminalize the State of Israel.

The NIF is, in other words, a bona fide 'progressive'. Like all progressives, it's decidedly anti-Israel. It's hard to tell if there's an anti-Israeli Leftist cause in Israel the NIF doesn't like.

You may wish to make note of this 'resume' because Talia Sasson, current president of the New Israel Fund, is almost screaming mad (Ido Ben Porat, "NIF president fries back at Netanyahu", arutzsheva, July 17, 2017). She's angry that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempts to delegitimize the NIF.

How ironic. The most prominent organization to fund efforts in Israel to delegitimize Israel is outraged that the Prime Minister of Israel should attempt to delegitimize it. 

What's Tali Sasson's problem? There are protests popping up all over Israel concerning an investigation against Netanyahu for supposedly inappropriate behavior during the purchase of submarines from Germany. The protesters don't like the way Israel's Attorney General (Avichai Mandelblit) has been handling the investigations (ibid). Protesters claim he hasn't been tough enough on Netanyahu.

They don't clamor for an honest investigation. They clamor for Mandelblit to indict Netanyahu (ibid). They'll settle for nothing less.

These protests have popped up in Petah Tikva, Be'er Sheva, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Nahariya, Netanya and Haifa (Oded Shalom "From a small Petah Tikva square to a nationwide protest", ynet, July 17, 2017). They could be the major anti-Netanyahu Leftist effort this year. 

The Prime Minister has gone on TV about all of this. He's said these protests are financed by the New Israel Fund (ibid). He claimed the protests are designed to exert improper pressure on Mandelblit (ibid). 

He may be right. He may also be responding to a Leftist-generated swell that appears to be growing against him (from what I have seen, most Israelis see this scandal as just more politicking). But the more tired Israelis get about this 'scandal', the louder the protests get. 

Netanyahu suggests that the NIF is working to 'bring down a Prime Minister' (ibid). He's said these protests are irresponsible and illegal--because protesters may not have requested proper permits to protest (ibid).

The New Israel Fund cries 'foul'. Yes, at first, Sasson simply denied the allegations (News Brief: "NIF director: we would consider funding A-G protests", arutzsheva, July 16, 2017).  But then, the next day, she expressed outrage that, as she said, Netanyahu was trying to 'delegitimize' the NIF (Porat, above) .  

How ironic.  Talia Sasson has no problem backing the delegitimaztion and criminalization of the sovereign State of Israel. But she becomes outraged that the Prime Minister of this sovereign State should try to delegitimize her anti-Israel efforts. 

The Left everywhere is like that. Leftists seem to feel they have an unfettered entitlement to libel anyone they wish. But should anyone use the same harsh words against them, they cry. 

Like many who are self-centered and arrogant, Leftists love to 'dish it out'. But as soon as someone criticizes them, they turn into two-year old's throwing a tantrum. 

The NIF is no different. We shouldn't care if it cries. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday cartoon from Israel: get Netanyahu!

Today is Friday.  It's time for another cartoon. This cartoon is from Israel.

For background, consider that there's a media frenzy gripping Israel's media industry. The frenzy focuses on at least two supposed corruption scandals that center on Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Although nothing of substance has emerged against Netanyahu, some in the media write as if Netanyahu's corruption is as obvious as the nose on his face. True, there's no evidence (so far) of criminal activity (Adiv Sterman, "The media closes in on Netanyahu", timesofisrael, July 14, 2017). But that hasn't stopped some in Israel from covering these stories as if it's patently obvious the PM belongs in jail (ibid). 

The frenzy to get Netanyahu reminds one of the anti-Trump media frenzy in the US. That frenzy wants to get Trump impeached. In both instances, the frenzy is ugly.

Today's cartoon comes from Haaretz, a Left-leaning paper which is no fan of the Rightist Netanyahu. This cartoon portrays Netanyahu and his 'cronies' sweating over police investigations--and in the process, getting all tied up by their telephone records (at least, that's  my interpretation). 

The  cartoon is  by Eran Wolkowski. It appeared in Haaretz July 13, 2017.                                         . 

 Illustration: Israel's Submarine Scandal: 'Suspicions grow stronger' as Netanyahu lawyer remains in custody

I don't recognize the 'cronies' portrayed in the cartoon. But the figure in the foreground is, I'd say, Netanyahu. They're all worried. 

Israel politics can get nasty. It's unpleasant, to say the least. It's also embarrassing because the media, which should be unbiased, makes itself look like gaggle of clowns by portraying Netanyahu prematurely as a criminal just seconds away from getting arrested. 

It's gotten so bad, it doesn't matter  any more if Netanyahu is actually guilty of something. The frenzy is so outrageous that, if Netanyahu is guilty of a crime, there will be plenty of people in Israel who will claim he's been railroaded by a vicious Left that'll do anything to remove him from office.

But then, Israel takes heart. The US is no better. The media there can't wait to lynch Trump in some way or other. 

Why are two allied leaders under such horrific pressure? It's been said that the days before Redemption will be wild. Perhaps these political witch-hunts are harbingers.

Stay tuned.

In the meantime, there'll be plenty of work for cartoonist in Israel--and the US.  

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Is there a difference between Arutz Sheva, Times of Israel?

(Last update: July 14, 2017)

In Israel, most newspapers seem to have a core point-of-view. From the way a paper presents its 'top headlines', a reader might argue that an Israeli paper has a tendency to highlight headlines that fit--even showcase--the paper's political vision. 

Political bias seems to be an Israeli hallmark. One might even say that a Leftist newspaper typically prints stories that support a Leftist point of view. A Rightist paper will typically print stories that support a Rightist point of view. A religious paper will do the same, with stories typically written with some aspect of Judaism in mind.

Is this correct? Do news outlets in Israel promote political advocacy in place of something more neutral, like reporting the news? 

There are news-days when one cannot see a political slant in the headlines. Put another way, on some days, a reader cannot easily see a political slant. It's either not there--or it isn't obvious. But there are also too many days when one can feel a suspicious politics-at-play appearing in the headlines.  

At least, that's the way main-page headlines looked the other day at the Times of Israel. To see how a bias can creep onto a front page, take a look at the headlines the Times of Israel ran at 11:10 am on July 10, 2017. Then compare those headlines with what Arutz Sheva did that day. The difference is telling.

Here's the Times of Israel:    
-"Ex-IDF major general questioned in submarine fraud probe";

-"After interrogation, police remand 3 suspects in submarine probe";

-"Bennett defends PM on submarine probe as suspects grilled for hours.

There was a fourth, similar submarine-corruption story. But as I prepared this piece, this four-story group was replaced with a new four-group arrangement--about another scandal, this one in the US. The new four-group arrangement was about US President Donald Trump's son and the supposed Russia-Trump connection. 

The four submarine stories in the Times of Israel were about scandal licking at the coat-tails of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The stories all tested the idea that scandal was tainting the leadership of the Prime Minister. The stories were all negative. 

Together, the stories suggested three notions: first, someone close to the Prime Minister was corrupt; second, the Prime Minister himself was cleverly enough corrupt that only those close to him would be caught; and, third, the only person highlighted as defending Netanyahu's possible corruption was the Religious Zionist Naftali Bennett who, along with Netanyahu, is no favorite of Israel's media elite. 

The suggestions were unsavory. Did they hint that someone was trying to oust Netanyahu? 

By contrast, the top four headlines run by Arutz Sheva at exactly the same moment--11:10 am July 11, 2017--seemed completely different: they weren't about scandal, either in Israel or the US. They were about:  

-"Jews fast, mourn on 17th day of Tammuz";

-Commander of mixed-gender unit  suspended";

"Two new EMT's deliver baby on first-call ever";

-"Stabbing in Beitar Illit";

If you compared the top headlines that moment from these two papers, you'd have no idea they'd been posted online at the same moment on the same day in the same country. 

The Times of Israel didn't seem to be reporting news. Instead, it seemed to be playing partisan politics by splashing 'scandal' all over Israel's leader. 

In comparison with Arutz Sheva that morning, the Times of Israel seemed more a political scandal-monger than a news outlet. It didn't so much taint the Prime Minister as it tainted itself. 

One or two submarine-scandal stories would have sufficed as news. Four such stories suggested an agenda different from 'news'.

There are moments in a week's news when the Times of Israel looks like it's got a political ax to grind. The ax it wields appears to be anti-Right, anti-Nationalistic, not supportive of religious Jewry and overly eager to paint Netanyahu (and anyone who supports him) as a disliked, corrupt leader.  

By contrast, Arutz Sheva seemed to be different on that day at that moment. It didn't focus on scandal. It focused on real news. 

Do these differences suggest a political bias working at the Times of Israel? Or, do these headline differences prove nothing at all?

It's a question you'll have to answer for yourself. In the meantime, here's a suggestion: once a day for a week, at the same minute, look at the main headlines at both the Times of Israel and Arutz Sheva

After a couple of weeks' reading, you might discover something interesting.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The US, the Palestinian Authority and paying to kill Jews

Through a program that has lasted decades, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has subsidized Palestinian families whose members have attacked--or been killed while attacking--both Jews and non-Jews in Israel (Naomi Zeveloff, "Exclusive: does aid to Palestinians subsidize the families of terrorists?", forward, August 23, 2016). This subsidization runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars a year (Brig-Gen (res,) Yossi Kuperwasser, "Incentivizing terrorism: Palestinian Authority allocations to terrorists and their families", Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2016, retrieved July 10, 2017). 

For a PA that has teetered for years on the edge of bankruptcy, such an expense seems outrageous.  Clearly, the PA has no interest in the welfare of anyone living under its control. Instead of committing funds to build a viable nation-state, the Palestinian Authority pays 'Palestinians' to commit an Arab version of suicide-by-cop.  

 Look at what the PA is doing:

-Palestinians who are in Israeli prisons for the murder and the attempted murder of Israelis receive payments (Kuperwasser, ibid).

-Palestinians who have been released from prison for these crimes receive payments (ibid).

-The families of Palestinians who have been killed attempting to murder Israelis receive payments (ibid).

These payments represent a serious financial commitment. For example, in 2013, these payments added up to a total of $270 million (ibid). This amount equaled 7% of the PA's total operating budget for that year, and 20% of that year's foreign aid received by the PA (ibid).

 By 2016, the PA paid out $303 million to these recipients. This amount equaled 6.9% of  the PA's total operating budget, and 29.6% of that year's foreign aid received (ibid). 

On Wednesday, July 12, 2017, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to hold its first hearing for a Bill that would cut US foreign aid to the PA if it continues to make these payments to terrorists and to the families of deceased terrorists (Michael Wilner, "US Senate to hold hearing on Taylor Force Act next Wednesday", jerusalempost, July 8, 2017). The Bill is named after Taylor Force, a non-Jewish American tourist--and a US Army veteran--who was murdered in Tel Aviv, Israel by a Palestinian terrorist in March, 2016. 

The Bill to enable the Taylor Force Act was introduced by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (ibid). It is supported mostly by Republicans. Senate Democrats are afraid such a Bill would limit the US State Department's ability to negotiate with the PA (ibid). Senate Democrats aren't sure they can support it. They're still thinking about it.

During the Obama administration, no one seemed bothered that Palestinians were being rewarded for killing Israelis. But that official indifference may have ended. During a May 24, 2017 meeting between US President Trump and PA leader Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, Trump told Abbas he has to stop giving financial rewards to Palestinians for killing Israelis and Americans (Katie Pavlich, "Trump tells Abbas: stop paying terrorists and their families to kill innocents", townhall, May 24, 2017). The Taylor Force Act comes forward partly because Abbas has declared he will not stop those payments (Gary Wilig, "Abbas: I'll never stop paying terrorists' salaries", arutzsheva, July 4, 2017).

Now, just days before those Senate hearings were set to begin, the NGO Palestinian Media Watch published (on July 10, 2017) a transcript of an Israeli police interview with a Palestinian captured after trying to kill Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers at two different checkpoints separating the PA and Israel (on the same day at two different locations--see below for details). The transcript illustrates how the PA payment plan truly incentivizes the killing of Israelis. 

This transcript  appears at the palwatch website in an essay written by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jaques Zilberdik, "Interrogation of Palestinian terrorist proves: PA payments motivate terror" (palwatch, July 10, 2017). Here is the transcript, including an introduction by the authors:

In anticipation of the hearing this coming Wednesday in the US Senate on the Taylor Force Act, which would cut all US funding to the Palestinian Authority until it stops paying salaries to terrorists and allowances to families of terrorist "Martyrs," Palestinian Media Watch is releasing a transcript of the Israeli Police's interrogation of a Palestinian terrorist, which PMW received and translated from the original in Arabic.
The terrorist, Khaled Rajoub, was caught after an unsuccessful attempt to murder Israelis. During interrogation, he explained that his motivation for the planned murder was so he himself would also be killed and his family would then receive monthly payments from the PA. In his own words: "... any Israeli target - the important thing is that I will die and they will kill me, so that my children will receive a [PA] allowance and live happily."
Had Khaled Rajoub been killed by Israel during his terror attack, the PA would have declared him a "Martyr" and this would secure his family a monthly PA lifetime allowance of 2,800 shekels/month: 1,400 base pay, 400 for his wife and 200 for each of 5 children.
Khaled Rajoub's statements show that the PA's financial rewards to terrorists and "Martyrs'" families definitely constitute motivation for terror.
Throughout the interrogation, terrorist Rajoub kept emphasizing his determination to kill Israelis in order to receive PA allowances for his family...
Khaled Rajoub: "I am a man with a family of seven, including me and my wife. I don't work, and I've accumulated large debts, and am unable to pay them off. I reached a point where, if my son wants a shekel, I have nothing to give him. Therefore I decided to die - it didn't matter how - by hanging - any way, [just] to die. I thought about it and said to myself that if I die by hanging, or any other way, I won't get anything out of it, so I decided to do something serious, such as committing murder, something in which I will both kill and die, and then my family will get money (i.e., from the PA) and will live comfortably. In other words, something will come out of my death. In the end I decided to kill Israeli soldiers. I got in a car and drove to Al-Fawwar, to the junction, because there's always a military post there, and I said [to myself] that I'll run them [the soldiers] over in my car and kill as many as I can, and they'll shoot me and kill me. However, I didn't find a military post in Al-Fawwar. I continued to drive to a second post, to the gate of [the Israeli town Beit] Hagai because I know there are always soldiers standing there, and I said to myself that I'll run them over and kill as many as possible, and they'll kill me. However, I did not find [any soldiers] there either. I had no other hope or way, so I broke through the gate of the settlement. I said [to myself] I can kill the guard, and then they'll shoot me. I broke in with my car and broke it [the gate] and rammed into the second gate. But I couldn't break it and the guards were behind the second gate. I tried to break it in order to bring it down on them, but it didn't come down, and they didn't shoot me, but captured me instead. I was injured during the incident and they took me to a hospital..."
Israeli interrogator: "Did you try to kill the guards who were behind the gate?"
Khaled Rajoub: "Yes, exactly, I tried to bring down the gate on them. I rammed into it twice, but it didn't come down, and then they captured me and the car remained with them. Too bad I couldn't kill anyone, and I am determined. Meaning if you release me now, I will take a car, look for soldiers, run them over, and kill them. I am determined to do so."
Interrogator: "Do you have a gun?"
Khaled Rajoub: "I've never carried [a gun]."
Interrogator: "Did you consider bringing a gun?"
Khaled Rajoub: "I have nothing to eat, how can I buy a gun?"
Interrogator: "But why did you decide to kill soldiers, and not someone else?"
Khaled Rajoub: "The best is to kill soldiers. That way they have guns and they'll shoot me and kill me. But if I'm not able to kill soldiers, I'll try settlers, guards - in other words any Israeli target - the important thing is that I will die and they will kill me, so that my children will receive a [PA] allowance and live happily."
Interrogator: "What did you want to achieve by killing soldiers or settlers, or any Israeli target?"
Khaled Rajoub: "So they'd shoot me and I'd die, and my children would receive an allowance."
Interrogator: "Are you still determined to do that?"
Khaled Rajoub: "Of course, 100%. I'm telling you - if you'll set me free, I'll do it again as soon as possible. I'll bring another car, and I'll run over [soldiers] at the first military post I see. I'll kill as many as possible, and they'll shoot me, and I'll die. There is no other solution."
Interrogator: "If you have the opportunity to kill soldiers or an Israeli [civilian] in another way - shooting, stabbing, or any other way - will you do it?"
Khaled Rajoub: "I don't know. Something like that requires checking. Why? Because someone like me, small and disabled in his leg - I barely walk - needs a thorough plan to kill in a different way. The easiest way for someone like me is to run over [someone] with a car."
Interrogator: "Do you want to add anything?"
Khaled Rajoub: "No, God bless you. But I say to you again - I don't regret what I did, and if I have the opportunity, I'll do it again, and I'll kill soldiers or any Israeli I come across."
[Israeli Police interrogation of terrorist Khaled Rajoub, Feb. 2, 2014]

The US Senate can act against this terror support plan. Certainly, it can pressure Abbas and his cronies to stop it.

 The murderous Palestinian incentive program you've just seen--which preys on the poor--should not be supported by any nation. Abbas' behavior here is criminal. He creates a true incentive to kill. That's unconscionable. The United States Senate should vote 'yes' for the Taylor Force Act.