PA President Mahmoud Abbas has refused to stop providing stipends to the families of terrorists who have been killed or captured. He has vowed to dedicate every last resource the PA has to pay for these stipends. It comes as a reaction Israel’s new law to cut funds Israel transfers to the PA, respective to the amount Ramallah pays to convicted terrorists and the families of Palestinians killed during attacks.
Defiance is applauded when the cause is just. Martyrdom fueled by radicalism and terror is not an honorable cause; it’s a disgraceful one. Not only do these stipends create an incentive for future terrorist attacks, but perhaps equally as worse, it glorifies the perpetrators; as Abbas himself described them as being the ‘stars in the skies of the Palestinian struggle’.
Symbolism is more effective than raucous ‘talking bits’ whose impact diminishes when the next news cycle. Money, especially the quintessential ‘last penny’ places symbolic worth on anything regardless of how unsuitable the recipients may be. It’s how a terrorist’s family can be cast by Abbas as the “families of noble martyrs”.
From the day the State of Israel was established, peace in the Middle East has been ever so elusive. Blame is shed over all the place by any medium that can attract attention. But the Palestinian Authority must understand that recasting terrorists as martyrs through financial symbolism is unacceptable.