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What Abbas has wrought

US strategy for dealing with the Palestinians is based on the pipe dream of a moderate Palestinian Authority

Recently, two Arab cousins from Jerusalem, Hasan and Ahmad Mansra, set out on stabbing rampage in nearby a Jerusalem neighborhood. Their first victim was a 21-year-old Jewish man. Though injured, he managed to run away and luckily survived. The stabbers set out looking for their next victim. A 13-year-old boy who was just leaving a grocery store encountered the two. After being brutally stabbed and wounded the boy was hospitalized in severe condition.

It is remarkable that the two showed no mercy in attacking such a young boy. This is made more remarkable by the fact that the two cousins are themselves only 13 and 15 years old. Unfortunately, violence at this age appears to be becoming the rule, not the exception. An hour before the cousins attacked, a 16-year-old girl stabbed and injured a policeman in another neighborhood in Jerusalem. Two days earlier another terrorist stabbed a young family in Jerusalem, murdering the father and injuring his wife. He later got a hold of a gun and shot their 2-year-old son.

Secretary John Kerry opined that this “circle of violence” results from Palestinians’ frustrations with the settlements and the impasse in the peace process. Such excuses are not merely false, but are also moral idiocy. You cannot use settlement expansion, which happens to be at record low, to justify the murder of innocents and babies. To do so is to hold the Palestinians to the lowest moral standards. This is to be expected from the administration of President Obama who considers Israeli policemen shooting the stabbers “excessive” and equates them with the attacker’s terrorism.

As appalling as these attacks are to our minds and hearts, their origins are quite obvious and have been for decades. Hatred is common phenomenon on the Palestinian street. In the classrooms of Palestinian schools, students are indoctrinated to hate both Israelis and Jews with text books issued by the Palestinian Authority promoting anti-Semitic propaganda. From the youngest age kids are taught to idolize mega terrorists as heroes. Seeing monuments dedicated in their name and streets being named in their honor, children aspire is to become martyrs and murderers.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ political party has an official social media account that calls on individuals to take actions and kill Israelis and Jews in any possible fashion. It suggests as examples stabbing or ramming them with cars.

Secretary Kerry refused to point fingers at the Palestinians or at President Abbas, even as the Obama administration seeks for and gives large amounts of U.S. tax payer money in the form of U.S. foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority.

We do this because our State Department strategy for dealing with the Palestinians is based on the pipe dream of a moderate Palestinian Authority. For many years we supported Yasser Arafat, ignoring his murderous past and averting our eyes away from the irrefutable evidence of his support of terrorism. The same is true today about President Abbas. However, the Obama administration refuses to face or acknowledge this truth.

The Obama policy is both morally and strategically wrong. Refusal to use our funding as a lever to apply real pressure on the Palestinians to stop the incitement only strengthens the more extreme elements within the Palestinians. It appears as if Abbas is no longer in control of the Palestinian street and he no longer leads the people. He appears to be aligning himself more and more with extreme elements to consolidate his power and control over the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority created a monster, we refused to chain it, and now it is out of control.

About the Author
Doug Lamborn, a Member of Congress from Colorado, is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and co-chairs the bipartisan Congressional Israel Allies Caucus
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