The United States’ largest rabbinic public policy organization says the Biden administration is facilitating terrorism against Israel by injecting nearly half a billion dollars into Palestinian government organizations that incite violence against the Jewish state.
The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), a pro-Israel advocacy group representing more than 2,000 American rabbis, slammed the State Department on Monday for its allotment of U.S. tax dollars to the Palestinian government, which is funding a program known as "pay to slay," in which money is funneled to convicted terrorists and their families.
The CJV says the State Department is engaged in a "blatant double standard" on support for terrorism, given its recent comments accusing Israeli politician Itamar Ben-Gvir of "celebrating the legacy of a terrorist organization." State Department spokesman Ned Price called Ben-Gvir "abhorrent" for his recent attendance at a memorial event for murdered religious leader Rabbi Meir Kahane, whose far-right views spawned an eponymous radical organization that the United States designated a global terrorist organization.
The State Department’s willingness to criticize Ben-Gvir—who has repeatedly condemned Kahane’s more radical views—while refraining from offering similar criticism of Palestinian terrorism is evidence of the Biden administration’s bias against Israel, according to the rabbinic group.
"The State Department is funding the [Palestinian Authority’s] ongoing support for terror while rushing to wrongly condemn Ben-Gvir for attending a memorial service for someone who died over three decades ago," Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, CJV’s Israel regional vice president, said in a statement provided to the Washington Free Beacon. "This reflects both an egregious violation of American law and a blatant double standard, at odds with the State Department’s proclamations of neutral and fair treatment. We can and should expect better from the U.S. government and its officials."
Price, in remarks late last week during the State Department’s daily press briefing, said that "celebrating the legacy of a terrorist organization is abhorrent; there is no other word for it. It is abhorrent." The State Department spokesman went on to criticize Israeli "right-wing extremists" and accuse them of promoting "violence and racism."
Price did not acknowledge the Palestinian government’s role in inciting and orchestrating deadly terror attacks on Israeli citizens, fueling the CJV’s calls of a "double standard."
"Attending a memorial for a murder victim is hardly ‘celebrating’ terror, especially as Ben-Gvir carefully said that he did not agree with the deceased’s positions," Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, the CJV’s rabbinic circle chair, said in a statement. "But more significantly, if the United States Department of State were genuinely concerned with support for terrorism, it would not be enhancing its relationship with the Palestinian Authority, much less providing funding that ends up indirectly financing its infamous ‘Pay to Slay’ program."
The Free Beacon first reported in October on a non-public State Department report issued to Congress that showed the Palestinian government is still paying terrorists and their families as part of the "pay-to-slay" program. The report also outlined instances of official Palestinian channels inciting terrorism against Israel and celebrating those who have murdered Israelis.
The findings have fueled congressional opposition to the Biden administration’s decision to restart taxpayer aid to the Palestinian government. They may also indicate that the Biden administration’s aid programs violate a 2018 law known as the Taylor Force Act, which banned the State Department from allocating aid to the Palestinian government until it could certify that payments to terrorists and incitement against Israel ceased.