Conference of Presidents Leaders Appalled by Statements From President Abbas Reiterating His Commitment to Rewarding Palestinian Terrorism

New York, NY . . . Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations issued the following statement:

“We are appalled by widespread media reports that President Abbas and other officials of the Palestinian Authority have recently made statements in Palestinian social and other media reaffirming their commitment to continue payments exceeding $300 million annually to reward terrorists and their families for attacking and killing Israelis.  In a speech recently delivered on behalf of President Abbas at the Herzliya Conference in Israel, senior Foreign Affairs and International Relations advisor, Nabil Shaath, described the payments as ‘a social responsibility’ to care for the well-being of its people.

This morally bankrupt policy has existed for decades and must end.  The Palestinian Authority has built a vast ministerial infrastructure to manage and direct payments and other benefits for terrorists killed carrying out an attack or incarcerated in Israeli prisons, and for their families. The Prisoners and Released Prisoners Ministry administers payments to prisoners and families, and the Foundation for the Care of the Families of Martyrs in the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Social Affairs handles payments to the families of terrorists who have been killed.  Paying terrorists for their murderous deeds is not a legitimate social policy. 

There can be no real prospect for progress on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians until the Palestinian’s end their policy of glorifying so-called ‘martyrs’, incentivizing murder and reinforcing a culture which legitimizes and encourages terror.

The United States and other countries should insist on an immediate end to the Palestinian policies that enable the despicable practice of paying blood money to reward perpetrators of terrorism against Israelis and the bureaucracy that has supported them should be dismantled." 

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The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 50 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern

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