December 22, 2020
Press Release

ZOA Appalled: Covid Relief Bill’s Fungible $250 Million for Palestinians May Benefit Terrorism, Anti-Israel Propaganda and Anti-Israel NGO’s

U.S. Congress. Credit: Pixabay.

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Chair Mark Levenson, Esq. released the following statement:

The long-awaited, massive $900 billion coronavirus relief bill, passed last night without giving Congress time to read all the provisions snuck into the bill’s thousands of pages, contained a dangerous, poison provision:  Namely, $250 million of U.S. taxpayer dollars will be diverted from much-needed COVID relief to establish a so-called “People-to-People Partnership for Peace Fund” for Palestinian Arab investments and supposed peace programs.  Rather than peace, this so-called “Peace Fund” is far more likely to abet anti-Jewish terror attacks, boycotts and propaganda.  

Because money is fungible, the new so-called “Peace Fund” will save the Palestinian Authority (PA) from having to spend money on projects for its people.  The savings to the PA will enable, and in effect, help finance the PA’s heinous, continuing, hundreds of millions of dollars of annual “pay-to-slay” payments to Arab terrorists to murder Jews.  

The “Peace Fund” will thus circumvent the Taylor Force Act, which was designed to reduce the funding that enables the PA to continue paying rewards to Arab terrorists to murder Jews and Americans.  

ZOA has been battling to block projected-president-elect Biden’s plans to find a way to resume funding the PA.   ZOA’s YouTube video, “Stuart Force, Taylor Force’s Father, Speaks Out, features the father of murdered American student Taylor Force, whose killers continue receive PA “pay to slay” payments.  

It is appalling that even before Biden takes office, Congress, led by resigning Democratic Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (for whom the “Peace Fund” provision is named and who for years proclaimed that no US funds should be given to Palestinians until they fulfill obligations under the Oslo Accords, which they never have) has passed a bill that found a way to indirectly but effectively assist the PA.  

Another extremely worrisome aspect of the bill is that part of the “Peace Fund” is slated to finance supposed peace dialogue projects, that are useless at best, and are usually forums for promoting anti-Israel propaganda.   Much of this funding seems likely to end up in the pockets of leftwing, highly-biased-against-Israel NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in the misnamed ALLMEP (“Alliance for Middle East Peace”) network. ALLMEP led the lobbying in Congress for the “Peace Fund.”   

ALLMEP’s politics and network is nothing like its “peace” name.  ALLMEP Regional Director Huda Abu Arqoub claimed that Hamas is “not a terrorist organization” and accused Israel of attacking Islam. At the 2014 radical J Street conference (minute 53), Abu Arqoub promoted boycotts “against any type of Israeli products.”  At the 2015 J Street Conference (minute 34), Abu Arqoub claimed that “the occupation” (her term for Israel) causes Palestinians Arabs to be in prison (rather than the fact that the prisoners murdered innocent Israelis); stated that the “Palestinian Gandhi” is in Israeli prison; and hoped for releasing Marwan Barghouti (who was convicted for murdering 5 Israelis) from prison to unite and lead the Palestinians (minute 39).  She also spoke of removing the PA, and establishing a Hamas Islamic Palestinian state (minute 37).

A few of the many ALLMEP network NGOs which are likely to receive the U.S. taxpayer “Peace Fund” dollars for their anti-Israel “peace” programs include: 

• Combatants for Peace – which claims to allow both side’s “narratives” but in reality blames “the occupation” (their term for Israel); organizes “theater of the oppressed” performances and “Nakba Day” ceremonies condemning Israel; promoted anti-Israel sanctions; and demonstrates against Israel; etc. 

• Holy Land Trust – which falsely accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide” against the people of Gaza; “conducts highly politicized tours of Israel and the West Bank promoting the Palestinian narrative”; and runs summer programs in which participants meet with some of the worst anti-Israel NGOs.

• Parents Circle Families Forum (PCFF) – which presents programs that immorally equate Jewish terror victims to Arab terrorists; and blames Israel for the conflict.  The programs even sent relatives of Arab terrorists to speak at Israeli schools, to legitimize terror, until the Israeli Ministry of Education finally stopped the program.  A film paid for by USAID promotes the notion that the “Israeli narrative” is the source of the problem and must be changed.  

• OneVoice International – which under the guise of building consensus for peace, used U.S. funding to try to defeat Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu; fights against “setter expansion” (Jewish homes in historic Jewish land); launched “The Land is Ours” campaign “to encourage young Palestinians to participate in non-violent resistance to end the occupation, realize the two-state solution, and establish an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital” (a “solution” that would be an existential threat for Israel); and more.  

Congress needs to eliminate this misnamed “Peace Fund” at the earliest opportunity.  The $250 million should be re-allocated to where it will do real good and where it was supposed to be spent – namely, to assist Americans who are suffering from the COVID pandemic.