The Washington Post reports:
The State Department is considering supporting the Palestinian Authority in its quest to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in judgments won by American victims of Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel, according to Palestinian officials and defense lawyers involved in the cases.
U.S. officials insist that no decision has been made regarding the complex litigation, which could force the Bush administration to choose between supporting compensation for victims of terrorism and bolstering the Palestinian government as the United States presses for a breakthrough in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Testimony in Israeli courts has connected senior Palestinian leaders — such as the late Yasser Arafat — to specific terrorist attacks involved in the lawsuits. But Palestinian officials have argued that it makes no sense for the United States to be providing millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority while U.S. courts are threatening to bankrupt it.
I couldn’t agree more. It makes no sense for the US to support a murderous terrorist faction which has killed numerous Americans, and which danced in the streets on 9/11.
Leslye Knox, a 46-year-old mother of six children and widow of Aharon Ellis, a U.S. citizen who was killed in 2002 while singing at a bar mitzvah in Hadera, Israel, said that she has sued under a law passed by Congress in 1990 after the murder of Leon Klinghoffer by terrorists who seized the Achille Lauro cruise ship. In 2006, a federal judge ordered the PLO and the Palestinian Authority to pay Knox and other Ellis relatives nearly $174 million, but nothing has been paid while Knox has struggled to support her family.
One doesn’t expect the US State department to be concerned with a few Jews and their families, but I am surprised that the State Department does not remember the murder of their own Ambassador Cleo Noel Jr.
On March 1, 1973, a gang of eight operatives of the Black September Organization stormed a party at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Khartoum. The party had been held in honor of the imminent departure of George Curtis Moore, the American charge d’affaires at the United States Embassy in Khartoum. The Black September gang took Moore and two others hostage — Cleo Noel Jr., the United States ambassador to Sudan; and Guy Eid, the Belgian embassy’s charge d’affaires. (Two other diplomats taken by the Black September operatives were released.)
The Black September gang demanded the release of Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of Robert Kennedy; the release of a Black September leader held in Jordan; and the release of several members of the Baader-Meinhof gang held in Germany. On March 2, President Nixon and representatives of the other two governments announced that they would not negotiate with terrorists for the release of the diplomats. That evening the Black September operatives marched Noel, Moore and Eid to the embassy basement and brutally murdered them. — Scott W. Johnson, Who Murdered Cleo Noel?, FrontPageMagazine.com
Johnson argues that not only is there indisputable proof that Black September was merely a front for Arafat’s Fatah, but that the State Department was aware of this and has made efforts to cover it up. And in fact Arafat was never held to account for this and other crimes against Americans. Here’s another, more recent case:
On October 15, 2003, three vans made their way into Gaza, carrying United States diplomats and security specialists to interview Palestinian candidates for Fulbright scholarships in America.
Two miles into the district, an explosive device planted under the road was remotely detonated, destroying the vehicle carrying the security specialists. John Branchizio, Mark Parsons, and John Linde died instantly.
This was not simply the latest in a lengthening list of Palestinian atrocities. On this occasion, Americans on an official State Department mission had been targeted, with sophisticated explosives, in territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority…
The State Department vowed to “pursue the perpetrators until they are caught.” The PA put the head of the Gaza Preventive Security Service [Rashid Abu Shabak — ed.] in charge of its inquiry, a man who was himself suspected of involvement in prior terror attacks. Like O.J.’s search for the real killers, the inquiry did not get far.
Three months later, the deputy chief of the American embassy met with PA officials to express dissatisfaction with the Palestinian “investigation.” He told them “we know that there is not a huge number of people who have the proven capability to carry out an attack like that” and warned that America would offer a reward for information and reduce Palestinian aid if the crime were not solved.
The PA arrested three persons and charged them with “manslaughter” less than 48 hours after the reward was offered. They were subsequently freed after the PA failed to present evidence against them. — Rich Richman, Getting Away with Murder, NY Sun
Both Johnson and Richman have tried to get information from the State Department by way of Freedom of Information Act requests, and have met with difficulty. It seems that Fatah leads a charmed life at Foggy Bottom.
A mystery of the current Mideast situation is the way the US and the rest of the West have adopted a particular gang of anti-American thugs, fund them (donor nations have pledged $7.4 billion to the Fatah faction of the PA), and train and arm their militia — while militia members unofficially carry out terrorism against our supposed ally, Israel. At the same time the West supports diplomatic efforts to force Israel to cede control of territory to this gang as well as to compromise security measures against terrorism.
One could be excused for being confused about US intentions and goals in the region.