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Rabbi's Blog

rabbi 05 smallsf badge lgRabbi Joel Landau  (rabbi@adathisraelsf.org) has been the Rabbi of Adath Israel since May 2013. He was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem and has served previously as a congregational Rabbi in Charleston, South Carolina and Irvine, California. A full biography of Rabbi Landau is available here.


We’ve all heard about the fact that the Palestinian Authority provides financial support for the families of terrorists. In the following article titled “Cashing in on Terror,” Rolene Marks clarifies how the PA’s Pay for Slay program works.

It takes a lot to fell a lion. On September 16, 2018, a 17-year-old terrorist felled one of Israel and the Jewish world’s most recognized activists, the Lion of Zion, Ari Fuld. Ari Fuld was 45 years old, a father of four, slain while he shopped in a nearby supermarket. Mortally wounded from the stab wound in his back that hit a major artery, Fuld managed to chase and shoot his murderer before succumbing to his wounds. The Lion of Zion, who roared his support for Israel across social media and inspired legions of activists was no more.

Teenage terrorists are sadly, not a new or unusual phenomenon. Over the last two years this has been a common occurrence. Motivated by a growing hatred that is indoctrinated into them from baby-hood, these killers have claimed many innocent lives.

It is not just the steady diet of hatred that is consumed but a whole industry has grown around terrorism. It even has a fancy name that rhymes – pay for slay. In a nutshell, there is a scale “of benefits” that determine how much of a monthly stipend the family of a terrorist receive.

If you kill a Jew AND get killed then – jackpot – you get the most cash. If you stab a Jew and kill him/her but are merely wounded then second prize, a lot less money. It is money for jam for aspiring terrorists – and this comes with an instructional “how to stab for maximum casualties” videos.

The Pay for Slay industry is growing so much that the Palestinian Authority even has a name for the millions of dollars in supposed aid that they have re-budgeted to pay their young terrorists – The Martyr’s Fund.

Foreign aid that countries earnestly donate to the Palestinians with the hope that it will go towards improving the lives of Palestinians is re-routed to the Martyr’s Fund to support this “pay for Slay” economy. This is a rough breakdown of how the economy of terror funds are allocated according to an expose published in the Washington Post:

The Washington Post’s analysis showed that in 2017, $160 million was paid to 13,000 beneficiaries of “prisoner payments” ($12,307 per person) and $183 million was paid to 33,700 families in about in “martyr payments” ($5,430 per family), of which:

– $36 million is estimated to be paid to prisoners serving sentences of >20 years
– $10 million is paid to former members of the security forces
– $1 million is estimated to be paid to families of the 200 suicide bombers
– $10 million is paid to the families of the Palestinians with life terms, lengthy sentences and in the security forces

The PA paid almost $300,000 to Muslim terrorists behind the Sbarro restaurant massacre in Jerusalem with the family of Izz al-Din Al-Masri receiving $50,124 as a reward for his suicide bombing. The dead Israelis included seven children

Stipends are paid to families of both prisoners and Palestinians killed in political demonstrations that turn violent where protesters are killed by non-lethal riot control methods (such as being hit by a tear gas canister) and to individuals imprisoned for “common crimes”. The fund also pays $106 a month in “canteen money” to all imprisoned Palestinians, including those imprisoned for non-political crimes such as car theft and drug dealing, for prisoners to spend in the prison canteen. This must be where Marwan Barghouti got his money for his chocolate he was eating during his hunger strike…

Families of individuals killed by Israeli security forces are paid stipends of about $800 to $1,000 per month. The families of convicted Palestinians serving time in Israeli prisons receive $3,000 or higher per month.

Yossi Kuperwasser, an analyst with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, estimated that in 2017 half of the $693 million that the Palestinian Authority receives as foreign aid, $345 million, was paid out as stipends to convicted terrorists and their families.

How many schools, hospitals and other infrastructure that would be beneficial could be built with this money? Instead, this money continues to fuel terror. Incitement to hate and kill Jews is manifesting itself

Incitement of hatred that motivates children to become stealthy killers and not nation builders falls under the remit of child abuse and the international community is starting to take notice. The United States has started to cut funding dramatically. On 23 March 2018, U.S. President, Donald Trump, signed the Taylor Force Act (named for victim of terror, Taylor Force) into law, which will cut about a third of US foreign aid payments to the Palestinian Authority.

This is on the provision that the PA ceases making payment of stipends to terrorists and their surviving families and Australia has followed suit. In July 2018, Australia stopped the A$10M (US$7.5M) in funding that had been sent to the PA via the World Bank and have decided to send it instead to the UN Humanitarian Fund for the Palestinian Territories. The reason given was that Australia did not want the PA to use the funds to assist Palestinians convicted of politically motivated violence. Other governments are starting to review their funding as well.

The Lion of Zion may have been silenced but in his memory and for those who have been slain our voices will not be. We say loud and clear the jig is up – perpetuating violence and terror is no longer going to be profitable.