Y’all remember the 80s dance song by C&C Music Factory called, “Things that make ya go hmm?” Well, I found something that’s making me go Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot. And what is doubly astounding is that it is emanating from the Trump administration. No, it has nothing to do with Russia, Trump Tower surveillance, or any of the other nonsense dominating the 24-hour news cycle.
As reported by the astute Adam Kredo over at the Washington Free Beacon, “The Trump administration says it will permit a Palestinian official known for endorsing terrorism and murder to enter the United States next week for a series of high-level meetings on the Israel-Palestinian peace process, a move likely to prompt outrage in the pro-Israel community.
The State Department confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon late Thursday that it intends to permit Jibril Rajoub, secretary of the Fatah Central Committee, to participate in meetings with U.S. officials next week, despite his repeated calls for terrorism against Israel and a 15-year stint in Israeli prison for committing terror acts.
A State Department official who spoke to the Free Beacon acknowledged Rajoub’s radical rhetoric, but maintained he can serve a positive role in peace talks set to take place between Trump administration officials and a Palestinian delegation including Mahmoud Abbas. Legal experts claim that Rajoub’s endorsement of terrorism should prevent him from obtaining a U.S. visa under current laws. U.S. law bars entrance to individuals who “endorse or espouse terrorist activity.”
Now, I thought, maybe this Rajoub fella has had a “come to Jesus” moment and renounced Islamic terrorism in recent years, but apparently not. Set aside his past for a moment; his current rhetoric is alarming.
“Rajoub was sentenced in 1970 to life in prison for throwing a grenade at an Israeli Army truck. He served 15 years in prison, but was released in a 1985 prisoner exchange.
Rajoub praised Palestinian terrorists who targeted Israeli civilians in the most recent wave of violence. “We in the Fatah movement bless and encourage them,” Rajoub said, according to Palestinian Media Watch, or PMW, a group that monitors Palestinian rhetoric. “We consider them heroes and a crown on the head of every Palestinian.”
At least four Americans were victimized by terror attacks following Rajoub’s statements, according to PMW. When terrorism against Israelis spiked in 2015, Rajoub appeared on official Palestinian television to endorse the crimes. “These are individual acts of bravery, and I am proud of them,” Rajoub said on television in October 2015. “I congratulate everyone who carried them out. I say to you, we are proud of you … Whoever confronts, fights, dies as a Martyr, is arrested or injured—his identity is known. What I mean is that the fighter, the prisoner, or the Martyr, they are assets to the entire Palestinian people.” Rajoub repeated this statement in a separate interview in January 2016.”
I just have to ask, who is the crack addict in the Trump administration who thought this was a good idea?
Here’s what a State Department spokesperson said, “The U.S. government does not endorse every statement Mr. Rajoub has made, but he has long been involved in Middle East peace efforts, and has publicly supported a peaceful, non-violent solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the official told the Free Beacon.
“We continue to press Fatah officials, including Rajoub himself, to refrain from any statements or actions that could be viewed as inciting or legitimizing others use of violence.” Rajoub can play a key role in advancing peace talks, according to the official, who maintained the Trump administration is “committed to reaching a comprehensive Middle East peace agreement.” “As part of that effort,” the official said, “administration officials have been meeting with a range of both Israeli and Palestinian officials, including Rajoub.”
Folks, you cannot make this stuff up. So a fella like this who as recently as January 2016 made statements in support of Islamic terrorism is supposed to help the Middle East peace process? What manner of idiocy says we will dismiss your rhetoric and as we seek to engage with you as part of the peace process?
This is the type of insanity we expected — and got — from the Obama administration. Why is this happening with the Trump administration? Is this further evidence of more Obama holdovers remaining in the Trump administration, especially the State Department? Was this something vetted through the Trump national security council, because if it was, and was still approved, we have a serious issue.
Perhaps President Trump, or his 36-year-old son-in-law who was put in charge of the Middle East peace process, doesn’t really understand who Fatah really is. They are nothing more than the descendants of the original Islamic terrorist organization, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) began by Yasser Arafat.
Fatah, led by Abu Mazen, provides funding to families of Islamic terrorists who are suicide bombers. They name streets and raise monuments to these butchers and barbaric savages who target innocent civilians. And most, if not all, of the Fatah leadership has been engaged personally in terrorist activities, such as Mr. Rajoub.
So, why is the Trump administration offering an invitation to this Islamic jihadist enabler to discuss peace with Israel? I can certainly believe Rajoub does not embrace the concept of Israel’s right to exist.
And let’s be honest, we know who Hamas is, but Fatah, well, they play this chameleon-like game, but they’re still a lizard, no different from the crew in the Gaza Strip. Multiple Islamic terrorist groups find safe haven under the areas of Fatah control — Al Quds and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Islamic Jihad are just a few.
So who in the Trump administration has had this “brain fart” of an idea to sit down with a non-state, non-uniformed unlawful enemy combatant organization such as Fatah, and put them on the same level playing field as a recognized Nation-State such as Israel?
Rajoub has said, “I say that whoever carried out individual acts of heroism, we in the Fatah movement bless and encourage them. We consider them heroes and a crown on the head of every Palestinian,” he was quoted as saying. Rajoub also has come out in favor of Hamas’ kidnapping Israeli soldiers. “If Hamas wants to kidnap soldiers, let them kidnap soldiers,” he said in a 2014 interview.”
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, president of the Israel Law Center, said in a statement that Rajoub should not be heralded as a partner for peace.”Rajoub is an unrepentant terrorist who has never abandoned his dreams of murdering Israelis,” Darshan-Leitner said. “At every opportunity Rajoub publicly vows that he will eventually destroy the State of Israel. Allowing this recidivist criminal, who has served numerous jail terms, to enter the U.S. would create a threat to the public safety of all Americans.”
I concur with Ms. Darshan-Leitner,. If we allow this Islamic jihadist a platform and entry into the United States, we are acquiescing, but worse, condoning his continued abhorrent behavior and statements. U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, needs to put a stop to this folly.
There can NEVER be a solution in the Middle East for peace until Islamic terrorism is eradicated, or rendered ineffective to pursue any goals, objectives or attacks. The two state solution was Israel and Jordan, and it was Arafat and the PLO who decided that wasn’t good enough. And how did they respond, by peaceful diplomatic overtures? Nope, by violence, terrorist attacks, and wanton murder of innocent civilians. And this man, Jibril Rajoub, has been a part of that cycle of bloodshed.
What fool in the Trump administration considers him a viable partner for peace?