Financing the Flames
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|Martin Barillas||February 2nd 2014|
New York Times bestselling author Edwin Black has departed for a un international parliamentary tour to brief legislators overseas about the revelations in his latest investigative book, Financing the Flames: How Tax-Exempt and Public Money Fuel a Culture of Confrontation and Terror in Israel. Black is due to brief lawmakers in the House of Commons February 5, then the European Parliament in Brussels February 12, and finally the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem on Febnruary 19. Financing the Flames blows the cover off of U.S. tax-exempt, tax-subsidized, and public monies that foment agitation, systematically destabilize the Israel Defense Forces, and finance terrorism in Israel. In a far-ranging international investigation, Black documents that it is actually highly politicized human rights organizations and NGOs themselves—all American taxpayer supported—which are financing the flames that make peace in Israel difficult if not impossible.
In his explosive revelations about non-profits and Israel, Black sheds new light on key charitable organizations such as the the New Israel Fund, the Ford Foundation, George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, and many others, as well as American taxpayers as a group. Instead of promoting peace and reconciliation between Arabs and Israelis, he writes, a variety of taxpayer-subsidized organizations have funded a culture where peace does not pay, but warfare and confrontation do.
Black chronicles how some rioting protestors are actually compensated by charitable organizations when they riot—riots that can and do occur on a scheduled basis in a highly orchestrated fashion. In this enterprise, sponsored American and European activists frequently provoke, incite, and harass Israeli soldiers as they video the choreographed riots, he writes. According to documentation in Financing the Flames, taxpayer money is being used to further entrench a human-rights double standard where abuses and mistreatment of Jews by Palestinians are tolerated, ignored, and even promoted. In this system, Jews are singled out for discrimination in their own country in a fashion that taxpayers would never tolerate in America.
Moreover, Financing the Flames reveals how terrorists are paid official salaries by the Palestinian Authority once they are convicted for acts of murder and mayhem. These generaous salaries, constituing the best compensation packages in the Palestinian Authority amount to millions of dollars each month, or about 6 percent of the total PA budget. By adding other direct and indirect remuneration and compensation for terrorist acts, the total soars to some 16 percent of the PA's budget. All these terrorist compensation programs are fungibly financed by donor countries, such as the United States and in the EU.
Several legislators in the U.S. and Europe have responded to Black’s revelations by calling for immediate action to end or curtail aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA). In a December 5, 2013 letter, Representative James Gerlach (Pennsylvania) wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry: "I write with regard to the issue of U.S. foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA). Recent news reports have indicated that the PA has provided monetary payments or salaries to individuals convicted of committing acts of terrorism, including those recently released as part of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. According to such reports, these salaries or stipends are provided by the PA to convicted terrorists for the duration of their imprisonment. If this information is accurate, how long has the U.S. government been aware of this PA program? Furthermore, what is the U.S. Department of State doing specifically to immediately halt any U.S. taxpayer dollars going to the PA until this program is stopped?"
The Dutch parliament passed a resolution calling upon the "government in its bilateral contacts with the Palestinian Authority to demand it stop its support, as it can be interpreted as encouragement for crime." Four Norwegian parties, on the eve of winning the nation's elections, issued a statement saying they "find it unacceptable that Norwegian money goes directly or indirectly to fund financial aid for terrorists." In Denmark, MP Soren Espersen demanded of Foreign Minister Villy Sovndal: "What will [you] do to ensure us that our money is spent on [the intended] purpose, and not on terrorists?" In the Swedish parliament, a bill calling for "suspending aid to the PA" was introduced but defeated.
"We have begun the reinvention of the conversation about human rights in Israel," commented Black at a recent event for Financing the Flames at the University of Miami. "Human rights must never be political. Peace must be given a chance. That cannot happen as long as taxpayers in the US and abroad directly finance terrorism so peace doesn't pay."
While in London, February 3-10, in addition to appearing at the House of Commons, Black will also lecture at various campus and communal organizations. The British launch for the book is at an exclusive RSVP North London event, with tickets available for $15.
In Brussels, February 10-13, in addition to his appearance at the European Parliament, Black will address various communal organizations and brief the editorial boards of various Belgian media. It is Black's second appearance before the European Parliament in two years.
In Israel, February 14-19, in addition to his Knesset event, Black will make presentations before the prestigious Institute for National Security Studies. He will also appear at Bar Ilan University's Center for International Communication where he answer questions posited by a worldwide audience.