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Mahmoud’s Murderous Math

The ghoulish calculus of Abbas’s pay-for-slay program

Liel Leibovitz
July 25, 2017

Yosef, Chaya, and Elad Salomon, murdered by a Palestinian terrorist on Friday night as they were celebrating the birth of a new member of the family, were buried earlier this week. The images of their white kitchen floor, smeared in blood, are haunting. But even more haunting are the numbers, the ghoulish calculus of the compensation the Palestinian Authority awards its murderous sons.

Let’s do some math.

Omar al-Abed murdered three Jews this past Friday night. This means he will almost certainly be sentenced to more than 30 years in prison. According to the PA’s budget, this entitles him to NIS 12,000 each month, which is about $3,364. That’s $40,368 a year, or $1,211,040 for al-Abed’s presumed 30-year sentence.

How much money is that? Let’s translate it into American. The average Palestinian earns about $778 per month, which means that al-Abed will now earn roughly four that amount. In 2014, the average American took in $44,569 per year, which is $3,714 a month. Four times that amount makes $14,856 per month, which is $178,272 a year. Over the course of 30 years, we’re looking at $5,348,160.

Now, imagine there was a government sponsored program here in America that paid you five million bucks every time you murdered a member of another ethnic group. There would be bloodshed, because people, even some inherently decent ones, would quickly crunch the numbers and realize that there’s no need to go to school or work hard when a simple stab’s enough to put your family on the gravy train.

And here’s the sickening part: a hefty chunk of this pay-for-slay program is paid for with American taxpayers’ money: of the PA’s $4.362 billion budget in 2016, approximately $500 million, or 11 percent, came from the United States.

Remember the $1.2 million dollars al-Abed will receive for his slaughtering? Eleven percent of that is $135,789, which is how much American citizens will spend over the course of three decades to reward the murderer of three innocent Israelis. What else could be done with that kind of cash? Let’s see: the Ramallah Friends School, for example, which is one of the West Bank’s finest private schools and the alma mater of many notable members of the Palestinian elite, including the politician Hanan Ashrawi, charges $2,973 per year in kindergarten tuition. This means that every year, the American taxpayers’ money awarded to al-Abed could’ve given 45 kindergartners a fine education.

But Mahmoud Abbas isn’t interested in educating Palestinian children, or in providing health care, or in improving roads, or in doing anything a responsible leader does. He’s interested in murdering Jews, and he sets his financial priorities accordingly. It’s time to stop this madness. A call to your representative pressing for the passing of the Taylor Force Act is a good first step.

Liel Leibovitz is Editor at Large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One. He is the editor of Zionism: The Tablet Guide.