What if I were to pay $3 million dollars to have your father shot in the head? That’s the question I asked Michael Lynk, the United Nations’ so-called “special rapporteur” on Israel, this past week when he presented a report to the U.N. Human Rights Council, a hostile anti-Israel and anti-Jewish body. It was an uncomfortable question, but not as uncomfortable as the circumstances that brought me to ask it.
My father, Richard Lakin, was murdered in 2015 by Palestinians at age 76. He was riding a public bus home from a doctor’s appointment in Jerusalem when two terrorists boarded and began shooting and stabbing the passengers. They shot my father in the head and butchered him with a knife after he fell to the ground. He succumbed to his wounds two weeks later.
The PA receives hundreds of millions of dollars a year, channeled through the United Nations, from the European Union and individual countries such as the United States, Germany, France, Britain, Belgium, Norway, Sweden and Ireland. It uses this money to reward murderers. In fact, the amount of money paid out by Palestinians to terrorists or their families amounts to more than 25 percent of the total foreign aid that Palestinians receive — a staggering amount.
The gross magnitude of Palestinian payments to terrorists came to public light about two years ago, shortly after my father’s murder. The facts are summarized in a comprehensive research paper published by my friend, Brig. Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs., entitled “Incentivizing Terrorism: Palestinian Authority Allocations to Terrorists and their Families.” The Palestinian propaganda machine is hard at work trying to obfuscate the facts, but it is hard to “spin” line items in a national budget.
After Taylor Force, a 28 year-old MBA student and West Point graduate who did tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist on a beachfront boardwalk in Tel Aviv in 2016, his courageous parents began raising awareness of this issue in the United States. American lawmakers were quick to react. The Taylor Force Act will significantly limit American economic aid to the PA until it ceases paying stipends to individuals who commit acts of terrorism and to the families of deceased terrorists. The legislation has gained bipartisan support and is expected to be adopted soon.
But for minimal finger-wagging, the rest of the world has remained silent on this issue, turning a blind eye while the United Nations funnels money to the PA to pay for the murder of innocents.
The Lynk report, like other Human Rights Council reports and resolutions, fails to mention the Palestinian “pay-to-slay” law. It somehow omits Palestinian use of U.N. funds as blood money.
On a moral level, the United Nations’ failure to report — or condemn — these crimes of incentivizing and rewarding terror makes it an accessory to the murders of my father and many other Jewish fathers, mothers and children by Palestinians.
Invited by the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, a U.N.-accredited NGO, I delivered this message publicly and directly to Mr. Lynk. The Human Rights Council billed the process an “interactive dialogue,” but he chose to respond with silence — a silence that speaks volumes.
If the United Nations were serious about humanitarian aid, it would call out President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority for their grossly immoral behavior and stop giving Palestinians cash until they stop handing it over to killers.
My father was a teacher and human rights activist who founded a school where Muslim, Christian and Jewish children studied together. He educated thousands of children on the values of love, respect and peaceful coexistence, in the United States and in Israel. Dad was paving a road to peace, one brick at a time.
The PA is doing everything it can to demolish this road. As long as Palestinian leaders nurture a culture of hate, and pay Palestinian parents and children to kill, peace will be unattainable.
Micah Lakin Avni is the son of dual U.S.-Israeli citizen Richard Lakin, who was killed by Palestinian assailants in October 2015. The author advocates against institutionalized incitement to terror in various international forums.