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Avi Issacharoff, writing at The Times of Israel, notes that the probability of the P.A. being disbanded is extremely low because what would follow would be the total societal meltdown of what remains of Palestinian civil society and the Palestinian economy. The saying in Israel is that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity – but Issacharoff thinks they won’t make this mistake this time:
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A scenario in which the Palestinian Authority is dissolved is possible, but its probability is low, very low. The discussion in recent days over the possibility of the P.A. being dismantled has been held mainly in the Israeli media, with little to no presence in the discourse of the Palestinian media and among P.A. leaders.
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 at 8:22 AM | Stand For Israel
It is proverbial that familiarity breeds contempt. So, in the past week, one could be forgiven for harboring a sense of contempt for the familiar machinations of the Palestinian Authority.
Having never taken peace talks with Israel seriously – but having used those negotiations to win concessions from Israel totaling hundreds of freed terrorists while giving nothing in return – the gravy train finally stopped when Israel refused to continue the charade by releasing another round of prisoners.
Immediately after, the Palestinians sought recognition of Palestine – a nation that does not exist – by a host of United Nations agencies. They have threatened to apply for membership in the International Criminal Court, where they would almost certainly pursue charges against Israel and her leaders. And, most recently, they have returned to the familiar tropes of threatening to disband the Palestinian Authority and engaging in unity talks with Hamas.
The Palestinian National Authority (P.A.) was created as part of the Oslo Accords in 1994. The P.A. was established to administer areas of the West Bank and Gaza as a preliminary step to independence and a Palestinian state. The P.A. was ruled by Fatah, Yasser Arafat’s political party, until the 2006 elections, which were won by the Hamas terrorist organization. Those were the last elections held for P.A. positions. In 2002, in response to a massive wave of suicide terror against Israeli civilians, the Israel Defense Forces took control over most of the population centers that the P.A. administered. While the P.A. still ran the civilian government, the IDF was responsible for security with the exception of some policing authority still allowed to P.A. police. The P.A. performs some rudimentary governmental functions, but very little. Its benefit is purely symbolic and, like much else in the Middle East, that symbolism is largely a relic of a time not currently reflected by the facts on the ground. Disbanding the P.A. is a meaningless gesture by a group of people who spend all their time…Read More » Comments (4) »
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 at 8:17 AM | Stand For Israel
Seth Mandel, writing at Commentary, notes that the not-dead-yet negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians refuse to die because P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas, who walked away from the table and unilaterally applied to membership in a dozen or so U.N. agencies, still thinks he can extract some concessions from Israel via U.S. pressure:
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What’s the argument in favor of a round of concessions as preconditions in addition to releasing the terrorists? Abbas is playing Kerry. He assumes that Kerry is sufficiently desperate for negotiations that he’ll lean on Netanyahu to give Abbas whatever he wants.
Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 at 8:44 AM | Stand For Israel
It may sound like a broken record, but since Israel’s enemies will keep blaming the Jewish state for the imminent failure of the latest round of peace talks, we feel the need to keep sharing with you early postmortems that call it like it is. Today, Jonathan Tobin of Commentary takes a different angle on Abbas’ refusal to make any concessions:
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Abbas had no room to maneuver to make peace even if he were truly willing to do so. Negotiating an agreement, even one that would give the Palestinians pretty much everything they want in terms of statehood in the West Bank and a share of Jerusalem, isn’t in his interest because signing such an agreement is far more dangerous than being blamed for scuttling the peace talks. The safer thing for Abbas is to seize any pretext to flee the talks and claim he’s seeking Palestinian independence via the U.N., a futile gesture that will do nothing for his people.
Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 at 8:15 AM | Stand For Israel
Yesterday, in violation of previous agreements and in something of a temper tantrum, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signed documents applying for membership in 15 U.N. organizations for “Palestine.” Avi Issacharoff, writing at The Times of Israel, explains what’s really going on:
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But look deeper, and you’ll see Abbas announced that he was immediately signing up for 15 international organizations, but not the big-ticket United Nations organizations. Look deeper still, and you’ll note that the applications were not actually filed.
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 at 8:23 AM | Stand For Israel
Jeffrey Goldberg, writing at Bloomberg, admits that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is probably unable or unwilling to make the kind of concessions necessary for a peace agreement with Israel. But he concludes that President Obama still needs to put pressure on Abbas to make those concessions:
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Now Obama needs to explain to Abbas why he should publicly reiterate Arafat’s position on Israel’s Jewish character and move on to the core issues separating the two sides. Obama should also make it clear to Abbas, as he has to Netanyahu, that there will be consequences if Abbas cannot bring himself to offer Kerry at least a provisional, tentative yes.
Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 at 8:34 AM | Stand For Israel
Jonathan Tobin, writing at Commentary Magazine, points out the desperate need among some Western leaders and, sadly, some Israelis, to paint Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as something decidedly other than what he actually is in order to force the round peg of the peace process into the square hole of reality:
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Peace process advocates believe the only way to plow ahead to an agreement is to keep the pressure up on Netanyahu to give the maximum while treating Abbas with kid gloves, all the while fearing to offend him or to give his enemies within Fatah, not to mention Hamas and Islamic Jihad rivals, any ammunition with which to attack him as soft on the Israelis. Anything else, they tell us, risks blowing up the process leaving no hope for peace.
Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 at 9:07 AM | Stand For Israel
Why is it such a big deal for Israel that the Palestinians recognize it as the Jewish state? And why is it such a big deal for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to just do it? Robert Satloff of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy answers those questions about as well as we’ve ever seen:
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The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is deeper — it is existential. While many Palestinians suspect that Israel will forever deny them independence, deep in the minds of many Israelis is the idea that Palestinians have a long-term plan to destroy Israel. Formal recognition of Israel as the rightful national home of the Jewish people, which would exist side by side with the rightful national home of the Palestinian people, would go far toward calming such fears. The fact that Abbas still refuses to offer this recognition only deepens those fears.
Monday, March 17th, 2014 at 8:25 AM | Stand For Israel
Khaled Abu Toameh, a Palestinian journalist who works in Israel, writes at the Gatestone Institute that, no matter what pressure both sides may be under from the American administration, Palestinian leadership does not have the political backing or authority to make the kind of concessions necessary for peace:
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Palestinian officials in Ramallah say that the talks with Israel have already failed, but Obama and Kerry continue to live in denial. There are no direct talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Rather, each side is conducting separate negotiations with Obama and Kerry.
Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 at 8:15 AM | Stand For Israel
Writing at Foreign Policy, Oren Kessler writes what we’ve said here many times — current evidence suggests that the Palestinian leadership is unprepared to help create among its own people the conditions in which peace could take root and, given that reality, the Palestinians want status quo violence more than they want their own country:
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Viewers of the Palestinian Authority’s official television station are unceasingly reminded that the Arab-Israeli conflict is an existential, zero-sum dispute. The channel assures its audience that cities in Israel will ultimately return to Arab rule, that the murder of Israeli civilians is a heroic deed, and that Jews are “barbaric monkeys, wretched pigs” — or in the words of putatively peace-minded Palestinian Authority official Jibril Rajoub, “Satans” and “Zionist sons of bitches.” And that’s not to speak of the fire-eyed theocrats of Hamas, who run the show in the Gaza Strip.
Friday, March 7th, 2014 at 8:26 AM | Stand For Israel
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