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At last week’s conference in Cairo, Palestinian Authority (P.A.) head Mahmoud Abbas called for Israel to leave the West Bank. Now the P.A. is headed to the United Nations Security Council to demand the same. The Times of Israel’s Elhanan Miller wonders if the Palestinians’ demand is sincere, and if it is in the best interests of anyone – Israelis and Palestinians alike – involved:
The Palestinian leadership is bound for the UN Security Council, where it will demand a deadline for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank. But, given the risk of a swift Hamas takeover of the West Bank, a former Israeli security official questioned the sincerity of the Palestinian demand, speculating that it may be acting against its own self-interest just to spite Israel.
Addressing donor states in a conference for the rehabilitation of Gaza last week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas did not cite November 2016 as the final date by which Israeli troops are to leave the West Bank (as indicated in a draft resolution). He did, however, stress the need to set a time frame for Israeli withdrawal …
But Yaakov Amidror, who was national security adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu until November 2013 and is currently a senior fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University, said that “the end of the occupation” would soon become the end of the PA and its leader, Abbas.
“Without Israel, Abu Mazen (Abbas) and Fatah cannot survive for even 10 minutes,” Amidror told The Times of Israel. “The problem is, they can’t say it. Their overt behavior — driven more by emotion than by logic — would lead to the end of their regime if Israel were to withdraw, which it won’t do because of its own interests.”
Whether the Israeli withdrawal be quick or slow, Amidror asserted that without Israeli boots on the ground, Abbas had no realistic way of overcoming a Palestinian Islamic movement bent on his destruction.
“Abu Mazen and his people will have to…Read More » Comments (7) »
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 at 8:20 AM | Stand for Israel
While the meeting yesterday between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu was marred by the White House’s reaction to Israel’s declaration to build in East Jerusalem, it was also marred by the actions of Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas. Right before the Obama-Netanyahu meeting, Abbas submitted his latest U.N. proposal for Palestinian statehood. Writing at Commentary, Tom Wilson says that while the proposal’s demands are ridiculous, it is even more ridiculous that Abbas expects these demands to be met before he’ll even negotiate:
The draft of the Palestinian proposal, submitted just as Prime Minister Netanyahu was about to step into the Oval Office for a meeting with President Obama, seeks to win UN Security Council backing for a deadline that would force Israel to cede the West Bank by November 2016. But that is not all. The petition also gives an extensive rundown of what the final settlement must look like. In addition to the total Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Jerusalem being turned into the Palestinian capital, the resolution also calls for a complete end to all Israeli military activity in the territories, an end to any Israeli settlement construction, an opening of all Gaza’s borders, and the deployment of an international force throughout the disputed territories–for the protection of Palestinian civilians, of course. Naturally the resolution draft also calls for a just settlement of Palestinian refugees, which is code for Israel being obliged to allow several million Arabs claiming Palestinian descent to relocate to the Jewish state.
Now, you can think these demands are reasonable or you can think that they are not. But what is undeniable is that it is ridiculous for Abbas to have essentially made meeting all his demands the precondition for his participation in any further peace talks. What kind of negotiation is it that can only begin once all of the outcomes have already been decided? In effect what the Palestinians have said is that there will…Read More » Comments (15) »
Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 at 8:47 AM | Stand For Israel
The U.N. address given by Palestinian Authority (P.A.) President Mahmoud Abbas was abhorrent in all facets – from its incitement to its accusations of genocide. But Israel Hayom’s Dror Eydar writes that one of the most outrageous moments in Abbas’ speech was his juxtaposition of the Islamic State with what he considers an even more loathsome entity – the state of Israel:
We watched as he stood up and lied in the worst speech of incitement a Palestinian representative has ever made to Westerners, using the verified accusations made against the Palestinian Authority and turning them against Israel without batting an eye. Not a word about the reason for the war this past summer; not a word about the putsch Hamas planned against him. And we’re expected to trust him?
Here are some of the terms he used heavily in his speech: genocide, a new “nakba” (“catastrophe”), a racist occupier state, apartheid, colonialism, a state above the law. This is our fault. For years, the Israeli media and academia have pounded this false doctrine. Zion was the starting point for the dogma that reached the strongholds of Western fundamental liberalism, the ones that are ashamed to admit their hatred for Jews and find a substitute in hating and slandering Israel.
Genocide? In the second half of the 20th century alone, across the Muslim world — in Algeria, Sudan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Bangladesh, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Jordan, Chad, Kosovo, Tajikistan, Syria, Libya — Muslims slaughtered millions of other Muslims and Christians. In most places, it was a brutal, methodical extermination that fit the chilling definition of genocide. Who cares? They were Muslims, not Jews trying to protect themselves.
Toward the end of his speech, this so-called moderate partner asserted that what had caused terrorism in our region was — get ready — international leniency toward Israel. He then discussed the Islamic State group, saying: “Confronting the terrorism that plagues our region by…Read More » Comments (22) »
Monday, September 29th, 2014 at 8:44 AM | Stand For Israel
Addressing the U.N. General Assembly last week, Palestinian Authority (P.A.) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas proved once again that he is about as interested in cultivating peace with Israel as Hamas Chairman Khaled Mashal is interested in demilitarizing the Gaza Strip. In a speech mired with blatant lies and incitement against the Jewish state, Abbas accused Israel of committing “genocide” in Gaza this summer, and laid the blame for the latest breakdown of peace talks on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Brazenly, yet unsurprisingly, on Monday morning chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat claimed that 96 percent of those killed in this summer’s Operation Protective Edge were civilians. Erekat’s claim is false and easily refuted. In fact, the Israeli army has the lowest civilian casualty rate of any army in the world, including U.S. and NATO forces.
Clearly the P.A. is not too concerned with facts, since according to them the truth is whatever you desire it to be. And so the Palestinian President feels no shame when he stands before the UN General Assembly and says Israel committed “genocide.” The Palestinian leadership consistently spreads lies about Israel not only to the U.N., but to their own people as well.
For decades, the Palestinian Authority has been teaching its children that Jews have no historical claim to the land of Israel, and that Jerusalem was never a Jewish city. But who cares about the truth, when a lie repeated often enough will eventually take its place?
Here we see the strategy of the Palestinian Authority: Reject every Israeli offer for peace, blame the Jews entirely for the conflict, play the part of perpetual victim, accuse Israel of apartheid, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and every other atrocity found in the dictionary. Eventually, their hope is that the international community will offer Israel to the Palestinians on a silver platter.
By perpetuating the conflict while blaming and inciting against Israel, the P.A. hopes to turn the Jewish state into an international pariah. Then, through international bodies such…Read More » Comments (11) »
Monday, September 29th, 2014 at 8:31 AM | Stand For Israel
Arutz Sheva is reporting that the IDF and Shin Bet have foiled an attempt by Hamas to overthrow the Palestinian Authority:
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A large scale operation mounted from May to August by the IDF and Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) foiled a Hamas network’s plot to carry out a coup in the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Judea and Samaria.
The news about the operation was under a gag order until today.
The Hamas infrastructure in Judea and Samaria was controlled by a Hamas HQ in Turkey. The plot was to carry out a series of cruel terror attacks against Israel and create a situation of security instability, then take advantage of that situation to take over the PA.
Israel announced that 93 Hamas terrorists were arrested in the operation. Of these, 46 were taken to interrogation by the ISA. Hamas terror funds amounting to over 600,000 shekels were confiscated and weapons including 60 guns and 7 RPGs were seized.
Monday, August 18th, 2014 at 10:02 AM | Stand For Israel
Before Operation Protective Edge began, and before terrorists kidnapped and murdered the three Israel teenagers, much of the focus on the Palestinians and their leadership was directed at the unity government formed by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. While most speculated that the unity agreement would fail, Khaled Abu Toameh writes that shockingly the factions seem to have grown closer – united against Israel:
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Despite predictions to the contrary, the unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas seems not only alive and well, but stronger than ever.
Over the past month, the two parties have been waging separate wars against Israel – one (Hamas) on the battlefield and the second (Fatah) in the international arena.
At the beginning of the war in the Gaza Strip, political analysts predicted that the unity agreement that was signed between Hamas and Fatah last April would be one of the war’s first victims …
The previous wars between Israel and Hamas had resulted in a deterioration in relations between Hamas and Fatah. During the past two wars, Hamas did not hesitate to accuse Abbas and Fatah of “collusion” with the “Zionist enemy.”
But the current war has thus far brought the two sides closer to one another. Abbas even instructed his security forces in the West Bank to suspend their crackdown on Hamas supporters, a senior Palestinian official in Ramallah disclosed.
Abbas is expected to continue his efforts to enhance his partnership with Hamas even after a cease-fire is reached in the Gaza Strip. This may be good for Palestinian “national unity” and Hamas, but it also means that the prospects for peace with Israel on the basis of a two-state solution – an idea vehemently opposed by Hamas – will be as remote as ever. By strengthening his ties with Hamas, Abbas is burying any chance of a peaceful solution with Israel.
Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 at 8:36 AM | Stand For Israel
As the search for the three missing Israeli teens continues, a Palestinian Authority official has said that the recent unity agreement between the P.A. and Hamas would be voided if Hamas is behind the kidnapping. Avi Issacharoff reports on how the boys’ abduction is a breach of the deal between Fatah and Hamas:
… the kidnapping would mark a breach of the understandings between Fatah and Hamas, and would render their unity agreement null and void.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said that the assessment in Palestinian intelligence is that Hamas, or a faction within Hamas, was responsible for the kidnappings Thursday night of Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaar and Naftali Frankel.
Again, we ask that you join us in prayer for the three boys’ safe return.Comments (0) »
Monday, June 16th, 2014 at 3:45 PM | Stand For Israel
As we noted in today’s Daily Dispatch, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas agreed on a unity government today. After the deal was announced, Israel’s leaders denounced the new government, saying they would hold the P.A. responsible for any rockets fired from Gaza:
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The move angered Israel for including the Hamas movement, which refuses to recognize Israel and which Israel and much of the international community consider a terror organization.
In a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office, the security cabinet denounced the new Palestinian Authority leadership, with Netanyahu calling P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas a peace rejectionist and vowing not to negotiate with his new government.
The cabinet decided Israel would now view the Palestinian government as responsible for any hostile action emanating from the Gaza Strip as well as the West Bank …
Monday, June 2nd, 2014 at 2:25 PM | Stand For Israel
The Israeli press is reporting that the chairwoman of one of Israel’s small, left-wing political parties said on Tuesday that the only possible successor to Fatah leader and P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas is a man named Marwan Barghouti. Barghouti, of course, will find it difficult to lead the Palestinian Authority as he is currently serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for his activities as a terrorist responsible for the deaths of Israelis. He was a leader of the First and Second Intifadas, and personally directed terror attacks – including suicide bombings – against military and civilian targets inside Israel.
Barghouti is extremely popular among Palestinians of nearly all factions. But Israel wants him in prison badly enough that his inclusion was a deal-breaker in the 2011 prisoner release deal to free kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit – this despite the fact that Israel ended up freeing over 1,000 prisoners. Releasing Barghouti was a step too far.
The unlikelihood of Barghouti ever leading the P.A. notwithstanding, all of this raises a good question: Who will replace Mahmoud Abbas as President of the Palestinian Authority? He is 79 years old and currently serving the ninth year of the four year term to which he was elected. If new elections do result from the nascent unity agreement being cobbled together by Hamas and Fatah, it is difficult to see how Abbas could run. Furthermore, the way he has undertaken negotiations makes clear that his stomach isn’t in fighting and his heart isn’t in talking.
If Abbas doesn’t run, none of the other options are good. Someone will have to replace him, but most of those possible successors are either more corrupt or more violent than Abbas. And none of them have a broad enough base of support among the highly factionalized Palestinian public to hold the street in the course of making real concessions. If a Palestinian leader is ever to emerge who can pull that culture back from the death-worship cult it has…Read More » Comments (4) »
Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 at 8:46 AM | Stand For Israel
A few weeks ago, we expressed doubt that a Hamas-Fatah unity deal would ever come to fruition. Since that time, there have been some interesting developments. Our core prediction – that a unity agreement would fizzle out or blow up before being implemented – hasn’t changed. But there are indications that both parties are more serious, that international opposition has weakened, and that thoughts are already turning to what happens after a unity government is agreed to.
To begin with the seriousness of Hamas and Fatah leaders, reports out of the region yesterday announced that Hamas forces withdrew from the Gaza home of Fatah and P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas. The villa, which had been used by Hamas as a headquarters, is mostly symbolic; but symbolism matters.
The European Union announced a few days ago that, despite the fact that it still considers Hamas to be a terror group (whew!), “something must be done” to forge peace in the Middle East and, thus, Brussels is supportive of a unity agreement. So, being labeled a terrorist organization by the Europeans now means that you’re marginally unlikely to have their full cooperation in the near term – but wait five minutes and we’ll see. All because, obviously, doing something is better than doing nothing. The ridiculousness of this position aside, the E.U.’s change in attitude suggests that a unified P.A. government will not have to forgo aid from Europe like it will from the U.S.
Lastly, there seems to be a focus by Palestinian leaders on the legitimacy of the government they cobble together – meaning a new round of elections in the near future and approval of the unity government (should one be agreed to) by the current P.A. parliament (in which Hamas has a majority).
We still believe a deal is unlikely. Symbolism aside, the two sides hate each other. Putting together a unity government is a massive exercise not just in statecraft but in ego navigation and internal politics. And, whatever the E.U….Read More » Comments (5) »
Thursday, May 15th, 2014 at 8:17 AM | Stand For Israel
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