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Palestinian Authority’s Crimes of High Treason

(Photo: wikicommons/ Peter Fedynsky)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Peter Fedynsky)

Yesterday we discussed the fact that the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) is, in reality, not a better alternative than the terrorist group Hamas. Today, the Gatestone Institute’s Khaled Abu Toameh writes that while Hamas is open about its desire to destroy the Jewish state, the P.A. also continues to promote an anti-Israel ideology and considers any concessions to Israel to be treasonous:

The Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership continues to give false hope to Palestinians regarding the “right of return” to their former villages and towns in Israel, as do the leaderships of most Arab countries.

This is what the Arab and Palestinian leaders have been doing since the establishment of Israel in 1948 — and why millions of Palestinians continue to live in refugee camps throughout the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Instead of helping the refugees and encouraging them to move on with their lives, Arab and Palestinian leaders continue to ask them to stay where they are because, they will are told, they will return to the homes of their grandfathers and great grandfathers inside Israel.

Arab and Palestinian leaders are afraid to confront the refugees with the truth sixty-seven years later, namely that the majority, if not all, will never return to towns and villages that no longer exist inside Israel…

Abbas and other Palestinian leaders have refrained from talking about the sensitive issue of the “right of return.” The only time they make any mention of the issue is when they call on Palestinians to mark “Nakba Day” (Day of Catastrophe) on the anniversary of the establishment of Israel.

Nakba Day is marked every year in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with rallies and marches, during which speakers and participants emphasize that they will never abandon the dream of returning to villages and towns inside Israel. On this day, many Palestinians also hold a key, which is the symbol of the “right of return.” Some, such as Hamas, go as far as repeating their call…

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Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 at 8:18 AM  | Stand For Israel

Iranian Cash Already in West Bank

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

While Iran’s intention to attain nuclear capabilities remains perhaps the Islamic Republic’s most troubling goal, we have also been following its reach across the Middle East. Writing at The Times of Israel, Arieh Dan Spitzen says that Iranian funds are now being used to buy influence in the West Bank, among Hamas and Palestinian Authority followers alike:

This has led critics to worry that Iran will gain immediate access to enormous sums of money that it can use to bolster Hezbollah and strengthen Hamas in Gaza. In fact, very recently, the British newspaper The Telegraph reported that Iran has given Hamas millions of dollars to reconstruct the tunnels in the Gaza Strip that were destroyed by the IDF in last summer’s fighting. But even without the enormous new flow of funds promised by the removal of US and international sanctions, Iran has not limited its financial contributions in the Palestinian arena to Hamas or to Gaza.

Instead, the evidence suggests that it has been funneling money to the Palestinian Authority through its Shari’a courts and buying influence with the Palestinian public in the West Bank as well…

Standing alone, this Iranian financial support can only be considered a small beachhead in that nation’s efforts to gain influence with the PA and West Bank Palestinians, but it remains unclear whether there are other, less open financial streams flowing from Tehran to Ramallah. More importantly, the willingness of the Palestinian Authority to allow its postal service and government department to be used as a channel for financial support from an Iranian financed and US designated Hezbollah organization raises further questions about both the PA’s internal cohesion and its ultimate sympathies. The only thing that is clear is that Tehran, through its renewed support for Hamas and its coordination with the PA to fund payments to the families of “martyrs” in the West Bank, is seeking a key position of influence in the Palestinian territories.

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Monday, May 11th, 2015 at 8:37 AM  | Stand For Israel

Muzzled Democracy

(Photo: White House/ Paul Morse)

(Photo: White House/ Paul Morse)

Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas has now been in power for a decade (after winning a four-year term), ruling the West Bank as a dictator. Hamas, the Gaza-based terror organization, is now gaining favor in the same area. The Economist notes that whoever has control over the Palestinian people – Hamas or Abbas’ Fatah – it is not a good situation:

Campus politics offers young Palestinians their only chance to vote. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, started a four-year term ten years ago. The legislature has not been re-elected since Hamas’s surprise victory in the 2006 ballot. So student elections are seen as bellwethers for public opinion. Candidates at Birzeit argued over the best way to fight the Israeli occupation: should they fire rockets or pursue Israel at the United Nations? The outcome was discussed for days on Palestinian television.

Hamas has ruled Gaza since 2007, while its nationalist rival, Fatah, controls the West Bank. They tried to end the split in June, when they signed a reconciliation agreement and installed a new technocratic government. The deal called for elections within six months, but Mr Abbas is dithering. Last year’s 50-day war against Israel earned Hamas new admirers in the West Bank, where the president’s Fatah movement is seen as corrupt and out-of-touch. A recent poll showed that trend reversing slightly, though his approval rating stands at just 40%; four out of five Palestinians are unhappy with the performance of the consensus government. “The outcome here is a warning to the Palestinian Authority,” said Ghassan Khatib, a vice-president of Birzeit. “The system is losing its legitimacy.”

But Hamas has concerns, too. Its popularity has slipped in Gaza, after repeated wars that have only immiserated the territory. Tens of thousands of civil servants have not been paid in nearly a year, owing to an internecine dispute over who is responsible for their salaries. A delegation of ministers travelled from Ramallah to Gaza last week to resolve the crisis, but they were…

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Monday, May 11th, 2015 at 8:20 AM  | Stand For Israel

Palestinians Need Reforms, Not Elections

(Photo: flickr/News Agency)

(Photo: flickr/News Agency)

Last week, we reported that Hamas has gained much support in student elections in the Fatah-controlled West Bank. Now, as Western powers urge the Palestinians to hold general elections, Gatestone Institute’s Khaled Abu Toameh writes that that is not a good idea, as that would pave the way for a Hamas victory:

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has recently come under pressure from Western governments and politicians to hold long overdue elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

But those who are demanding that the Palestinians hold another free and democratic election are ignoring the possibility that Hamas will once again win the vote…

Free and democratic elections are the last thing the Palestinians need now. Such elections would only pave the way for a Hamas takeover of the Palestinian Authority and plunge the region into chaos and violence. As long as Abbas’s Fatah faction is not seen as a better alternative to Hamas, it would be too risky to ask Palestinians to head to the ballot boxes. Instead of pressuring the Palestinians to hold new elections, world leaders should be demanding accountability and transparency from the PA.

They should also be urging the Palestinian Authority to pave the way for the emergence of new leaders and get rid of all the corrupt old-guard representatives who have been in power for decades. Finally, the international community should be urging the PA to stop its campaign to delegitimize and isolate Israel, which drives more Palestinians into the open arms of Hamas and other radical groups, who assume that if the Israelis are as terrible as they are told, they might as well join the group dedicated to killing them rather than to discussing peace.

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Monday, May 4th, 2015 at 8:11 AM  | Stand for Israel

Palestinians Join International Criminal Court

icc_logoEarlier this year, we reported on the Palestinian Authority’s move to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), in hopes of bringing war crimes charges against Israel. The Times of Israel reports that today, the P.A. officially became a member of the ICC:

The Palestinian Authority became a member of the International Criminal Court in Wednesday and was marking the occasion with a low-key ceremony at the court’s headquarters.

Palestinians signed the court’s founding treaty in January and their membership came into force Wednesday, an event welcomed by activists who see it as an opportunity to bring accountability to years of conflict between Palestinians and Israel.

Israel is not a member of the ICC, but the country’s military and civilian leaders could now face charges if they are believed to have committed crimes on Palestinian territory…

Beyond seeking war crimes charges against Israel at the court, the Palestinians want the UN Security Council to set a deadline for an Israeli troop withdrawal from the West Bank and hope for new momentum of a Palestinian-led international movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions.

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Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 11:58 AM  | Stand For Israel

Resisting the Pressure

U.S. President Barack Obama with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud AbbasThere are increasing indications that Western powers will seek to renew Israeli-Palestinian negotiations right after the Israeli elections on March 17. Dore Gold writes at The Algemeiner that no matter how the elections turn out, Israel’s government must stand firm in resisting the pressure to agree to a dangerous deal:

Whatever government Israel elects on March 17 will have to be firm in resisting the pressures that are likely to mount. The most immediate demand to be made is that Israel withdraw to the 1967 borders, with “limited” land swaps, as the U.N. draft resolution [from December 2014] recommended. In past interviews, such as the one he gave to The New York Times on Feb. 7, 2011, [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas clarified that his idea of a “limited land swap” involved 1.9 percent of the West Bank. This miniscule land swap in no way could offset the huge concession he was demanding of Israel — to agree to the 1967 borders.

This land swap would not provide enough territory to protect Israeli settlement blocs. Leaks to Al Jazeera of past negotiations under Olmert indicate that the Palestinians refused to concede the large settlements of Ariel and Maale Adumim. In short, Abbas’ land swaps would leave thousands of Israelis on territory that the Palestinians expect to be theirs. The concept of 1967 borders with land swaps is a non-starter.

The pressure on Israel to agree to a nearly full withdrawal on the basis of the 1967 lines also directly impacts Israel’s security — yet another reason for any Israeli government to resist such a demand. Ironically, just as this pressure can be expected to increase, the current chaos in the Middle East makes such a withdrawal more dangerous than ever. The vacuum created by the breakdown of several Arab states, like Syria and Iraq, has allowed for the growth of a new breed of terrorist organizations, like Islamic State, that are far more challenging than the…

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Monday, March 16th, 2015 at 9:23 AM  | Stand for Israel

PLO Calls for End to Security Cooperation with Israel

(Photo: White House/ Paul Morse)

(Photo: White House/ Paul Morse)

Earlier this year, we reported on the Palestinian move to join the International Criminal Court (ICC). Since that time, Israel has been withholding money from the Palestinians. Now, The Times of Israel reports that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) has called for an end to security cooperation with Israel:

The Palestinian Liberation Organization’s central council decided Thursday to end security cooperation with Israel, in a potentially explosive move after the Jewish state cut off a key source of funds.

The PLO council decided “to stop security cooperation in all its forms with the occupying power” which it urged to “take over full responsibility for the Palestinian people in the occupied State of Palestine, the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza.”

A source close to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told Israel Radio that the council’s decision was a recommendation only. Another Palestinian official said that Abbas must issue a presidential order ending the security cooperation with Israel.

Israel has been withholding tax revenue from the Palestinians since they decided to join the International Criminal Court last month …

Palestinian leaders have threatened to cut security ties with Jerusalem in the past, but cooperation held as both sides had a shared interest in maintaining the arrangement.

Israel sees security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank as a vital part of its efforts to stymie attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers and gain intelligence on the ground.

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Thursday, March 5th, 2015 at 3:20 PM  | Stand For Israel

Palestinians Escalating West Bank Tensions

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

We’ve reported on the Palestinian Authority’s various tactics to pressure Israel – including their attempts to wage diplomatic warfare against the Jewish state and their threats to halt security cooperation. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Yaakov Lappin says that such maneuvers are increasing tensions in the West Bank, making it a dangerous region with the greatest potential for violence in the coming year:

As tensions in the West Bank between Israel and the Palestinians continue to grow, the West Bank is now the least stable arena in Israel’s environment, and the risk of a new, large-scale wave of violence breaking out in this area next month is rising steadily.

Already, IDF personnel serving in the West Bank have noted a significant spike in violent incidents across their sector of operation …

Several factors are colluding to make the West Bank the most likely region to flare up in 2015.

The first is the attempt by Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas to initiate a diplomatic confrontation with Israel, by using international legal institutions for his attack.

Aside from the significant challenges Abbas’s maneuver poses to Israel on the legal, political, and “international legitimacy” fronts, the PA president may be playing with fire, and end up igniting the Palestinian street.

Abbas’s goal appears to be to limit the confrontation with Israel to the diplomatic arena, but his chances of preventing violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces have been decreasing by the week.

Palestinians’ frustrations with the lack of economic growth in the West Bank, and the lack of any diplomatic progress in talks between Ramallah and Israel, are filling the air with explosive fumes. The more concentrated the fumes, the easier it will be for any spark to ignite them.

Ongoing incitement to hatred, by both the Palestinian Authority leadership and Fatah and at the grassroots level (such as the Palestinian community’s Facebook pages), adds to the tension …

In recent weeks, PA officials have threatened to put an end to security coordination between Israel and PA. Although…

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Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 at 8:31 AM  | Stand For Israel

A Palestinian Welcome?

(Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO/ASHERNET)

(Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO/ASHERNET)

Canada has given the Palestinian Authority over 700 million dollars in aid over the past ten years. So how was Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird welcomed during his visit to the West Bank last week? By Palestinians pelting his vehicle with eggs and shoes, holding signs reading “You are not welcome in Palestine,” and shouting insults at the Canadian diplomat.

The Palestinians are angry at Canada for having the common sense and moral integrity to vote down last month’s unilateral attempt to gain statehood through the U.N. Security Council. And when the Palestinian Authority joined the International Criminal Court (ICC) two weeks ago – where they are currently submitting charges against Israel for war crimes and crimes against humanity – Canada was one of the first nations to condemn the move.

Over the years – and especially under Stephen Harper’s leadership – Canada has been one of Israel’s staunchest allies. Yet they have gone to great measures not to turn their backs on the Palestinians or the prospect for peace.

While other democratic countries, especially those in Europe, have taken up the Palestinian cause to try and win favor with Arab countries, Canada has stood firmly on the side of truth, on the side of morality, and on the side of genuine peace – the side on which Israel stands and has always stood.

To win favor with Palestinians, it is not enough to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into projects aimed at improving their lives… their leadership’s attempts to strip Israel of its legitimacy and right to self-defense must be supported, as well. Canada – which supports a two-state solution, but demands the Palestinians offer peace in return for land, and not more intensified violence – is seen as the enemy.

After twenty years of “peace talks,” tens of billions of dollars in foreign aid, countless Israeli concessions and unilateral land withdrawals, the Palestinian public is even more radicalized and opposed to peace than they were before the whole peace process began.

- Ami Farkas

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Monday, January 26th, 2015 at 1:21 PM  | Stand for Israel

Struggling to Understand Hatred

(Photo: flickr/synnetonidas)

(Photo: flickr/synnetonidas)

I want to believe – and most times I do – that not every Palestinian wants me dead. I don’t want to look for the exit every time a Palestinian walks into a café or gets on a bus. I really want some semblance of normalcy with my neighbors, though I’m painfully aware that significant segments of their society harbor immense hatred toward my people, and even call for our destruction.

Every once in a while I’ll have a pleasant encounter with a Palestinian and I imagine a light at the end of this dark tunnel of conflict. I’ll hope that one day Israelis will no longer have to wait in rocket-proof bus stops in Sderot. I’ll hope that someday soon we’ll no longer have to build homes equipped with bomb shelters. And I’ll hope that maybe, just maybe, one day I can toss our funny-looking gas masks in the trash, or use them as Purim costumes for my kids.

But then I read something like this:

Palestinians have uploaded an instructional video on the internet that shows would-be attackers the most lethal ways to stab somebody. The step-by-step video, titled “How to stab correctly,” was circulated on YouTube and its links were shared with the Facebook and Twitter groups of Palestinian organizations and activists in East Jerusalem, the Hebrew news site NRG reported Saturday.

Strangely enough, this shocking video made me think of my parents. Their childhood in Eastern Europe was spent running from the Nazis, and while they were fortunate enough to have survived, most of their cousins and grandparents were not. And yet, I was never taught to hate all Germans because of what the Nazis did to our ancestors.

Instead, my parents were impressed by what Germany had become after WWII. And while I learned about the Holocaust and the appalling anti-Semitism that caused it, I was always reminded that good people reside everywhere and in every culture.

As for Palestinians, my father served in the IDF during both the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur

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Wednesday, December 31st, 2014 at 7:55 AM  | Stand For Israel