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Nakba Day Highlights Fatah, Hamas Differences on Israel

(Photo: wikicommons/ PSP Photos)

(Photo: wikicommons/ PSP Photos)

Last week, Israel celebrated Yom HaAtzmaut, her 66th Independence Day since 1948. Conversely, today is Nakba Day, when Palestinians lament the “catastrophic” creation of the Jewish state. Nakba Day, which occurs every May 15th, is usually marked by rioting and violence, and today looks to be no different. Yet statements made today about the “catastrophe” of Israel’s existence also highlight the differences between the two main Palestinian factions – Hamas and Fatah – as they also struggle to reach a unity agreement with one another:

Hamas vowed in the communique not to forgo any of the Palestinian principles; it rejected concessions on “even one inch of Palestinian land,” pledging to continue in the path of resistance “in all its forms, first and foremost armed resistance, which has proven its capacity to deter the occupation and break its vanity.”

Meanwhile, a statement by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was markedly different in tone. Abbas paid homage to his predecessor Yasser Arafat, pledged allegiance to Jerusalem as the future Palestinian capital, and boasted of the fact that the Palestinian cause had reached the world stage “not as a refugee issue, but as an issue of national liberation and independence for a great and noble people.”

While blasting the Benjamin Netanyahu government for intransigence, Abbas nevertheless reached out to the Israeli leadership, seeking sympathy and understanding …

As we wrote in today’s Stand for Israel Daily Dispatch, we still doubt a Fatah-Hamas unity agreement can and will be reached, and the two sides’ differing Nakba Day reactions only reinforce our doubts.

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Thursday, May 15th, 2014 at 12:57 PM  | Stand For Israel

P.A. Unity Update

(Photo: wikicommons/ Uriber)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Uriber)

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….

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Thursday, May 15th, 2014 at 8:17 AM  | Stand For Israel

Palestinian Prisoners Plotted Kidnap of IDF Soldier

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Shin Bet (the Israeli Security Agency) foiled a plot to kidnap an IDF soldier. According to The Jerusalem Post, two Palestinian prisoners – serving life sentences for the 2006 murder of an Israeli citizen – were planning to kidnap an IDF soldier to be used as ransom for the release of imprisoned terrorists. But due to a diligent investigation, the two prisoners and their accomplices outside were all arrested before they could carry out their nefarious plan:

The plot, orchestrated by Palestinian prisoners serving life sentences, targeted IDF soldiers in the Huwara , Ariel and Yitzhar junction areas …

… suspects began discussing a kidnapping plot in 2012. They sought funding from another prisoner, who made contact with Hamas in Gaza, which agreed to pay for the attack. Additional prisoners, who were about to be released, were subsequently recruited to carry out the kidnapping.

The prisoners used smuggled cellphones to send instructions to recruits on the outside, as well as letters smuggled by visiting relatives.

Al-Rahman Athman’s relatives were ordered by the plot’s masterminds to prepare a hiding place, purchase arms, buy anesthetizing chemicals and prepare a stolen vehicle.

We thank God for protecting any soldiers who might have been taken, and ask for His continued protection for the IDF and others who might be targeted by terrorists.

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Monday, May 12th, 2014 at 11:33 AM  | Stand For Israel

Palestinian Magical Thinking

(Photo: wikicommons/ Uriber)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Uriber)

Jonathan Spyer, writing at PJ Media, notes that the failure of the peace talks can be traced back, ultimately, to the fantasy world in which most Palestinian leaders live and in which they help keep their public locked:

The Palestinians see themselves as part of the local majority Arabic-speaking Sunni Muslim culture.  From this point of view, the establishment of a non-Muslim sovereignty in Israel was not only an injustice, it was also an anomaly.  Israel, being an anomaly, is therefore bound eventually to be defeated and disappear.  So there is no need to reconcile to it, with all the humiliation therein.

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Friday, May 9th, 2014 at 8:21 AM  | Stand For Israel

In Search of Appalled, Sickened Palestinian Arabs

(Photo: kerenmalki.org)

(Photo: kerenmalki.org)

“This Ongoing War” is a blog written by Frimet and Arnold Roth – two Israeli Jews whose daughter, Malki, was murdered in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem in 2001. Earlier this week, the remains of the suicide terrorist who murdered their little girl were given a “state funeral” attended by every major Palestinian official. They ask the compelling question: where are the moderate Palestinians we always hear about?

… representatives of the major segments of Palestinian Arab society took part in the funeral. If you were looking for moderates – for instance the so-called moderates of the Mahmoud Abbas regime – they were indeed there. But they were not moderating anything. Nor were they expressing viewpoints that came close to moderate. When it comes to murder and incitement to murder of Israelis and of Jews, they are not moderate; they are enthusiastic.

In last Wednesday’s funeral procession in Tubas, they participated, heart and soul, to ensure the strongest possible message of support, encouragement, adulation for acts of calculated murder like the one in which the dead human bomb had engaged – and that stole the life of our daughter Malki.

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Thursday, May 8th, 2014 at 8:19 AM  | Stand For Israel

Running Away From Statehood, Again

Palestinian flagProfessor Efraim Karsh, head of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, undertakes an analysis of the is-it-or-isn’t-it unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas and concludes that such theatre was always inevitable because of the fundamental Palestinian unwillingness to do the dirty work of building and administering a state:

Why should the Palestinians engage in the daunting tasks of nation-building and state creation if they can have their hapless constituents run around in circles for nearly a century while they bask in international sympathy and enrich themselves from the proceeds of their self-inflicted plight?

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Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 at 8:30 AM  | Stand For Israel

With Unity Deal, a Catch-22 for Abbas

(Photo: wikicommons/ Peter Fedynsky)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Peter Fedynsky)

Elhanan Miller, writing in The Times of Israel, has a unique, fascinating, and entirely plausible theory for the sudden interest in unity with Hamas by P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas: the Palestinian failure to hold elections since 2006 harms his international standing and makes it more difficult for him to pressure Israel in the world community:

The truth of the matter is that Abbas plainly did not turn to Hamas for the sake of negotiations with Israel, but rather for the sake of national elections in the Palestinian territories, in a bid to regain something the Israeli government has long argued he sorely lacks: legitimacy to rule.

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Friday, April 25th, 2014 at 8:21 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Wins, Abbas Loses

(Photo: wikicommons/ Kimdime)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Kimdime)

Yesterday, we predicted that unity talks between Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah would, at best, amount to a framework agreement. That happened yesterday. The deal now gives the parties five weeks to put together a unity government and a timeframe for elections. Ron Ben-Yishai, writing at Yediot Achronot, says Hamas is the big winner:

Hamas is the agreement’s biggest winner. The radical Islamist group controlling Gaza is currently facing a severe economic and political crisis, and is unable to meet the needs of the Strip’s 1.5 million residents. After it turned its back on Syria and Iran, Hamas also lost Egyptian support following the ascent of the current regime there …

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Thursday, April 24th, 2014 at 8:32 AM  | Stand For Israel

Abbas’ Fictional State

(Photo: White House)

(Photo: White House)

Dr. Reuven Berko, writing at Israel Hayom, illustrates why the Palestinians had no interest in the latest round of peace talks actually succeeding and why Israel’s strategy of engaging in the negotiations eventually made evident the emptiness of Palestinian demands for statehood:

The inception of a Palestinian state alongside Israel is a recipe for internal Palestinian disaster. The objective limitations of security and space would force Palestinian leaders to refuse the descendents of the refugees’ demand for a right of return. The Palestinians would be forced to conduct transparent fiscal policies, devoid of the assistance of the Arab world and the West; they would have to put an end to corruption and take actual responsibility for their citizens, as they would have no “occupation” to blame for their failures.

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Thursday, April 24th, 2014 at 8:26 AM  | Stand For Israel

Dismantle the Palestinian Authority? Not Likely.

(Photo: wikicommons/ Uriber)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Uriber)

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:

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.

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Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 at 8:22 AM  | Stand For Israel

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Rabbi's Commentary
Together in Hope, Courage, and Faith

Recent terror attacks against nations founded on principles of peace, democracy, and the value of human life have been carried out by those who find these godly principles troubling and threatening. But despite the constant threat, these biblical ideals assure us Who will win this war.


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