Why Don’t Supporters of Palestinians Care About PA Abuses?

On college campuses and beyond, support for the Palestinians has been portrayed as a human rights campaign. While the anti-Semitic BDS movement is, according to its founders and leaders, a crusade to make Israel disappear, it has attracted many naïve supporters who believe ostracizing Israel will somehow help the Palestinians achieve independence. BDS has been an unmitigated failure, but it has shielded the Palestinian Authority and Hamas from criticism for their abuses of human rights.

Sadly, the people who loudly proclaim their concern for the Palestinians are silent when it comes to the way Palestinians treat each other. The “occupation” imposes limitations on the freedom of Palestinians, but Israelis have no responsibility for the denial of civil rights by the men (and they are all men) who rule over roughly 98 percent of the Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza.

Let’s start with freedom of speech and assembly. No one can demonstrate or speak out against the leaders of Hamas or the Palestinian Authority. This may be the most serious – and ignored — obstacle to peace. For decades, the irredentism of Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas has led the Palestinian people to ruin. Multiple opportunities for statehood have been squandered because of their unwillingness to compromise and the people have no recourse. The PA is a dictatorship, which does not tolerate dissent. Just last week, the Palestinian police dispersed demonstrations in Ramallah and Bethlehem against the prosecution of five wanted criminals. The one election held in the territories was concerned more with the corruption of Fatah than independence and, to ensure his continued autocratic rule, Abbas has refused to hold another election for more than a decade. Perhaps, if the people felt strongly enough about peace they would revolt against their leaders rather than the Israelis, but they have been content up until now to blame the Jews for their plight.

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President Trump Wants a Peace Process Too

During the election campaign and after his inauguration, President Donald Trump said several times that he wants to close a deal between Israel and the Palestinians. The longer the list of failed U.S. attempts over the decades, the more alluring this challenge apparently becomes. The prospects for enduring acclaim in the event of success seem particularly enticing for narcissistic politicians.

In March 2017, only two months after the inauguration and before all the positions in the defense and foreign policy establishment had been filled, Jason Greenblatt, President Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, was sent to Jerusalem and Ramallah to test the waters. The mission signals unwarranted eagerness.

While the new American administration seems genuinely interested in getting results, its determination to pursue a comprehensive deal is not clear.

Will Trump emulate the “messianic” approach of former US Secretary of State John Kerry? Will the US settle, after an undetermined period, for a “process” only, once it realizes there is no deal in the cards? Will the US finally concur with the Israeli consensus that there is no peace partner in Ramallah and/or in Gaza?

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Know Thine Enemy

There are iron rules of warfare. One of the most basic rules is that you have to know your enemy. If you do not know your enemy, or worse, if you refuse to act on your knowledge of him, you will lose your war against him.

This basic truth appears to have eluded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

This week we have been beset by the bizarre and sudden appearance of Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s negotiations chief.

Greenblatt’s mission is apparently to reinstate the mordant peace process between Israel and the PLO.

The peace process that Greenblatt is here to reincarnate died 17 years ago.

In 2000, PLO chief and Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat killed the peace process when he initiated a massive terrorist war against Israel, right after he rejected peace and Palestinian statehood at the Camp David peace conference.

In rejecting peace, the architect of modern terrorism made clear that his claim seven years earlier that he was willing to reach a compromise with Israel, based on partition of the Land of Israel between a Jewish and an Arab state, was a lie. As the nationalist camp had warned at the time and since, the PLO was not remotely interested either in statehood or in peace. Arafat’s willingness to engage Israel in negotiations that led to its transfer of security and civil control over Gaza and the Palestinian population centers in Judea and Samaria to the PLO was simply another means to the only end the PLO ever contemplated. It was a means of weakening Israel as a step toward achieving the PLO’s ultimate goal of destroying the Jewish state.

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Top US Senator Reintroduces Bill to Cut Off American Funding of Palestinian Authority Over ‘Barbaric’ Practice of Monetarily Rewarding Terrorists and Their Families

A prominent US senator reintroduced legislation on Tuesday that would cut off American funding of the Palestinian Authority if it continues to pay monetary rewards to terrorists and their families.

“Not only are Israelis victims of this barbaric practice; American citizens like Taylor Force are victims of this practice,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said at a Capitol Hill press conference on Tuesday, referring to the 28-year-old West Point graduate who was murdered in a stabbing attack carried out by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv last March and for whom the bill was named. “We’re going to change this. We’re going to get the Palestinian Authority’s attention by withholding their money.”

Graham was joined at Tuesday’s event by Republican Senators Roy Blunt of Missouri and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, as well as Republican Congressmen Doug Lamborn of Colorado — who is behind the House companion bill to the legislation — and Lee Zeldin of New York. Taylor Force’s parents also traveled to Washington from South Carolina to be in attendance.

Abbas Aide: In Coming Months, Palestinian Authority Plans to Pressure International Bodies to Act Against Israel

In the coming months, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas plans to pressure international institutions to act against Israel, a top…

“What the Taylor Force act will do is give the Palestinian Authority a clear choice — to either stop doing what you’re doing or you won’t have our money, at least, to do it with,” Blunt said.

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Do Pro-Palestinian groups care about Palestinians or just hate Jews?

MYTH:

Palestinian groups actually care about Palestinians, and are not just anti-Semitic.

FACT

People of good will on all sides of the political spectrum recognize the difficulties Palestinians experience living under Israeli rule, and many would like to see the establishment of a Palestinian state coexisting beside Israel.

Numerous proponents of Palestinian rights, however, are selective in their concern for the Palestinian people. The anti-Semitic BDS campaign advocates, along with many other sympathizers who cry crocodile tears for the Palestinians on campus and in the media, only care about Palestinian-Jewish interactions.

One longstanding example is the complete lack of interest in the treatment of Palestinians in refugee camps in Arab states. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have languished in camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria for decades. They remain in camps for one reason: the Arab states refuse to resettle them or grant them citizenship.

Ironically, at a time when Arab refugees are being welcomed around the world (albeit sometimes reluctantly by Western societies), Palestinian refugees remain unwanted in lands where they share the same language, religion and culture.

Why have Palestinians been treated so callously by their fellow Arabs?

One historical reason is that the Arab states wanted to keep the refugee issue on the agenda to embarrass Israel and induce international pressure on Israel to allow them to immigrate. The Arab hope was to flood Israel with hostile Palestinians who could act as a fifth-column weakening Israel from within. As the refugee population swelled to a population now exceeding five million, thanks to the absurd criteria of the UN Refugee Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the Arabs expected the Jewish population to be exceeded by that of the Palestinians, effectively changing Israel into a Palestinian state.

For decades, the Arab goal was to destroy Israel and the Palestinians were used as pawns. That motivation has subsided in recent years after Egypt and Jordan signed peace treaties with Israel, and other Arab states began to recognize they share strategic interests with Israel.

Still, the Arab states would prefer to be rid of the Palestinians because they are held in low esteem (despised in some places), threaten local economies and are distrusted. You never hear advocates for the Palestinians complain, however, about the virtual incarceration of Palestinians in camps by Arab leaders.

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The Palestinians of Yarmouk and the shameful silence when Israel is not to blame

Palestinian refugees are being starved, bombed and gunned down like animals. “If you want to feed your children, you need to take your funeral shroud with you,” one told Israeli news website Ynet. “There are snipers on every street, you are not safe anywhere.” This isn’t happening, however, in southern Lebanon, or even Gaza. And these particular Palestinians aren’t being killed or maimed by Israeli bombs and bullets. This is Yarmouk, a refugee camp on the edge of Damascus, just a few miles from the palace of Bashar al-Assad. Since 1 April, the camp has been overrun by Islamic State militants, who have begun a reign of terror: detentions, shootings, beheadings and the rest. Hundreds of refugees are believed to have been killed in what Ban Ki-moon has called the “deepest circle of hell”.

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The “Peace Conference”: An Outright Admission of Failure

The Paris Peace Conference was not as bad as it could have been. The British and Russian governments sent low level delegations. Some of the wording in UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2334 disappeared, and the assembled agreed to resolve “all permanent status issues on the basis of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and also recalled relevant Security Council resolutions.” Resolution 242 is the benchmark for Israel’s security requirements and its right to legitimacy and permanence in the region. And “recalling” is somewhat different from “planning to enforce.”

Most interesting, however, is a three-part section toward the end. The mostly-European plus American gathering:

Expressed their readiness to exert necessary efforts… ensuring the sustainability of a negotiated peace agreement, in particular in the areas of political and economic incentives, the consolidation of Palestinian state capacities, and civil society dialogue. Those could include:

  • A European privileged partnership; other political and economic incentives and increased private sector involvement… continued financial support to the Palestinian Authority in building the infrastructure for a viable Palestinian economy;
  • Supporting and strengthening Palestinian steps to exercise their responsibilities of statehood through consolidating their institutions and institutional capacities, including for service delivery;
  • Convening Israeli and Palestinian civil society fora, in order to enhance dialogue between the parties, rekindle the public debate and strengthen the role of civil society on both sides.

This is an outright admission of failure.

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