Palestinians: Embattled, Weak Abbas Comes to White House

This week, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and US President Donald Trump will sit down together to talk. This is the first such meeting since the US presidential election, and it comes at a time when the Palestinian scene is characterized by mounting internal tensions, fighting and divisiveness. The disarray among the Palestinians, where everyone seems to be fighting everyone else, casts serious doubt on Abbas’s ability to lead the Palestinians towards a better future. The chaos also raises the question whether Abbas has the authority to speak on behalf of a majority of Palestinians, let alone sign a peace agreement with Israel that would be acceptable to enough of his people.

Abbas, however, seems rather oblivious to the state of bedlam among the Palestinians, and appears determined to forge ahead despite the radical instability he is facing.

He is travelling to Washington to tell Trump that he and his PA leadership seek a “just and comprehensive” peace with Israel through the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

In the meeting, Abbas is likely to repeat his long-standing charges that Israel continues to “sabotage” any prospect for peace with the Palestinians.

Abbas is not likely to mention the mayhem that the PA leadership is facing at home. Nor is the fact that the Palestinians are as far as ever from achieving their goal of statehood likely to be a preeminent subject. Why bother discussing inconvenient truths, such as the deep divisions among the Palestinians and failure to hold presidential and parliamentary elections, when you can point the finger of blame at Israel?

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Hamas: The New Charter That Isn’t

Yasser Arafat may have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but his PLO officials and he really deserve the prize for the art of deception. For decades now, the PLO has spearheaded one of history’s biggest scams, and now it seems that Hamas, the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood movement, is about to join the bandwagon.

According to unconfirmed reports in the Arab media, Hamas is about to publish a “political document” in which it “accepts” the “two-state solution.” The purported document is already being hailed by some Western and Israeli analysts and Hamas apologists as a sign of the radical Islamic movement’s march toward moderation and pragmatism.

It is worthwhile to note that, contrary to what is being published in many media outlets, Hamas is NOT changing its Charter, which explicitly calls for the elimination of Israel. The new Hamas document is intended for outside consumption and is directed to the ears and eyes of Americans and Europeans only. The original Hamas Charter in Arabic will remain in effect even after the new document is made public and seemingly official. In fact, it does not have to do that. The New Charter, while mouthing all sorts of human rights bromides over which Westerners and the media can be counted upon to swoon, such as:

“Hamas believes that the message of Islam came with morals of justice, truth, dignity and freedom, and is against injustice in all its shapes, and criminalizes the criminals whatever their sex, color, religion or nationality,” and so on. (New Hamas Charter, Article 9).

It is, nevertheless, the same Old Hamas Charter as before. It does not even bother to renounce jihad as an acceptable means of “resistance.” This is Hamas talking in code; pursuing “resistance” against Israel means: We plan to continue launching terror attacks against Israel.

“Hamas confirms that no peace in Palestine should be agreed on, based on injustice to the Palestinians or their land. Any arrangements based on that will not lead to peace, and the resistance and Jihad will remain as a legal right, a project and an honor for all our nations’ people.” (New Hamas Charter, Article 21)

 

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As winds of war rise, Israel must decide whether to pull the plug on Gaza

A. lives in the northern Gaza Strip. I have known him for years — seventeen years, to be exact. I have visited his home in the Gaza Strip several times, met his children and his relatives, and I hardly ever go to the Gaza Strip without seeing him.

He has never expressed radical political views. On the contrary, he has always stayed in good spirits, always tried to hold on to his livelihood without getting into things that are none of his business. But in our last conversation, this week, he sounded like something inside him has snapped.

“I have no food for my children,” A. said. “Believe me; you know that I don’t make things up. I have nothing to give them to eat. The situation here is so bad, I have no work, the children [the older ones] have no work. And I see nothing on the horizon. As far as I’m concerned, it would be better if a war started already. Maybe then people will notice Gaza and pay attention to us. We have no life here anymore. This is hell.”

These are the words of a desperate man who cannot support his family. But he’s not the only speaking like this. Over the past month, more and more Gazans have begun speaking in positive terms about war as a means to break the status quo and perhaps climb out of the abyss into which the Gaza Strip has sunk.

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The Top Five Laughable Lies From Hamas’s New Political Document

On Monday, Hamas, the U.S. and E.U.-designated terrorist group that controls Gaza, released a new political document that attempted to put a moderate face on its extremist agenda of eliminating Israel. Few were convinced. As the New York Times reported, “Experts on all sides of the complex struggle here say the new document is unlikely to represent any profound change in Hamas’s true position toward Israel. The group recently chose a hard-liner, Yehya Sinwar, as its new leader in Gaza, and it has still in no way recognized Israel or renounced violence.”

As the Times noted, the new document does not accept Israel’s right to exist. It also does not disavow or replace the group’s official charter, which blames the Jews for both world wars, cites the anti-Semitic screed The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and is riddled with anti-Jewish tropes.

The document does, however, contain many obvious and hilarious lies. It’s worth enumerating a few of them, if only to underscore the fact that this document is a work of propaganda intended for gullible foreigners, and not a serious policy statement.

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Hamas Praises North Korea After Pyongyang Regime Threatens to ‘Mercilessly Punish’ Israel

The Hamas terrorist group praised North Korea on Sunday after the Pyongyang regime issued a threat against Israel earlier this weekend, the Hebrew news site Walla reported.

On Saturday, the North Korean Foreign Ministry vowed the country would “mercilessly punish those who offend the dignity of our leadership” — a reference to a recent statement made by Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, in which he called North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un “extreme and crazy.”

“We warn Israel to think twice about the implications of its defamation campaign against us,” the Foreign Ministry statement said.

North Korea also noted it was “fully supporting the struggle of the Palestinian people” to establish “an independent state with Quds (Jerusalem) as its capital.”

On Sunday, Gaza-ruling Hamas — according to a Shams news agency report cited by Walla —  expressed its appreciation for North Korea’s words, stating, “Hamas condemns the Israeli insult to Pyongyang and emphasizes that the occupation is the leader of evil.”

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The Real Hamas: Sorry, Folks!

What does Hamas mean when it says that it “accepts” an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem without recognizing Israel’s right to exist?

Is this a sign of moderation and pragmatism on the part of the extremist Islamic terror movement? Or is it just another ploy intended to deceive everyone, especially gullible Westerners, into believing that Hamas has abandoned its strategy of destroying Israel in favor of a two-state solution?

Recent reports have suggested that Hamas is moving towards “declaring a Palestinian state over the 1967 borders.”

According to the reports, Hamas is also contemplating changing its charter so that it would no longer include anti-Semitic references. The charter, which was drafted in August 1988, contains anti-Semitic passages and characterizations of Israeli society as Nazi-like in its cruelty. The same reports also claimed that Hamas’s revised charter will also state that the terror movement is not part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Some analysts in Israel and the West have interpreted these reports as a sign that Hamas is finally endorsing a policy of pragmatism toward Israel and Jews. They are particularly excited about Hamas’s purported intention to declare (in its revised charter) that its conflict is “only with Zionism and the occupation, and not with Jews around the world.”

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New Hamas Leader, a Vicious Killer, Portends New Rounds of Violence

The election of Yehya Sinwar to lead Hamas in Gaza represents the completion of a lengthy takeover by the terror movement’s military wing at the expense of the political wing, and it could signal a more imminent confrontational path with Israel than previously thought.

The Izzadin Al-Kassam Brigades gradually have been pushing aside Hamas’s political wing, seeing it as an impediment to its jihadist war efforts against Israel.

Sinwar and his military wing comrades want to reestablish their alliance with Iran and boost a tactical partnership with ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula.

His rise likely means that Hamas and Iran will grow close once again, after years of turmoil over their opposing stances on the Syrian war.

In fact, Sinwar’s rise to power is being described by veteran analyst Pinhas Inbari as Iran’s taking back the reigns to Gaza, which stemmed from Iranian concerns over a more hardline policy from the United States after President Donald Trump’s election.

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