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PLO wants invitation to Tehran

Salam FayyadPro-Western PM Fayyad protested Iran’s invitation to Hamas. The terrorist group was invited to the meeting of Non-Aligned Movement, which has degenerated into a supporter of rogue and terrorist regimes.

But Fayyad did not protest because Hamasniks are terrorists or because Tehran’s nuclear weapons could annihilate Ramallah as easily as Tel Aviv. He is concerned that the invitation to Hamas undermines Palestinian unity — that is, the unity between Israeli-financed Fatah and Iranian-financed Hamas.

Israeli media want Arab Spring in the PA

Leftist journalists keep speaking up in support of their Palestinian colleagues. After the post-Arafat thaw in Palestinian politics, the number of journalists who speak openly about corruption keeps increasing, and the PA has to repress them.

Now, that is not nice, but we certainly prefer a strong Fatah—which cooperates with Israel on terrorism prevention—to honest Hamas or democracy (which, in the current political situation, is the same thing). It is in Israel’s interest to keep Fatah corrupt and its lynchpins fat and lazy. If, to that end, the Arabs want to suppress their journalists, we could not care less.

Jenin infamy: now by Fatah

Jenin is a bad word for good Jews. In 2002, twenty-three Jewish soldiers were killed there and hundreds more were wounded because of a mad order to enter a terrorist nest on foot, lest we harm innocent terrorists and their supporters. In the ensuing fight, only fifty-three Palestinians were killed, perhaps the lowest death ratio in any of the IDF’s modern operations.

Now Jenin has become scandalous for the Palestinians. After Fatah militiamen attacked a local governor, the PA ordered a wholesale crackdown on its own militants there, with scores arrested for criminal activities. Recall that all of them receive pensions funded by Israeli tax transfers.

Hamas emerges as Israel’s best friend in Gaza

One notable thing about the current round of fighting in Gaza was the absence of Hamas. As we’ve been saying for years, Hamas is on the path of moderation, like any other party burdened by the responsibility of running a state. Importantly, its position on peace with Israel is now no different from Fatah’s, as both terrorist groups have officially admitted.

At the same time, Hamas treads the path of Fatah: as the major terrorist group grows moderate, it loses its reason for existence and is overcome by smaller groups, such as PRC and PIJ. Thus, signing a peace treaty with Hamas solves nothing for Israel.

Israel funds a Hamas-like entity?

Abbas declared that Fatah and Hamas have solved all of their differences and now share exactly the same political platform.

Their differences were minimal to begin with: Hamas insisted on full withdrawal to the 1948 armistice line, while Fatah allowed less than a 3% correction of it. Hamas spoke of a long-term truce, while Fatah benevolently offered us a Cold War-style peace.

Now Israel appears to be in an odd position: we refuse to negotiate with Hamas, but we finance and defend its clone, the Fatah.

Jewish terrorists are more dangerous than Arabs

The US refused to grant a visa to Ben Ari, an MK who belonged to Kach a long time ago. At the same time, Palestinian members of Fatah and the PLO have no difficulty obtaining US visas.

Israel seeks a pretext for dropping out of peace talks

Netanyahu declared that further peace talks with Palestinian Arabs will be useless if Fatah signs a reconciliation accord with Hamas.

Well, the talks have been fruitless for decades, but that has nothing to do with any Fatah-Hamas agreement. We negotiated with the Arabs when they had a single government before their rift in Gaza.

American entente with Salafists: repeating the old error

Salafists in EgyptThe US Ambassador in Egypt met with Salafist leaders. The move is ground-breaking, as White House officials have refused to meet with the Muslim Brotherhood for decades, and the Salafists are the most extreme sort of radicals. Salafists advocate the extreme form of Sharia, militancy toward Israel, and terrorism. These views have made them the second-biggest political party in Egypt.

The Americans’ intentions are transparent. We have seen this before in Israeli relations with Hamas, and previously with Hezbollah. The idea was to nurture a small ultra-radical offshoot, which would counter a major terrorist organization (Fatah and Amal, respectively) without a chance of growing big precisely because it is too radical to attract mainstream supporters. That reasoning has proved wrong repeatedly, and has resulted in the creation of Al Qaeda.

Now the White House is gambling that the Salafists will curtail the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose 49% win came as a surprise to no one but Washington officials. Salafists will agree to cooperate with the Americans precisely because they advocate the most radical form of Islam, which sanctions any deceit in pursuit of its goals.

In any conflict with the MB, the Salafists would win. Though the MB theoretically enjoys broader support, much of this support comes from urbanized liberals who care about their mortgages more than political ends. The Salafists can bring a much more militant crowd into the streets.

HRW report: the illusion of even-handedness

The Human Rights Watch issued its annual report, which purports to satisfy both sides. But look closer.

Israel is accused of killing 37 Palestinians, with no mention of the fact that almost all of them were terrorists on active duty, some on their way to launch rockets at Israel.  The report likewise accuses Israel of the mass killing of Syrians during two protests in May and June, without clarifying what those Syrians would have done to Jewish villagers had they not been stopped at the border with bullets.

Hamas and Fatah are tellingly accused of unfair trials and torture—in effect, of cracking down on their own terrorists who have veered out of control. The HRW mentioned hundreds of rocket attacks on Israel, which cannot be ignored, but preferred to miss the much more massive and lethal grassroots terrorism, including daily attacks on Jewish cars with rocks and firebombs.

Dweik arrested again on the same charges

IDF arrested the speaker of the Palestinian parliament (and member of Hamas), Aziz Dweik. He spent two years in Israeli prison after he was arrested in 2006 to be used as a bargaining chip for Shalit’s release. This time IDF showed no creativity in thinking up a reason for his detention: he was nabbed simply for association with a terrorist organization. Which of course he is, being a Hamas official.

Dweik was very active in the Hebron area, were Fatah enjoys very limited authority, and Israel arrested him as a favor to the Fatah, which in light of its reconciliation efforts with Hamas, cannot arrest Hamas leaders.

Aziz Dweik

Arabs are normal, want to kill their enemies

At the annual event commemorating the founding of Fatah, the Palestinian ‘mufti of Jerusalem’ reminded the audience of their religious duty to exterminate every single Jew. And his words are common sense: the Arabs know that the only way to win a war is to kill your enemies.

In contrast, consider the Jews who hunt ‘racists’ in our own state, sue soldiers who deal appropriately with Arab terrorists, and send tax transfers to Fatah, which advocates killing us.

When Arab kills a policeman, it is not terrorism

An Arab driver attempted to run over an Israeli policeman near the Zif intersection at Hebron Hills when ordered to stop at checkpoint.

In order to sustain the peace process, police are saying that this was not terrorism. But the test is simple: the Arab wouldn’t have dared to run over a Fatah policeman; thus he attempted to kill a Jew.

We already did accept Hamas in Palestinian government

Netanyahu has reiterated Israel’s refusal to negotiate with the PA if Hamas joins the government.

That in itself is no big threat to the Palestinians, who rightly see the negotiations as pointless. Besides, Israel won’t be able to withhold tax transfers even from the Hamas government. But the Israeli government has a short memory: we did cooperate with a Palestinian government that included Hamas, before the terrorist group evicted Fatah from Gaza.

Hamas joining the PLO is not bad at all

The Israeli government puzzled us by slamming the Arabs’ decision to bring Hamas and PIJ into the PLO. The PLO is not exactly a sheep: it includes Fatah and PFLP terrorist groups. PFLP is still active directly, and Fatah acts through its Al Aqsa Martyrs offshoot.

Joining the PLO would force Hamas to abide by the recognition of Israel stipulated in the Oslo Accords. If anything, such a commitment would moderate the terrorist group.


No concessions from Hamas

Fatah claims to have obtained a major concession from Hamas: the terrorist group has agreed to recognize the State of Israel in its 1948 borders. As if we care about their recognition.

In fact, Hamas has maintained that position for about a decade. The problem is that it means uprooting three Jewish towns and dozens of villages in the West Bank… and abandoning Jerusalem. Hamas would still not abandon its demand for the right of return. In line with Islamic teaching, the terrorist group views the 1948 borders as a mere ceasefire line, to be breached when Muslims become sufficiently strong.

Palestinians think too highly of Jews

Hamas and Fatah leaders slammed the Israeli government over its decision to close the Mughrabi bridge, which led toward the Muslim-occupied Temple Mount over the heads of Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall below. The Arabs believe that our government is ready to Judaize the Temple Mount, which regrettably is not the case.

The PA, which subsists on Israeli money and bayonets, was especially harsh in its condemnation.

Mughrabi bridge

Why risk Jewish lives for an Arab scoundrel?

Umm al FahmA hundred Jews from the Israeli special forces risked their lives in Ramallah to free an Arab from Umm al Fahm. Other Arabs had kidnapped him after his father, a building contractor reneged on a $130,000 debt to them.

If the government was concerned with formalities, such as citizen equality before the law, we could as well argue that no Arabs from Umm al Fahm serve in Israeli combat forces. Or, still more legally, once the Arab was taken to Ramallah he became Fatah’s police problem, not ours.

Terror financing: MKs blame the Americans

The US Congress has asked the Comptroller-General to investigate the PA’s use of US aid money to build homes for released terrorists. The move comes in response to a letter from Lieberman’s MK.

There is really nothing to investigate, as the PA speaks openly about the financing. Indeed, it would make no difference if Fatah were paying for the homes with its own money while covering the gaps in other expenses with US aid. That trick, by the way, has for three decades allowed Egypt to use American aid to build up its army while nominally using the money for peaceful purposes.

Does the PA promote terrorism by subsidizing these houses? Yes, but not to the extent that Israel promotes the same by releasing terrorists.

So long as Israel finances the Fatah and Hamas governments in the West Bank and Gaza, there is little moral merit in blaming the United States for feeding the monster in our backyard.

Palestinians call European bluff

Abbas and SarkoziFatah and Hamas leaders proceeded with their reconciliation meeting in Egypt even though the EU threatened to cut off aid to the PA if Hamas joins the government without recognizing Israel. And the Arabs bet correctly.

Right now, Israel, the US, and EU finance even the Hamas-only government in Gaza, pretending that their aid money goes directly to public servants. No doubt a similar arrangement would exist for the West Bank.

Hamas, however, has little incentive to join Fatah in the bankrupt and discredited Ramallah government. Ruling the enclave in Gaza unilaterally and with few responsibilities (as the Strip is supplied by the UNRWA) is a much better option. Hamas gains more by waiting for the Fatah government to fail on its own. Fatah leaders are also loathe to disrupt their cozy relations with Israel by bringing Hamas into the government.

Palestinian UN membership bid: stop or go?

Mahmoud Abbas in UNNow that their bid is stalled in the UNSC, we can ponder whether it was wise. And yes, it was.

Regardless of whether he has won UNSC approval, Abbas has won the UNGA to his side. This is something that Jewish state has never accomplished even once. In effect, Abbas has achieved a moral victory.

He did not harm his relations with the White House. Obama probably hates him just as he hated Netanyahu before, but that does not change the fact that Washington has no other party to support in the PA. To underscore that fact, the White House released $200 million in aid that it had threatened to withhold if Abbas applied to the UNGA for statehood recognition.

Nor will Israel be able to withhold tax transfers for long. Nor can it abandon Fatah militarily, unless we are willing to allow Hamas to take over the West Bank.

The Israeli arguments against the Palestinian bid were proved silly. Thus, to claim that mutually agreed-upon borders are a prerequisite for Palestine’s UN application is preposterous because the Jewish state itself came into being without a border agreement with its neighbors.

Arab diplomats revolted against Abbas for forcing their hand with his UNGA application. Indeed, they as well as their US and EU counterparts felt starkly irrelevant as Abbas dumped diplomatic intrigues in favor of appealing directly to people of the world. But they, too, will be forced back to the table by the US.

Perhaps Abbas miscalculated, imagining that he could push Obama into supporting his bid. Well, the US president is far more cynical than the Fatah leader had thought. Perhaps the peace process is now more dead than ever because the UNGA proved powerless against Jewish influence in Washington. But in the end Abbas was going down, anyway. And at least he is going down as a courageous leader who used his last chance to gain independence for his people—who happen to be our enemies.