The Latest Palestinian Incitement against the U.S.

Since the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the public burning of the American flag along with pictures or effigies of President Trump have become commonplace in the West Bank and Gaza. After his recent visit to Jerusalem, Vice-President Pence has been subjected to the same symbolic treatment. Bassam Tawil explains that these demonstrations do not take place without official imprimatur:

Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders and officials set the tone, while ordinary Palestinians take to the streets to express their hatred of the U.S. . . . [Recently], activists in a refugee camp near Bethlehem held a mock trial for Trump and Pence. . . . The “court” found [the two] guilty . . . and they were sentenced to death by hanging. The court also ruled that the bodies of Trump and Pence would be burned after their “execution.” . . .

Strikingly, this event took place inside a refugee camp that is run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), just outside a school run by UNRWA. . . . More interesting still is that members of PA president Mahmoud Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction participated in the mock trial. . . Such a display of hatred and encouragement of violence against American leaders could never have taken place without the approval of Abbas. . . .

Once again, Palestinians are being taught by their “leaders” that, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars they receive annually from the U.S., they are meant to disgorge murderous venom at America. In fact, the mock trial and execution of Trump and Pence gives a green light to Palestinians physically to target Americans. . . .

The U.S. and other Western countries would do well to take the Palestinian campaign of threats and incitement extremely seriously—and to counter these threats. Submission to this intimidation will simply result in even more intimidation, more violence, and more threats.

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More about: Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Palestinian Authority, Palestinians, Politics & Current Affairs, UNRWA

 

Yasir Arafat’s Decades-Long Alliance with Iran and Its Consequences for Both Palestinians and Iranians

Jan. 18 2019

In 2002—at the height of the second intifada—the Israeli navy intercepted the Karina A, a Lebanese vessel carrying 50 tons of Iranian arms to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). But Yasir Arafat’s relationship with the Islamic Republic goes much farther back, to before its founding in 1979. The terrorist leader had forged ties with followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini that grew especially strong in the years when Lebanon became a base of operations both for Iranian opponents of the shah and for the PLO itself. Tony Badran writes:

The relationship between the Iranian revolutionary factions and the Palestinians began in the late 1960s, in parallel with Arafat’s own rise in preeminence within the PLO. . . . [D]uring the 1970s, Lebanon became the site where the major part of the Iranian revolutionaries’ encounter with the Palestinians played out. . . .

The number of guerrillas that trained in Lebanon with the Palestinians was not particularly large. But the Iranian cadres in Lebanon learned useful skills and procured weapons and equipment, which they smuggled back into Iran. . . . The PLO established close working ties with the Khomeinist faction. . . . [W]orking [especially] closely with the PLO [was] Mohammad Montazeri, son of the senior cleric Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri and a militant who had a leading role in developing the idea of establishing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) once the revolution was won.

The Lebanese terrorist and PLO operative Anis Naccache, who coordinated with [the] Iranian revolutionaries, . . . takes personal credit for the idea. Naccache claims that Jalaleddin Farsi, [a leading Iranian revolutionary]. approached him specifically and asked him directly to draft the plan to form the main pillar of the Khomeinist regime. The formation of the IRGC may well be the greatest single contribution that the PLO made to the Iranian revolution. . . .

Arafat’s fantasy of pulling the strings and balancing the Iranians and the Arabs in a grand anti-Israel camp of regional states never stood much of a chance. However, his wish to see Iran back the Palestinian armed struggle is now a fact, as Tehran has effectively become the principal, if not the only, sponsor of the Palestinian military option though its direct sponsorship of Islamic Jihad and its sustaining strategic and organizational ties with Hamas. By forging ties with the Khomeinists, Arafat unwittingly helped to achieve the very opposite of his dream. Iran has turned [two] Palestinian factions into its proxies, and the PLO has been relegated to the regional sidelines.

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More about: Hamas, History & Ideas, Iran, Lebanon, PLO, Yasir Arafat