Meet Mahmoud al-Aloul, the Man Poised to Succeed Mahmoud Abbas

March 9 2018

The veteran terrorist Mahmoud al-Aloul, known also as Abu Jihad, is the first person ever to hold the position of deputy chairman of the Palestinian Authority’s ruling Fatah faction, and is generally considered Mahmoud Abbas’s handpicked successor as PA president—although whether he will actually be able to take power is anyone’s guess. Having been involved with the Palestinian national movement since the 1960s, Aloul distanced himself from terrorism after the second intifada. Grant Rumley, who interviewed him in December, writes:

Days after we met in his office, Aloul went on television to declare all forms of resistance—both violent and non-violent—to be legitimate responses to President Trump’s speech recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He has since walked back those comments, insisting that his preferred methods are non-violent, but his rhetoric sets him apart from the other Palestinian politicians who have risen in the court of Abbas. Indeed, as a former mobilizer for Fatah, Aloul, who never participated in peace talks, is more connected to the people than many in Ramallah.

Aloul is not nearly as wedded as Abbas to diplomacy, nor is he afraid to embrace positions that Abbas typically avoids. Most noticeably, he has long been skeptical of the peace process. . . . To that end, Aloul has urged Palestinians to take to the streets. This resonates with a majority of Palestinians, who are increasingly dissatisfied with Abbas for his prioritization of the security relationship with Israel over [so-called] “popular protests.” At least part of Abbas’s wariness about public unrest is due to his fear that the Palestinian street may turn against the Ramallah leadership, a fear Aloul acknowledges. . . .

Perhaps Aloul’s biggest break with his leader is in his willingness to entertain, and even support, the one-state movement. An increasing number of young Palestinians have called on their leadership to abandon the traditional Oslo peace process in favor of a binational state—a euphemism for the demographic destruction of the Jewish-majority state in Israel.

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More about: Fatah, Israel & Zionism, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror

For Israelis, Anti-Zionism Kills

Dec. 14 2018

This week alone, anti-Zionists have killed multiple Israelis in a series of attacks; these follow the revelations that Hizballah succeeded in digging multiple attack tunnels from Lebanon into northern Israel. Simultaneously, some recent news stories in the U.S. have occasioned pious reminders that anti-Zionism should not be conflated with anti-Semitism. Bret Stephens notes that it is anti-Zionists, not defenders of Israel, who do the most to blur that distinction:

Israelis experience anti-Zionism in a different way from, say, readers of the New York Review of Books: not as a bold sally in the world of ideas, but as a looming menace to their earthly existence, held at bay only through force of arms. . . . Anti-Zionism might have been a respectable point of view before 1948, when the question of Israel’s existence was in the future and up for debate. Today, anti-Zionism is a call for the elimination of a state—details to follow regarding the fate befalling those who currently live in it. . . .

Anti-Zionism is ideologically unique in insisting that one state, and one state only, doesn’t just have to change. It has to go. By a coincidence that its adherents insist is entirely innocent, this happens to be the Jewish state, making anti-Zionists either the most disingenuous of ideologues or the most obtuse. When then-CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill called last month for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea” and later claimed to be ignorant of what the slogan really meant, it was hard to tell in which category he fell.

Does this make someone with Hill’s views an anti-Semite? It’s like asking whether a person who believes in [the principle of] separate-but-equal must necessarily be a racist. In theory, no. In reality, another story. The typical aim of the anti-Semite is legal or social discrimination against some set of Jews. The explicit aim of the anti-Zionist is political or physical dispossession.

What’s worse: to be denied membership in a country club because you’re Jewish, or driven from your ancestral homeland and sovereign state for the same reason? If anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are meaningfully distinct (I think they are not), the human consequences of the latter are direr.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian terror