How Mahmoud Abbas Lost Public Support

In an interview with an Israeli television station last week, the Palestinian Authority president spoke of his security forces’ efforts to bring an end to the stabbings and announced that he wants peace with Israel. His words, writes Khaled Abu Toameh, may have cost him the support of his base:

Verbal attacks against Abbas are not only coming from his political enemies, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Some are coming from his own supporters in Fatah and the PLO. . . . The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the second largest faction of the PLO after Fatah, has called for Abbas’s immediate resignation. . . . Palestinians also took to social media to denounce their president for his remarks. . . .

Let us put things into perspective. This is the same Abbas who over the past six months has remained silent in the face of the new “knife intifada”; the same Abbas who whips his people into a frenzy by telling them that Jews are “defiling the al-Aqsa Mosque with their filthy feet”; and the same Abbas whose media and officials glorify Palestinians who murder Israelis. . . .

Abbas has only himself to blame for this morass. In the last months, he and the PA leadership have been inciting their people against Israel through the media and public rhetoric. Forget what they say in English: in Arabic, many of the Palestinian leaders talk of death to the Israelis. Like other Palestinian leaders, Abbas has become hostage to his own poisonous anti-Israel rhetoric.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Israel & Zionism, Knife intifada, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, PFLP, PLO

An American Withdrawal from Iraq Would Hand Another Victory to Iran

Since October 7, the powerful network of Iran-backed militias in Iraq have carried out 120 attacks on U.S. forces stationed in the country. In the previous year, there were dozens of such attacks. The recent escalation has led some in the U.S. to press for the withdrawal of these forces, whose stated purpose in the country is to stamp out the remnants of Islamic State and to prevent the group’s resurgence. William Roberts explains why doing so would be a mistake:

American withdrawal from Iraq would cement Iran’s influence and jeopardize our substantial investment into the stabilization of Iraq and the wider region, threatening U.S. national security. Critics of the U.S. military presence argue that [it] risks a regional escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran. However, in the long term, the U.S. military has provided critical assistance to Iraq’s security forces while preventing the escalation of other regional conflicts, such as clashes between Turkey and Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and Syria.

Ultimately, the only path forward to preserve a democratic, pluralistic, and sovereign Iraq is through engagement with the international community, especially the United States. Resisting Iran’s takeover will require the U.S. to draw international attention to the democratic backsliding in the country and to be present and engage continuously with Iraqi civil society in military and non-military matters. Surrendering Iraq to Iran’s agents would not only squander our substantial investment in Iraq’s stability; it would greatly increase Iran’s capability to threaten American interests in the Levant through its influence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

Read more at Providence

More about: Iran, Iraq, U.S. Foreign policy