The Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to boycott the recent conference in Bahrain, where the U.S. and Arab states proposed spending $50 billion to improve his people’s economic conditions, has brought to mind Abba Eban’s famous quip that Palestinians “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” But, writes Zalman Shoval, this interpretation of Abbas’s decision-making, like Jared Kushner’s recent statement that Palestinian leaders made a “strategic mistake” by refusing to come to Bahrain, rests on false assumptions about his goals.
In Rejecting the Bahrain Conference, Palestinian Leaders Keep Faith with Their Long-Range Intentions
Despite Opposition from the Taliban, Islamic State Is Thriving in Afghanistan
According to Taliban officials, Islamic State’s Afghanistan offshoot (known as the “Khorasan province,” or ISKP) has but a negligible presence. American diplomats, for their part, have claimed that the new jihadist government in Kabul can provide a bulwark against the group, which opposes what it sees as the Taliban’s relative religious moderation. But, Oved Lobel argues, the evidence supports neither interpretation: