In Rejecting the Bahrain Conference, Palestinian Leaders Keep Faith with Their Long-Range Intentions

July 11 2019

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.

Palestinian leaders’ true intention [is] to thwart in advance any Israeli or international initiative that would put them on the road to accepting the existence of the state of Israel, which could be interpreted as a final and historic confirmation of the Jewish people’s right to a state in any part of Palestine. . . . Abbas claims that he is opposed to terrorism, and apparently genuinely so—but his basic ideology is no different from that of the terrorist organizations. . . .

Incidentally, the recent meeting in Bahrain had a precedent: the Casablanca Conference following the Oslo Accords. There, too, politicians and businesspeople gathered from all over the world, including a few Arab countries—and there, too, was euphoria. The Israeli delegation, which included ministers and prominent businesspeople, even prepared detailed plans for economic cooperation with all of the parties, the Palestinians first and foremost. But the Palestinian representatives announced right from the start: “No cooperation with Israel.”

Thus, Shimon Peres’s vision of the “New Middle East,” the main project of that conference, died before it was born. As then, so now: the Palestinian leaders care nothing for the logical assertion that economic advantages do not cancel out the option of future political gains—which means that U.S. President Donald Trump and Jared Kushner’s generous and balanced plan is doomed to become another link in the chain of Palestinian rejectionism.

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More about: Abba Eban, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Jared Kushner, Mahmoud Abbas, Peace Process

While Islamic Jihad Launches Rockets at Israel, Hamas Faces a Dilemma

Nov. 13 2019

On November 1, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), an Iran-backed terrorist group based in the Gaza Strip, launched a barrage of rockets at nearby towns in Israel. The IDF responded by striking military targets in the Strip and, yesterday, in the wee hours of the morning, killed Baha Abu al-Ata, one of PIJ’s senior commanders. The terrorist group responded by launching some 200 rockets over the course of the day, sending Israelis to bomb shelters not just in the immediate vicinity of Gaza but also in the center of the country and as far north as Tel Aviv. Khaled Abu Toameh analyzes the political calculations of both PIJ and Hamas:

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Israeli Security, Palestinian terror