Israel Doesn’t Need the Palestinian Authority

July 28 2020

In response to the possibility that Jerusalem will attempt to apply its sovereignty to certain areas of the West Bank, Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to dissolve the Palestinian Authority (PA). Such a step could, at worst, plunge the area into chaos. At best, it would leave Israel to shoulder the expenses of providing basic civil services to the Palestinians living in the areas now under PA control—everything from education to welfare for the indigent to policing traffic laws. Of course, Abbas has been threatening to take this step for years, and never made good. Yossi Kuperwasser nonetheless examines the ways Abbas might do so (including temporary or partial dissolution), the possible consequences, and the actions Israel would be forced to take in various scenarios. Kuperwasser concludes:

[W]hile continuing the [present] situation is preferred, Israel can deal with the other alternatives. Some [possible outcomes even] present the possibility that an alternative leadership that may emerge, inside or outside the PA, which may lead to a different view of Israel-Palestinian relations and raise new opportunities.

In any case, Israel does not have to be hostage to the PA and make the PA’s existence and its functioning central elements of Israeli security, especially so long as the PA adheres to a Palestinian narrative that . . . calls for the destruction of Zionism and negates any arrangement recognizing Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. At the same time, the PA encourages terrorism by paying salaries to terrorists and their families and incites hatred against Israel both domestically and on the Arab and international stages. It should be clear that no Palestinian is going to accept any unilateral Israeli move regarding the legal status of any territory, even if some may be willing to assume responsibility for the daily needs of the Palestinian population and to lead the Palestinians in their attempt to promote their national interests.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Israeli Security, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority

 

Salman Rushdie and the Western Apologists for Those Who Wish Him Dead

Aug. 17 2022

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder and supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, issued a fatwa (religious ruling) in 1989 calling for believers to murder the novelist Salman Rushdie due to the content of his novel, The Satanic Verses. Over the years, two of the book’s translators have been stabbed—one fatally—and numerous others have been injured or killed in attempts to follow the ayatollah’s writ. Last week, an American Shiite Muslim came closer than his many predecessors to killing Rushdie, stabbing him multiple times and leaving him in critical condition. Graeme Wood comments on those intellectuals in the West who have exuded sympathy for the stabbers:

In 1989, the reaction to the fatwa was split three ways: some supported it; some opposed it; and some opposed it, to be sure, but still wanted everyone to know how bad Rushdie and his novel were. This last faction, Team To Be Sure, took the West to task for elevating this troublesome man and his insulting book, whose devilry could have been averted had others been more attuned to the sensibilities of the offended.

The fumes are still rising off of this last group. The former president Jimmy Carter was, at the time of the original fatwa, the most prominent American to suggest that the crime of murder should be balanced against Rushdie’s crime of blasphemy. The ayatollah’s death sentence “caused writers and public officials in Western nations to become almost exclusively preoccupied with the author’s rights,” Carter wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times. Well, yes. Carter did not only say that many Muslims were offended and wished violence on Rushdie; that was simply a matter of fact, reported frequently in the news pages. He took to the op-ed page to add his view that these fanatics had a point. “While Rushdie’s First Amendment freedoms are important,” he wrote, “we have tended to promote him and his book with little acknowledgment that it is a direct insult to those millions of Moslems whose sacred beliefs have been violated.” Never mind that millions of Muslims take no offense at all, and are insulted by the implication that they should.

Over the past two decades, our culture has been Carterized. We have conceded moral authority to howling mobs, and the louder the howls, the more we have agreed that the howls were worth heeding. The novelist Hanif Kureishi has said that “nobody would have the [courage]” to write The Satanic Verses today. More precisely, nobody would publish it, because sensitivity readers would notice the theological delicacy of the book’s title and plot. The ayatollahs have trained them well, and social-media disasters of recent years have reinforced the lesson: don’t publish books that get you criticized, either by semiliterate fanatics on the other side of the world or by semiliterate fanatics on this one.

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Read more at Atlantic

More about: Ayatollah Khomeini, Freedom of Speech, Iran, Islamism, Jimmy Carter