A PLO Leader Enjoys the Lifesaving Medical Treatment He Would Deny His Fellow Palestinians

For three decades, Saeb Erekat—now secretary general of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)—has served as the public face of the Palestinian cause and as Yasir Arafat’s chief negotiator. His frequent attempts to libel Israel, most notably with the canard that a pitched battle between the IDF and Palestinian soldiers in Jenin was a massacre of civilians, have had a particular staying power. Now he is being kept alive by an Israeli medical team. David Horovitz writes:

Infuriated by Benjamin Netanyahu’s annexation plans, the Palestinian leadership has severed most dealings with Israel, to the direct detriment of its people, notably refusing to accept the tax revenues that Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) for Palestinian imports and exports. Most relevantly in Erekat’s case, the PA has canceled the arrangements by which Palestinians needing medical treatment not available in PA areas can be transferred to Israeli hospitals. These measures have not been reversed even though annexation is now indefinitely off the table; Israel and the UN, however, have formulated a mechanism, outflanking the PA, by which Palestinian patients are again being transferred to Israeli hospitals.

As I write, Saeb Erekat, sixty-five, is on life support at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem, suffering from COVID-19. Treating him, the hospital has said, is extremely complicated because he has a history of medical problems, including undergoing a lung transplant in 2017. The hospital said it has been reaching out to international experts for input.

There’s a whole world of tragedies, hypocrisies, ironies and, potentially, lessons in this story—about what genuine coexistence between Israel and the Palestinians could achieve. . . . What is certain is that a leading hospital in the state of Israel is doing everything in its power to give him that opportunity. Of course it is.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Coronavirus, PLO, Saeb Erekat

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy