Hamas and Fatah Compete by Shedding Jewish Blood

During the past four weeks, there has been a rash of violent attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank. These are not a response to any Israeli actions, nor are they spontaneous outbursts. Rather, as Itamar Marcus and Maurice Hirsch explain, the violence is the result of deliberate incitement by the Palestinian Authority (PA), which began when its president, Mahmoud Abbas, realized he was unlikely to win the upcoming national elections. The violence, write Marcus and Hirsch, was originally a way to win votes, and is now a way to maintain popularity after Abbas’s decision to postpone the elections in definitely:

The intensified incitement started on The Tune of the Homeland, a quiz show broadcasting highly violent, pro-terror songs. To ensure maximum effect, the show was broadcast during the 4:00-5:00 p.m. time slot for children’s programming. From March 13 to March 17, The Tune of the Homeland repeatedly broadcast the song “My Machine Gun Is in My Hand.”

As the holy Muslim month of Ramadan approached, the PA TV’s machine guns were replaced with suicide belts. From April 2 to April 10, The Tune of the Homeland broadcast, on at least twenty occasions, a clip in which Palestinians declared, “I fired my shots, I threw my bomb, I detonated, detonated, detonated my [explosive] belts. . . . My brother, throw my blood on the enemy like bullets.”

Primed by this PA incitement, soon after Ramadan started, Palestinian youth and Jerusalem Arabs started indiscriminately attacking Jews and uploading the videos of the attacks to TikTok, a social-media platform particularly popular with young people. . . . As the violence erupted, Abbas’s Fatah [party] took to social media to fuel the flames.

Not wanting to be upstaged by the new anti-Israel “uprising” coming from Abbas’s Fatah, Hamas realized that it had to compete with Abbas or lose political points. And so, one night without warning, Hamas competed with Fatah in the manner that it knows has the most influence, and launched more than 40 missiles at southern Israel in “defense of Jerusalem.”. . . For Abbas, Fatah and Hamas, violence directed at Israel “in defense of Jerusalem” is just another one of the methods of playing internal Palestinian politics and campaigning before elections. While Hamas fires rockets, Abbas, the PA, and Fatah prefer the more subtle approach of inciting and recruiting Palestinian youth and sending them out to attack Israelis, as part of the PA’s child-terrorist army.

Read more at JNS

More about: Fatah, Hamas, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian terror

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