Palestinians Won’t Have a State Unless Their Leaders Try to Build One

June 10 2022

Tomorrow, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs will arrive in Ramallah to meet with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA). In a phone call last week, Abbas—who was elected to a four-year term in 2005 and has not stood for reelection since—reportedly told Secretary of State Antony Blinken, “I am done. This is the end.” Kobi Michael and Ori Wertman comment on Abbas’s strategic impasse:

The manifest weakness of Mahmoud Abbas’s leadership—and the PA’s failures in the field of governance—thus pose for Israel, and the world, a poor but inevitable choice among sub-optimal conflict management, the alternative of localized centers of power, or the dangerous rise to dominance of more radical elements. . . . [B]ased on the evidence of the last 28 years, . . . the basic drivers for this failure and the reasons why it cannot easily be undone can be found in the PA’s own conduct.

The main cause of failure, . . . can be identified in the failure of the Palestinian leadership—first of Yasir Arafat and then Mahmoud Abbas, each in his own distinct way—to carry out the necessary transition from a revolutionary movement . . . to a real and painstaking process of state-building. This would have required a change in the aspects of consciousness, organization, and political behavior, which did not come about.

The PA, which failed to read the global and regional map and continued to adhere to the internationalization strategy while deepening the rift and disconnect with both Israel and the U.S., has also failed to change its ways regarding the other reasons that have led to its failure. As a result, the Palestinian economy has continued to falter and its dependence on the Israeli economy is still complete; civil society has remained paralyzed and persecuted; and state institutions continue to be characterized largely by dysfunction saturated with corruption and nepotism.

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Read more at Jerusalem Strategic Tribune

More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, Yasir Arafat

 

Iran’s Responsibility for West Bank Terror

On Friday, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli police officer and was then shot by another officer after trying to grab his rifle. Commenting on the many similar instances of West Bank-based terror during the past several months, Amit Saar, a senior IDF intelligence officer, predicted that the violence will likely grow worse in the coming year. Yoni Ben Menachem explains the Islamic Republic’s role in fueling this wave of terrorism:

The escape of six terrorists from Gilboa prison in September 2021 was the catalyst for the establishment of new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank, according to senior Islamic Jihad officials. The initiative to establish new armed groups was undertaken by Palestinian Islamic Jihad in coordination with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, implementing the strategy of Qassem Suleimani—the commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards who was assassinated in Iraq by the U.S.—of using proxies to achieve the goals of expansion of the Iranian regime.

After arming Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Iran moved in the last year to support the new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank. Iran has been pouring money into the Islamic Jihad organization, which began to establish new armed groups under the name of “Battalions,” which also include terrorists from other organizations such as Fatah, Hamas, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. First, the “Jenin Battalion” was established in the city of Jenin, followed the “Nablus Battalion.”

Despite large-scale arrest operation by the IDF and the Shin Bet in the West Bank, Islamic Jihad continues to form new terrorist groups, including the “Tulkarem Battalion,” the “Tubas Battalion,” and the “Balata Battalion” in the Balata refugee camp.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Palestinian terror, West Bank