How the Abraham Accords Are Mitigating Israel-Palestinian Violence

Sept. 1 2022

Following Israel’s groundbreaking peace treaties with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, skeptics in both the West and the Arab World condemned them as a betrayal of the Palestinian people—without any explanation of how over seven decades of Arab nonrecognition of the Jewish state has aided the Palestinians. Robert Cherry argues that, to the contrary, the Abraham Accords and Benjamin Netanyahu’s strategy of “shrinking the conflict” rather than seeking grand solutions has contributed to the short duration and limited scope of last month’s fighting in Gaza:

Over the last few years, Israel’s leadership has been winning the political battle by weaving Israeli Arabs into the educational, occupational, and political fabric of the country. In addition, the Abraham Accords made clear that the economic and military interests of other Arab countries would no longer be held captive to the decisions of the Palestinian Authority. Finally, the post-Netanyahu government embraced a strategy of “shrinking the conflict:” not allowing small flashpoints to fuel larger conflicts. It included . . . allowing more Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank to work within Israel, expanding permits for Palestinian housing, and an unwillingness to evict Bedouin communities from strategic West Bank locations.

As shrinking-the-conflict policies have reduced tensions, hundreds of gunmen belonging to West Bank militant groups, most notably Islamic Jihad, have stepped up their attacks on settlers and Israel Defense Forces soldiers. “There is a feeling that the Palestinian Authority is no longer in control,” said a Palestinian academic from Ramallah. In July, at least 23 Palestinians were injured in shooting incidents in the Jenin and Nablus areas, including Nasser al-Shaer, an academic who previously served as deputy prime minister. President Mahmoud Abbas is afraid that these men will turn against him if he orders a crackdown. As a result, it was left to Israeli forces to counter these militants, leading to the Gaza conflict.

Fortunately, this military engagement did not result in any significant anti-Israeli demonstrations in east Jerusalem or the West Bank, forcing Islamic Jihad to accept a quick ceasefire and military defeat. For many, this verifies how the shrinking-the-conflict strategy has created an unwillingness among Palestinians to risk its benefits—weakening, at least for the moment, the likelihood of a third intifada.

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Read more at RealClear World

More about: Abraham Accords, Islamic Jihad, Israeli Arabs, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Palestinian Authority

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism