American Diplomats Know the Truth about the Palestinian Authority, but Won’t Act on It

Addressing the recent gathering of the United Nations, the Israeli prime minister Yair Lapid endorsed a two-state solution, winning praise from America’s ambassador to the UN and stirring controversy in Israel. As Ben Cohen observes, the U.S. representative reacted far more coolly to the speech delivered by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president—which consisted of predictable denunciations of imagined Israeli crimes. This coolness may reflect a realistic appraisal of Abbas’s character, but, Cohen argues, not one that is likely to get any explicit acknowledgment:

That is why, when Abbas is taken at his word by a senior American diplomat in terms of his commitment to non-violence and a negotiated compromise, serious questions need to be asked. In terms of bloodcurdling rhetoric targeting Israel, Abbas is not the worst Palestinian leader, but his willingness to promote some of the ugliest slanders against the Jewish state compels one to ask just how genuine his support for two states and non-violence actually is.

Abbas has never disavowed the notion that Israel is an interloper and a colonizer. . . . In Germany only last month, he caused a scandal when he stood alongside Chancellor Olaf Scholz and sullenly declared that Israel was guilty of perpetrating “50 holocausts” upon the Palestinians. This was in response to a journalist’s query about whether he would finally apologize to the families of the eleven Israeli athletes murdered in a Palestinian terrorist operation at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

What [the U.S. ambassador’s] statement elides is that Abbas is far more wedded to these dubious ideas—the bedrock of the Palestinian eliminationist program—than he is to the diplomatic goals articulated at the Security Council. The rhetoric about two states can only be seen as lip service, unless one is prepared to accept the bizarre contention that having denounced Israel as a racist open-air prison for Palestinians, they would happily live alongside it. The rhetoric about Israel’s lack of legitimacy, however, is firmly in keeping with the Palestinians’ own ideology.

Read more at JNS

More about: Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations, Yair Lapid

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy