By Visiting Kazakhstan, Mahmoud Abbas Continues the Palestinian Tradition of Backing the Wrong Side

Oct. 19 2022

Last week, Russia hosted an international summit in the Kazakh capital of Astana, which was attended by two Arab heads of state: Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and the emir of Kuwait. Ben-Dror Yemini notes that this show of support for Moscow is in line with Palestinian leaders’ longstanding habit of choosing the losing party to international conflicts—as well as the more morally repulsive one:

During World War II, the Palestinians faced the decision either to support the Axis alliance or the great Allied powers. They chose the German Nazi Reich. Their then-leader Mufti Amin al-Husseini spent the duration of the war in Berlin, and allegedly advised Hitler to destroy all Jews in the Arab world. Local Arab communities were ecstatic when the Nazi general Erwin Rommel invaded Egypt, and headed for Palestine.

An Arab businessman I met in Dubai told me that his father never stopped donating money to the Palestinian cause, believing their struggle was part of a common cultural identity. The donations stopped when then-Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat chose to support Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990. As far as the Arab world was concerned, the Palestinians bit the hand that fed them.

When terror attacks were carried out in the U.S. by Islamic terrorist groups, the Palestinians celebrated in the same way they do when Israeli civilians are killed here in our country. But something has slowly begun to change in the way the Arab world views the Palestinians—otherwise the Abraham Accords wouldn’t have been signed in 2020.

It doesn’t matter how warm the embrace of the Biden administration is, or how many billions the European Union sends his way, Abbas opts to back a ruthless dictator—just like the mufti backed Hitler and like Arafat supported Saddam Hussein. It appears there’s no abandoning the old and failing Palestinian way.

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Read more at Ynet

More about: Amin Haj al-Husseini, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinians, Saddam Hussein, Vladimir Putin

Will America Invite Israel to Join Its Multinational Coalitions?

From the Korean War onward, the U.S. has rarely fought wars alone, but has instead led coalitions of various allied states. Israel stands out in that it has close military and diplomatic relations with Washington yet its forces have never been part of these coalitions—even in the 1991 Gulf War, when Iraqi missiles were raining down on its cities. The primary reason for its exclusion was the sensitivity of participating Arab and Muslim nations. But now that Jerusalem has diplomatic relations with several Arab countries and indeed regularly participates alongside them in U.S.-led joint military exercises, David Levy believes it may someday soon be asked to contribute to an American expedition.

It is unlikely that Israel would be expected by the U.S. to deploy the Golani [infantry] brigade or any other major army unit. Instead, Washington will likely solicit areas of IDF niche expertise. These include missile defense and special forces, two areas in which Israel is a world leader. The IDF has capabilities that it can share by providing trainers and observers. Naval and air support would also be expected as these assets are inherently deployable. Israel can also provide allies in foreign wars with intelligence and cyber-warfare support, much of which can be accomplished without the physical deployment of troops.

Jerusalem’s previous reasons for abstention from coalitions were legitimate. Since its independence, Israel has faced existential threats. Conventional Arab armies sought to eliminate the nascent state in 1948-49, 1967, and again in 1973. This danger remained ever-present until the 1978 signing of the Camp David Accords, which established peace between Egypt and Israel. Post-Camp David, the threats to Israel remain serious but are no longer existential. If Iran were to become a nuclear power, this would pose a new existential threat. Until then, Israel is relatively well secured.

Jerusalem’s new Arab allies would welcome its aid. Western capitals, especially Washington, should be expected to pursue Israel’s military assistance, and Jerusalem will have little choice but to acquiesce to the expeditionary expectation.

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Read more at BESA Center

More about: IDF, U.S. military, U.S.-Israel relationship