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.