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.

Read more at Ynet

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

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy