A Palestinian Human-Rights Activist Reflects on Two Decades of Mahmoud Abbas’s Rule

January 9 marked the nineteenth anniversary of Mahmoud Abbas’s election to a four-year term as president of the Palestinian Authority. Since then, no new presidential elections have taken place, and the eighty-seven-year-old Abbas has taken no substantive steps to establish a peaceful transfer of power in the event of his death. Bassam Eid explains how this situation came about, and considers how Palestinians might gain their freedom:

In 1993, the peace-seeking Israeli government handed governance of the Palestinian residents in Gaza and the West Bank to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a notorious terrorist organization that was known to be responsible for the murder of Israeli Olympic athletes and of schoolchildren, and the hijacking of cruise ships and planes. . . . In 2000 and again in 2001, the Israeli government made generous permanent peace offers that would have created an independent Palestinian state in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. Instead, Arafat opted for war. . . . After those bloody years, the world largely breathed a sigh of relief when Arafat slipped this mortal coil and left power in the hands of longtime deputy Mahmoud Abbas.

Relief didn’t last long. Although Abbas was elected to a full term which began in 2005, and legislative elections were held in 2006, no further elections for any branch of government have been held since that time.

Over 2 million Palestinians live under the tyrannical power of Abbas’s PA in the West Bank, including me and many of the people I care most about. Abbas is the real occupier of our cities and our homeland, not our future partner Israel, which has consistently had a majority in favor of peace and not Benjamin Netanyahu, a leader who has explicitly supported the idea of a Palestinian state so long as Israel maintains the necessary security controls.

Abbas has offered us neither democracy nor independence, but we remain a free people. It is time for the Palestinian nation to reach a new agreement with Israel and the international community, abolishing the dictatorial rule of Abbas and the PLO and instead granting our people what we truly deserve: peace with dignity alongside our neighbor, the Jewish state of Israel.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Arab democracy, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinians, PLO

Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University