In Honoring Saddam Hussein, the Palestinian Authority Shows Its Contempt for America

In the West Bank city of Qalqilya, a twenty-foot-tall statue of Saddam Hussein was unveiled last week in the midst of a major thoroughfare. The statue was sponsored by the Arab Liberation Front (ALF), a terrorist group that, like Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction, is part of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Stephen Flatow comments:

[T]he Palestinian Authority’s district governor for the Qalqilya District, Rafi Rawajba, attended the unveiling ceremony. Rawajba is a representative of the Fatah movement. . . [And] if the mayor or Abbas didn’t want [the statue] there, it would be gone in five minutes.

In fact, the ALF has erected statues of Saddam in several other Palestinian Authority (PA)-controlled cities, too, and Abbas has not ordered them taken down, either. That’s because he was always one of Saddam’s biggest fans. . . . Just two weeks ago, the official Fatah Facebook page included Saddam alongside photos of other Arab heroes in a collage with the slogan, “From the sea of the blood of the martyrs, we will create the state of Palestine.” On the tenth anniversary of Saddam’s death, last December, the Fatah Facebook page featured a memorial poster hailing Saddam as a “martyr.” There’s even an entire “Martyr Saddam Hussein Square” in Ramallah, the PA’s capital city. . . .

Nearly 300 American soldiers died fighting Saddam in the Gulf War in 1990. Another 4,497 gave their lives fighting Saddam in the Iraq war of 2003 and its aftermath. The creation of statues and public squares in PA territory honoring Saddam is a direct slap in the face to the U.S. and its fallen soldiers.

Abbas and the PA received $357 million from the U.S. last year. Abbas seems to assume that the aid will continue to flow, even if he allows anti-American terrorists such as the ALF to be part of the PLO, and even if statues of America’s enemies, like Saddam Hussein, are erected in PA cities. To judge by the non-reaction of the Trump administration to the newest Saddam statue, it appears that Abbas’s assumption may well be correct.

Read more at Jewish News Service

More about: Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, PLO, Politics & Current Affairs, Saddam Hussein

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