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.

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Read more at Jewish News Service

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

UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon Risk Their Lives, but Still May Do More Harm Than Good

Jan. 27 2023

Last month an Irish member of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was killed by Hizballah guerrillas who opened fire on his vehicle. To David Schenker, it is likely the peacekeeper was “assassinated” to send “a clear message of Hizballah’s growing hostility toward UNIFIL.” The peacekeeping force has had a presence in south Lebanon since 1978, serving first to maintain calm between Israel and the PLO, and later between Israel and Hizballah. But, Schenker explains, it seems to be accomplishing little in that regard:

In its biannual reports to the Security Council, UNIFIL openly concedes its failure to interdict weapons destined for Hizballah. While the contingent acknowledges allegations of “arms transfers to non-state actors” in Lebanon, i.e., Hizballah, UNIFIL says it’s “not in a position to substantiate” them. Given how ubiquitous UN peacekeepers are in the Hizballah heartland, this perennial failure to observe—let alone appropriate—even a single weapons delivery is a fair measure of the utter failure of UNIFIL’s mission. Regardless, Washington continues to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into this failed enterprise, and its local partner, the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Since 2006, UNIFIL patrols have periodically been subjected to Hizballah roadside bombs in what quickly proved to be a successful effort to discourage the organization proactively from executing its charge. In recent years, though, UN peacekeepers have increasingly been targeted by the terror organization that runs Lebanon, and which tightly controls the region that UNIFIL was set up to secure. The latest UN reports tell a harrowing story of a spike in the pattern of harassment and assaults on the force. . . .

Four decades on, UNIFIL’s mission has clearly become untenable. Not only is the organization ineffective, its deployment serves as a key driver of the economy in south Lebanon, employing and sustaining Hizballah’s supporters and constituents. At $500 million a year—$125 million of which is paid by Washington—the deployment is also expensive. Already, the force is in harm’s way, and during the inevitable next war between Israel and Hizballah, this 10,000-strong contingent will provide the militia with an impressive human shield.

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Lebanon, Peacekeepers, U.S. Foreign policy