Since the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the public burning of the American flag along with pictures or effigies of President Trump have become commonplace in the West Bank and Gaza. After his recent visit to Jerusalem, Vice-President Pence has been subjected to the same symbolic treatment. Bassam Tawil explains that these demonstrations do not take place without official imprimatur:
Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders and officials set the tone, while ordinary Palestinians take to the streets to express their hatred of the U.S. . . . [Recently], activists in a refugee camp near Bethlehem held a mock trial for Trump and Pence. . . . The “court” found [the two] guilty . . . and they were sentenced to death by hanging. The court also ruled that the bodies of Trump and Pence would be burned after their “execution.” . . .
Strikingly, this event took place inside a refugee camp that is run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), just outside a school run by UNRWA. . . . More interesting still is that members of PA president Mahmoud Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction participated in the mock trial. . . Such a display of hatred and encouragement of violence against American leaders could never have taken place without the approval of Abbas. . . .
Once again, Palestinians are being taught by their “leaders” that, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars they receive annually from the U.S., they are meant to disgorge murderous venom at America. In fact, the mock trial and execution of Trump and Pence gives a green light to Palestinians physically to target Americans. . . .
The U.S. and other Western countries would do well to take the Palestinian campaign of threats and incitement extremely seriously—and to counter these threats. Submission to this intimidation will simply result in even more intimidation, more violence, and more threats.