How Mahmoud Abbas’s Bid for International Recognition Is Backfiring

Since 2010, the Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas—having rejected Israeli offers of statehood along with further negotiations—has pursued a strategy of seeking membership in international organizations for a “state of Palestine.” His goal is both to wage lawfare against Israel through such institutions as the International Criminal Court and, eventually, to gain recognition for a Palestinian state as the 194th member of the United Nations. Besides the fact that at least parts of this “Palestine 194” campaign are in violation of the Oslo Accords, it also is starting to raise other problems, as David May and Zachary Fesen explain:

The Palestine 194 campaign converged with the PA’s increasingly authoritarian tendencies when the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) released its report on the “state of Palestine” last month. This was a routine review triggered by the PA’s 2014 accession to the UN Convention against Torture. While CAT, a subsidiary of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), is meant to review all convention signatories every four years, this was its first review of the PA.

Though Abbas has pursued international recognition to conceal his despotism, his accession to CAT has done the opposite. CAT’s report underscored the PA’s slide into authoritarianism by calling on the government to limit the duration of declared states of emergency, protect freedom of expression, and restore the Palestinian Legislative Council, [dissolved in 2018 after many years of inactivity]. Along with noting allegations of PA security forces’ culpability in torture, lack of legal safeguards afforded to PA prisoners, and PA arbitrary arrests of critics, the review highlighted the 2021 death of the Abbas critic (and 2021 legislative candidate) Nizar Banat at the hands of Palestinian security forces.

Two decades of Abbas’s rule have left the Palestinians divided, lacking democratic protections, politically hopeless, and on the precipice of an ugly succession battle. The aging Palestinian president’s increasing authoritarianism has gone hand in hand with his decreasing popularity. Western governments should make clear to Abbas that Palestine 194 is a dead end.

Read more at National Interest

More about: Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, United Nations


The Ugly Roots of Ireland’s Anti-Israel Policies

Prime Minister Varadkar’s meretricious messaging concerning the freeing of a kidnapped child is only one example of the Irish government’s perverse reaction to Hamas’s assault on Israel. Varadkar has accused the IDF of pursuing “something approaching revenge” in Gaza, and compared the Israeli war effort to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. His parliament, meanwhile, came close to expelling the Israeli ambassador. Terry Glavin writes:

In a recent interview, . . . the retired Irish diplomat Niall Holohan put it this way: “We feel we have been victimized over the centuries. It’s part of our psyche—underneath it all we side with the underdog.” But there’s something else in the Irish psyche that’s impolite to mention in the comfy Dublin pubs and bistros. . . . Not a few of Ireland’s gallant and celebrated champions of the underdog, its heroes of Irish freedom, were vulgar anti-Semites and Nazi collaborators.

And in recent years, Irish Jews are commonly baited, harassed, and badgered every time there is some eruption in Israel involving Palestinian “resistance.”

The republican pamphleteer Arthur Griffith approved [of anti-Jewish agitation in Limerick in 1904], calling Jews “usurers and parasites.” Griffiths was one of the founders of Sinn Féin, in 1905, and he served as Sinn Féin’s president in 1911.

There was always a deep division in the Irish nationalist movement between Irish republicans who felt an affinity with the Jews owing to a shared history of dispossession and exile, and Catholic extremists who ranted and raved about Jews. Those Catholic shouters are still abroad, apparently unaware that for half a century, Catholic doctrine has established that anti-Semitism is a mortal sin.

Read more at National Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, Gaza War 2023, Ireland