The Fatah-Hamas Unification

What it means for Israel.

Earlier this month, a new Palestinian unification agreement was signed in Cairo through Egyptian mediation.  It is unlikely to differ much from the previous 2011 agreement between Fatah and Hamas that fizzled away.  In control of Gaza since 2007, Hamas is committed to the destruction of Israel without much pretense.  Fatah, the party of President Mahmoud Abbas, would like the Jewish state to disappear in stages, albeit, with internationally sanctioned agreements, and good doses of terror inspired by the Ramallah regime.  Just like a leopard cannot change its spots, the Palestinians cannot discard their deep enmity toward the Jewish state.

Al-Jazeera reported on October 12, 2017 that “Palestinian political parties Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on Thursday, as part of an effort to end the decade-long rift. The announcement comes after representatives from Hamas and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) convened in Cairo on Tuesday to implement a unity agreement that was signed in 2011 but not put into action.”

In recent months, Hamas has been under increased pressure to give up its sole control over the Gaza Strip.  The PA has cut the salaries of PA employees living in Gaza, and at the same time electricity to Gaza has been reduced.  On top of that, Israel’s blockade has furthered the power shortages in Gaza.  One of the elements in the agreement signed would allow Palestinian Authority Security forces to control the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, as of December 1, 2017.  This is believed to be a way to end Egyptian closure of the border crossing, and thus allow goods and people to cross into and out of the Gaza Strip.

Western powers, hoping that the reconciliation agreement would signal momentum toward an eventual Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement would have to be skeptical given the existing precedence of Palestinian factions inability to come to terms.  Moreover, in order for a genuine Israeli-Palestinian peace process to materialize into a peace agreement, the agreement has to fulfill two vital conditions.

The first being that the unification of the two factions (Fatah and Hamas) must produce a unified leadership that can speak with one voice, and be empowered to proceed with peace negotiations with Israel.  This objective must be publicly announced by all Palestinian factions.  If, on the other hand, the objective of the unification is to solidify Palestinian opposition to a peaceful coexistence with Israel by allowing Hamas to keep its military arm, and continue its acts of terror by firing rockets at Israel, building tunnels, and commit murderous acts against Israeli civilians, then this unification will lead nowhere but to continued bloodshed.  It will also make it impossible for the international community to seek continued Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

The second condition is for the unified Palestinian administration to openly reaffirm all Palestinian commitments regarding Israel and the international community signed at the Oslo Accords and witnessed by the international community.

In the meantime however, none of these condition have been met.  While PA officials seek to “sell” Western powers on the efficacy of Palestinian unification on the peace process, other top PA officials are revealing Palestinian true intentions.  The Times of Israel reported (October 20, 2017) that an official at the Palestinian Mission to Columbia tweeted a quote from former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat calling for the destruction of Israel.  The tweed read, “Our goal is the end of Israel, and there can be no compromises or mediations… We do not want peace. We want war and victory.”

Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip Yahya Sinwar, declared on October 19, 2017, during a speech in Gaza that his terror organization will never disarm, adding that, “Gone is the time in which Hamas discussed recognition of Israel. The discussion now is about when we will wipe out Israel.”

Ynet-News reported that “U.S. President Donald Trump’s special Mideast envoy, Jason Greenblatt, said that if Hamas wants to play a role in any Palestinian government, it must renounce violence and commit to peaceful negotiations with Israel, adding that they must meet the international demands to recognize Israel and accept previous agreements with it.” Greenblatt added that Hamas must accept these basic requirements, which are also the Middle East Quartet’s (UN, EU, U.S. and Russia) requirements.

It is downright naïve to believe that Hamas would renounce violence, or that the PA is truly interested in real peace with Israel.  It is worth remembering that in Geneva, Switzerland, on a cold December day in 1988, Arafat “renounced” violence and pledged to recognize Israel, only to authorize six months later a terrorist attack on Israel at Palmachim beach in central Israel.  This reporter was a witness to Arafat’s coached Geneva pledge in order to initiate a dialogue with the U.S. administration.

The PA has allegedly accepted the key principles outlined by the quartet.  Hamas though, views the Quartet’s demands as conflicting with its position of using armed resistance against Israel (i.e. terrorism), supposedly to end the occupation.  Yet Israel handed over control of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians in 2005, exposing Hamas’ uncompromising stance.

In a Facebook statement (October 12, 2017), Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote that “Israel opposes any reconciliation in which the terrorist organization Hamas does not disarm and end its war to destroy Israel. There is nothing Israel wants more than peace with all our neighbors.  Reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas makes peace much harder to achieve.  What does it say when you reconcile with a terrorist organization that: seeks to annihilate Israel, advocates genocide, launched thousands of rockets at civilians and digs terror tunnels, murders children, represses minorities, bans LGBT, rejects international obligations, refuses to free Israeli civilians it holds hostage, refuses to return the bodies of Israeli soldiers to grieving mothers and fathers, tortures opposition, and mourns Ben Laden’s death.  Reconciling with mass-murderers is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Say yes to peace and no to joining hands with Hamas.”

It seems that Fatah has capitulated to Hamas rather than the reverse.  Fatah will not seek to force Hamas to give up its “resistance,” a euphemism for terrorism.  According to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) Jibril Rajoub, a member of Fatah Central Committee and former head of the Preventive Security Force in the West Bank, told Al-Mayadeen TV (Lebanon), October 6, 2017, “the Fatah-Hamas unity government will not give up resistance.” Another Fatah Central Committee member, Azzam Al-Ahmad, elaborated on Rajoub’s statements by explaining that Fatah has not changed its principles, which remain “popular resistance, armed struggle, and negotiations.”

The new unification agreement between Fatah and Hamas, which includes admission of Hamas into the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), does not much differ from the previous agreement in its attitudes toward Israel.  The agreement enshrines “resistance,” (terror), and resistance cannot go together with peace.  What makes this agreement somewhat different is Egypt’s role in it.  Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt’s president, has put his prestige on the line, and both Hamas and the PA know the consequences of failure.  Hamas has been branded a terrorist organization by the U.S., the European Union and Israel.  It has also been an enemy of Egypt’s President el-Sisi by virtue of its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

For Israel, a key question is, in a Palestinian unity government, will PA security forces be able to thwart terrorist attacks against Israel as they have done in the past? Israel’s response to the reconciliation agreement this time has been more measured and cautious, but few Israelis expect the agreement to bring the Palestinians closer to making peace.

Originally Published in FrontPageMag.

BREAKING: Hamas-Fatah Fire Rockets From Sinai Into Israel

Hamas-Fatah fired two rockets from Southern Sinai into the Eshkol Regional Council in southern Israel Sunday evening.

The two rockets landed in open areas.

The IDF believes that the rocket attack and increasing tensions on the border near Gaza are a direct result from the Hamas-Fatah unity pact signed last week.  This pact sees the PA take control of the Rafah crossing while Hamas remains in charge of its own militias in the strip.  They will essentially remain an Iranian proxy.

This set up has been described as very similar to the way Iran and the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi work with one another.

Israel’s security assessment sees a possible uptick in direct hostilities both in and around Gaza and from Lebanon as the crisis between Kurdistan and Iran escalates.


Fatah’s surrender to Hamas.

On Tuesday, a delegation of 400 Fatah officials from Ramallah, led by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, arrived in Gaza to officially surrender to Hamas.

No, the ceremony isn’t being portrayed as a Fatah surrender to Hamas. But it is. It’s also an Egyptian surrender to Hamas.

How is this the case? Ten years ago this past June, after a very brief and deadly assault by Hamas terrorists against US-trained Fatah forces in Gaza, the Fatah forces cut and ran to Israel for protection. Fatah politicians also headed for the border and then scurried into Fatah-controlled (and Israeli protected) Ramallah. Ever since, Hamas has served as the official authority on the ground in Gaza. Its personnel have been responsible for internal security and for Gaza’s borders with Egypt and Israel.

Despite their humiliating defeat and removal from Gaza, Fatah and its PA government in Ramallah continued to fund Hamas-controlled Gaza. They paid Gaza’s bills, including the salaries of all the PA security forces that were either no longer working or working double shifts as stay at home Fatah gunmen and up and coming Hamas terrorist forces.

The PA paid Hamas’s electricity bills to Israel and it paid Israeli hospitals which continued to serve Gaza.

Internationally, the PA defended Hamas and its constant wars against Israel. The PA and Fatah, led by President-for-life Mahmoud Abbas, continued to use Israel’s defensive operations against Hamas as a means to ratchet up their political war against Israel. The latest victory in that war came last week with Interpol’s decision to permit the PA to join the organization despite its open support for and finance of terrorism.

For most of the past decade, the PA-Fatah has allocated more than half of its EU- and US-underwritten budget to Hamas-controlled Gaza. It has defended its actions to successive delegations of US lawmakers and three US administrations. It has defended its actions to EU watchdog groups. No amount of congressional pressure or statements from presidential envoys ever made a dent on Abbas’s strident devotion to paying the salaries of Hamas terrorists and functionaries.

But then, in April, Abbas cut them off.

Ostensibly he cut them off because he was under pressure from the US Congress, which is now in the end stages of passing the Taylor Force Act. Once passed, the law will make it a bit more difficult for the State Department to continue funding the terror- financing PA.

While the Taylor Force Act is the ostensible reason for Abbas’s move, Palestinian sources openly acknowledge that congressional pressure had nothing to do with his decision.

Abbas abruptly ended PA financing of Hamas in retaliation for Hamas’s decision to open relations with Abbas’s archrival in Fatah, Muhammad Dahlan.

From 1994, when the PA was established, until 2007, when Hamas ousted his US-trained forces from Gaza, Dahlan was the Gaza strongman.

Once one of Abbas’s closest cronies, since 2011 Dahlan has been his archenemy. Abbas, now in the twelfth year of his four-year term in office, views Dahlan as the primary threat to his continued reign.

As a consequence, he ousted Dahlan from Fatah and forced him to decamp with his sizable retinue to the UAE. There Dahlan enjoys exceedingly close ties with the Nahyan regime.

The UAE is allied with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi. Both view Hamas’s mother organization the Muslim Brotherhood as their mortal foe. As a result, Sisi and the UAE as well as Saudi Arabia sided with Israel in its 2014 war with Hamas.

Since May, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have been in open conflict with Qatar. Qatar, which sponsors the Muslim Brotherhood, has long sponsored Hamas as well.

Since the start of the year, the UAE has been interested in prying Hamas away from Qatar. And so with the blessing of his UAE hosts, Dahlan began building ties with Hamas.

Recognizing Dahlan’s close ties to the UAE and through it, with Sisi, Hamas, which has been stricken by Sisi’s war against it, and particularly Sisi’s enforcement of the closure of Gaza’s border with Egypt’s Sinai, was quick to seize on Dahlan’s initiative.

The talks between Dahlan and Sisi on the one hand and Hamas on the other were ratcheted up in April after Abbas cut his funding to Gaza.

In May, Hamas formally cut its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood.

In exchange, Sisi permitted the Rafah border crossing with Gaza to open for longer hours and permitted Gazans to transit Egypt en route to their religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, among other things.

To build its leverage against Abbas, beginning in the spring, Hamas began describing Dahlan as a viable alternative to Abbas. The UAE agreed to begin financing Hamas’s budget and to help pay for electricity.

Against this backdrop, it is self-evident that Abbas didn’t send his own representatives to Cairo to negotiate a surrender deal with Hamas because his aid cut-off brought Hamas to its knees. Abbas sent his people to Cairo because Hamas’s double dealing with Dahlan brought Abbas to his knees.

As for Sisi, Hamas has also played him – and the UAE.

Over the past few months, Hamas has been rebuilding its client relationship with Iran. A senior Hamas delegation visited Tehran last month for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s swearing-in ceremony.

They met there with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and with senior Revolutionary Guards commanders.

A month earlier, senior Hamas terrorist Salah Arouri, who lives under Hezbollah protection in Beirut, paved the way for the reconciliation in a meeting under Hezbollah sponsorship with senior Revolutionary Guards commander Amir Abdollahian.

Following the meeting in Tehran, Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar extolled Hamas’s relations with Iran as “fantastic.” Sinwar also said that Iran is “the largest backer financially and militarily” of Hamas’s terrorism apparatus.

Concerned about Tehran’s growing influence in Gaza, and through it, the Sinai, where Sisi continues to fight against an Islamic State-backed insurgency, Sisi has an interest in tempering Hamas’s client-ties to Tehran.

So just as Abbas has decided to restore financing to Hamas to keep Dahlan at bay, so Sisi has decided to embrace Hamas to keep Iran at bay.

In all cases, of course, Hamas wins.

The fact that Hamas has just won is obvious when we consider the unity deal it just concluded with Fatah.

Hamas made one concession. It agreed to break up its civil governing authority – a body it formed in response to Abbas’s decision to cut off funding in April. In exchange for agreeing to disband a body it only formed because Abbas cut off its funding, Hamas receives a full restoration of PA funding. The PA will fund all civil service operations in Gaza. It will pay the salaries of all civil servants and security personnel in Gaza. It will pay salaries to all Hamas terrorists Israel freed from its jails.

In other words, the PA will now be responsible for keeping the lights on and picking up the garbage.

And Hamas will be free to concentrate on preparing for and initiating its next terror war against Israel. It can dig tunnels. It can build missiles. It can expand its operational ties with Hezbollah, Islamic State, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and Fatah.

In the wake of Hamas’s leadership’s meetings in Tehran, Sinwar told reporters that Hamas is now moving full speed ahead toward doing all of these things. Sinwar said that Hamas is “developing our military strength in order to liberate Palestine.” He added, “Every day we build missiles and continue military training.”

Thousands of people, he said, are working “day and night” to prepare Hamas’s next terror war against Israel. And indeed, two weeks ago, two Hamas terrorists were killed when the tunnels they were digging collapsed on them.

Tuesday’s surrender ceremonies tell us two things.

First, the notion that Fatah is even remotely interested in defeating Hamas is complete nonsense. For 10 years since its forces were humiliated and routed in Gaza, Fatah has faithfully funded and defended Hamas. Abbas’s only concern is staying in charge of his Israeli-protected fiefdom in Ramallah. To this end, he will finance – with US and EU taxpayer monies – and defend another 10 Hamas wars with Israel.

The second lesson we learn from Hamas’s victory is that we need to curb our enthusiasm for Sisi and his regime in Egypt, and for his backers in the UAE. Sisi’s decision to facilitate and mediate Hamas’s newest victory over Fatah shows that his alliance with Israel is tactical and limited in scope. His decision to side with Israel against Hamas during Operation Protective Edge three years ago may not repeat itself in the next war.

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post


The NY Times failed to reveal the nature of his crimes, and Barghouti used the hunger strike to advance his standing.

Marwan Barghouti, the convicted terrorist killer, and a contender for the Palestinian leadership, is once again making news.  This time, the New York Times enthusiastically published his Op Ed, leaving out the essential fact as to why he is in an Israeli prison to begin with.  Barghouti is serving five life sentences in prison for helping murder five people and launching a failed suicide bombing.  The five people murdered were Israelis.

In his Op Ed published last Sunday (April 16, 2017) under the title “Why We Are on Hunger Strike in Israel’s Prisons,” Barghouti charged “Having spent the last 15 years in an Israeli prison, I have been both a witness to and a victim of Israel’s illegal system of mass arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners. After exhausting all other options, I decided there was no choice but to resist these abuses by going on a hunger strike.”

The hunger-striking prisoners demand that the Israeli prison authorities provide them with additional TV channels, more magazines and newspapers, an increase in family visitation, end to solitary confinement, better health care, and greater access to education.  These extraordinary demands by the prisoners are far-fetched considering that many of the prisoners are convicted terrorist murderers.  The families of Israelis killed or injured by these terrorists believe that these Palestinian terrorists already enjoy many luxuries a lot of ordinary people cannot afford.

The announced hunger-strike by the Palestinian prisoners and the demonstrations by thousands of Palestinians in solidarity with the prisoners is not a spontaneous event, since April 17 is the Palestinian “Day of the Prisoner.”

In his letter to the Times, Barghouti deliberately obfuscated the reason for his severe prison sentence.  He simply wrote: “an Israeli court sentenced me to five life sentences and 40 years in prison in a political show trial that was denounced by international observers.”  Barghouti was convicted by three judges on May 20, 2004 of personal “involvement in the murder of Yula Hen, shot dead at a Givat Ze’ev gas station in January, 2002, and of (the murder) a Greek Orthodox priest near Ma’aleh Adumim in June, 2002.”

The Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported that “Barghouti was also convicted of direct responsibility for the murders of Yosef Havi, Elyahu Dahan, and the police officer Selim Barichat, in the shooting attack against the Sea Food Market restaurant in Tel Aviv in March, 2002.

Barghouti was held responsible for sending suicide bombers to detonate an explosives-laden vehicle at the Malcha Mall in Jerusalem. The attempt failed, and the two would-be suicide bombers died when their vehicle exploded prematurely. The court exonerated Barghouti of most of the charges against him. He had been charged with direct responsibility for 37 attacks resulting in the deaths of scores of people.

The prosecution convinced the court of Barghouti’s direct responsibility in only three terror attacks. In most cases however, the court concluded the attacks were carried out at the behest of local leaders of the paramilitary, Tanzim.  Although affiliated with Barghouti, who was the official head of the organization, no proof was brought to link the defendant with the decisions.”   All considered, the Israeli court was quite lenient toward Barghouti.

Barghouti’s arrest and trial turned him into a well-known and popular figure throughout the Palestinian Territories, second only in popularity to President Arafat, and he was increasingly seen as his heir apparent.  Upon Arafat’s death on November 11, 2004, Barghouti called upon Fatah to select its candidate for the Palestinian Presidential election through a process of party primaries. Instead, the Fatah Central Committee nominated Mahmoud Abbas as the Fatah party candidate.  In November, 2004, Barghouti announced that he would run against Abbas for the Presidency of the Palestinian Authority as an independent, but later withdrew his candidacy.  Barghouti’s influence on PA politics has, if anything, increased with his arrest and imprisonment.

The hunger strike engineered by Barghouti is a political ploy carefully planned and organized by him to demonstrate to the Palestinians and all others his mastery both in skill and stature of Palestinian politics.  Barghouti’s timing is not coincidental either.  In prison for 15-years, he has shown little support for Palestinian prisoner hunger-strikes.  So why now? Feeling that Mahmoud Abbas’ time as President is running out, and Abbas’ efforts to curb Barghouti’s influence in the top echelon of Fatah’s leadership more than likely prompted this move and the letter to the NY Times.

While Barghouti holds a top position in the Fatah party Central Committee, his friends and allies on the Committee were removed, thus effectively isolating him. Barghouti expected Abbas to appoint him to a senior post, perhaps as his deputy. However, in recent months, Abbas has done the opposite. He advanced Jibril Rajoub and Mahmoud Al-Aloul, rather than the imprisoned former head of Fatah’s Tanzim militia.

According to the New York Times (4/17/2017), “Polls suggest that Mr. Barghouti, 57, is the most popular choice to replace Mr. Abbas, 82, even though he is serving five life sentences after he was convicted of being a leader of the second intifada, and of directing attacks that led to the killings of Israelis.”

In Gaza there is depression and hopelessness. Ordinary Gazan are tired of the sacrifices they are demanded to make on behalf of their Hamas rulers.  They yearn for peace with dignity.  Similarly, in the Palestinian Authority domain, civil society is stifled, the leadership lacks legitimacy, and there is little political, social or economic progress. The Trump presidency in the U.S. is seen here as another blow for Palestinians.  It is in such a climate that Barghouti feels himself to be the “deliverer” for the Palestinian people.  He has been seen, moreover, by many Palestinian political parties as a “natural” successor to Mahmoud Abbas.

Al-Jazeera reported (4/13/2016) that “Palestinian rights groups, parliamentarians, and party officials have launched a global campaign to nominate Marwan Barghouti, a prominent Fatah leader serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison, for a Nobel Peace Prize.”

Barghouti’s ploy to advance his return to the political central stage through the prisoner’s issue depends on Israel’s Prison Authorities and its political leadership.  Should Israel comply with the prisoners’ demands, Barghouti’s position as rightful successor to Abbas will be strengthened.  It will demonstrate his ability to bend the Israelis.  If, on the other hand, Israel refuses to give in, Barghouti would have caused unnecessary hardship for over a 1,000 prisoners.

One party that surely comes out the loser in this episode is the New York Times, which through its neglect to mention Barghouti’s crimes, was compelled to write an editor’s note saying: “The article explained the writer’s prison sentence but neglected to provide sufficient context by stating the offenses of which he was convicted.  They were five counts of murder and membership in a terrorist organization.  Mr. Barghouti declined to offer a defense at his trial and refused to recognize the Israeli court’s jurisdiction and legitimacy.”

Originally Published on FrontPageMag.


Gaza: Let their people go!

Instead of pouring millions into inoperative desalination plants & rusting sewage treatment works, humanitarian aid should be generous relocation grants to help Gazans find safer, more secure lives elsewhere

“If the borders opened for one hour, 100,000 young people would leave Gaza”  –  Rashid al-Najja, vice dean, Gaza’s Al-Azhar University; “…I’d go to Somalia, Sudan — anywhere but here” –  Salim Marifi, student, Gaza’s Al-Azhar University, in   Al Jazeera, May 6 2015.

“96 percent of water in the Gaza Strip is now undrinkable” –  i24 News  April 9, 2017.

“Each day, millions of gallons of raw sewage pour into the Gaza Strip’s Mediterranean beachfront … turning miles of once-scenic coastline into a stagnant dead zone” – Associated Press , May 3, 2016. 

“Gaza’s sole power plant runs out of fuel” – Times of Israel, April 16, 2017.

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The endeavor, spanning almost a quarter century, to transform the coastal enclave of the Gaza Strip into a self-governing Arab entity (or even part of such an entity) has failed.  

It has failed resoundingly and irretrievably.

After two-and-half decades of futile effort, the time has come to accept this—and to acknowledge that further pursuit of this  ill-conceived objective will only compound the current tragedy—for both Jew and Arab alike.

Incapable and uninterested

Indeed, with the passage of time, it is becoming increasingly clear, that as a collective the Palestinian-Arabs, in general, and the Gazan-Arabs, in particular, are totally incapable of, and largely uninterested in, creating and sustaining an independent political entity for themselves, by themselves.

Underscoring this dour assessment is the increasingly frequent —and increasingly ominous—flow of reports warning of imminent  collapse of virtually all the basic infrastructure in Gaza—electric power, water, sewage and sanitation systems—and the impending catastrophe this is likely to precipitate.  

This raises a trenchant question and one which advocates of Palestinian statehood must be forced to confront: Why has a Palestinian state failed to materialize up to now?

This is not a trivial question that can be avoided or circumvented.  

After all, it is difficult to identify any other “national liberation movement” that has enjoyed circumstances more benign for their cause than that of the Palestinians-Arabs.

Since the early ’90s, the Palestinians have had: 


  • Virtually wall-to-wall international endorsement of their claims;
  • Almost unanimously supportive coverage in the global mainstream media;
  • Generous financial aid – reportedly among the highest per capita in the world; and 
  • Successive willingly compliant Israeli administrations that not only accepted their claims, but built much of their political credo on that acceptance…and gambled much of their political capital on it.

Yet, despite these bountiful benefits, the Palestinian leadership have produced the most meager and miserable results.

Corrupt kleptocracy or tyrannical theocracy

Other national freedom movements, with far less funding, far less armaments and far less political support, have cast off mighty empires. By contrast, the Palestinian-Arabs have, after decades of “resistance”,  not only proved unable to assert their political independence from a tiny mini-state, beleaguered  in the region and berated by all and sundry in the international community;  but they have failed abysmally to create anything remotely approaching a stable, and productive civil society.

Under Fatah in Judea-Samaria, they have spawned a corrupt kleptocracy.

Under Hamas in Gaza, they have imposed a tyrannical theocracy.

Under neither is there any horizon of hope for a better, more peaceful, more prosperous life for the general public, nor is there any prospect of such hope dawning in the foreseeable future. Both are critically dependent on the (ill-advised) largesse of its alleged “oppressor”, from whom they purportedly strive to liberate themselves.

The magnitude of this failure can be gauged from  a recent  report by the Congressional Research Service entitled, “U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians:”:  “Since the establishment of limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the mid-1990s, the U.S. government has committed more than $5 billion in bilateral economic and non-lethal security assistance to the Palestinians, who are among the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid.”

The futility of international aid

The report goes on to stipulate the intended objectives of this generous aid: “Successive Administrations have requested aid for the Palestinians in apparent support of at least three major U.S. policy priorities of interest to Congress:

  •  Promoting the prevention or mitigation of terrorism against Israel from Hamas and other militant organizations;   
  • Fostering stability, prosperity, and self-governance …that may incline Palestinians toward peaceful coexistence with Israel and a “two-state solution.”
  •  Meeting humanitarian needs…”

Seen against the grim realities today, this aid has failed miserably in achieving any, and all, of its declared goals!

The motivation for terror attacks against Israel by Hamas and other Palestinian-Arab terror organization have been neither prevented nor mitigated.  Indeed, with Hamas  still actively engaged in enhancing its offensive capacities—both underground tunnel networks and overhead missile capabilites—there are few  illusions in Israel that a fourth round of fighting  is merely a question of “when”, not “if”

Neither stability, nor prosperity, nor effective self-government have been in any way significantly fostered. Indeed, quite the reverse seems to be the case. Thus,  despite decades of generous international goodwill, all the Palestinian-Arab leadership has managed to create is an untenable, divided entity, crippled by corruption and cronyism, with a dysfunctional polity, incapable of holding even municipal elections; and a feeble economy that, with its minuscule private sector and bloated public one, is utterly dependent on external support.

Moreover, humanitarian needs have not been met in any meaningful manner. If anything, the opposite seems true with the entire civilian infrastructure system teetering on the cusp of collapse.

Powers outages, undrinkable water, untreated sewage

With perennial power outages, undrinkable water supplies, failing sanitation services, and awash in uncontrolled and untreated flows of raw sewage, life for many in Gaza is becoming unbearable.

Earlier this month, the media abounded with dire warnings of an impending shut down of power supplies in Gaza. One headline proclaimed   Gaza Electricity Crisis Deepens as Sole Power Plant Shuts Down; while another declared Gaza’s Sole Power Plant Runs Out of Fuel

The shutdown would leave many with barely four hours of electricity a day and would impact virtually all walks of life.

One member of Gaza’s Chamber of Commerce warned that factories will be forced to shut down, because the owners cannot afford to run generators as an alternative source of electricity: “The continuing stoppage of the Gaza power plant for 20 hours a day foreshadows a real catastrophe that might affect the basic food security of the people as well as the health and education sectors,” he lamented.

The power shortages have also crippled the operation of a new desalination plant and sewage treatment plant and undermines the regular operation of sanitation services.

Significantly, the reasons for the shutdowns are not related to Israel’s security quarantine of Gaza, but rather to intra-Palestinian quarrels between the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority and Hamas in Gaza; and to Hamas’s own priorities in the use of electrical power .

Indeed, senior figures in Hamas put the blame squarely on Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah for imposing exorbitant taxes on fuel imports into Gaza – see here and here .

Moreover, several reports indicate that Hamas has deprived Gaza’s desalination and sewage  plants of electricity, opting to use the available power for other purposes—such as Gaza’s luxury hotels, which cater for the enclave’s wafer thin affluent class.

Calamitous consequences

The grave results of this dysfunctional governance are not difficult to discern.

iTV News reported that both international and Israeli bodies estimated that some 96 percent of water in the Gaza Strip is now undrinkable after the collapse of the enclave’s main aquifer.

Al Jazeera carried an account of the appalling conditions that inadequate sewage treatment has brought, from a local farmer in Wadi Gaza, a valley in the central Gaza Strip: “Farming is ruined. The plants are diseased. There are flies, worms, and it is spreading.”  The report added:  “Animals and birds were soon replaced by swamps of sewage, swarming flies and thriving bacteria. Residents began to suffer from an increase in allergies, inflammation, fevers and weakened immunity.  Disease-ridden mosquitoes feasted on the community at night. The stench was overpowering.”

Thus, with much of the sewage conveyance pipes in a state of disrepair, leaking into the coastal aquifer, Gaza’s sole source of natural water; with the aquifer itself being depleted at three times its recharge rate from rainfall; with massive flows of untreated sewage flowing directly into the sea, making the beaches and swimming a distinct health hazard, future prospects for the average Gazan look bleak indeed—with little hope for improvement on the horizon.

Accordingly, it is hardly surprising to learn that polls conducted by Palestinian institutes consistently show that almost half (and occasionally more than half) of the Gazans would like to emigrate—even without there being a tangible economic incentive offered.

The only real “reconstruction” in town

Of course, many of Israel’s detractors will attempt to lay the blame for this dismal situation on the “Occupation” and the “Siege”. But, this is merely a flimsy pretext that is sounding increasingly hollow.  After all, as we have seen previously, virtually the entire crisis is a result of intra-Palestinian decisions regarding resource allocation and taxation.

Indeed, the validity of this contention is bolstered by examining just how the Palestinian-Arabs in Gaza have chosen to invest their energies and divert their resources.

Last year, high level Israeli sources revealed that Hamas was seizing over 90% of cement supplies entering into Gaza for its own purposes, such as construction of terror tunnels.

But Hamas’s efforts were not confined to underground terror installations. The organization invested considerable effort in replenishing and enhancing its overhead weaponry.

Thus, last December, Hamas Political Bureau Member, Fathi Hammad,  proudly informed Al Aksa TV : ..our Jihadi, ‘Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam units have become an army, Allah be praised…This army has its own industry. Incidentally, we are now ready to sell our missiles to Arab countries. These are advanced missiles. If you look into the missile or weapon industries of developed countries, you will find that Gaza has become the leading manufacturer of missiles among Arab countries…

Showing commendable commercial enterprise, he went onto propose a new export industry for the beleaguered enclave “We are prepared to sell them (to Arab countries) – so that they will launch them against the Jews…”

Significantly, according the Guardian, IDF assessment shows that by the beginning of this year, Hamas’s “military capabilities had been restored to their pre-2014 war strength”—which is, of course, an impressive feat of “reconstruction”

So, despite Israeli restrictions, it appears that, where mobilizing against the hated “Zionist entity” is concerned, Gazans seem able to find the ingenuity and productive energies that evidently elude them in other fields of endeavor.

The need to restructure humanitarian aid

The current situation in Gaza, and the accompanying misery, are the direct result of the misguided attempt to foist statehood on the Palestinian-Arabs.

It was Albert Einstein who famously said that one could not solve a problem with the level of thinking that created it.

The problem of Gaza was, irrefutably, created by the belief that land could be transferred to the Palestinian-Arabs to provide them a viable opportunity for self-governance.

Accordingly, the problem of Gaza cannot be solved by persisting with ideas that created it – i.e. persisting with a plan to provide the Palestinian-Arabs with land for self-governance. This concept must, therefore, be abandoned for any lasting solution to be possible.

Clearly then, persisting with humanitarian aid, as in the past, will yield essentially similar results to those of the past. Any improvements in the humanitarian conditions will be at best marginal, probably imperceptible.

The only real way to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is to offer the Gazans what they really want – a better life elsewhere, out of harm’s way, free from the clutches of the cruel, corrupt cliques, who have lead them from disaster to disaster for decades.

Thus, rather than pouring millions into inoperative desalination plants and rusting sewage treatment works, the aid should be  in the form of generous individual relocation grants to allow non-belligerent Gazans to seek a safer, more secure future elsewhere, outside the “circle of violence” that inevitably awaits them if they stay.

This should be the real humanitarian effort to effectively eliminate the suffering in Gaza.  This should be the call to the international community: Let their people go!

GEN. MATTIS IS COMING: Palestine or Israel?

As far as Israel’s relations with the US generally and the Pentagon specifically are concerned, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem is of secondary importance.

On Friday, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis will visit Israel as part of a tour of the region that will bring him to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Djibouti. The declared purpose of Mattis’s trip is to “reaffirm key US military alliances, engage with strategic partners in the Middle East and Africa, and discuss cooperative efforts to counter destabilizing activities and defeat extremist terror organizations.”

Ahead of his visit, Mattis should spend some time considering the hunger strike being carried out by the Palestinian terrorists imprisoned by Israel. A serious consideration of the strike will tell him more about the nature of the Palestinian conflict with Israel than a hundred “expert” briefings.

There are several important things for Mattis to consider in relation to the strike.

The first thing he needs to note is that all of the terrorists on strike are members of the Fatah terrorist group.

This fact should signal to General Mattis that Fatah is not a normal political party. In fact, it is a terrorist organization that has a political party.

The second thing Mattis needs to consider about the strike is that it is supported by the international Left.

To understand why, Mattis needs to recognize the Fatah tautology.

But first, a bit of background.

The terrorists’ strike is the brainchild of convicted mass murderer, Fatah leader and darling of the international Left, Marwan Barghouti.

Barghouti is serving five life sentences in prison for murdering five Israelis. Israeli authorities believe Barghouti was directly responsible for 37 murders, but were only able to convict him on five counts.

Barghouti’s role in the killings goes far beyond the terrorist attacks he directly ordered.

From 2000 until his arrest in 2002, Barghouti was the commander and mastermind of the Palestinian terror war that began in September 2000 after Fatah leader Yasser Arafat rejected Palestinian statehood at Camp David.

In other words, hundreds of Israelis are dead today because of Barghouti.

But for the Left, none of this matters. For the Left, Barghouti is a hero.

The Left insists Barghouti is a moderate and a peacemaker and that Israel should release him and let him take over Fatah and the PLO from octogenarian Mahmoud Abbas.

They insist this because of the Fatah tautology.

According to the tautology, Fatah is “moderate” and “pro-peace.” Barghouti is a leader of Fatah. Therefore Barghouti is moderate and pro-peace.

Since Fatah is “moderate” and “pro-peace,” it isn’t a terrorist organization. And since it isn’t a terrorist organization, its terrorists are moderate peace-activists.

So despite the protests of irritating Israeli terrorism victims, and the verdict of the court, Barghouti isn’t a terrorist and none of the terrorists he commanded are terrorists.

None of them are terrorists because they are members of Fatah. And Fatah is a moderate, pro-peace party. So they are moderate peace activists.

Under this tautological reasoning, it makes sense for the US to give nearly a billion dollars a year in aid to the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority. It makes sense for the Pentagon to train Palestinian “security forces” who double as Fatah terrorists. It makes sense for the US to turn a blind eye to the fact that the PA spends more than $300 million, or more than 7% of its donor-financed budget, to pay salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons and their families.

After all, the Palestinians can’t be incentivizing terrorism.

They’re from Fatah and Fatah is a moderate peace party.

The Fatah tautology is what informed The New York Times’ decision to publish an op-ed by Barghouti in its Sunday edition in support of the prisoners’ strike.

Not surprisingly, Barghouti slandered Israel repeatedly in his essay.

Also not surprisingly, in its tagline the Times described Barghouti as a “Palestinian leader and parliamentarian.”

It would be bad enough if this circular reasoning was relegated to the fever swamps of the Left.

But it isn’t.

Numbered among Fatah’s most fervent supporters are Mattis and his fellow generals at the US Military’s Central Command.

Mattis arrives in Israel with a public record replete with anti-Israel statements that indicate he swallowed the Fatah tautology hook, line and sinker.

In 2013, shortly after retiring from his post as Centcom commander, General Mattis resonated Barghouti and his leftist supporters when he blamed Israel for the absence of peace.

Speaking at the Aspen Institute Mattis said that the US must make the establishment of a state run by Fatah terrorists – on land Israel controls, that it requires for its national security and that it has sovereign rights to – a key US goal.

In his words, “We’ve got to find a way to make the twostate solution that Democrat and Republican administrations have supported. We’ve got to get there, and the chances for its starting are starting to ebb because of the settlements and where they’re at, they’re going to make it impossible to maintain the two-state option.”

Also echoing Barghouti’s libels, Mattis said that if Israel continues to allow Jews to live where they have rights to live and property rights to build then it will become an “apartheid” state.

Mattis is reputedly a very smart, well-read man. And yet, his claims show that despite his intelligence, he has a stunning lack of intellectual curiosity about Israel and the Palestinians and their positions in the wider Middle East.

Lest we give in to the temptation to believe that Mattis’s ignorant, tautological thinking was simply a function of his service in the Obama administration, during his Senate confirmation hearings as President Donald Trump’s nominee to serve as Defense Secretary, Mattis doubled down.

When asked point blank to name Israel’s capital, Mattis refused to acknowledge that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Instead, he stunned lawmakers when he proclaimed that Tel Aviv is the capital of the Jewish state.

Mattis’s hostile view of Israel and the Palestinians isn’t surprising. And the reason it isn’t surprising isn’t because Mattis is a member in good standing of the lunatic Left. He’s not.

Mattis’s ignorance is understandable because he hails from the US Military’s Central Command. The Pentagon’s area command responsible for the Middle East has one debilitating problem. It is a problem that guarantees that Centcom officers will fail to understand the Middle East and fail to win America’s wars in the region.

Centcom’s problem is that it deliberately does not include Israel.

As far as Centcom is concerned, Israel is not part of the Middle East. Israel is in Europe.

Centcom officers speak only to Arabs. And their Arab counterparts insist that Israel is the problem.

Rather than critically analyze this claim, Centcom officers internalize it.

Rather than notice and get irritated by the fact that due to their Arab colleagues’ antisemitism the US is forced to pretend that Israel is located on a completely different continent, Mattis and his underlings adopted their reason-bereft prejudice.

Rather than rebel against their inability to communicate directly with their Israeli counterparts and insist that they be permitted to bring the US’s closest ally in the Middle East into their regional plans and analyses, Centcom officers have embraced the irrational and strategically catastrophic view that the main source of instability in the Middle East are the Israeli communities located beyond the 1949 armistice lines.

Mattis’s visit will take him to Jerusalem, rather than Tel Aviv. No doubt Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will mention that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and express his enthusiastic support for moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

But as far as Israel’s relations with the US generally and the Pentagon specifically are concerned, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem is of secondary importance.

The most important contribution Israel can make to the US war against “extremist terrorism” and to the Trump administration’s efforts to “reaffirm key military alliances,” is for Netanyahu to insist that the Trump administration stop accepting the bigoted dictates of the Arabs. He must insist that Israel be integrated into Centcom. Only when the American officers responsible for determining US policies in the Middle East recognize that Israel is part of the Middle East will they have the cognitive capacity to understand the realities of the region. And the first reality that will become clear to them is that despite the Fatah tautology, Fatah is a terrorist organization, and an extremist one at that.

Originally Published in the Jerusalem Post under the title: Gen Mattis and the Fatah tautology  

Why the So-Called ‘Palestinians’ Don’t Deserve a State

For decades the two-state solution has been repeatedly floated as the preferred goal of peace between Israel and the Arabs (‘Palestinians’). Yet it has never been realized. Accusations have been tossed around by various voices laying blame on both sides for the failure of the two-state solution to be implemented.

In light of the recent summit between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump, it would appear the long standing position of the US promoting the two-state solution is fizzling out. In my opinion this is long overdue.

Simply put the so-called ‘Palestinians’ don’t deserve a state.

Allow me to make the case.


In order to have an appreciation for today’s stalemate, it’s important to understand how it came about.

The concept of a two-state solution has already been attempted with the 1947 UN partition of two states, one Arab, one Jewish. (the original two-state solution) It failed. Why? The Arab nations rejected and ignored the resolution, attacking the fledgling Jewish state one day after it declared independence in 1948. Six decades and seven wars later (three with Hamas) what has changed?

A dramatic shift took place in 1967 when Yasser Arafat decided the Arabs who were displaced from the 1948 and 1967 wars deserved to have their own unique identity. He renamed them “Palestinians.” For the record before 1967 the term “Palestinians” referred to Jews. Walid Shoebat, an Arab who was living in Jericho during the ’67 war said “On June 4 I went to sleep as an Arab. The next day, without moving anywhere I am suddenly a “Palestinian.”

Arafat’s campaign included more than just an identity change for these newly renamed ‘Palestinians.’ He demanded an independent state, and laid claim to the entire area west of the Jordan River which Israel captured during the war. This is biblical Judea/Samaria, commonly referred to as the West Bank. As far as Arafat was concerned all this land was ‘Palestinian’ land, in spite of the fact International law affirms any land captured during a defensive war belongs to the victor, which was Israel.

His original goal when he founded the PLO in 1964 was to ‘liberate’ (destroy) all of Israel and replace it with a single ‘Palestinian’ state. Since Israel captured Judea/Samaria during the Six Day War he now added this to his goal.

The Age of Terror

After the 1967 war other terror groups sprung up including, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (1967), Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (1969), Islamic Jihad (1979), Hezbollah (1985) Hamas (1987), and several others. For the past 15 years the Fatah Party has been the dominant party in Judea/Samaria. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is the party Chairman.

Each of these groups is dedicated to ‘liberating’ (destroying) the state of Israel.

So why don’t the ‘Palestinians’ deserve a state? First off their claim to the land has no basis in reality. It’s not as though Arabs have no history in the land. They do. However the greater and more historical association belongs to the Jews. The Bible tells us it is this very land which was given to the Jews as “an everlasting inheritance.”  This land, including Jerusalem is the ancestral home of the Jewish people, superseding ‘Palestinian’ claims by thousands of years. This is a simple indisputable fact.

Present Day

However, let’s transition from the legitimate historical connection the Jews have to this land to present day.

Let’s examine today’s Israeli/Palestinian relations a little closer.

Israel has made several attempts to appease the ‘Palestinians,’ through agreements and offers. In 2000 for example, Prime Minister Ehud Barak made an unprecedented offer to Yasser Arafat. It included turning over roughly 99% of Judea/Samaria (aka: West Bank), dividing Jerusalem, and compensation for so-called “refugees.” Additionally, the Gaza Strip would be contiguously linked, effectively splitting Israel in two. By any definition this was a huge sacrifice on the part of Israel. President Clinton who was brokering the negotiations later said he “couldn’t believe how good the offer was.” Yet Arafat rejected it and the talks collapsed.  Clinton laid blame squarely where it belonged, on Arafat.

Why was such an incredibly generous offer rejected? Simple, the Muslims refuse to accept the existence of a Jewish state under any circumstances, no matter what the borders are. They are firmly convinced every square inch of the state of Israel is Muslim land. Thus, to accept the existence of a sovereign Jewish state on land which they consider theirs is viewed as blasphemy, which is punishable by death. Never mind that they have no legitimate claim to the land.

Not only do they refuse to accept the existence of Israel, or peacefully co-exist, they have mounted a decade’s long campaign to destroy the Jewish state.

Doctrines of Destruction

For example, look at some points in their founding charters:

Fatah Charter (party of Mahmoud Abbas)

Article 12- “complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence”

Article 13- “Establishing an independent democratic state with complete sovereignty on all Palestinian lands, and Jerusalem is its capital city”- Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People’s armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated.”  


PLO Charter

Article 9- “armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine”

Article 19- “The partition of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of the state of Israel are entirely illegal”

Hamas Charter

Preamble: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”

Article 6-  “The Islamic  Resistance  Movement  is  a  distinguished  Palestinian movement, who’s allegiance is to Allah, and  whose  way  of  life  is Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.”

Article 13- “…There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility.”

With the exception of Hezbollah in Lebanon, these three organizations are today’s main players in the conflict. Their charters represent the principles upon which each organization was founded. Based on the quotes from each of their charters it is unquestionable none of them seek a two state solution, or peaceful co-existence with a Jewish state of Israel. They all seek its destruction.

Ignoring the Truth

Yet, instead of calling out these organizations world leaders and the UN continue to blame Israel’s construction of homes as the main obstacle to a peace agreement. Recently the UN made this their official position with the passage of resolution 2334. Their action ignores the Palestinian’s indisputable requirement of the annihilation of Israel. Keep in mind-

  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly said he will never accept Israel as a Jewish state.
  • He glorifies those who murder innocent Israeli civilians by naming parks and schools after them.  
  • The PA pays large salaries to jailed murderers of Israelis.
  • When young Arabs stab Israeli’s or run them over with vehicles, Abbas refuses to condemn such terror.
  • He considers every drop of Muslim blood holy in its pursuit of Palestine’s liberation. In other words he is blessing murder in cold blood, while world leaders consider him a ‘moderate.’ Calling him a ‘moderate’ is redefining the very meaning of the word.
  • Curriculum in Palestinian schools teaches students the Jews stole their land, and they should strive to retake every inch of ‘Palestine,’ by jihad. Moreover, they are taught it is holy to murder Jews and be a martyr for Allah.


Some might suggest the terrorists don’t represent the Arab Palestinian population as a whole. If this is true why has there not been any outcry from the general Palestinian population against the terror? Why has there not been a single demonstration for peace with Israel on the Palestinian street? Where are the editorials condemning the terrorist in the Arab Palestinian press?

If the Palestinians are committed to peacefully co-exist with a Jewish state of Israel shouldn’t we see visible evidence of this? Instead, we see continued terror amid calls for Israel to cease construction. World leaders and the UN are ignoring the Palestinians true agenda. They need to realize the true obstacle to peace is not Israel’s construction. In 1948 or 1967 there were no “settlements,” nor were there any settlements in 1964 when the PLO was founded. Yet even though the land areas have changed, the goal was the same then as today- rejection of Israel’s right to exist.  The ‘Palestinians’ must be held accountable for this. Saying construction is the obstacle to peace makes as much sense as blaming the Jews for the Holocaust.   

The reality is the Arab Palestinians need a civilized gut check. Until such time as they renounce all terror, recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital, drop all future land claims and amend their charters, they are undeserving of a state.

A civilized world should not reward murderers committed to destroy their presumed peace partner with nationhood. Moreover, Israel has every right to oppose sacrificing precious land to unreformed terrorists. Such action would be tantamount to handing bullets to your assassin.

Headlines: Fatah is a Terrorist Org., Antisemitism, UN’s Israel Bias

The Federal Court of Canada validated the decision of the Immigration Division (ID) of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada which denied a Palestinian man refugee status in Canada because of his affiliation with the Fatah terrorist organization.
[Arutz Sheva]


Natan Meir, husband of Dafna Meir who was stabbed to death in their home, sent an emotional plea to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
[Jerusalem Post]


The Middle East Quartet, made up of the US, EU, UN, and Russia, is scheduled to release a major policy report later in coming weeks, and senior diplomats involved in its drafting have indicated that the US is taking a far harder line on Israel than in the past.
[Arutz Sheva]


The former Labour mayor of London calls Israel a ‘mistake,’ argues there was no anti-Semitism in the Arab world until founding of the Jewish State in interview with UAE-based news network.


Israeli officials said Saturday they would continue operations to uncover and destroy cross-border attack tunnels in the Gaza Strip over the coming weeks, even as Israel and Hamas sought to calm tensions along the frontier.
[Times of Israel]



Why Has Israel Waited So Long to Crush The Palestinian War?

With this morning’s attack at the entrance to Kiryat Arba, the current Intifada continues to creep from knives to guns. In the last few attacks in Jerusalem and now back in Kiryat Arba, Palestinian Arabs have used serious weapons to attack.

These attacks have flipped what appeared to be “random acts of violence” to an armed uprising.  The question isn’t where we are, which has become clear to most people in Israel, but how are we going to deal with it?  

Incitement and Geopolitical Considerations have Slowed Israel’s Reaction

In order to answer that question, it is important to understand that most of what we are witnessing could have been avoided. The government has gone out of its way to try to politicize the attacks instead of crushing them from the beginning.  We can see this most clearly in the ongoing finger pointing at the Palestinian Authority’s use of religious and racial incitement against the Jewish  people.  Yet one has to wonder where the government has been up until this year.  We all know both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, headed up by lifetime President Abbas, utilize children’s TV and radio to brainwash their populace.  In fact this has been going on for sometime. Another thing the government has been aware of is the Palestinian illegal arms build up in much of Judea and Samaria.  

By allowing this Intifada to simmer behind the point of a knife, the government has fed the notion to the Leaders of Fatah and Hamas that guns and bombs could in fact be used.  If the government had crushed the knife attacks in the beginning by going after the leaders’ livelihood and in fact their lives, the Arab street in Judea and Samaria would have gotten it. However, that would have required Bibi Netanyahu and Bogie Yaalon to treat this as a war.  They have not been ready to do that yet.  Understandably, their hands are tied into a larger geopolitical maneuver and declaring war on the Palestinian Authority would derail in their minds from dealing with Iran, while fending off a hostile White House and State Department.

Given the balance that needs to be struck between geopolitics and a homegrown war within Israel by Arabs who migrated to the Land within the last 150 years, a new approach must be undertaken to withstand the growing violence in Israel.

Implosion of the Palestinian Authority will Bring About a Paradigm Shift

Hints to a new course of action and trajectory by the government has been bubbling up into the media over the last few months. It is no secret that the PA is in the midst of an internal crisis.  Most Arabs and others dwelling within the Palestinian Authority areas have grown to hate the leadership as both ineffectual as well as corrupt.  Violent Palestinian Authority cops and officials use their power to steal public funds and shake down opponents.  With the above facts, the Israeli government seems to be inching towards allowing the Palestinian Authority to collapse on its own in a staged manner.  After the collapse local forces from within the various clans that make up the multi faceted Palestinian society can rebuild their relationship with Israel in the proper way.

In that approach, Israel will increasingly move towards a one state solution in a phased manner, all the while ensuring violent elements are removed and reinforcing local leaders.  

Crushing the Terror Groups Should Begin Now

Considering the fact that the PA is ineffectual as well as in a free fall, the Israeli government should make it clear that there is no longer any tolerance for any sort of attack.  By beginning now it can set the stage for lessening a chance  for a complete explosion when the Palestinian Authority’s collapse enters its final phase.

Geopolitics aside, the government in Israel must not only prepare for the day after a Palestinian Authority collapse by speaking about it, but it must be proactive ensuring the violence we have witnessed not only does not increase towards anarchy, but firmly puts it back in its place.

Gaza, Maybe the Best Solution to Israel’s Prison Shortage

Ofra Klinger, head of Israel’s prison services has stated that they have no new room for security prisoners.  This is do to the fact that despite the increased violence from the Arab sector in the Land of Israel, the IPS is hampered by Israeli law which prohibits the use of soldiers in prisons without the express approval of the cabinet.

The IDF spokeswoman issued the following statement: “According to a standing order issued on December 31st, 2015, it is prohibited to send soldiers to work in prisons or as part of the Israeli police. During the cabinet meeting which was held on December 28th, the Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu directed that the Department of National Security set up a task force to determine how many soldiers will serve in the internal security organizations, such as the IPS and the police, according to the current needs and the renewal of the interim directive. According to the information that we have, these instructions will be issued in the coming days.”

Gaza as the Real Solution

Given the fact that there seems to be no end in site to the current Arab uprising, the Israeli government would do well to use Gaza as a potential destination for all security related prisoners. After all, they themselves would be lavished in praise and well taken care of in the Hamas run territory.

Although if they are card carrying Fatah members, Hamas may be inclined to institute their own form of capital punishment. Either way it would be a huge space saver for Israel, the IDF, and the IPS.