The Palestinians: Possible Coup?
Until recently, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas used to claim that Hamas was plotting to overthrow his government in the West Bank. Abbas's claim was aimed at justifying the massive crackdown that his security forces have been waging against Hamas supporters in the West Bank.
But in recent weeks Abbas's top aides have also begun talking about another threat to his government – this time from some Fatah leaders.
According to the aides, one of these Fatah leaders, Mohammed Dahlan, has been plotting to topple the Palestinian president. Dahlan is a former security commander who was thrown out of the Gaza Strip in 2007.
Ironically, Hamas claimed then that it had to launch a pre-emptive coup in the Gaza Strip after noticing that Dahlan, with the help of Americans and Europeans, was conspiring to overthrow its government.
Dahlan and dozens of his supporters have since moved to live in the West Bank.
Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah claim that the overly-ambitious Dahlan has recently been plotting to replace Abbas as president – a charge dismissed by Dahlan as a "joke."
Dahlan's associates say that Abbas is obviously suffering from severe paranoia because of his belief that too many parties are planning to topple him. They note that similar charges have also been leveled against other senior Fatah officials, including Nasser al-Qudwa, a nephew of Yasser Arafat, and Ahmed Qurei, a former prime minister and veteran Fatah operative.
All three Fatah leaders have reportedly been targeted by Abbas for daring to criticize him and his policies in closed and public forums. The three have been punished in different ways by the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah.
Qurei has been stripped of his VIP card, denying him even the privilege of travelling to Jordan in his private vehicle; after that, Abbas's aides announced that a special commission had launched an inquiry into charges of financial corruption.
Al-Qudwa, a former foreign minister, has been accused by Abbas's aides of working to undermine the Palestinian leadership by projecting himself as a "natural successor" to the president. After that, Abbas's office published an article in the official Wafa news agency strongly condemning al-Qudwa.
But most of the heat has thus far been directed against Dahlan. Abbas first ordered his security forces to assign only two policemen -- instead of four -- to guard Dahlan's private residence in Ramallah. The decision has been interpreted as an attempt to humiliate the former security commander.
After that, Abbas ordered the closure of a private TV station in Ramallah that is believed to be owned by Dahlan. All 35 employees working for the station, Falasteen al-Ghad [Palestine Tomorrow] were ordered to leave the offices of the station.
Abbas's aides now claim that Dahlan, like Qurei, is also facing charges of financial corruption.
The infighting in Abbas's ruling Fatah faction shows that the real threat to his authority is no longer Hamas but a growing number of disgruntled officials surrounding him. If anything, the charges made by Abbas's aides are a sign that the Palestinian president is under immense pressure.
Some Palestinians are convinced that the allegations coming out of Abbas's office are exaggerated with the purpose of winning international support. The message that Abbas is trying to send to the world is: I need your moral and financial support because everyone, from Hamas to Fatah, is now against me.
It now appears that the biggest obstacle to peace in the Middle East is no longer the construction in the settlements, but the threats facing Abbas at home.
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by Guy Millière
Belgian security services have estimated that the number of European jihadists in Syria may be over 4000.
European leaders have directed their nastiest comments against the Jewish state, none of them has asked why Palestinian organizations in Gaza put their stockpiles of weapons in hospitals, homes, schools and mosques, or their command and control centers at the bottom of large apartment buildings or underneath hospitals. None of them has even said that Hamas is a terrorist organization despite its genocidal charter.
The majority of them are wedded to the idea of redistribution. Their policies are anti-growth, do not afford people any economic opportunity, and are what caused these economic crises in Europe in the first place. The United States seems to be following these thoroughly failed policies as well.
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by Raymond Ibrahim
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Hillary Clinton repeatedly refused to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization.
In Malaysia -- regularly portrayed in the West as a moderate Muslim nation -- any attempt to promote religions other than Islam is illegal.
"The reason they want to kill me is very clear -- it is because of being a convert to Christianity." — Hassan Muwanguzi, Uganda.
by Dexter Van Zile
Rev. Hanna Massad does not mention that perhaps Hamas actually wants the blockade to end so it can bring in more weapons and cement to build attack-tunnels so it can "finish the job."
Hamas does not just admit to using human shields, it brags about using human shields. Why does Massad have to inject an air of uncertainty about Hamas's use of human shields when no such uncertainty exists?
The problem is that any self-respecting journalist would confront Massad with a follow-up question about Hamas's ideology and violence, but not the folks at Christianity Today.
by Burak Bekdil
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It was the usual "We-Muslims-can-kill each other-but-Jews-cannot" hysteria.
If Turkish crowds were protesting against Israel in a political dispute, why Koranic slogans? Why were they protesting in Arabic rather than their native language? Do Turks chant German slogans to protest nuclear energy?
by Burak Bekdil
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