Will the Palestinian Authority and Hamas Ever Learn?
The Palestinian Authority and Hamas seem to be nervous about the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.
Both rival parties, which have been fighting each other for over three years, are now scrambling to avoid possible revolts by Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Authority has finally agreed to hold presidential, local and parliamentary elections.
In addition, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to reshuffle the cabinet of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. The decision to hold new elections and reshuffle the cabinet is seen as a pre-emptive measure that is designed to appease Palestinians.
Abbas's decision to hold new elections and reshuffle the cabinet has been rejected by Hamas as a "ploy."
Abbas and Fayyad are said to be worried by the anti-government intifadas that have brought down regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, and are threatening to spread to other parts of the Arab world.
Like the ousted Tunisian and Egyptian dictators, Abbas and Fayyad are seen by many Palestinians and Arabs as "puppets" in the hands of the Americans. This perception is why the two Western-backed Palestinian leaders are now under immense pressure.
The pressure on Abbas and Fayyad reached its peak with the recent publication of the "Palestine Papers" by the Al-Jazeera TV network. The leaked documents, which claim that the Palestinian leaders had offered far-reaching concessions to Israel during the peace talks, have seriously damaged their credibility among Palestinians and Arabs.
Abbas and Fayyad now have to prove to their people that they are not "defeatists" and "surrenderists," as Al-Jazeera claims. Moreover, they need to prove to their people that they are serious about reforms.
Hamas also appears to be unnerved. In recent days, the Hamas government has intensified its efforts to prevent widespread demonstrations in the Gaza Strip. The move came following calls on Facebook by many young Palestinians to organize a revolt against the Hamas regime.
The Islamist movement also announced its strong opposition to new elections; apparently it fears that the vote would not be fair and free in light of the Palestinian Authority's crackdown on Hamas's supporters in the West Bank.
The measures taken by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas will only deepen divisions between the two sides -- a split that is likely to continue for quite a while. For now, the Palestinians will have to live with two entities that are separated politically and geographically.
It is hard to see how the Palestinian Authority would be able to hold any election without the consent of the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip.
All the Palestinian Authority and Hamas leaders care about is clinging onto power for as long as possible.
Comment on this item
by Anna Mahjar-Barducci
Libya is the new jihadist front on the Mediterranean -- and just a few hours away from the centers of Europe.
Several security sources have confirmed that Belmokhtar is still alive and has moved, along with his troops, from Mali to a new base in the Libyan desert.
by Timon Dias
"If Lady Justice is truly blind, she will prosecute all of us or none of us. I hope none of us." — Geert Wilders, MP and Leader of the Party for Freedom, the Netherlands.
A more recent development is the pending Dutch Moroccan takeover of the drugs and human trafficking businesses.
by Shabnam Assadollahi
It is now being said that Morteza Sarbandi, instead of assaulting Reyhaneh Jabbari, was stabbed while performing Muslim prayers.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
"We reject all forms of violence... Palestinian blood is like Israeli blood. It is human blood and precious and no one wants anyone killed." — Mahmoud al-Habbash, Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs
"If your blood is like the blood of Zionists, our blood is not." — Zakariya Zubeidi, former leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade.
"We call for lifting his [al-Habbash's] diplomatic immunity and for prosecuting him immediately for his administrative, financial, and political corruption. We also call on President Abbas to fire him immediately from the Palestinian cabinet." — Mansour al-Sa'di, Fatah leader.
The angry reactions show that there are many Palestinians who see no problem with a terrorist attack against a Jewish family. Palestinian leaders can blame only themselves.
by Christine Williams
Hamas -- the terrorist group and offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood -- has fueled and directed the BDS and Israel Apartheid Week campaigns on campuses across North America.
"Islam is my life... Jihad is my spirit... I will die to establish Islam." — from the Muslim Student Association pledge of allegiance.
- Palestinians: "Prisoners Day"
by Khaled Abu Toameh
- UK: Multiculturalism vs. Islamism
by Samuel Westrop
- UK: Probe of Islamic Takeover Plot Widens
by Soeren Kern
- Anti-Israel BDS Resolutions Seize Campuses in Ontario, Canada
by Christine Williams
- History of the Muslim Brotherhood Penetration of the U.S. Government
by Clare M. Lopez