The Palestinian Authority's Policy of Duplicity
Abbas is trying to show the US and the EU that he is serious about fighting the Hamas in the West Bank, and that is why he deserves a state and more funding. What the Americans and Europeans do not know is that many of these detainees are released within hours or days.
The Palestinian Authority's duplicity -- which has become an integral part of the Palestinian Authority's strategy in dealing with both its people and Israel -- reached new heights last week when its leaders called for a "day of solidarity" with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.
As Palestinians in the West Bank took to the streets to express their support for the prisoners, Palestinian Authority, security forces waged a campaign of detentions of dozens of Palestinians suspected of being affiliated with Hamas and other groups.
While it is good of course, that the Palestinian Authority is arresting Palestinians affiliated with Hamas, the problem is that the Authority is also using this as an excuse to crack down on other political opponents, as well as journalists. Lawyers, human rights activists and families of those detained by the Palestinian Authority say they do not know why the Palestinian leadership ordered the clampdown. The timing of the arrests also seems problematic, especially as it came on the eve of of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's new bid for statehood at the UN General Assembly.
Abbas is trying to show the US and the EU that he is serious about fighting Hamas in the West Bank, and therefore deserves a state and more funding. What the Americans do not know is that many of the detainees are quietly released within hours or days. The Palestinian Authority's conduct should raise alarm bells in Western capitals. If anything these latest occurrences show once again that the Palestinian Authority's credibility remains questionable.
According to Palestinian sources, more than 100 Palestinians, among them journalists, researchers and political activists were rounded up by Palestinian security forces in less than 48 hours. The Palestinian Authority, for its part, said that the detentions were aimed at preventing Hamas from "spreading chaos and anarchy" in the West Bank. Except that as Palestinian security forces were rounding up the Palestinians, representatives of the Palestinian Authority were delivering speeches in the center of Ramallah and other Palestinian cities denouncing Israel for its refusal to release Palestinian prisoners.
Tayeb Abdel Rahim, a top aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, told supporters that Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails were denied many rights, and called for an international commission of inquiry to look into the conditions of the inmates. Abdel Rahim, however, forgot to tell his supporters that, as he was speaking, his security forces were also detaining 35 Palestinians who had just been released from Israeli prison.
Abdel Rahim also forgot to tell his supporters that a large number of Palestinians who are in Israeli prison were arrested thanks to security coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. In other words, information provided by the Palestinian Authority to Israel led to the arrest of many of the Palestinians for whose release Abdel Rahim is calling.
Moreover, the Palestinian Authority is well aware of the fact that Palestinians who are detained by Israel enjoy more rights than those incarcerated by the Palestinian security forces in the West Bank.
Human rights activists say that many of the Palestinians held in Palestinian Authority detention centers are denied most of their basic rights, including seeing a lawyer and family visitations. The Palestinian Authority also knows that were it not for Israel's continued crackdown on Hamas supporters in the West Bank, Palestinian leaders in Ramallah would not be safe. If anything is preventing Hamas from seizing control over the West Bank, it is Israel's security measures against the Islamist movement and its terror cells in that area.
Many Palestinians are convinced that the Palestinian Authority called for a "day of solidarity" with prisoners in Israeli jails to divert attention from its own detention campaign. The Palestinian Authority has never missed an opportunity to incite Palestinians against Israel. Each time Palestinian Authority leaders seek to avoid problems at home, they call for demonstrations against Israel, using the issue of settlements or prisoners as an excuse. This is done in the context of a long-standing policy of blaming Israel for all the miseries of the Palestinians.
The Palestinian Authority wants the Palestinians to divert all their energies and frustrations only toward Israel. Otherwise, the Palestinians might one day wake up and start demanding dangerous things from their leaders in Ramallah -- such things as such as reforms, accountability and democracy.
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|Especially true given this link [21 words]||frumious falafel||Oct 2, 2012 15:42|
|Abbas and his henchmen work hard to maintain the Arab Israel conflict [53 words]||Batya Casper, Israelathebook.com||Sep 28, 2012 13:22|
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by Khaled Abu Toameh
The "Arab Spring" did not erupt as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rather, it was the outcome of decades of tyranny and corruption in the Arab world. The Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans and Yemenis who removed their dictators from power did not do so because of the lack of a "two-state solution." This is the last thing they had in mind.
The thousands of Muslims who are volunteering to join the Islamic State [IS] are not doing so because they are frustrated with the lack of progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
The only solution the Islamic State believes in is a Sunni Islamic Caliphate where the surviving non-Muslims who are not massacred would be subject to sharia law.
What Kerry perhaps does not know is that the Islamic State is not interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at all. Unlike Kerry, Sunni scholars fully understand that the Islamic State has more to do with Islam and terrorism than with any other conflict.
by Steven J. Rosen
Palestinian officials have generally been silent about security cooperation with Israel. They are loath to acknowledge how important it is for the survival of the Palestinian Authority [PA], and fear that critics, especially Hamas, will consider it "collaboration with the enemy."
"You smuggle weapons, explosives and cash to the West Bank, not for the fight with Israel, but for a coup against the Palestinian Authority. The Israeli intelligence chief visited me two weeks ago and told me about the [Hamas] group they arrested that was planning for a coup... We have a national unity government and you are thinking about a coup against me." — Mahmoud Abbas, PA President, to Khaled Mashaal, Hamas leader.
According to Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, if the IDF leaves the West Bank, Hamas will take over, and other terrorists groups such as the Islamic Jihad, Al-Qaeda and Islamic State would operate there.
In recent months, Abbas has been making a series of threats against Israel. If Abbas becomes another Arafat, it could be the Israeli side that loses interest in security cooperation.
by Burak Bekdil
It was the Islamists who, since they came to power in the 2000s, have reaped the biggest political gains from the "Palestine-fetish."
But the Turkish rhetoric on "solidarity" with our Palestinian brothers often seems askew to how solidarity should be.
by Raheel Raza
One blogger writes that Malala hates Pakistan's military. I believe it is the other way around.
I would so like to see the day when Malala is welcomed back in Pakistan, with the whole country cheering.
by Francesco Sisci
Democratic evolution in China was being seriously considered. The failures of U.S. support for democracy in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt and Libya gave new food for thought to those opposed to democracy. Lastly, the United States did not strongly oppose the anti-democratic coup d'état that overthrew a democratically elected government in Thailand.
On the other hand, Russia -- dominated by Vladimir Putin, a new autocrat determined to stifle democracy in Russia -- provided a new model.
The whole of Eastern Europe and most of Latin America, formerly in the clutches of dictatorships, are now efficient democracies. This seems to indicate that while democracy cannot be parachuted into a country, there is a broader, longer-term global trend toward democracy and that its growth depends on local conditions.
As economic development needed careful planning, political reforms need even greater planning. The question remains: is China preparing for these political reforms?