Fatah's Drive Against "Normalization"
The Fatah activists who are threatening Palestinian teenagers for talking to Israelis and playing football with them are the same people who claim, at least in public, that they support the peace process with Israel. But how can there ever be a peace process when anyone who meets with an Israeli is immediately denounced as a traitor? It is worth noting that most of these denunciations are coming form the "moderate" Fatah, and not from Hamas.
While Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was meeting in his office in Ramallah with Shelly Yacimovich, chairwoman of Israel's opposition Labour Party, his Fatah faction was busy threatening Palestinians who meet with Israelis.
That Abbas continues to meet with Israelis on a regular basis in Ramallah does not seem to bother Fatah.
Nor does Fatah seem to be bothered that Palestinian security officers work closely together with their Israeli counterparts in the West Bank. That is called "security coordination" between the Palestinians and Israel.
But when Palestinian youths are invited to meet with Israelis as part of an interfaith dialogue project, Fatah is quick to issue denunciations and threats.
When Palestinian and Israeli teenagers are invited to play football together as part of a project to promote peace and coexistence, Fatah is also quick to react.
But Fatah has no problem when Abbas or any top Palestinian official meets with Israelis.
Nor does Fatah have a problem with some of its senior representatives carrying Israeli-issued VIP cards that grant them various privileges that are denied to most Palestinians, such as permission to enter Israel and avoid waiting at Israel Defense Force checkpoints.
Palestinian youths from Hebron, though, who met with Israelis near Bethlehem to share their problems and insights have been forced to issue a statement distancing themselves from the meeting.
Following threats from Fatah, which condemned the event as a form of "normalization" with Israel, the Palestinian participants claimed that they had been "misled" regarding the true goals of the meeting.
This claim was clearly issued because of the "anti-normalization" campaign waged by Fatah over the past few years. This is a campaign that -- in the context of "peace" and "coexistence" projects that are often sponsored and funded by the European Union and the U.S. -- aims at banning meetings between Israeli and Palestinians.
The most recent victims of the anti-normalization drive are Palestinian boys and girls who committed the "crime" of playing in a football match against Israeli teenagers. When pictures of the match appeared in the media, Fatah rushed to issue threats against the Palestinian players and those behind the tournament.
Organizers of the "anti-normalization" campaign, most of whom belong to Abbas's Fatah faction, have been boasting that, in recent years, they have succeeded in thwarting dozens of planned meetings between Israelis and Palestinians.
But Fatah has not condemned its own leader, Abbas, for meeting with Yacimovich and other Israelis.
The real problem here is that Abbas himself has not come out against Fatah's campaign of intimidation and threats. By remaining silent, Abbas in fact appears to have endorsed the "anti-normalization" campaign -- at least so long as its does not affect him personally.
The Fatah activists who are threatening Palestinian teenagers and youths for talking to Israelis and playing football with them are the same people who claim, at least in public, that they support the peace process with Israel.
But how can there ever be a peace process when any Palestinian who meets with an Israeli is immediately denounced as a traitor? It is worth noting that most of these denunciations are coming from the "moderate" Fatah, and not from Hamas.
It now remains to be seen how Fatah will react if and when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry persuades Abbas to return to the negotiating table with Israel. Will Fatah condemn Abbas for advocating "normalization with the Israeli enemy" when he sits at the negotiating table? Or will Fatah continue to go only after Palestinian boys and girls who just want to have fun and play football?receive the latest by email: subscribe to the free gatestone institute mailing list
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Comment on this item
by Khaled Abu Toameh
It is important to note that these cease-fire demands are not part of Hamas's or Islamic Jihad's overall strategy, namely to have Israel wiped off the face of the earth.
Many foreign journalists who came to cover the war in the Gaza trip were under the false impression that it was all about improving living conditions for the Palestinians by opening border crossings and building an airport and seaport. These journalists really believed that once the demands of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are accepted, this would pave the way for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
To understand the true intention of Hamas and its allies, it is sufficient to follow the statements made by their leaders after the cease-fire announcement this week. To his credit, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's leader, has never concealed Hamas's desire to destroy Israel.
Hamas and its allies see the war in the Gaza Strip as part of there strategy to destroy Israel. What Hamas and its allies are actually saying is, "Give us open borders and an airport and seaport so we can use them to prepare for the next was against Israel."
by Burak Bekdil
A front-page headline was particularly revealing: They (Israel) bombed a mosque in Gaza! Including the exclamation mark!
A quick internet search, if you typed "mosque bombing Shiite-Sunni," would give you 782,000 results on July 16.
Why did we not hear one single Turkish voice protest the death of 300,000 Muslims in Darfur?
Hamas's Charter is must-read fun.
by Bassam Tawil
What is sad is that the Gazans have not yet been able to free themselves from the yoke of Hamas.
The world seems not to understand that Hamas, like ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood, does not exist in a vacuum. It is one cog in the radical Islamist wheel that threatens the Arab and Muslim world and the major cities of Europe.
The Western world also seems not to understand that it has to incapacitate or totally neutralize the countries funding terrorism, such as Iran, Qatar and Turkey, for whom the Palestinian problem is only a pretext on the way to destroying the Western world as we know it and replacing it with only Islam.
by Burak Bekdil
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhri said: "All Israelis are legitimate targets." What would the Palestinian death toll have been if Mr. Netanyahu's spokesman declared all Palestinians as legitimate targets?
Underdog-nation romanticism tells us Israel should not respond when under rocket attack because it is capable of intercepting the rockets.
That there are fewer Israeli casualties does not mean Hamas does not want to kill; it just means, for the moment, Hamas cannot kill.
by Soeren Kern
Austria figures prominently in a map produced by the IS that outlines the group's five-year plan for expanding its caliphate into Europe, and has emerged as a central hub for jihadists seeking to fight in Syria.
"The spectrum of recruits for the conflict in Syria is ethnically diverse. The motivation, however, appears to be uniformly jihadist." — Austrian intelligence agency BVT.
"Allah also gives you the opportunity to wage jihad in Austria." — Austrian jihadist Firas Houidi.
"We are proud that Allah has chosen us. We feel like lions." — Austrian jihadist Abu Hamza al-Austria.