1:29 PM, Apr 1, 2015 • By DANIEL DORON
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently noted that with the Middle East in chaos, it may not be a good time to establish another rogue state, Palestine, which would likely be taken over by Iran’s proxy, Hamas, which would then launch a bloody war against Israel. The Prime Minister’s declaration was greeted with alarm among the commentariat, because the belief that establishing a Palestinian state will lead to peace has become an article of faith immune to fact or reason.
The Palestinian Authority is utterly dysfunctional. It’s a clan-based coalition made up of murderous political mafias. It deprives the Palestinians of even the most elementary rights, robs them of billions in aid from the U.S. and Europe, keeps most of them in penury and misery, oppresses women, gays and lesbians, and all who aren’t Muslims. It foments rage against Israel by incessant incitement that calls on even small children to kill Jews everywhere. Is granting it statehood really the path to peace?
How can anyone who cherishes human rights, who claims that they care for the oppressed Palestinians, believe that subjecting them to greater oppression is justified just so that they can enjoy a putative political “self-determination,” - the kind enjoyed by the citizens of Saudi Arabia, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, or Iran? Israel sinned against the Palestinians when, in the Oslo Agreements, it agreed that a terrorist organization, Arafat’s PLO, should rule them. The idea was that the PLO would take on Hamas; instead, Israel got two terrorist organizations competing over which one will destroy Israel first.
There is the danger, above all, that any Palestinian state will be taken over in no time by Hamas. As in Gaza, Hamas would promptly launch massive missile attacks, this time against the heart of Israel. Thousands could be killed and wounded, and Israel’s civil and military infrastructure would suffer heavy damage. Israel would have no alternative but to conquer the West Bank in bloody battles in heavily populated areas, with thousands of casualties, Arabs and Jews alike. The remaining Arabs would inevitably flee to Jordan, destabilize the monarchy, and possibly even establish a Hamas state dominated by Iran on Israel’s eastern flank. The proposal to secure peace by assuring a disarmed Palestine in a non-starter, as well. After all, sovereignty implies self-defense, and the right to raise an army, which Israel and other regional actors cannot accept.
As for a moral claim to Palestinian land? There is none. When the Arabs received, in the post-World War I peace conference, 93% of the vast territories of the Ottoman Empire, their representative, the Emir Faisal, the ruler of Arabia, willingly relinquished any claim to the territory that became a British mandate designated to establish a Jewish national home. He welcomed the Jews back to their fatherland. He gave up very little.
Palestine, in the words of Mark Twain, was “a prince of desolation." Only 4% of the land was inhabited, largely by nomads. There was never a national Palestinian entity or nation with any claim to this deserted land.
But what about that monstrous occupation that the White House chief of staff said must end? There simply isn’t one. The area designated for Palestinian self-rule by the Oslo Accords is ruled by the Palestinian Authority. Israeli troops enter it in hot pursuit after terrorists – and then leave. Any occupation is actually only by PLO terrorists, who were foolishly brought to the West Bank from Tunisia by cynical Israeli politicians, and since have inflicted great harm on the local population.
Peace is possible, but not through the establishment of a corrupt dictatorship. In fact, peace did come to the West Bank between the war of 1967 and the first Intifada of 1987, as it did to Europe after its dictatorships were defeated in World War Two. Under those twenty years of Israeli occupation, in the West Bank, the standard of living quintupled, agriculture and small industry were revolutionized, seven institution of higher learning were established, the status of women, children and minorities improved dramatically, and there was no terrorism. Alas, the Oslo Accords put paid to that: they foisted Yasser Arafat and his terrorist PLO on the hapless West Bank inhabitants. The first steps Arafat took was to attack Israelis who ate and shopped in West Bank cities, and to interrupt all economic relations, thus lowering dramatically the standard of living of West Bank Arabs and causing high unemployment, which reached among 30% among young people.
Peace could have existed between Arabs and Jews a long time ago if not for the imposition of Arafat’s Palestinian Authority on the West Bank Arabs. The upgrading of this criminal “Authority” to a state will delay it by another generation.
9:33 AM, Mar 21, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
At a press conference today in Ramallah, President Barack Obama addressed the assembled journalists while standing under a Yasser Arafat banner:
Photo Credit: Newscom
3:20 PM, Jan 26, 2012 • By JONATHAN SCHANZER
Mohammed Dahlan, the former security official for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in the Gaza Strip, is in a lot of trouble.
2:20 PM, Oct 31, 2011 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Mother Jones has published a long article about one of the foreign policy advisers with the Romney campaign, Walid Phares. The Beirut-born Phares has written a number of books in Arabic as well as English-language efforts like the provocatively titled The Confrontation: Winning the War Against Future Jihad. He launched his career as a commentator on counterterrorism and Middle Eastern affairs after emigrating to this country in 1990. As Mother Jones reports, Phares seems to have served before then as a member of the Lebanese Forces, a Christian militia that fought in the Lebanese civil wars, in a psychological warfare unit.
5:43 PM, Sep 22, 2011 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
Bill Clinton today blasted Benjamin Netanyahu, blaming the Israeli prime minister for the lack of progress toward peace with the Palestinians.
Nothing noble about it.3:40 PM, Feb 3, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
The nomination of a scoundrel like Julian Assange for the Nobel Peace Prize is not without precedent – in fact, there’s a good chance he could win it. Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, would join the company of Palestinian terrorist-in-chief Yasser Arafat if he were to be awarded the prize.
And the beginning of a new Israeli strategy.Sep 22, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 02 • By TOM ROSE
THE SUICIDE BOMBING that killed 22 people including 6 small children in Jerusalem on August 19 ended the so-called "hudna" (cease-fire) between competing Palestinian terror groups and Israel. It also killed any pretense of faith in the "road map." The oversold peace plan collapsed upon and crushed its own creation, the young government of Palestinian prime minister Mahmoud Abbas.
Why the media did a lousy job covering the intifada.Sep 22, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 02 • By JOSHUA MURAVCHIK
NO SOONER was Saddam Hussein chased from power than CNN revealed that it had often held its tongue about his savagery for fear of losing access to Iraq and provoking violent retribution. Although the confession was stunning, it was only the most recent chapter in a long story. Tyrannies have often managed to compromise Western journalists--by threats, bribes, and trickery. The New York Times covered up the story of Soviet famines in the 1930s.
From the September 22, 2003 issue: What removing Yasser Arafat would mean.Sep 22, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 02 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
"We think it would not be helpful to expel him because it would just give him another stage to play on."
--State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, after the Israeli government threatened to exile Yasser Arafat, Sept. 11, 2003
ALL THE WORLD'S NOT A STAGE, the melancholy Jacques of "As You Like It" to the contrary notwithstanding.
As long as he holds the Palestinian purse strings, he still calls the shots.Aug 25, 2003, Vol. 8, No. 47 • By RICHARD W. CARLSON
MAHMOUD ABBAS'S and Ariel Sharon's ministerial jets passed in the Washington night recently as each man presented arguments and complaints to President George W. Bush. But, so far as is known, not a word was uttered about the 600-pound gorilla in the checkered keffiyeh, Yasser Arafat, whom Bush did not invite to stop by.
Money is a big reason Arafat, though sidelined, cannot be forgotten. He controls the Palestinian purse strings, vast sums that pour into Gaza from around the world. Thus he can order up terrorism at the drop of a hat and frequently does.
Mahmoud Abbas is the new Palestinian prime minister. But for now, Yasser Arafat is still in the driver's seat.11:30 AM, Apr 24, 2003 • By FRED BARNES
DON'T GET YOUR HOPES UP yet for a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian president, has allowed the new prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, to form a governing cabinet. And Abbas's emergence represents a shrinking of Arafat's authority. But Arafat has lost only a bit of his power. He retains a virtual veto over any steps Abbas may want to take, plus the right to fire Abbas at any time. Which means that the chief Palestinian impediment to peace, Arafat, is still in a position to impede.
Let's review Arafat's recent record.
Do we really need another doomed Mideast peace process?Mar 31, 2003, Vol. 8, No. 28 • By JOSHUA MURAVCHIK
THREE DAYS before abandoning diplomatic activity about Iraq in the U.N. Security Council and delivering an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein, President Bush hastily invited reporters to the White House Rose Garden, where he announced a further initiative for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
From the March 17, 2003 issue: Why Arafat's new PM won't matter.Mar 17, 2003, Vol. 8, No. 26 • By ROBERT SATLOFF
Editor's Note: President Bush said Friday that the new Palestinian prime minister must have "real authority," which means the power to conduct negotiations on a peace settlement with Israel. Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian Authority leader, wants to retain the job of handling foreign affairs. Last June, the president said Arafat should relinquish his power. Bush said Friday the "quartet"--the United States, Russia, European Union, United Nations--would release its "road map" for peace in the Middle East once a Palestinian prime minister, with full authority, is confirmed.