The Palestinian Peace Plan by Bassam Tawil
Opposing a peace initiative because you do not like its content is one thing. Opposing a peace initiative designed to improve the lives of your people is another thing entirely.
Palestinian leaders do not care about their own people, so why should they care about peace with Jews?
They will never accept another plan, even if it comes from Prophet Muhammad.
It is easy to see why Palestinians would be opposed to the US administration’s upcoming plan for peace in the Middle East. The Palestinians do not like what they are hearing about the plan, which has not yet been made public.
Opposing a peace initiative because you do not like its content is one thing. Opposing a peace initiative designed to improve the lives of your people is another thing entirely. The latter defies logic and reveals the disappointing aspects of human nature.
Palestinian hatred of the US administration and President Donald Trump is so intense that the Palestinians are prepared to prolong the misery of their people.
Palestinian leaders care nothing for their people’s ongoing suffering. Give those leaders jobs, money and power, and their people be damned.
Once again, the two million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip have fallen victim to their leaders’ greed, carelessness and idiocy.
Last week, we witnessed another example of how Palestinian leaders are prepared to fight for their own interests, at the expense of their people, all in order to remain in power and keep the funds flowing to their secret (and sometimes public) bank accounts.
US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, in an op-ed in The Washington Post, announced that the White House would soon host a meeting of “key countries and stakeholders to find real solutions to the problems has caused” in the Gaza Strip.
In other words, the US administration is telling us that it cares about the situation in the Gaza Strip and wants to work with other parties to improve the living conditions of the Palestinians, who for the past 10 years have been suffering under the corrupt and ruthless regime of Hamas.
The US initiative to help the two million Palestinians of the Gaza Strip should have been welcomed by Palestinians leaders. The administration of President Donald Trump is doing something that no Palestinian or Arab leader has done in recent memory: to convene a special meeting on the Gaza Strip in an effort to solve what many Palestinians are calling the “humanitarian and economic crisis” there.
When was the last time the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, convened such a meeting to discuss the plight and suffering of their people in the Gaza Strip? Not only does Abbas not care about his people in the Gaza Strip, he also bears responsibility for the crisis. In the last year, Abbas and his PA government have been imposing a series of sanctions on the Gaza Strip, further aggravating the crisis and suffering of the people. These sanctions, which are aimed at undermining Abbas’s Hamas rivals, include halting payment to electricity supplied by Israel to the Gaza Strip, cutting salaries of thousands of PA civil servants, suspending social assistance to hundreds of families and forcing thousands of public employees into early retirement.
Abbas is hoping that the crisis in the Gaza Strip will drive Palestinians to revolt against Hamas. Abbas still can’t overcome the humiliation he experienced when Hamas expelled his PA and violently seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007. Abbas wants revenge for being humiliated at the hands of Hamas. He also wants revenge because he believes that Hamas had plotted to assassinate him while he was still living in the Gaza Strip. A former Hamas official who defected is said to have warned Abbas about the alleged assassination attempt.
So Abbas wants to fight Hamas to the last Palestinian in the Gaza Strip. Unsurprisingly, Hamas also appears to be prepared to fight Abbas to the last Palestinian in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas, which for the past 10 years has been holding hostage the two million Palestinians of the Gaza Strip (although many of them voted for the Islamic terror movement in the January 2006 Palestinian parliamentary election), is not prepared to make any concessions to Abbas and his PA government to ease the crisis.
Hamas is not prepared to dismantle its military wing or relinquish security control over the Gaza Strip. Hamas is not prepared to distance itself from Iran and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah. Hamas is not prepared to renounce terrorism and violence nor is it prepared to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Hamas has one course of action, which it follows with full force and energy: to destroy Israel and kill as many Jews as possible.
Let’s return to the American initiative to seek ways to alleviate the anguish of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Who were the first to repudiate this humanitarian initiative?” Could it be Israel? Nope. Israel was and remains the only country that has been seeking solutions to the crisis in the Gaza Strip. Hint: it was Abbas’s PA and Hamas, each of whom rejected it for its own purposes and interests.
While Israel’s top Ministry of Defense official, Major-General Yoav Mordechai, has been holding meetings with United Nations Special Coordinator for Peace in the Middle East, Nikolay Mladenov, to discuss ways of reducing the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza Strip, Abbas and his Hamas rivals continue to launch accusations about each side’s responsibility for the suffering. Abbas blames Hamasfor the “humanitarian crisis,” while Hamas says it’s Abbas and his government that are inflicting the suffering because of the sanctions they imposed on the Gaza Strip.
Not only are Hamas and Abbas wholly shirking their responsibility to their people, they also are prepared to foil any attempt by outsiders, in this case the US, to work towards ending the crisis in the Gaza Strip. Why would any Palestinian or Arab reject an offer by anyone, even if it were the devil himself, to extend an arm of help to Palestinians in dire need?
The answer, again, is twofold: First, Hamas and Abbas are too busy ripping each other to shreds over money and power to take notice of their people’s misery. Second, the two Palestinian parties actively desire a continuation of the crisis: it enables them to rake Israel over the coals at various international forums. The relationship between Abbas and Hamas is bad on an epic scale, but when it comes to incitement against Israel, they are best buddies.
The Hamas and PA officials are even spelling this argument out in their rejection of the US initiative to improve the lives of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Not only are Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas wholly shirking their responsibility to their people, they also are prepared to foil any attempt by outsiders, in this case the US, to work towards ending the crisis in the Gaza Strip. Pictured: Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Dismissing the initiative, Ahmed Majdalani, a top Abbas aide in Ramallah, said: “The US knows very well that Israel is the main reason behind the Gaza tragedy.”
Majdalani deserves an award for being a professional liar. This is the man representing the president and government that continue to impose severe sanctions on the Gaza Strip and its residents. Yet, it’s more comfortable for Abbas and his cronies to continue blaming Israel and lying to the international community. Unfortunately, we are facing an international community that is often quick to swallow any lie or fabrication coming from the Palestinians.
So the PA does not want to resolve the crisis, nor does it want anyone else — like the Americans — to help. The PA doesn’t like Trump or his ideas for peace in the Middle East. But what does that have to do with the “economic and humanitarian crisis? Why should this hatred or dislike prompt the PA to reject any attempt by Westerners to help its own people?
Consider, for a moment, what Hamas and Islamic Jihad are also saying about the US initiative on the Gaza Strip. The position of the two terror groups is strikingly similar to that of Abbas and his PA; they too want to continue using the crisis to rally the world against Israel. In separate statements, the groups said that Washington’s effort to help the Palestinians was designed to “exempt” Israel from its responsibilities.
These are the same terror groups that have turned the lives of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip into hell. These are the groups that have brought war and death and destruction upon the people of the Gaza Strip by attacking Israel again and again and again. These are the groups that prefer to import weapons rather than food and medicine into the Gaza Strip. These are the groups that are suppressing and killing Palestinians in the Gaza Strip whose only crime is to demand reform and democracy and a better life.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad are no different from Abbas when it comes to their hatred of the US. Their hatred runs so deep that they would rather die than accept a remedy from the US. Not to mention the massively useful pawn that suffering Palestinians are in the popular and longstanding game of tarring and feathering Israel for the Palestinian leadership’s own crimes against its people.
All these Palestinian parties share a common goal: to see Israel removed from the face of earth. In their eyes, the incitement against Israel falls into the general framework of delegitimizing Israel. They believe that this process serves their goal of eliminating Israel. Meanwhile, babies and other patients in the Gaza Strip continue to die because of lack of medicine.
More than half of the Gaza population lives under the poverty line. But, for the Machiavellian Palestinian leadership, the end justifies the means: tens of thousands of Palestinians can and will be sacrificed on the way to killing Jews and destroying Israel.
Palestinian leaders don’t care about their own people so why should they care about peace with Jews?
The only peace plan the Palestinians would ever accept is one that facilitates their mission of destroying Israel and killing all the Jews living in the region. They will never accept another plan, even if it comes from Prophet Muhammad.
Bassam Tawil is a Muslim based in the Middle East.
Chinese Tourists on Temple Mount with Israeli Flag (Photo via Facebook Stand With Us)
The last time the Israeli flag flew on the Temple Mount was for a very brief time after the IDF conquered the site in the 1967 Six Day War, but on Wednesday, a group of Chinese Christian tourists posed with a flag on the steps leading up to the Dome of the Rock.
On Wednesday, Stand With Us, a non-profit pro-Israel education and advocacy organization based in Los Angeles posted the photo on their Facebook page, saying:
Delegation of UN ambassadors joining the 30th ‘March of the Living’ Pilgrimage at the Auschwitz-Buchenau concentration camp. (Courtesy: American Zionist Movement)
Thirteen ambassadors to the United Nations from Africa, Europe and Latin America visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camps in Poland today on Yom Hashoah (Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day), as part of the 30th annual “March of the Living.”
The delegation organized by the American Zionist Movement, in conjunction with Ambassador Danny Danon, Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, will visit Israel next week for Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) celebrations following their visit to Poland. They will be joined by an additional 27 U.N. ambassadors.
Though strongly backing US-led airstrikes, Jerusalem also reportedly worried Putin may now supply Assad with advanced air-defense systems, reducing Israel’s air supremacy
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and US President Donald Trump in the White House Oval Office, March 5, 2018 (Haim Tzach/GPO)
While Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu firmly backed the US-led airstrikes on Syria in the wake of its use of chemical weapons, Israeli security chiefs made clear on Saturday night that Israel fears the Trump Administration will now consider that its work in Syria is done, and leave Israel alone to face the dangers posed by Iran’s growing military presence in Syria.
Israel’s defense chiefs are also reportedly worried that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, seeing Syria under US-led attack, may provide President Bashar Assad with more advanced air defense systems — which could reduce Israel’s air supremacy in the skies of Syria and Lebanon. A Russian general indicated such an arms supply was possible in comments on Saturday.
The remains of the Syrian regime’s Scientific Research Centre in Damascus following coalition airstrikes, April 14, 2018. Photo: Reuters/Omar Sanadiki.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday declared Israel’s “full support” for Friday’s US-led air strikes in Syria.
The US, allied with France and Britain, struck targets in and around Damascus in response to the Syrian regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons against rebel-held targets in the town of Douma. The Douma attack killed over 40 people, with hundreds wounded by exposure to chemical agents. The coalition strikes reportedly caused heavy damage to Syria’s chemical weapons infrastructure.
Monica Unikel has been leading tours for 23 years. But she’s also helped to create a cultural center inside one of the oldest synagogues in the Mexican capital.
Monica Unikel has been leading tours for 23 years. But she’s also helped to create a cultural center inside one of the oldest synagogues in the Mexican capital.
To mark Day of the Dead on Nov. 1, thousands of Mexican families will flock to the Pantheon of Dolores, one of Mexico City’s biggest cemeteries, to light candles, play mariachi songs, and eat food on the graves of their dead relatives. Right across the street, in the smaller Ashkenazi cemetery, Monica Unikel will be leading an exclusive tour to make up for the lack of Jewish-Mexican rituals to mark the day
The Syrian government’s chemical attack on civilians in the rebel-held suburb of Douma this weekend is the complete responsibility of the war criminal Bashar Assad, his Russian bedfellows, and his Iranian bankers. However, the fact that President Trump had announced that the U.S. is nearly finished its mission to defeat ISIS (which is questionable) and wants to leave Syria quickly may have encouraged the others to speed up their efforts to divide Syria’s corpse.
It’s safe to say that every year since the Holocaust ended, one could safely say Holocaust commemoration and education has never been more important. That’s especially in the past generation as survivors, whose first hand testimony to the unspeakable horrors they suffered, during which six million Jews were murdered, age and die.
Yet, as much as it’s been incredibly important every year to remember and educate about the Holocaust, this year it is in fact more important than ever.
We know the world is hypocritical, but if we needed further proof that the human rights discourse and the rights organizations have nothing to do with human ethics, the past few days have provided that proof.
The volume of criticism against Israel over the casualties of the “March of Return” is larger than the volume of criticism against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s ongoing massacre of his own citizens. And in general, there are more international demands for an investigation against Israel than demands for an investigation against the butcher of Damascus.
The public record is clear: Terrorist group Hamas started this fight. The “March of Return,” deceptively billed as a “peaceful and nonviolent” protest along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip, turned violent from day one, as armed terrorists mingled with women and children, and several militants tried to breach the border of the sovereign nation of Israel.
Hamas is desperately trying to pick a fight with Israel that results in civilian casualties among the very people they claim to represent. While proclaiming over loudspeakers “we are with you,” they rally women, children and the elderly to the border and mix them lethally with armed militants.
In a conversation with several of his acquaintances on the eve of the Passover holiday, former Minister Rafi Eitan revealed that he planned to approach President Reuven Rivlin with a request to pardon former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert so that his criminal record be expunged. Olmert was released from prison last year after serving 16 months for “disgraceful” — ethical — offenses. A person convicted of such crimes is ineligible for several public offices, including the premiership