Sunday, 5 July 2020
Some Palestinians Enthusiastic For Annexation

by Hugh Fitzgerald

The New York Times could not possibly ever see fit to print the following story, to be found at

Palestinian Authority (PA) officials are warning of wave of violence in response to the possible annexation of parts of the West Bank by Israel, but at least a few Palestinians on the ground appear to be unconcerned.

Israel’s Channel 13 reported on Wednesday that it had received messages from Palestinians expressing approval and even enthusiasm at the prospect of annexation.

“I am from the town of Jaba,” said one message. “I want the townspeople to be happy. Today, they are subordinate to the PA, and they want [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and no one else.”

“They want an Israeli ID card,” it added.

Another message said, “It’s a million times more preferable that Israel will be responsible for the area.”

“We’re ready to be under the army boots of the Israelis and not the head of Abu Mazen,” it continued referring to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

“A Palestinian businessman said, “I don’t want a state, I want money. Money is preferable to a state. The entire Palestinian people want this.”

“The PA has plundered and destroyed us,” he asserted.

In an opinion poll taken last year, 91% of Palestinians said they did not “trust” the Palestinian Authority. It’s an astonishing vote of no confidence. And nothing Mahmoud Abbas has done since has decreased that distrust. He has refused to accept $168 million a month from Israel, that sum that represents the taxes Israel has collected on behalf of the P.A.,($190 million a month) after the Pay-For-Slay amounts ($32 million a month)have been deducted. He has refused to even discuss the possibility of a future Palestine state receiving $50 billion in aid. Through mismanagement and corruption, he has brought the Palestinian Authority to the brink of financial ruin. He has been slashing salaries and firing government workers. But Mahmoud Abbas needn’t worry. He lives in a $13 million presidential palace. He has a $50 million private plane. He and his sons Tarek and Nasser have amassed a fortune of $400 million. His cronies have also done well, though not as colossally so as Abbas himself. Hanan Ashrawi, Saeb Erekat, and others are multi-millionaires; they live in villas shielded from public view in the “Diplomatic Compound” in Ramallah. No wonder that Palestinian businessman furiously charges that “the PA has plundered and destroyed us.”

The Palestinians have been able to compare and contrast the Israeli government, a government of laws, where even a former president (Moshe Katsav) and a former prime minister (Ehud Olmert) can go to jail, with the Palestinian Authority, whose corrupt leaders are above the law, and engage in grand theft of the public wealth with impunity. No Palestinian leaders have ever been held to account by those in whose name they rule and whose welfare they claim to promote.

The ordinary people ruled by the P.A. have endured its malign effects. They do not want to be ruled by a gang of thieves who are beholden to no one. One Palestinian sent a melancholy message to Israel’s Channel 13. “I am from the town of Jaba I want the townspeople to be happy. Today, they are subordinate to the PA, and they want [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and no one else.They want an Israeli ID card,” his message added.

Another message said, “It’s a million times more preferable that Israel will be responsible for the area.”

They can see how Israelis live, and what both Jewish and Arab Israelis expect of, and receive from, their government, and can compare that with the arbitrary rule of the grasping and lawless Palestinian Authority. They have seen their living standards stagnate while that of Israelis, including Israeli Arabs, steadily rises. They can see a polity where Jews and Arabs work and study side-by-side, where Arabs serve in the Knesset, sit on the Supreme Court, are sent abroad as ambassadors, teach in the universities, and can even serve, if they so wish, in the IDF. They know that in Israel women have full legal equality; under the P.A., the baleful influence of Islam keeps women in an inferior position, with the Muslim husband the supreme master of his household. The practice of polygyny devalues women. So does the divorce that requires of the husband only the recital of the triple-talaq. The Qur’anically-approved right of a Muslim husband to “beat” his wife should he suspect her of disobedience contributes to the cringing fear of some Palestinian women. Palestinian women and girls have also been the victims of “honor” killings by their fathers, brothers, uncles.

Then there are the arbitrary arrests, in the P.A. territories, of people who dare to criticize the leaders and the regime. How many Palestinians have been picked up by the P.A. police, for sending only a single tweet critical of the government, and held indefinitely without their families knowing where they are until much later? How many Palestinians have been sentenced to significant prison terms by the P.A. merely because, on social media, they didn’t follow the party line of the P.A. leaders but chose to voice their dissent?

In the Palestinian territories, people are arrested on overly broad laws that criminalize such activities as causing “sectarian strife” or insulting “higher authorities.” Detention is used to punish critics and to deter them and others from further activism. In detention, according to a two-year study by Human Rights Watch, the P.A. security forces routinely taunt, threaten, beat, and force detainees into painful stress positions for hours at a time.

Compare that to free-wheeling Israel, where the people engage in a constant lively political debate, with freewheeling discussions about, and criticism of, policies and politicians. Think of the corrosive criticism and insulting cartoons that are routinely directed at Prime Minister Netanyahu, without any consequences, and imagine what would happen to a resident of the P.A.’s territories if he dared to direct similar criticism, or any criticism at all, at Mahmoud Abbas. In the P.A., there is no freedom of speech. In Israel, freedom of speech is as fully protected as anywhere in the Western world.

“We’re ready to be under the army boots of the Israelis and not the head of Abu Mazen,” one of the messages to Channel 13 continued, referring to PA President Mahmoud Abbas. That desire is understandable. Who would choose to live in Communist China, if Taiwan were available? Who would prefer to live in North Korea instead of South Korea? And who, of any sense, would choose to live under the grasping and cruel rule of Mahmoud Abbas and his cronies, if he, or she, might instead live in Israel?

First published in Jihad Watch

Posted on 07/05/2020 6:54 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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