Palestinians’ Worst ENEMY Are Their Own Leaders

The Palestinians could have their own state within a year … self-governed, enjoying billions of dollars in world aid and investment, on the road to prosperity, and living in peace with ALL their neighbours … IF their leaders wanted it.

Instead, they wallow in poverty, endure widespread corruption, are daily fed hatred that pollute their children’s minds, celebrates violence and produces failure after failure … while their leaders fill their own pockets, deny them democracy, violate their human rights.

And do NOTHING to get back to the negotiating table and achieve peace.

Finally, growing numbers of even their fellow Arab/Muslim states have had enough!

Tuesday, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain will put their signatures to Peace Agreements with Israel, joining Muslim nations Egypt, Turkey and Jordan in establishing diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.

Other Muslim-majority states, including Sudan, Morocco, Oman and Kosovo, are also reportedly very close to recognizing Israel … or in fact already are in regular contact and co-operate together behind the scenes.

And how’s this for a very major significant change: after the UAE/Israel announced diplomatic and economic co-operation, Saudi Arabia not only granted Israeli commercial aircraft permission to fly over the Kingdom on their way to the UAE … but anywhere else they fly as well!

This is on top of contacts (co-operation?) Saudi/Israeli officials … both civilian and military … already have privately. Shhh!

Why the changes?

We know the US has been pressuring Arab states to establish peace with Israel (especially before the US election to bolster Donald Trump’s campaign) … promising military aid and aircraft upgrades; we also know the fear of Iran has driven several Arab states to realize intelligence and even security and military co-operation with the Israelis would be to their own advantage.

But there’s more: Israel has become a hugely successful economic, agricultural, scientific and, most importantly, high-tech, well developed and advanced innovating nation … and their Arab neighbours see great potential/possibilities there for themselves in working together, co-operating, and investing.

Arab leaders also know Israel and the PLO once came very close to a Peace Accord, reportedly reaching 95% agreement on reworked border boundaries, land swaps, security controls and even a financial arrangement … but the divided Palestinian leaders rejected it.

Now Hamas in Gaza continues to pursue its terroristic practices, ruling by fear, with various factions still digging tunnels and firing rockets and incendiary bombs across the border into Israel, while Fatah in the West Bank rules over a corrupt governance and economic system, still actively cultivates hate, rewards terrorists and demands a return to 1967 borders, right up to the edge of Israel’s cities, when Palestinian terrorists and snipers regularly shot Israelis nearby and infiltrators almost at will slaughtered people in restaurants, on buses and even schools and kindergartens.

Israel will NEVER let that again happen.

More and more Arab/Muslim nations realize it’s the Palestinian leaders who are simply not ready for peace … so are pursuing their own interests.

Fuming Palestinian officials, claiming betrayal, couldn’t even get a meeting of the Arab League last week to nominally condemn the UAE decision to recognize Israel. It was an amazing and embarrassing rebuke for the PLO:

The world IS changing … and it’s about time the Palestinian leaders realize more and nations have tired of: their decades-long rejection of any peace negotiations (demanding so many pre-conditions, making them doomed to fail or not even start); their refusals to stop the violence, halt their rocket attacks; and their financially rewarding of terrorists and their families.

While ordinary Palestinian families suffer in poverty and despair.

And the cancerous influences of Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas etc. bring the poor Palestinian people NOTHING! No victory! No peace! No jobs! No prosperity!

How do their leaders get away with this?

There are no free democratic elections in either the West Bank nor Gaza; if anyone stands up to Fatah or Hamas and tries to organize an Opposition movement/party … well, let’s just say it does not go well for them!

All of that is particularly sad because, if left to the Palestinian people themselves, I believe there would be a peace agreement achieved, and even cooperation and business relationships and partnerships with Israel within a year … benefitting both societies!

What many here don’t realize is that as many as 70,000 Palestinians (pre-Covid) from the West Bank already had jobs inside Israel, many of them crossing the border back and forth daily; agriculture products from Gaza are exported to/through Israel; natural gas and electricity from Israel fuels Palestinian homes … including Gaza; and more than 200 garment factories in Gaza and the West Bank manufacture and sell clothing, (including Covid protective masks) etc. in Israel.

With peace, billions of dollars of foreign aid and investments would pour into Palestine … fueling the economy, providing jobs and leading to a vibrant tourism industry, highlighting religious sites dear to all three Abrahamic religion and even construction of resorts along miles of Gaza’s beautiful coastline beaches attracting vacationing Europeans, Jordanians, Egyptians and even Israelis!

But first, the Palestinians have to work out their own conflicts between Fatah and Hamas … and then BOTH factions have to want/agree to accept/establish peace with Israel!

Virtually impossible, given the current Palestinian realities: other Arab nations know that and are tired of waiting.

So are moving on.

Next Saturday is Jewish New Year (Rosh Hoshanah).

My wish for my Jewish readers and the rest of the world as well: Peace for Israel with all its neighbours.

And the signing of TWO more Peace Agreements this week is certainly a step in the right direction!

May several others follow soon.

Harv Oberfeld

(Follow me @harveyoberfeld on Twitter to get First Alerts of all new postings on this Blog.)

Posted in International, National | 11 Comments

O’Toole Snubs British Columbia … Again and Again!

The Conservative Party’s new leader Erin O’Toole hasn’t shown much respect for British Columbia.

In fact, O’Toole has been downright insulting!!

On the night O’Toole was elected as the party’s new leader, he didn’t mention BC in his acceptance speech.

Despite the VERY late hour, he had enough time to reach out to Quebeckers three times in his remarks, pointed to Ontario’s importance, and included the Maritimes and Alberta in his honourable mentions.

Not a word to British Columbians, Canada’s third most populous province and home of the country’s third largest city.

Not a word.

The following day, O’Toole was on the phone introducing himself to various Premiers, including Alberta and Saskatchewan and announced to reporters, Quebec was so important to him, Premier Francois Legault will be getting a personal visit, not just a phone call.

But judging by every piece of coverage I saw that Monday (actually searched for it) there was NO call that day to BC Premier John Horgan.

They probably did speak … a day or two later … but BC was SNUBBED … not a priority.

Sure seemed insulting to me: second class treatment from the new Conservative Leader for the province that could hold the key to which party forms government in the next election.

A typical Eastern politician I thought: O’Toole is Montreal born, and after serving in the Canadian military mostly in the Maritimes, became a Toronto Bay Street lawyer and now serves as an Ontario MP.

His first Senior staff appointments a few days later confirmed my worst impressions.

O’Toole’s five key Senior staff positions, … hugely important in gate-keeping and helping the Leader focus his direction and priorities … ALL went to politically experienced and professionally connected Easterners: three Ontarians, one Quebecker and one Nova Scotian.

Not one from BC!

Getting the picture of where YOU stand in the Conservative Leader’s “new” vision?

Not yet? Well, perhaps O’Toole’s announcement Tuesday of his Shadow Cabinet will help.

From the Conservative Party’s own website, here is his full “House of Commons Leadership Team”:

  • Deputy Leader: Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage – Lisgar, Manitoba)
  • Quebec Political Lieutenant: Richard Martel (Chicoutimi – Le Fjord, Quebec)
  • House Leader of the Official Opposition: Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, Quebec)
  • Chief Opposition Whip: Blake Richards (Banff – Airdrie, Alberta)
  • Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition: Karen Vecchio (Elgin – Middlesex – London, Ontario)
  • Deputy Opposition Whip: Alex Ruff (Bruce – Grey – Owen Sound, Ontario)
  • Caucus-Party Liaison: Hon. Tim Uppal (Edmonton Mill Woods, Alberta)
  • Question Period Coordinator: Eric Duncan (Stormont – Dundas – South Glengarry, Ontario)
  • National Caucus Chair: Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, Alberta)

Again, in O’Toole’s view, not a single British Columbian is worthy of being a “Leader”!

Perhaps we can hope that one or some of them have at some point VISITED our province? Or have RELATIVES working here? Or parents, grandparents RETIRED here?

With a Shadow Cabinet of 43 … there are British Columbia MPs among them … but again, NOT ONE in a top post, according to O’Toole’s own party!!!

If you’d like to play the new Tory Game “Spot the British Columbian!) here’s a link to the full list:

How is O’Toole getting away with this?

Because our Media … especially our “national” media … see the country from an overwhelming Ontario and Quebec point of view.

Imagine what would happen if Ontario or Quebec were EVER treated the way O’Toole has treated. BC!!!

It wouldn’t even occur to the “national” Media to see/notice or even care if British Columbia is included, respected or insulted, excluded and denied even a modicum of fairness in how the powers and favours of “national” appointments (and spending) are allocated.

As for our BC media and their pundits …well, I’ll leave it to them …and to you … to explain how/why they’ve MISSED all the signs, signals and slights BC has already received at the hands of the Conservatives’ new Leader.

And No , I’m not going back to Ottawa to give BC bold media presence and attention again … but somebody should!

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: You can get First Alerts to all new topics on this BC-based Blog by following on Twitter. No spam, just First Alerts to new postings.)

Posted in British Columbia, Media, National | 11 Comments