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.)

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12 Responses to Palestinians’ Worst ENEMY Are Their Own Leaders

  1. Horace B. says:

    Welcome news. This should make life easier for most Jewish people. From my limited perspective, it seems that a lot of anti-jewish sentiment arises out of this dispute with the Middle East.
    Hard to believe in, though, after so many failed attempts.

    (Response: Speaking of failed attempts, everyone should recall when the Palestinians said there would be peace if the Israelis withdrew their thousands of occupying settlers from from Gaza … they did and all they got was rockets and tunnels in return; the Palestinians said there would be peace if the Israelis withdrew their occupying forces from southern Lebanon … they did and all they got was Hezbollah terrorists who moved in, and have since destroyed much of Lebanon; now the Palestinians say there would be peace if the Israelis returned to the 1967 borders … well, why didn’t they make peace when the 1967 borders were in effect in the first place!! Glad to see more and more Arab countries are realizing the current crop of Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and in Gaza will never make peace … time for them to be replaced with leaders who truly do want peace. h.o)

  2. e.a.f. says:

    It may be as simple as, 1967 is a long time ago, and finally some one got the message, Israel is never going to give that land back. Might as well get it over with, sign peace treaties and lets start making money. The other issue which maybe at play here for the Arab nations is, they saw what happened with organizations such as the Taliban, Il Quida, and how they took over areas and started nasty wars. Do they want the Palestinian lands to become a breeding ground for some other organization which might come and play havoc in their countries? . Better to make peace with Israel and let them take care of business, before business (terrorists) come knocking at their door. There are some people who move from war to war in the area. It is how things got out of hand in Syria. IF there is trouble in the area from some outside organization/country, better that they have a deal with Israel because they do have a first class armed force and a few nukes. Always handy if things go side ways.

    I don’t believe the leaders of the countries, which are signing with Israel give a “rats ass” about the average Palestinian, they just don’t want to have problems in their own countries. It maybe also, as the U.S.A. starts to collapse, the countries in the area may want a unified front to deal with any “problems” coming their way. The Europeans have the E.U. and NATO. Just with all the refugees in Jordan, it would be a good thing for the other countries to have Israel on their side because besides their military they do have a rather successful spy network. Perhaps they would like to have the Israelis share some information.

    It does not matter why they are willing to sign peace treaties, it just that they do so there would be less dying and poverty. that is never a good way for kids to grow up.

    (Response: It’s particularly interesting and significant that this week is the 27th anniversary of the Oslo Accords, which saw Arafat and Peres sign the agreement for a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. That’s why the Israelis, with great internal political difficulty forced thousands of their settlers out of Gaza …but still got no peace in return. Infighting between the PLO (Fatah) and Hamas and Islamic Jihad erupted and the violence continued. And I believe you are quite correct: many Arab leaders fear Al Qaida, ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood … and also Iran … more than they fear Israel. And let’s keep it real: they are quite correct. So they are acting out of self interest, like ALL other nations. h.o)

  3. Gilbert says:

    I agree that the Palestinian leaders don’t want peace. There are Palestinians who want Israel to give them all of Jerusalem. They must be dreaming. That’s not going to happen.

    There’s no doubt that President Trump has received little credit from the left-wing media for his efforts in the Middle East. He hasn’t started any unnecessary wars and he’s encouraged the UAE, Bahrain and other countries to sign peace deals with Israel. That would have never happened under Barack Obama, a president who was definitely no friend of Israel.

    (Response: I have to admit ..I’m not a Trump fan. BUT it is quite a major accomplishment to make the progress and achievements the world witnessing this week between Israel and THREE Muslim nations (UAE, Bahrain, Kosovo), after 27 years of total inaction. He does seem to have a realistic grasp on what the modern mid East nations are all about: power, money, security; no longer so much about self-sacrifice, unity and religious fidelities. What we really need is for the Palestinians to solve their internal war (Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad etc. etc.) and only then will the victor be ready and able to establish peace with Israel and get the unified state the people want. h.o)

  4. e.a.f. says:

    Doubt if those 3 factions in Palestine are going to “solve their internal wars”. Every one of those leaders wants to maintain their position–money, power, ego, etc.
    What could happen now that a peace agreement is being signed is some of those “uncooperative” leaders may find they are having nice funerals arranged for them. Accidents happen, there are some very good long range shots around, etc. Nothing major to be stuck to one group or another, just a death here, a death there and voila more “cooperative” leaders.

    Those Oslo Accords, 27 years ago. Long time. Remember the 6 Day war also. Very tense time for some. Remember the news coverage. Remember the Bob Hope jokes afterwards also.
    Was reviewing the list of Israeli military commanders during the 6 Day war. No wonder it was over so fast, an impressive list, besides the Bob Hope jokes–they only rented the equipment for a week. Hey it was a family favorite.

    I suspect give the changes in the world, COVID included and rising oceans, and Israel is still there, the other leaders have decided no one may care anymore all that much about wars in the Middle East. Other countries, the world has other problems. Some times if no one is paying attention, why create a fuss, its not going to get them anywhere.

    The P.M. of the day Levi Eshkol was no slouch and had been a founder of the Haganan. Not exactly a group to be toyed with.

    The Israeli military wasn’t that large but it sent a message, which has endured for decades. Some of the leaders of the Arab countries may just have decided peace is so much cheaper. A review of the history of Israel demonstrates it is a country not to be trifled with. The 1960 capture of Eichmann by the Mossad, then the trial in Israel. Perhaps some of the new crop of Arab leaders took history and peace if preferable and profitable. Lets hope it works out.

    (Response: I feel sorry for the Palestinian people … most of whom would establish peace/borders/economic relations with Israel in a flash. Their own armed radicals and extremists terrorize them more than they do Israel: pity anyone who dares to speak up publicly against those in power or the widespread corruption that exists … unlike Israel, a democracy where even the PM can and is facing corruption charges. In fact, Wikipedia has a fascinating section on Yasser Arafat net wealth when he died …worth a read: “In August 2002, the Israeli Military Intelligence Chief alleged that Arafat’s personal wealth was in the range of US$1.3 billion.[138] In 2003 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conducted an audit of the PNA and stated that Arafat had diverted $900 million in public funds to a special bank account controlled by himself and the PNA Chief Economic Financial adviser. However, the IMF did not claim that there were any improprieties, and it specifically stated that most of the funds had been used to invest in Palestinian assets, both internally and abroad.[139][140]

    However, in 2003, a team of American accountants—hired by Arafat’s own finance ministry—began examining Arafat’s finances. In its conclusions, the team claimed that part of the Palestinian leader’s wealth was in a secret portfolio worth close to $1 billion, with investments in companies like a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Ramallah, a Tunisian cell phone company and venture capital funds in the U.S. and the Cayman Islands. The head of the investigation stated that “although the money for the portfolio came from public funds like Palestinian taxes, virtually none of it was used for the Palestinian people; it was all controlled by Arafat. And none of these dealings were made public.”[141] An investigation conducted by the General Accounting Office reported that Arafat and the PLO held over $10 billion in assets even at the time when he was publicly claiming bankruptcy.” Wow!!! h.o)

  5. e.a.f. says:

    thank you for the reminder about Arafat’s wealth. didn’t know it was as big as you have reported here. not surprised though. That is why those leaders don’t want peace. How would they continue those life styles . Once peace treaties are signed with the other Arab countries they won’t want the Palestinian organizations causing trouble. Its why I wrote some of the leaders who don’t cooperate may have nice funerals planned for them.

    The people of Palestine have been used for the advancement of others financial and political careers. Now the game may well be over. Peace treaties with other Arab nations will also result in no money going to Palestinian organizations, who cause trouble. the party for the few is over and the actual working people may get a chance to work and the kids, well they might grow up, get a decent education, live in peace, and have a nice life.

    For as long as I’ve watched this mess around Israel I always wondered why those leaders didn’t settle, get with the agenda, but now we know. They were making a huge amount of money while the people lived in misery and got killed.

    (Response: Corruption/theft/nepotism and the trampling of human/democratic rights is the dominating hallmark of so many dictatorships or one-party systems (in Palestine it’s Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza), which fit in quite well with the old style mid Eastern Arab powers, so they went along …even supported it. Today, increasingly Arab nations are modernizing as they look to a world future beyond oil dependency and their young people especially are pushing for more freedoms/involvement. Israel has a very highly developed sophisticated scientific, high tech, cyber economy that has brought the world huge advances in hardware/software development, cyber security, medical advances, agricultural and desalination innovation .. and offers a lot more than just tourism to its neighbours. Amazing accomplishments we use every day: So watch for MORE Arab nations to wake up to the co-operative possibilities. h.o)

  6. nonconfidencevote says:

    Until all the other Arab countries sign peace deals with Israel……I suspect the Palestinians will stubbornly refuse to admit to reality.
    Not ONE other Arab country wants the turmoil that Palestine brings to the table….
    Iran, Russia, who ever, are using them as pawns.
    Amazing that an entire country can be so sure of their hatred against a “foe” that they would cut their nose off to spite their face.
    Well, Northern Ireland’s “troubles” were never ending….and now they have peace…..hopefully it doesnt take the Palestinians another 40 years to figure that out.

    (Response: Before the Palestinians can make peace, they have to settle their own serious and often violent disputes/divisions and come up with a unified government ready, willing and able to negotiate a realistic viable agreement with Israel. Frankly, it will probably take a civil war: Neither Hamas nor Fatah are anywhere close to letting their own people have free and honest elections, let alone agree to borders that would provide the Israelis with peace and security and in return give the Palestinian people their own viable, stable state. Clearly, other Mid-East Arab countries are realizing that isn’t even close to a possibility and are tired of sacrificing their own development, economic growth and security for another 50 years of waiting. h.o)

  7. E. Johnson says:

    I cannot disagree with anything you have written Harvey. The Palestinian people have been poorly served by those that leaf them since 1948. It really is unfortunate because they too could have had a Palestinian state equally prosperous to what they see in Israel. So many years have been wasted by believing in leaders who have not had their best interests in mind. The other Arab countries have shown support only when convenient to their own needs or when needing to distract the world from the grievous exploitation of human rights in their countries. The current geopolitics is now spurring them to move on to peace agreements that will contribute to future security and stability. It will take a courageous and daring leader to convince the Palestinian people to free themselves from the shackles of Hamas.

    (Response: The Palestinians’ deliberate current policy seems to be to do nothing except play for time avoid ANY peace talks/negotiations), play the eternal victims (launch thousands of rockets and incendiary bombs into Israel and then summon the foreign media when Israel hits back), play the poverty card (while billions of dollars of foreign aid is wasted or disappears or goes into building more rockets, tunnels, terrorist activities) and play on the emotions of other Arab/Muslim nations and far left sympathetic Westerners (while doing NOTHING to get back to the bargaining table). Now even other Arab/Muslim states, seeing the Palestinians unwilling and unprepared for a realistic deal, have had enough .. and are moving on. Ironically, maybe that …as more nations give up their hate for Israel … will lead the Palestinians to accept Israel’s security needs, and negotiate a realistic peace, so both sides can finally reach a deal recognizing TODAY’s reality and the Palestinian people can build a prosperous nation and economy. h.o.)

  8. max avelli says:

    What a horrific post:

    “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.”

    Leaving aside the chaos in Israel right now, with the pfroflication of COVID-19, and Netanyahoo in the docket, to beat up on the Palistinians being thrown under the bus in this 60 year old mess is just reprehensible. It was their land (too) long ago.

    You are a Trumpist deplorable. Bite me.

  9. nonconfidencevote says:

    ” You are a Trumpist deplorable. Bite me.”
    Your eloquent rebuttal notwithstanding.

    All the Palestinians have to do is stop…….. shooting, bombing, kidnapping, terrorizing their Israeli neighbors…..
    And they certainly might want to rethink their association with Iran and every other country that gladly uses them as cannon fodder in every proxy war in the middle east.

    But no. Give them more guns and bombs to create havoc ……… because ……. its worked sooooooooo well for them over the past 60 years.

    (Response: I challenge any of the Israel-haters and Palestinian propogandists to list ANYTHING the Palestinians have done to advance peace … other than a recognition by some, after 50 years, that the Jewish state has even basic right to exist! They have totally rejected appeals by other nations to get back to negotiations … by listing all kinds of pre-conditions, to scuttle any talks … and offering nothing else to move peace along… other than demand to 1967 borders, where Israelis right across the street were … and again could be … killed at will….not to mention have rockets fired at their buildings, shops, schools ertc. from just feet away. Nuts!! In fact, the hatred/violence the Palestinians teach their kids in school “texts” has reportedly gotten worse … not better! It has always been the Israelis who have made concessions, advancements … like pulling their settlers totally out of Gaza, pulling their troops totally out of Lebanon, releasing hundreds of convicted Palestinian violent offenders … and most recently an Israeli court handed out three CONSECUTIVE life sentences to an Israeli settler who threw a firebomb into a Palestinian’s home, killing three. What do the Palestinians do when one of their own murders an Israeli mother, father child? No arrest, no trial. Instead, they organize parades, celebrations in the streets throwing candy in the air, and if the perpetrator is arrested by the Israelis, the Palestinian authority awards the killer and their families lifetime cash for their “heroic” act. Sick! No wonder enlightened Arab/Muslim countries are seeing the light … and looking forward instead of backward … and moving away from the morass/corruption that still consumes the PLO and Hamas. h.o)

  10. max avelli says:

    So the PALESTINIANS are responsible for their own oppression.

    I guess the JEWS were also responsible for getting sent off to death camps.

    Geez. Get a brain. Or at least some sense of perspective.

  11. nonconfidencevote says:

    A better comparison would be the Palestinians to the Northern Irish.
    Occupied lands, religious undertones, borders. Insurrection, bombings, terrorism, kidnappings….for almost 100 years….Then they finally realized, the more they fought, the more the “enemy” dug in their heels…
    The Israeli’s seem to want to negotiate….
    And , obviously, The other Arab countries want nothing to do with the trouble makers in their midst.
    So. After 60 years…….back to the starting gate for Palestine, as their corrupt leaders get richer and richer.
    I wonder if Yassar Arafats’ widow is still living in her mansion in the south of France?
    Perhaps it’s too warm there this time of year and she’s vacationing in Switzerland next to her hundreds of billions of loot.
    Hopefully it wont take another 40 years of obstinate stupidity on the Palestinian side to finally see the light.

    (Response: There are many, many Palestinians, including prominent leaders, who are ready to make peace and establish close economic relations with Israel. But they know within days of doing that, they will be dead. The Palestinians’ most serious problems right now are Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and Iran … and there probably isn’t an Arab/Muslim state that believes the Palestinians are anywhere close to solving that dilemma. So it’s time to move on by themselves and go after the economic, high tech, cyber and security benefits working with Israel (openly or secretly) offers. That’s keeping it real! h.o)

  12. Jason says:

    It’s interesting to see the unfolding events in the Middle East and encouraging to see some of the Arab States moving to recognize the State of Israel (Actually in 2000, there was a Saudi initiative put forward, in the last days of Ehud Barak’s Labour Government that would would have recognized the State of Israel, given Israel observer status in the Organization of Arab States, all in exchange for Israel pulling back to the 1967 lines. It never happened of course, as the Oslo Agreement process essentially ended and Likud returned to power and Arafat was sidelined permanently.
    But it does show there have been rumblings toward normalization for some time now)

    Moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem didn’t provoke a great outburst of violence or terrorism as a lot of pundits thought it might. There are a small number of countries who are going to make a similar move, I think the Conservative Party in Canada has said it will move the Canadian Embassy from Tel Aviv if they are elected (though I’m not certain that they will actually carry it out).

    If anything, it shows that the Palestinian issue may no longer be as important to political elite in the Arab world as it once was and it probably reflects the decline of Pan-Arab Nationalism, which was the dominant ideology in the Mid-East from decolonization to the late 20th Century.

    While all seems to be going well, two issues in my mind that may cause problems later on. The first hinges on the stability of governments that have decided to recognize Israel. We all saw the ‘Arab Spring’ (or Winter depending on your perspective); popular opinion in the Arab world is still heavily against Israel. The events in Egypt were a perfect example of that: when Hosni Mubarak was hanging onto power, his posters were daubed with anti-semitic graffiti. After the Muslim Brotherhood came to power, the Israeli Consulate in Cairo was attacked by mobs, and very nearly had to be evacuated. Only US subsidies to Egypt kept the alliance with Israel going. I could well see the same happening in one of the Gulf States if a government was overthrown but we’ll see.

    A second problem Israel still faces is the demographic issue. Slowly but surely the Arabs are becoming the majority. In the state of Israel itself (excluding Gaza and the West Bank, they are nearly 25% of the population now (and crucially the Joint Arab List is now the third largest party in the Knesset). Demographics are destiny; no doubt a figure such as Meir Kahane was an appalling racialist and bigot but he was virtually the only Israeli figure to point out that a creeping Arab majority would ultimately be the death knell for the Jewish state (though of course his proposals for forced population transfers were totally insane).

    This is the only card the Palestinian leadership really has to play anymore. If they can wait for two more generations they will be the majority and the Israeli Government may be forced to make serious concessions, along the lines of a binational state (already being suggested by some) or some other territorial compromise. The question is whether the Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza will put up with many more years of poverty and oppression (largely from the Palestinian leadership as you rightfully say). I suppose it goes back to what Golda Meir said about peace happening when the Palestinians ultimately decide to love their children more than they hate Israel.

    (Response: There are more positive signs recently: the Palestinians have announced Presidential and general elections in both the West Bank and Gaza within six months … the first such elections in 14 years! I believe a UNIFIED Palestinian front is the pre-requisite to new negotiations. I know of no “country” that has one “national” government in part of its nation and another “national” party running the other half. Of course, I worry the elections will not work: whichever side loses will no doubt take up arms against those who win. And I believe only a civil war among Palestinians will determine, once and for all, which party (and philosophy) rules their entire land. Meanwhile, I learned yesterday the UAE has signed an Israeli player to play for a soccer team there. He’s an Arab Israeli citizen … and has played for Israeli teams, holds and travels on an Israeli passport …so this is a significant change for an Arab state. Wonderful! h.o)

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