The new Hamas war against Israel may have been started by Iran to prevent Israel-Saudi normalization. The Bidenites, however, were also interested in impeding that normalization. Just before the present war in Israel began came the disturbing revelation that the Bidenites were more interested in placating Palestinians than in arriving at an historic Saudi-Israel understanding. More on this can be found here: “Israeli, Saudi officials say US hampering normalization with focus on Palestinians,” by Ariel Kahana, Israel Hayom, October 2, 2023:
Israeli and Saudi officials say that the United States is hampering normalization by keeping the focus on the Palestinians.
One source noted that on the big issues there are no insurmountable gaps because the disagreements are not substantial, adding that American emphasis on the Palestinian aspect has been perceived as over the top.
The Bidenites have decided that Washington will represent the interests of the Palestinians, and until their demands are met, there will be no final agreement on Israeli-Saudi normalization. The Bidenites will withhold acceding to Saudi requests made of the Americans until Israel agrees to everything the Bidenites demand of the Jewish state, including a complete halt to new settlements in the West Bank and a promise by Jerusalem not to annex any more territory. Furthermore, the Bidenites want Israel to accept the reopening of that “consulate to the Palestinians” in Jerusalem that Trump had closed, and to drop their opposition to a reopened PLO office in Washington.
There is growing frustration among Israeli and Saudi officials over what is perceived to be an over-emphasis by Washington on having Jerusalem make concessions to the Palestinians as a means of moving forward in the normalization process that would see a trilateral agreement between the three countries, Israel Hayom has learned.
Sources familiar with the ongoing talks have told Israel Hayom that the Biden administration’s focus on this matter has had the effect of hampering the potential momentum and has impeded would-be breakthroughs.
One source noted that on the big issues – including a potential US-Saudi defense alliance that would come alongside a new civilian nuclear program in the kingdom – there are no insurmountable gaps because the disagreements are not substantial. The source noted, though, that the American emphasis on the Palestinian aspect has been perceived as over the top and thus had the potential of undermining the entire process.
The criticism of the White House among Israeli figures and Saudi elements has been voiced behind closed doors. The officials stress that Riyadh is not part of the pressure on Israel to make major diplomatic concessions to the Palestinians. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in an interview with Fox News several weeks ago, refused to make demands from Israel on the Palestinian issue and has simply stated that his expectation was merely that Israel “improved the lives of Palestinians.”
Think of that. It’s not the Saudis who are pressuring Israel to make more concessions to the Palestinians. It’s the Bidenites — Joe Biden, Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan. They are much more pro-Palestinian than the Saudis, who have had their fill of the corrupt ingrates in Ramallah. Naturally the Israelis, and the Saudis, are both astonished at this state of affairs. But so far, they’ve not made their dismay publicly known. The Crown Prince has made clear that he wanted nothing more than a good-faith effort by Israel to “improve the lives of the Palestinians.” That is what Israel has already been doing, with its major increase in work permits provided to Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank during this past year. As of now, 19,000 Palestinians in Gaza and more than 100,000 in Judea and Samaria have been provided with work permits (although this could change radically now, given the new conflict). The wages they earn in Israel are, depending on the job, from three to ten times as much as what they would earn in Gaza or in the PA-ruled territories in the West Bank. Furthermore, Israel has promised to provide more electricity to relieve that electricity crisis in Gaza. But the Bidenites are not satisfied with that; they want Israel to do still more for the odious Mahmoud Abbas and his sinister retinue.
Nevertheless, Biden administration officials currently engaged in the mediation process between Israel and Saudi Arabia have floated a series of demands from Israel on this matter. As Israel Hayom reported several days ago, the US asked Israel to allow the reopening of an independent US consulate general in Jerusalem that would effectively serve as a diplomatic mission to the Palestinians. Additionally, pressure is mounting on Israel to increase economic support for the Palestinian Authority.
No, Israel will not allow an American consulate to reopen in Jerusalem. According to the Vienna Treaty on Consular Relations, the sending party has to obtain the permission of the receiving party. There are no exceptions. That is why, after Biden made his promise during the campaign to reopen the American consulate in Jerusalem, he suddenly went silent on the matter when someone — possibly Antony Blinken — let him know that he couldn’t just do this unilaterally, but had to obtain Israel’s permission. And Israel had made it known that such permission would not be granted. I hope the Israelis stay firm on this rejection. It’s clear that the Saudi Crown Prince doesn’t give a damn about reopening that American consulate in Jerusalem to the Palestinians; nor does he care about the PLO being allowed to reopen an office in Washington. In fact, there is little love lost between Riyadh and the PLO.
As revealed on Sunday [Oct. 1], Israel has increased the financial aid to the Palestinians using various accounting measures and lowering the scope of tax collection. This has resulted in a total of 350 million shekels ($91 million) of additional funds going to Ramallah from Israel since the beginning of 2023. It appears that this is a result of US pressure to strengthen Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Why should the US want to prop up Mahmoud Abbas with more money? The Bidenites apparently believe that Mahmoud Abbas is the best of the lot of possible Palestinian leaders. Is this true? Certainly he’s not as violent as the head of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, or as the Secretary-General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Ziad al-Nakhalah. But Mahmoud Abbas recently reminded us of just how foul he can be. He delivered himself of some atrocious thoughts on the Holocaust in a speech he gave at the UN General Assembly, blaming not antisemitism for the mass murder of Jews by the Nazis, but the Jews themselves, for their “social function” as usurers and money-men, which Abbas claimed caused the Nazis to want to murder them; he thus seemed to be suggesting an acceptable “reason” for the Holocaust, that is, for the Nazi mass murder of Jews. Abbas continues the Pay-For-Slay policy, that rewards past, and incentivizes future, acts of terror. Finally, he continues to divert large amounts of aid money to his own account. No wonder that 80% of the Palestinians want Abbas to resign — the very person whom the Bidenites are now pressuring Israel to make concessions to, in order to help him stay in power.
Abbas is not the only possible leader of the Palestinians. The Americans should be trying to push Abbas, who is now 87, to retire, and to make American aid dependent on the PA selecting as his successor a genuine moderate. The Israelis know who those people are, and can let the Americans know the past history, and the prospects, of all the Palestinians who would like to succeed Mahmoud Abbas. Some Israelis seem to think that Hussein al-Sheikh may be a plausible replacement for Abbas, someone who has been chastened by experience to moderate his views on Israel. This year al-Sheikh was appointed to be the secretary-general of the PLO, raising speculation that Abbas was grooming him for the presidency. Others are not so sure he would be a fitting replacement, noting Al-Sheikh’s terrorist background.
The most moderate candidate, and one who has a lot of support among the “reformists” who deplore the culture of corruption that Mahmoud Abbas spread throughout the PA, is Mohammad Dahlan. He’s a sharp critic of Abbas. Fatah’s Reformist Democratic Faction supports Dahlan, who was sent into exile by Abbas, and now lives in the Emirates, where he works for the ruling Al-Nahyan family. He is said to be close to Egypt’s ruler, General El-Sisi. Dahlan has many supporters among those who have been infuriated by Abbas’ culture of corruption.
The Americans have already had dealings with Dahlan. After the 2007 elections in Gaza, which Hamas won, Dahlan had been part of an American plot to remove the democratically elected Hamas-led government from power. The Americans provided money and arms to Dahlan, trained his men and ordered him to carry out a military coup against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. However, the elected Hamas government forestalled the move and itself carried out an armed counter-coup. There is every reason to think that the Americans would be glad if Dahlan were to replace Abbas. So the Bidenites should not be helping Abbas at this point, by pushing the Israelis to make concessions to the Palestinians, beyond what either Jerusalem or Riyadh wants.
The Americans should want to come out of these Saudi-Israeli-American talks with no significant concessions made by Israel to the Palestinians, which would be seen as a humiliation that could finally push Abbas from power and someone much better — Dahlan, for example — could take his place.
The Bidenites, behind the scenes, are behaving very badly. They have been trying to persuade the Saudis to demand more concessions from Israel to the Palestinians. The Saudis have simply refused to do so; they are keeping their eyes on the prize, which is to say, for them, three things: a defense pact with the United States, access to advanced American weapons, and help in establishing a civilian nuclear program. So now it is the Bidenites who are directly pressuring Israel to make concessions, such as a halt to new settlements, a promise not to annex any more land in the West Bank, allowing an American “consulate to the Palestinians” to be reopened in Jerusalem, and also dropping its objection to the reopening of a PLO office in Washington. Remember: none of these are being asked by the Saudis. It’s the Bidenites who are the real problem, it is their demands on Israel, not those of the Saudis, that the Jewish state will reject, thus likely scuttling the normalization of Israel-Saudi ties. Nor is this likely to change in light of the new conflict.
If Israel-Saudi normalization is scuttled, whom do you think the Bidenites will blame? Not themselves, never themselves. They will point the finger at Jerusalem, for not having satisfied Palestinian demands. They may even have the gall to claim that “the Saudis were deeply disturbed at the failure of Israel to make sufficient concessions to the Palestinians.” Don’t believe a word of it. There is only one party throwing a spanner in the works — the benighted Bidenites.