On Naqba Day, It’s the Same Old Same Old

PA leader Abbas renews vows to continue Pay-For-Slay.

A report on how the Palestinians observed Nakba Day, May 15, is here: “On ‘Nakba,’ Abbas vows to continue payments to prisoners and ‘martyrs,'” by Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post, May 15, 2022:

The Palestinian Authority will continue to pay allowances to the families of Palestinian prisoners and those killed while carrying out attacks against Israel, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday.

Abbas’s renewed commitment to the families of the prisoners and “martyrs” was made on the 74th anniversary of the Nakba (catastrophe), the word used by Palestinians to describe the creation of Israel in 1948.…

Abbas and other Palestinians also emphasized that they will remain committed to the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their former homes inside Israel.

“The Palestinian people and their leadership will not rest until all prisoners enjoy freedom,” Abbas said, adding that he will remain committed “to the rights of the families of the martyrs and prisoners.”

The Palestinians, he said, will not agree to give up any of their rights, especially their right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent state with east Jerusalem as its capital. Abbas also affirmed the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their former homes inside Israel.…

Mahmoud al-Aloul, deputy chairman of the ruling Fatah faction (headed by Abbas), said at the rally that the Palestinians are determined to restore their homeland” and confident that they will be triumphant.

The Palestinians are “confident they will be triumphant”? When have they, or their fellow Arabs, ever emerged triumphant against Israel? Israel has won the three wars of survival it had to fight in 1948, 1967, and 1973. The Jewish state similarly defeated Hezbollah in two wars, and Hamas in four campaigns. In 1948, the Jewish state began the war against five Arab armies that invaded on May 15 with a handful of rickety Czech Avia airplanes and some guns smuggled from abroad; at the time there was an international arms embargo on the belligerents (though Great Britain continued to supply weapons to the armies of Egypt, Iraq and, especially Jordan, The Jewish fighters not only held their own, but defeated all the Arab forces but one — Jordan’s British-officered Arab Legion, which managed to seize and hold onto Judea and Samaria (a/k/a, as of 1950, the West Bank).

Militarily, Israel has come a long way since those desperate days of smuggled small arms. Now it is a major producer of advanced weapons, such as the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, and the far less expensive, and even more impressive laser-based Iron Beam anti-missile system. Israel is a world leader in drones, anti-missile defenses, and cyberwarfare. The Jewish state is the tenth largest exporter of weapons in the world. In 2021, Israel exported $118 billion worth of weapons. And it has even supplied weapons to the American military that were more advanced than anything in the Americans’ armory. What an extraordinary leap from 1948, when many Israelis went armed only with rifles and pistols, and a handful of machine guns, to confront well-armed Arab soldiers.

Aloul said that the “battles” with Israel are still raging in Jerusalem and “everywhere in Palestine.” He pledged that the “sacrifices of the martyrs, injured and the prisoners will never stop.”

When Aloul spoke on May 15, there were no longer any “battles” still “raging” between Arab mobs and Israeli police being fought in Jerusalem. The Israeli police had managed to suppress the rioters who tried to grab the casket of Shireen Abu Akleh; the police made sure that the wishes of her family were respected, and the casket taken by hearse from the hospital to the church where the funeral was to be held. The rioters — wearing tee-shirts with M-19 rifles silkscreened on them, carrying Palestinian flags, and triumphantly allahu-akbaring — were foiled. Before that, there had been the Ramadan clashes on the Temple Mount, where Arab mobs hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails at Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall far below, and at the police themselves, were pursued and arrested, and the stockpile of rocks and other weapons that they had stored inside Al-Aqsa Mosque were confiscated. For now, a relative calm prevails again in Jerusalem — that is, until the next stabbing or shooting of an innocent Israeli, followed by the capture, or in many cases the “neutralizing,” of the attacker. Rinse, repeat. But these cannot be described as “battles.” 

PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said that the “double standards” of the international community must end. In an implicit reference to the Russia-Ukrain war, Shtayyeh said that the world distinguishes between one refugee and another. “I is unreasonable that one refugee receives the attention of the world, while another is neglected by the world,” he said. “This is unacceptable.”

It is preposterous for the PA Prime Minister Shtayyeh to complain about a “double standard” that favors the Ukrainians, while the poor Palestinians are, in his view, “neglected by the world.” Neglected”? The UN Human Rights Council has a special item on its permanent agenda – Item #7 – which is about the “human rights situation in Palestine.” This agenda item must be discussed at every meeting of the Human Rights Council. The UN General Assembly has also set up a “Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories.” This Committee was established by the UN General Assembly to investigate Israeli “war crimes” and is apparently to continue in perpetuity. ” Neglect” of the Palestinians? Do an Internet search for “Palestinians” and the search engine will immediately come up with more than two billion links. No people and no state gets as much sympathetic attention, at the UN, in the world media, and on social media, as the “Palestinians.”

He [Mohammed Shtayyeh] urged the United Nations to implement all its resolutions pertaining to the Palestinians, including the “right of return.”

“Our people are increasingly insisting on their right to return and the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital,” the PA premier said. “We will remain committed and loyal to our principles. We will continue to fight for them until they are all accomplished.”

Shtayyeh also emphasized the importance of maintaining the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

“We care about this institution in the same way we care about our people in the diaspora,” he said. “Today, there are 6.4 million refugees waiting for the right of return.”

What Shtayyeh means is that UNRWA is under a serious threat of losing contributions from donors if it does not rid its schoolbooks of antisemitism, as it has long promised to do. Shtayyeh wants the unqualified support for UNRWA to continue, without any imposition of aid cuts and, of course, “maintaining” the status quo, which means without any change to the textbooks UNRWA uses.

Mohammed Shtayyeh claims that there are 6.4 million “Palestinian” refugees waiting for their “right of return,” to which should be added the approximately four million Palestinians now living in Gaza and the West Bank, for a total of 10.4 million Palestinians. These figures are simply plucked out of the air. At next year’s Nakba Day, someone from the P.A. will claim that there are 7 or 8 million Palestinians waiting to exercise their “right of return” – implausible figures, with as little reliability as those Shtayyeh offered this year. The same thing happens with the figures on Muslims worldwide. Just four years ago, we were solemnly informed that there were 1.4 billion Muslims, though some in the West argued that the true figure was 1.2 billion. Then Muslims began to claim that there were 1.5 million, 1.6 million, then 1.8 million Muslims. And now the claim is that there are “more than 2 billion Muslims” in the world, but no convincing demographic data is offered to back up these claims. They are made up numbers, but used to present an image of an Islam that is ineluctably on the march, growing steadily in numbers and power and, we are being led to believe, Islam will soon surpass Christianity as the world’s biggest religion. The implication is clear: resistance is futile, join the winning team, the “strong horse” of Islam that will inherit the earth.

Ahmed Abu Holy, head of the PLO’s refugee department, said that the Palestinians won’t accept “partial solutions” to the problem of the refugees. He too stressed the importance of maintaining UNRWA and rejecting any attempt to delegate its powers to other UN bodies.

Ahmed Abu Holy can insist on refusing “partial solutions” to the Palestinian refugee problem all he wants, but Israel has no intention of allowing itself to be swamped by Palestinians exercising some putative “right of return.” The only “right of return” that Israel just might accept would be that exercised by the approximately 25,000 Arabs who are “real refugees” – that is, who left Mandatory Palestine and then Israel between 1947 and 1949. Israel is not going to commit demographic suicide.

Hamas, for its part, said in a statement on the occasion of the Nakba that there is “no legitimacy or sovereignty” for Israel “over one inch of the land of historic Palestine.”

It’s always useful to be reminded that Hamas denies Israel the right to exist. It seeks not territorial compromise, but destruction of the Jewish state, to be replaced by “Palestine,” that will include all the territory “from the river to the sea.” The PA, for its part, is willing to accept a much-reduced Israel, as the first step in its salami-strategy of leaving Israel without the Jordan Valley, an the Golan Heights, both so necessary to. its defense, and with only a nine-mile wide waist from Qalqilya to the sea. The PA differs from Hamas in timing and tactics, but not in the ultimate goal of eliminating the state of Israel.

“Our people will remain committed to Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Palestine, from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea,” the statement read.

Hamas also vowed to pursue the “armed resistance” against Israel “until the aspirations of our people are achieved.”

Hamas has been pursuing that “armed resistance” against Israel since its founding in 1987. It has fought four wars with Israel, and has been defeated – crushed – in every one. In the latest war, in May 2021, Hamas fired 4,500 rockets toward Israel. 600 of them fell short, landing in Gaza itself, killing Palestinian civilians. Of those rockets that did end up in Israel, 90% were intercepted and destroyed by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense, and the others fell harmlessly in fields. Meanwhile, Israel destroyed numerous stockpiles of rockets, hidden in schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, and even mosques. The IDF destroyed several command-and-control centers, and significant parts of the network of tunnels Hamas had built under Gaza at terrific expense. The IDF also killed 200 Hamas fighters, while only one Israeli soldier was killed, and no significant damage was inflicted by those thousands of Hamas rockets.

Abbas said that he was proud of the “steadfastness of the brave prisoners held in occupation prisons.”

The “brave prisoners” he is talking about are terrorists who murdered Israeli men, women, and children in cold blood.

Abbas has staunchly refused to halt the payments to the families of the prisoners and “martyrs” – a scheme described by some as “pay for slay.”

It is an outrage that the Bidenites have managed to ignore both the letter and the spirit of the 2018 Taylor Force Act, by restoring aid to the PA that Trump had ended. The Taylor Force Act had been intended to force the PA to stop its “Pay-For-Slay” program, which provides generous subsidies both to imprisoned terrorists, and to the families of terrorists who died while committing their attacks. As long as the “Pay-For-Slay” program exists, past terrorism will be rewarded, and future terrorism will be incentivized. Mahmoud Abbas is very clear that he will never halt the “Pay-For-Slay” payments. The Taylor Force Act is very clear. But the Bidenites refuse to apply it; they would rather keep the aid tap open for the Palestinian Authority in order to…. Well, in order to do what? In order, apparently, to keep the “good will” of the Palestinians so that, at some point in the future, they will be prepared to negotiate a “peace” with Israel. You know the one — the one they call the “two-state solution” but always fail to explain just how it is a “solution” when it would only whet, not sate, the territorial appetites of Palestinian Arabs. If the continuation of the “Pay-For-Slay”program won’t turn off that tap, what would it take for the Bidenites to stop their appeasement of the rais in Ramallah?

“The great Palestinian people cannot be defeated because they have a just issue that cannot be obliterated by false narratives,” Abbas stressed. He called on Israel’s leaders “to get out of the cycle of denial of the other because it will not bring security and stability to anyone.”…

The Israelis are not “denying…the other.” They are all too aware of the Palestinians, who do not permit them a moment’s peace. They simply refuse to submit to the demands of either the Slow Jihadists of the PA or the Fast Jihadists of Hamas. The Israelis are not going to let themselves be swamped by a “right-of-return” tide of pseudo-refugees who are uniquely allowed to treat their status of “refugee” as inheritable, unlike any of the other hundreds of millions of refugees created since World War II. Israelis are going to keep territory necessary to their security, including the Golan, the Jordan Valley, and the five large settlement blocs in the West Bank. And they will not yield any part of Jerusalem, the city which has been the spiritual center of Jewish life, inhabited uninterruptedly by Jews since 1500 B.C.

On Nakba Day, from the Palestinians it’s the same old same old. It’s not just Israel that is getting tired of the same preposterous claims, the same demands for aid, the same threats, the same dreams of crushing the Jews. It’s also the many former donors in the Western world who are tired of again being snookered by empty Palestinian promises to change their schoolbooks. It’s former donors among the Gulf Arabs who have chosen to ignore Palestinian demands, and instead are promoting their own national interests, either by joining the Abraham Accords, as the UAE and Bahrain have done, or by drawing ever closer to Israel in security matters, as Saudi Arabia and Egypt have done.

It’s a new world, but the Palestinians still don’t get it. When King Salman dies, and the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman becomes King, and has the Kingdom join the Abraham Accords, then the Palestinians may finally realize that. Until then, more nonsense and more lies. It’s their stock in trade. Same old same old.

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