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It's time to imagine a future without the Palestinian Authority

Last night wasn’t the first time Palestinians were in the crosshairs of their own ‘security services,’ but the sight of Israeli jeeps within spitting distance of the melee has set off long-latent resentment toward the Palestinian Authority.

Palestinians watch PA President Mahmoud Abbas address the UN in 2012. (Photo by Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Palestinians watch PA President Mahmoud Abbas address the UN in 2012. (Photo by Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

It started with a mission, Israel would have us believe, to find three missing Yeshiva students. But one week on, that “mission” seems little more than a rouse to rout any semblance of normalcy for more than four million people — Palestinians who remain bound by Israel’s military rule in the West Bank and Gaza. Stateless and defenseless, Palestinian civilians have endured a military onslaught unlike any since the Second Intifada. And without a shred of evidence that the missing Israeli students are being held by Palestinians — or, for that matter, that they were kidnapped at all — Israel has nevertheless vowed no let-up in what its prime minister has called his “determination to dismantle” the Palestinian government.

What can stop him? Here’s a thought, courtesy of one especially astute social media observer: Maybe the Palestinians should kidnap Mahmoud Abbas. Surely the Israelis would accede to anything to get him back.

The idea isn’t so far-fetched — not after photos surfaced of Israeli soldiers standing guard at Ramallah’s Palestinian Authority police station this morning. Why were they there? By all accounts, the Israelis had come to fend off protests against Abbas and his attempts to quell Palestinian anger in the wake of Israel’s now week-long rampage in the West Bank.

Really, is anyone surprised? With the Palestinian death toll now at five, and hundreds added to Israel’s roster of more than 5,000 political prisoners, Abbas’s response so far has included violently dispersing a demonstration by the mothers and wives of hunger-striking Palestinian detainees — a shameful episode that included an attack on a CNN crew covering the event. Beyond that, he squeamishly called on Netanyahu to apologize for this week’s Palestinian deaths, a request the Israeli prime minister promptly dismissed, chalking it up to “a certain degree of friction with the civilian population of Judea and Samaria….”

Yes, friction. And with friction, it seems, a spark has been lit beneath the match-stick edifice of the Palestinian Authority. Today, there were reports of ongoing protests by Palestinian youth, and doctored images surfaced online of Israeli soldiers with Abbas’s face super-imposed. Unlike past expressions of dissent by Abbas’s opponents, these seem to have elicited no counter-protests from Fatah loyalists and no claims that Hamas — or any other Palestinian party — was fomenting the unrest. No, this was rage rising right from the Palestinian street, its message damningly clear: the friend of our enemy is our enemy, too.

Palestinian protesters march to the Muqataa, the Palestinian Authority headquarters, to protest against political arrests made by the Palestinian Authority, Ramallah, October 2, 2012. There were also calls for the resignation of President Mahmoud Abbas and against the Oslo accords. (Photo by Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Palestinian protesters march to the Muqataa, the Palestinian Authority headquarters, to protest against political arrests made by the Palestinian Authority, Ramallah, October 2, 2012. There were also calls for the resignation of President Mahmoud Abbas and against the Oslo accords. (Photo by Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

If these protests are any indication, Abbas would seem beyond redemption. Last night wasn’t the first time Palestinians were in the crosshairs of their own “security services,” but something about the sight of Israeli jeeps within spitting distance of the melee has set off long-latent resentment toward the Palestinian Authority and the impotence it maintains in the face of Israel’s ongoing occupation.

Where all of this will lead is anyone’s guess at the moment. But it’s past time to begin imagining a future without Mahmoud Abbas and, quite possibly, without the Palestinian Authority. That prospect surely frightens Netanyahu more than it does the Palestinian people. Although they are a quarter-century — and a generation — removed from the First Intifada, its most important lesson remains relevant: it happened without the Palestinian Authority.

Related:
The man who sold the world: Dr. Erekat is back
The man who invented the PA calls for it to be dismantled
We are in a continuous intifada’: Interview with Husam Zomlot

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    COMMENTS

    1. Another Palestinian Propaganda Piece from Mr. Bawadi. The Israeli military presence in the West Bank is most restrained. Anyone can look over to Syria were Arabs have killed over 200,000 Arabs, including thousands of Palestinians, and reduced cities and regions to rubble. How many were killed in Egypt, Libya and Sudan by Arab on Arab violence? In one day Egypt killed several hundred protesters. Israel is not dropping chemical weapons or barrel bombs on civilians. There are no Israeli Tanks in the street and no artillery is being rained down on the civilian population.

      The problem with a significant portion of the Palestinian Arab public is that they believe they have a right to visit violence on Israel and its people and Israel has no right to defend itself. It does not work that way.

      The Palestinians through organized terror cells killed over 1,000 Israelis in the 2nd intifada. Gaza has initiated two wars with Israel and still rains down rockets on Israeli population centers. The Shin Bet in the last one and half years has thwarted 283 serious attacks in the making. 45% of those attacks were initiated by Hamas.

      After the kidnapping of the three Israeli youth, two of whom lived in Israel over the green line, Israel needs to perform a root canal removing the infrastructure of Hamas in the West Bank. Israel has already uncovered bomb labs in residential homes, weapon stashes, terror tunnels built under family homes capable of acting as hideouts for terrorists or as a place to stash kidnapped Israeli children.

      If the Palestinian population was wise they would stand aside and let the IDF do its work.

      Reply to Comment
      • Samuel

        Well said, CentreLeft.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Bar

      Imagining a future without the PA? Sure. It’s called Gaza.

      Reply to Comment
    3. IlonJ

      I will cut off my nose to spite my face.

      Reply to Comment
      • Barry M Watson

        The Organisation and Administration of any Government has difficulties-even in the ‘Free & Democratic’ West! Protests happen!

        Operating an ‘Authority’ under Israeli occupation must be unbelievably
        difficult!

        However the PA has been ‘the Authority’ since 2006, the PLO should by now be able to come to terms with the obvious Flash points, and operate as a proper nascent State!

        It is obvious that tensions were high following the knee jerk reaction of the Israelis to the kidnap!
        It is also obvious that people will demonstrate in support of their love ones on hunger strike in Israeli prisons!

        The Palestinian Police should not abuse or handle their fellow countrymen like this!

        It is a puzzle! Where are the young Government technocrats in the PA?

        The enemy Israelis will always act to spread division amongst the people! They will do everything to show the World that the Palestinians cannot be trusted with self-Government!

        Don’t fall for it Palestine!
        Until Statehood, Unity is Everything!

        Reply to Comment
    4. עיניים לראותEYES2C

      Imagine a Future without Israeli Occupation

      Haaretz editorial asked what is the purpose of “the Operation”…

      I suppose that (as Israel has done before) it will define the purpose after the fighting ends… This is what Ariel Sharon did after he broke his pledge to PM Menahem Begin, and instead of sending the “IDF” to occupy Lebanese Territory “up to 40 km north of the Israeli border”, he sent the army to Beirut, to allow the Falange Forces to massacre refugees in Sabra and Shatila camps.

      The same is true about the ISAF attack on the Syrian Army yesterday.

      9 Syrian Army positions were bombed, after a missile was shot at Israeli held Golan FROM TERRITORY HELD BY THE ISLAMIC REBELS.

      So were is the logic behind these attacks? — for an answer one ought to search Washington… Obama fails to understand that weakening Bashar Al-Asad regime will strengthen ISIL / AL-QAEDA’s
      grip on the Middle East.

      But Palestinians understand, and hold THE RESISTANCE in high esteem — as also the “IDF” does, if one is to judge by the elite forces Israel sends to fight the Resistance. But what Israel failed to win in 10 days, it won’t achieve in years.

      Reply to Comment
    5. IlonJ

      Ok einaim lir-ot. Tell us what would you do to:

      1. Free our kids?

      2. Respond to the rocket fire from Syria?

      PS
      How do you know the rebels fired the rockets at us?

      Reply to Comment
      • Philos

        Inductive logic suggests that the rebels have a distinct interest in provoking Israel to attack Assad. Furthermore, it’s no secret that to the morally depraved people in the IDF command and PMO think that ongoing slaughter and the destruction of Syria is ‘a good thing’ for Israel. No one doubts either that these morally depraved people aren’t operating some of the murderous rebels groups inside Syria (like the other morally depraved elites in Ankara, Riyadh, Jordan, Washington, London and Paris) to further these repulsive goals.

        Assad was on the cusp of victory. Suddenly, ISIL breaks for Iraq where the Sunni part of the army defects to them, and gets itself kitted out with the best military hardware US money can buy. And the USA won’t intervene to stop it. Now Assad’s position looks precarious as ISIL is fully equipped, has much larger forces and has a whole swathe of Iraq to operate from.

        So, alas, religiously based genocide is set to resume in Syria and all the smug Orientalists in the Zionist colonialist enterprise and their psychotic imperialist backers in Washington can say, “look, villa in the jungle.”

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          Wouldn’t inductive logic suggest that “Orientalists” tend to have a better understanding of the events in the region rather than that there is a global conspiracy to prove their theories correct?

          In your morality play all forces that oppose Assad are morally depraved and have repulsive goals. What I fail to understand is how Assad is any less morally depraved than his opponents and how his goals are any less repulsive than theirs. Has Assad become the paragon of virtue for some section of the extreme left?

          Reply to Comment
          • Philos

            Orientalists don’t understand the region. Read your Edward Said, fool of a K9.

            Fair point. Assad is no humanitarian but he was the legitimate leader of Syria, and no other state had the right to try overthrow him by funding both domestic and foreign terrorists in Syria. But it must be said for Assad that all of Syria’s sects fight in his army, that women in Syria won’t be enslaved if he wins, and that his army isn’t slaughtering people on the basis of their religious beliefs. The Takfiri terrorists are shooting Sunni’s on the basis that God will know the difference as well as destroying Syria’s ancient heritage (that belongs to humanity) because it is haram.

            Any government this barbaric horde is utterly morally depraved, especially when they go preaching about democracy, human rights and peace. Barack Obama, the Noble Peace Prize winner, will be remembered as the most vicious and murderous president since Reagan unleashed his CIA funded death squads on Central America.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            “Assad is no humanitarian but he was the legitimate leader of Syria”

            Since there never were any democratic elections, Assad is no legitimate leader.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            I did read Said. It was an attempt to control thought through language and defining acceptable gatekeepers. Effectively Said created a field where every person with the “wrong” background can be attacked for their opinions on the basis of their background even if the opinions are entirely reasonable. I have also had the displeasure of encountering the opinions and predictions of Said’s followers and they are overwhelmingly and predictably bad at actually explaining events, making recommendations or predicting developments. My favorite sect of such Said-followers was back in the late 1990s when some moron was trying to equate the rise of Islamic fundamentalism to the Protestant reformation and upset that someone might consider them a security threat.

            On what basis can Assad Jr. claim to be the “legitimate” ruler of Syria? Is legitimacy inherited in your worldview? That would likely make you the first monarchist socialist in history. Or did he achieve his legitimacy like his father by slaughtering thousands of protesters and torturing tens of thousands of his opponents? No, Assad has no real legitimacy. He is a second generation dictator. Were free elections held in Syria he would have lost. His allies are the Islamic fundamentalists of Hezbollah, the Islamic fundamentalist state of Iran and the dictatorship of Russia. He uses torture and starvation as tactics of population control. His air force drops barrels full of explosives and shrapnel on civilians. He has used chemical weapons on civilian areas. I don’t know how anyone on the left can defend this bloodthirsty dictator except as a result of reflexive anti-Americanism.

            Oh, and the Takfiris shoot Shiites, not Sunnis.

            Reply to Comment
        • shachalnur

          That’s how it looks like,but it’s not necessarily what is happening behind the scenes.

          There’s very little proof of Israel being involved in ISIS/ISIL,and the behaviour of the Kurds will be a good indication of developments in Iraq,since Israel and the Kurds have common interests.

          Right now Kurds are pushing South and taking more land,like Kirkuk,and ISIS is avoiding confrontation(why?).

          That might change though.

          There’s lot’s of bombing empty spaces going on(Hamas on Israel,Israel on Gaza and Syria),and the operations in the West bank are based on a very dubious kidnapping,with the PA collaborating.

          What if ISIS is a threat to Syria,Israel,Lebanon,Jordan,Hezbollah and the Palestinians?

          Wouldn’t it be logical to work together to face this threat?

          And how would you do that without the London Bankers (backers of ISIS) noticing or being able to stop this cooperation?

          The same scenario(first Syria,then Iran and then leave Israel facing all her neighbours alone) unfolded in June 2012,and was stopped by Israel,Syria and Iran collaborating.

          Since then Israel and the US/London Bankers are at war,and we’re watching the next fase in that war.

          Could be the decisive one.

          Don’t be blinded by what the presstitutes are feeding you,this isn’t child’s play.

          Be aware of Pigeon Superstition.

          Reply to Comment
      • עיניים לראותEYES2C

        To your Q about your kids:
        If you care about them:
        Free them from the obligation
        to serve the Occupation Forces
        On the rocket from Syria:
        even the “IDF” now wonders who
        shot the rocket “from area
        controlled by (Islamic) Rebels

        The last item says that it
        could be a single Syrian
        soldier.

        FACT IS: Israel supports these
        rebels, and so does the U.S.

        Reply to Comment
    6. Vadim

      “…And without a shred of evidence that the missing Israeli students are being held by Palestinians — or, for that matter, that they were kidnapped at all…”

      That must be the stupidest thing I have read in recent time.

      1. The entire operation is an attempt to gather information about who kidnapped the kids and where they are held.
      2. Dozens of people get missing in Israel every month, on both sides of the green line. None of these cases lead police to think about kidnapping, so there’s probably something different this time, don’t you think? (You can of course claim this is all staged and be in the good company of Shachalnur and AverageAmerican)

      Reply to Comment
    7. Tzutzik

      Your mind is like a steel trap Philos. It must be comforting to have such confidence that your logic is infallible.

      The rest of us, mere mortals, stand in awe of your gigantic intellect.

      Reply to Comment
    8. IlonJ

      Oh me God, two brainiacs solving the secrets of the universe. Spare us their convoluted “wisdom”.

      And only they are the ones who can “see” it all. Why oh why are the rest of us so singularly blind? If only we could walk in their giant shoes.

      Reply to Comment
      • shachalnur

        Release of UNESCO J-ISIS(by RA/Oracle) ;21 December 2012(Mayan calendar)

        There’s lot’s to “see”,if you wipe the 1897 Zionist/London Banker perfumed presstitute poop out of your eyes.

        It’s fun,much closer to the truth and it scares the hell out of zombies like you.

        Flap-flap goes the pigeon.

        Reply to Comment
        • IlonJ

          Release of Mayan Calendar. Thank you very much Shakalnur.

          Any more ancient superstitions you could draw on? This is the 21st century you fool!

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            A black cat crossed his path yesterday. Israel is doomed.

            Reply to Comment
          • shachalnur

            They picked a specific day on an ancient calender,they like to do that.

            They picked nice company names for the release.

            They like Pagan, Masonic and Egyptian symbolism.

            Ever visited the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem?

            Did you find any Jewish symbolism in,on or around this building?

            Huh?

            Reply to Comment
          • IlonJ

            Symbolism? Huh? What have you got against symbolism? What has symbolism ever done against you?

            Yes yes I know, I am a Zombie. And you are just slightly confused.

            Oops, did I say slightly?

            Reply to Comment
          • shachalnur

            The Israeli Supreme Court designed as,and filled with Avoda Zara,and symbolism is no problem?

            It’s just another example of Zionism having nothing to do with Judaism.

            Just as you ,as a slave of 1897 Zionism,have no clue what Torah Judaism is about.

            Reply to Comment
          • IlonJ

            I know. I am a Zombie, right Shakalnur?

            A slavish zombie even 🙂

            Reply to Comment
    9. Kolumn9

      I am pretty sure Bennett’s response would be “make my day”. A complete collapse of the Palestinian economy and an outbreak of lawless anarchy followed by the emigration of everyone who can leave sounds like a very good outcome for people who do not believe that there can ever be peace with the Palestinians. In the meantime Hamas would probably take over the political leadership of the Palestinians which would make it very easy for the Israeli government to operate internationally while hampering any capacity the Palestinians have of influencing their future. The downside would be attacks on Israelis which would provide justification for further increasing pressure on the Palestinians. This is a very bad outcome politically and pretty much in every other way for everyone except the extreme right-wing in Israel and for Hamas. There is no upside here for the Palestinians and yet it repeatedly appears that the only person among them that can see that far ahead is Abbas himself.

      Any Palestinian who is not frightened by this future is either an idiot or is safely ensconced in a middle class American life.

      Reply to Comment
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