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Abbas, who pays murderers, should not be trusted with Gaza

Abbas does not stop anti-Israel murders — in fact, he incentivizes them

The Biden administration has stood up for Israel powerfully. It has spoken with moral clarity. It has defended Israel’s self-defense. It has acknowledged that Hamas must be eliminated, and acknowledged the price. We would hate to see the Biden administration err in its post-war policy, even as we are most uncomfortable even contemplating an “after” when the “present” is so dangerous, and so far from achieving the military end to Hamas.

But if Israel and the US do speak of the “after,” we do not want to see Biden’s strong stance compromised by a major misstep. We refer to Biden’s preference for a post-war Gaza to be run by the Palestinian Authority.

The PA has had 30 years to prove itself as a peace partner. It has failed  under both its founding leader, Yasir Arafat, and its present leader, Mahmoud Abbas. Both incentivized and celebrated the terrorist murder of Israeli civilians. Abbas still does.

In the name of building peace, the Biden and Obama administrations, as well as the EU, financed Hamas in the hundreds of millions of dollars. To be sure, Hamas terrorists weren’t named as the recipients. It was said that the money was going for civilian purposes. Hamas would get none of it for its terror tunnels, rocket factories, training camps or command centers. We see how that worked out.

Will the Biden administration learn from this mistake? On the very same rationale that Biden erred in financing Hamas, Biden is now financing the Palestinian Authority. The rationale for financing Hamas was this: Hamas is changing. Hamas wants to build society in Gaza. So, although the US will not finance Hamas’ military efforts, the US will help build society in Gaza. Hamas will not divert aid for military purposes.

The Biden administration is now making the same mistake in financing the Palestinian Authority. The money is being diverted for military purposes. The Trump administration cut that funding. Biden restored it. It is not going for peaceful purposes. Observe:

The PA’s head, Mahmoud Abbas, defended the Hamas butchery of Oct. 7 as “self-defense.” Still, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Abbas. Shortly before their meeting, Abbas changed his tune and released a new statement: 

“We reject the practices of killing civilians or abusing them on both sides because they contravene morals, religion and international law.”

Blinken seems to have believed it. How so? It does not take a close reading of Abbas’ statement to see that it reeks of the same anti-Semitism as the cowardly statements from the presidents of Harvard and Columbia. 

• Abbas did not name Hamas. 

• Abbas did not condemn the butchery of Oct. 7. 

• Abbas indulged in moral equivalence: “both sides.” No distinction between intentional killing, on the one side (Hamas and PA), and unintentional killing, in the process of self-defense, on the other side (Israel). Keep in mind that the “moderate” PA pays West Bank Palestinians for murdering Israelis. The PA and Hamas may be bitter foes, but their goal is the same. In the days before Abbas met Blinken, Abbas celebrated the Hamas massacre of Oct. 7.

That’s who the Biden administration is banking on: celebrants of Hamas murderers and of other Palestinian murderers.

Fatah, the party that controls the Palestinian Authority, would do what Hamas did on Oct. 7 if it could. The Biden administration finds it hard to see this. Granted, it is tough to peer into the evil and the nihilism of top Palestinian leadership. It is not only Abbas. A particularly popular, potential successor is now in an Israeli prison for five premeditated murders!It is tempting to think that not all leaders are like Hamas, but just because they may not be savages does not mean they don’t want to destroy Israel, and don’t use terrorism as a method of choice. 

It boils down to wishful thinking. As in: Hamas is moderating, it is only Islamic Jihad in Gaza that is not. As in: The PA is moderating, it is only Hamas that is not.  

Just as Hamas successfully hid behind the Islamic Jihad front, the PA successfully hides behind the Hamas front. The Biden administration must see the PA for what it is.

Israel must defeat Hamas on the battlefield. If the US continues to build up the PA, the same may be necessary against the PA, too.

Yet, the Biden administration wants to put the PA in charge of Gaza in a post-war scenario — the same PA that, to this day, pays murderers of Israelis; the same PA that cheats its own people out of foreign aid; the same PA whose military wing celebrates Oct. 7; the same PA that has been so corrupt and incompetent that it allowed Hamas to overtake it in public opinion on the West Bank.

The Biden administration would be wise to read the statement of Fatah, dated two days after the Hamas massacre:

“The [Palestinian] public must answer calls to confront and stand up to the aggression and crimes in Gaza and the West Bank and to escalate all the conflict zones with the occupier [Israel] throughout our homeland Palestine, in order to defend our people and stand with our residents in the Gaza Strip.”

These are not people whom Biden or anyone else can do diplomatic business with.

Mr. President, the people of Gaza erred on Hamas. Israel erred on Hamas. You erred on Hamas. Don’t make the same mistake twice, this time with the PA.

Post-war for Gaza will not succeed under the PA, which has failed to be a peace partner for Israel and failed in governing its own people. The PA is a dictatorship. Its head is in the 18th year of his four-year term. The faster the PA is eliminated as a future ruler of Gaza, the faster creative heads can get together to come up with a far better solution for post-war Gaza.

Copyright © 2023 by the Intermountain Jewish News

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