Click here to read Steven A. Cook on why we should expect the Palestinians to launch a third intifada. Israeli officials and experts were initially reacting to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's promise not to seek re-election in one of three ways: They believed him and didn’t really care; they believed him and worried about the possible vacuum following his disappearance from the political scene; or they didn’t believe him. Last week, the third option seemed to be the most common read in Jerusalem.
The Palestinian territories are descending into chaos, but many in Washington seem unconcerned. The Palestinians in the West Bank have too much to lose from a new uprising, some are arguing, given the recent moderate improvements in their daily lives. Others assert that the Palestinian Authority Security Forces, trained under American supervision, will prevent the Palestinians from making the mistakes of 1987 and 2000. Yet the dynamics of Palestinian politics indicate that a third intifada is likely to erupt in the near future.
No, not Dwight Eisenhower (and his secretary of state, John Foster Dulles), who thought of his Arabs as the Egyptians. Frankly, in 1956, nobody thought of Palestinians, including especially the Palestinians. And, no, not even Jimmy Carter, who, while now especially entranced with the Palestinians, including Hamas, was beginning his macabre infatuation with Hafez Assad. Then there was George Herbert Walker Bush and his sidekick James Baker, who didn't much like the Jews but wanted especially to please the Saudis. The U.S.
“YES, SOMETIMES I GO into the room with my advisers and I start shouting. And then they say, ‘And then what?’” The question hangs in the perfectly cooled air in Sa’ad Hariri’s marble-floored sitting room, where Beirut appears as a sunlit abstraction visible at a distance through thick windows. Hariri’s father, the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, martyr of the Cedar Revolution, arches his black eyebrows from a giant poster near the sofa, looking out at his son with a sidelong, mischievous glance. “It hasn’t been a joyful trip,” Sa’ad Hariri is saying.
Read what Ha'aretz had to say in May 1948. It is an illumination of then and now.Sixty years after, there are enemies who aspire even today to destroy the state of the Jewish nation. They are, however, mostly non-state actors (Hamas and Hezbollah and random others) who play by their distinctively brutal rules of war which endanger the lives of their own people at least as much as they imperil the lives of Israelis. The Gaza moralizers haven't the temerity to admit that the terrorists choose their own stage of battle. Those who equivocate about this, who pretend that these groups can be concil
My son-in-law had a pregnant insight about the Palestinian Authority and its capacity to restrain the emotions of the West Bank with regard to the Gaza bloodletting. He assumes, as I do, that there were many explosive emotions against Israel nesting inside the population. Where did these emotions go? A small demonstration here and there. Private resentment certainly. The stability in the territory was, in fact, quite remarkable. Maybe the Israeli army beefed up their controls at the myriads of checkpoints.
No, it's not that Fatah thinks Israel conducted a cruel war against Hamas. Not at all. But that it ended the battle with Hamas still holding the shards of power in Gaza.
George Mitchell is apparently slated to be the special envoy to Israel and to...well, how does one tell who can represent the Palestinians in peace talks? Mitchell has been very clear that there is no purpose in negotiations with parties which don't want peace. So this leaves us with Fatah whose certified terrorist history outranks the Tamil Tigers, the Basque ETA and several other fraternal Muslim killer organizations altogether. And whose commitment to an arrangement continues to be -- shall we say?
Immediately after the massacre of eight students in a yeshiva library in Jerusalem last week, speculation began within the Israeli security establishment and the media about who had dispatched the lone murderer. Was it Hamas? Hezbollah? Perhaps a new, unknown organization claiming to act on behalf of the "liberation" of the Galilee? In fact, the speculation was pointless.