Date: 15/12/2022 Time: 11:07
By Bassam Tawil
- If [Bezalel] Smotrich and [Itamar] Ben-Gvir are “extremists” – at least in the eyes of the Americans – then under what category do Faraj and Al-Sheikh fall, as well as many other Palestinian officials who were previously involved in terrorism?
- These US officials expressing concern over the rise of the far-right parties in Israel… do not seem to have any problem at all with the growing incitement and continuing terrorist attacks by Palestinians against Israel. Those onslaughts against Israelis, carried out in both the West Bank and inside Israel, include shootings, stabbings, car-rammings and the hurling of rocks and firebombs.
- The US officials ignore that Hamas, the Palestinian terror group whose charter openly calls for the obliteration of Israel, remains more popular than ever among Palestinians.
- The students who voted for Hamas are saying that they do not recognize Israel’s right to exist; do not believe in any peace process with Israel and, like Hamas, are totally opposed to the two-state solution that the Biden administration has been advocating day and night.
- Like Hamas, the students believe only in a solution that would see Israel replaced by an Iranian-backed terror state controlled by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. This scenario does not seem to bother the Biden administration in the slightest.
- To see what real extremism looks like, those voicing concern over the return of the right wing to power in Israel only need to catch a glimpse of what is happening under the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
- The streets of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are full of armed terrorists and gunmen who are openly stating their intention to kill Jews.
- Some even say that it was precisely actions of the Palestinian terrorists that spurred this “extremist” group in Israel to win the election in the first place.
- If the Biden administration wants to see real extremism, it only needs to turn its gaze to the failing state of Lebanon, now under the de facto control of Iran and its terrorist proxy, Hezbollah. The Biden administration could also take a look at Syria, where tens of thousands of people have been slaughtered since the beginning of the civil war in 2011.
- Real extremism is on display every day on the streets of Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah and the Gaza Strip; it claims the lives of Jews virtually every week.
- The real extremists are also the Palestinian leaders who deprive their people of the international aid and encourage their youths to kill Jews. The real extremists are those who are responsible for firing rockets at Israeli cities from the Gaza Strip. The real extremists are those who do not believe in the right of Israel to exist and work non-stop to destroy it.
- There is no comparison between the alleged extremists in Israel, and the murderous terrorists in Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It is high time for the Biden administration to open its eyes to that fact.
The Biden administration has reportedly expressed reservations about the rise of far-right parties in the recent Israeli election. The administration, however, has failed to express reservations about the continuous incitement against Israel by Palestinian leaders and media outlets.
US officials are said to be especially concerned at the prospect of Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir of the Religious Zionism political alliance holding key ministries in Israel’s incoming governing coalition. These US officials, however, apparently do not have a problem with many senior Palestinian officials having been involved in terrorism.
Two of the Palestinian officials, Majed Faraj and Hussein al-Sheikh, still hold regular meetings with senior representatives of the Biden administration who evidently are not even remotely bothered by their past activities.
Faraj, one of the ruling Fatah’s most prominent activists, was arrested by Israel many times. Altogether, he spent at least six years in Israeli prison for his role in violent activities against Israel and membership in a terror group, especially during the First Intifada, which erupted in 1987.
Al-Sheikh, also a Fatah member, spent 11 years in Israeli prison for similar charges. During the Second Intifada, which began in 2000, he was wanted by Israel for his role in terrorism. In 2005, he was removed from Israel’s list of wanted terrorists, apparently as part of an Israeli-American attempt to strengthen the Palestinian Authority and prevent Hamas from taking over the West Bank.
Faraj is head of the Palestinian General Intelligence, while Al-Sheikh is considered No. 2 in the Palestinian leadership after Mahmoud Abbas.
If Smotrich and Ben-Gvir are “extremists” – at least in the eyes of the Americans – then under what category do Faraj and Al-Sheikh fall, as well as many other Palestinian officials previously involved in terrorism?
The White House reportedly held a high-level meeting earlier this month to discuss what its approach toward the new Israeli government should be, including the possibility of not engaging with some of its ultranationalist ministers, including Smotrich and Ben-Gvir.
Two former senior US diplomats, Daniel Kurtzer and Aaron David Miller, called on the Biden administration to cut weapons supplies to Israel if the new right-wing coalition in Israel “pursues the stated aims of some of its members.”
These US officials expressing concern over the rise of the far-right parties in Israel, however, do not seem to have any problem at all with the growing incitement and continuing terrorist attacks by Palestinians against Israel. Those onslaughts against Israelis, carried out in both the West Bank and inside Israel, include shootings, stabbings, car-rammings and the hurling of rocks and firebombs.
Recently, Mahmoud al-Habbash, Religious Affairs Adviser to the Palestinian Authority President, equated the Jews who visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem with “those whom Allah has cursed… and made of them apes and pigs.”
Another senior Palestinian official, Muhammed Al-Lahham, recently bragged that 90% of the terrorists who carried out attacks against Israelis in 2022 were members of Fatah, headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Al-Lahham also credited Fatah with murdering 20 Israelis, saying this is a source of honor for the faction.
Is the Biden administration going to hold a “high-level meeting” to discuss this racist and incendiary rhetoric by Mahmoud Abbas’s top advisers? Those remarks were made by Palestinian officials, not by Jews named Smotrich or Ben-Gvir.
Read the rest of the article here.
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