By Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute—
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s May 25 announcement that the Biden administration will ask Congress to allocate $75 million in aid to the Palestinians and that Washington will reopen the US Consulate in Jerusalem — which previously had served as a de facto embassy handling US relations with the Palestinians — is sending the wrong message to the leaders of the Palestinians.
First, these overtures signal to Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas that the US will support and lavish funding on any Arab leader who seriously abuses not only his own people but also his neighbors. This policy would also include leaders such as Vladimir Putin in Russia, Xi Jinping in China and “Supreme Guide” Ali Khamenei in Iran, as well as other despots.
One pretext for the war that Hamas initiated was that Abbas had cancelled parliamentary elections to have been held in May and July. The real reason the elections were canceled was that they would have resulted in another victory for Hamas.
Hamas won the last parliamentary election in 2006 due to the Palestinians’ frustration over the rampant political, administrative and economic corruption in Fatah, the dominant faction of Abbas’s PA.
The Biden administration — by offering Abbas more money and reopening the US diplomatic mission that deals directly with the Palestinians — is actually rewarding Abbas for those attributes.
By engaging Abbas and sending the top US diplomat to meet with him in Ramallah, the Biden administration is telling the Palestinians that it does not care either about human rights or responsible governance.
It is telling the Palestinians – as well as leaders worldwide — that the United States and the Biden administration have no problem dealing with a leader who misgoverns his own people, who incites them to violence and who does not have the slightest intention of educating his people for peace with their neighbor.
The Biden administration, in addition, is telling Abbas that it has no problem with him continuing to run the PA as a one-man show while cracking down on his political rivals and social media users for daring to speak out against corruption and human rights violations in the PA-ruled areas of the West Bank.
On the eve of Blinken’s visit to Ramallah, Abbas’s security forces arrested a number of Palestinian political activists on suspicion of “insulting” senior Palestinian officials on various social media platforms or during rallies in the West Bank. Continue Reading…