The erosion of Palestinian power - Politics | PoFo

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Now the door has been opened for the U.S. to threaten to cut aid to the Palestinians and to UNWRA; and for Scandinavian countries (even them!) to stop funding Palestinian NGOs essentially controlled by terrorist organizations.

For years the Palestinians hold their own seperate UN refugee agency (UNRWA) claiming refugee benefits to fourth and fifth generation of "refugees", a refugee status because in the 50's the Arab states extracted from the international community special status for the "Palestinians" in 1948 war, thus sustaining endless hate cult which now adopted by other Muslims in the world like stabbing, car ramming, suicide bombing etc.

The per refugee fund for a Palestinian (who live for generation in a fixed house and a fixed neighborhood) is far greater than the real refugees in the world


When old conventions fall

The validity of the Palestinian narrative is waning. Will this spur a shift in Palestinian policy?

Developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in recent weeks, and some we can expect to unfold in the near future, have caused increasing frustration among Palestinians.

This is due to the erosion of Palestinian power, which until now has ensured that the Palestinians are treated with kid gloves, as well as perpetuating the realization in Israel that there is no Palestinian peace partner, particularly in light of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' recent speeches.
First, U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the ensuing reactions reflected a real change in the international community's stance toward the conflict and the weakening of the Palestinian camp. The U.S. didn't just recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but it also undermined completely the convention that the problematic Palestinian narrative – which rejects the existence of a Jewish people and its sovereign and historical link to the land of Israel - must not be challenged. The U.S. decision put the myth of the dreaded Arab and Muslim street backlash to the test and proved that the perceived threat was baseless all along.

The feeble reaction on the ground, the lack of Arab support, and the vote by only 128 countries in favor of the Palestinian-proposed U.N. resolution (Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dejectedly confessed to expecting the support of least 160 countries) are all a testament to the declining Palestinian position. The American threat to curb financial aid to countries that support the resolution was far more effective.

Now the door has been opened for the U.S. to threaten to cut aid to the Palestinians and to UNWRA; for U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman to declare that Israel's control of Judea and Samaria is not an occupation; for additional countries to relocate their embassies to Jerusalem; and for Scandinavian countries (even them!) to stop funding Palestinian NGOs essentially controlled by terrorist organizations.

The Palestinians are about to face two more problems.
One is a considerable drop in available cash to fund the PA, following the ratification of two laws in the Knesset and Congress – the Stern bill and the Taylor Force Act. These laws condition the transfer of at least NIS 1 billion (some 6% of the PA budget) on ceasing salary payments to terrorists and their families, and on abolishing the law facilitating such payments under the classification of terrorists as the Palestinian fighting sector.

This legislation, and the threat to slash funds to the Palestinians over their refusal to renew diplomatic talks, will challenge another vital element of the Palestinian position – the threat of the collapse of the Palestinian Authority. According to this logic, the PA cannot be asked to honor its commitments under the Oslo Accords to stop encouraging terrorism, and certainly no economic steps can be taken against it, because doing so could cause the PA to collapse or at the very least cease security coordination with Israel. The assumption is that the PA's existence and its security cooperation are such key Israeli interests that no one would dare put them in jeopardy.

But the legislative process in Congress is pressing forward, and the PA will almost certainly not fall as a result, because its existence is first and foremost a Palestinian interest. This was evidenced during the metal detector riots, when the Palestinians terminated security cooperation with Israel but renewed it shortly afterward – without fanfare – because it was no less a Palestinian interest than an Israeli one.

The second problem at the Palestinians' doorstep is the Americans' ongoing push to present their own peace proposal. Only a small handful of people in the know are familiar with the details of the proposal, but the impression thus far is that it puts a far greater emphasis on Israel's security needs than previous proposals, including the demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as the democratic national home of the Jewish people and acceptance of a permanent Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley.

The constant Palestinian threat, whereby any final status agreement must first and foremost address Palestinian sensitivities – an important component of their power of deterrence – effectively marginalizes Israel's security needs (essentially the crux of the American security proposal under former President Barack Obama and his secretary of state, John Kerry, otherwise known as the Allen Plan). However, not only has this threat not deterred President Donald Trump's Middle East team, it no longer enjoys the support of Arab countries.
In the meantime, the PA's attempt to prop up its crumbling posture by flaunting a fictional reconciliation with Hamas has also floundered, because Fatah and Hamas both refuse to budge on conceding any real assets.

This frustration and anxiety, to this point, has produced Pavlovian emotional responses: days of rage; a diplomatic campaign, predicated on assured Western European support, that includes butting heads with the U.S.; and releasing the pressure valve from Gaza in the form of limited rocket fire at Israel.

Simultaneously, the Palestinians are trying to escape the looming American peace plan.

But their emotional outbursts will not save them. They are approaching a decisive juncture and must decide whether to cling to their rejectionist policies and armed struggle – amplifying their anti-Israel activities and exacerbating tensions with the Trump administration until things blow over (while sustaining the blow of an aid cut to continue paying terrorists' salaries) – or come to terms with the new reality and the consequences of their limitations.

It certainly stands to reason that in the first phase they will prefer the path of conflict (and in this context Hamas is already reinforcing its relationship with Iran and Hezbollah), but if American, Israeli and Arab pressure intensifies, it is possible Fatah will be forced to examine, for the first time, its ability to adhere to the anti-Zionist narrative, which is the primary obstacle on the path to a peace deal. The chances of this happening are still very small, and Abbas' advanced age and the consequent power struggle in this regard reduce the chances even further.

In Israeli right-wing circles, there is a growing desire to exploit the current Palestinian weakness to advance construction in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria, which under effective Palestinian deterrence could not be done without a significant price. This trend is perilous because it could bear the opposite of the desired results in Israel and provide a new tailwind for Palestinian power.

Brig. Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser is the former head of the Military Intelligence Research Division and a fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. ... ions-fall/
After UNESCO it's time to deal with another Muslim dominated UN agency

UNICEF has declared war on the IDF

Anti-Israel activity at the United Nations is mainly associated with UNRWA and UNESCO.

UNRWA, the aid agency for Palestinian refugees, has a reputation for inciting to violence and perpetuating the Palestinians' refugee status, while UNESCO, the U.N.'s cultural agency, consistently denies any Jewish links to Jerusalem.
But while the U.S. was threatening to withhold funding from UNRWA as Israel watched closely, another U.N. agency, the International Children's Fund – UNICEF – was making its own effort to delegitimize Israel.

New research by the nonprofit watchdog group NGO Monitor reveals that "UNICEF Palestine" and other NGOs are working to add the IDF to a U.N. blacklist of organizations that violate children's rights. This list mainly comprises terrorist organizations such as Islamic State, al-Qaida, Boko Haram and the Taliban.

Every year, the U.N. secretary general issues a report on "Children and Armed Conflict," with an appendix listing groups that commit grave violations (such as using children as soldiers, systematically killing or wounding children, and committing sexual violence against children). Since 2007, UNICEF has headed a working group of organizations charged with documenting supposed violations of Palestinian children's rights. The group's findings are plugged into UNICEF data and quoted in various reports, including the secretary general's. UNICEF pours millions of dollars into these tracking and reporting efforts.

UNICEF guidelines stipulate that members of the working group remain neutral and independent of any side in the conflict. But the members of UNICEF Palestine fail to meet these criteria, with some of them belonging to extremist political groups. One is the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, which, since 2015, has – along with four other organizations – filed four suits in the International Criminal Court accusing Israel of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The PCHR described the terrorist attack in Har Adar, in which three Israelis were killed, in this way: "Israeli security forces killed Nimr Mahmoud Jamal. … Border Police at the entrance to the Har Adar settlement opened fire on him. In addition, three Israeli soldiers were killed and a fourth was wounded."

An equally problematic group that receives U.N. funding is Adamir, which provides assistance to Palestinian prisoners convicted of terrorist activities, whom it calls "political prisoners." The group described last summer's terrorist attack in Halamish, in which three members of the Salomon family were stabbed to death in their home, as "the Halamish operation, which ended with the killing of three Israeli settlers."

The wording is no surprise, given that a number of members in the group have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The irony is that UNICEF has determined that "claims of human rights violations" must be made with care as they could "serve as a propaganda tool with which to slander others," and warns that reports can be "biased toward one side."

It is important to note that the reports from UNICEF Palestine are used as a platform by a broader campaign with the main goal being to accuse Israel of violating Palestinian children's rights. The campaign is picking up steam in North America, Australia and Britain. This year, it seems likely to turn into a common cause for the organizations that try to delegitimize Israel.

Under a claim of objectivity, UNICEF is cooperating with actors that seek to promote an extremist agenda, mostly thanks to funding from foreign governments. The Israeli government must demand a clarification from representatives of the governments that fund UNICEF on its ties to extremist organizations that are spearheading campaigns to delegitimize Israel, including the campaign to include the IDF on the same list as Islamic State.

Liora Cohen is a researcher at NGO Monitor, a watchdog group that promotes greater transparency among foreign-funded Israeli nongovernmental organization, ... n-the-idf/

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