Skip to comments.Top ex-Shin Bet official: Arab states view Abbas as irrelevant
Posted on 10/05/2020 10:44:06 AM PDT by SJackson
The Arab world now says that relations with Israel is more important than the Palestinian issue, which cannot be solved by Abu Mazen, for the foreseeable future.
The constellations of moderate Sunni Arab states which are on track to normalize relations with Israel view Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as irrelevant, a former top Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) official has told The Jerusalem Post.
Former head of the counter-terrorism division for Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria Arik Harris Barbing told the Post on Sunday that, the Palestinian issue is not a focus of the Arab states.
Harris said that, Abu Mazen [Abbas] doesnt have many years left, due to him being 84 as well as having a variety of health problems in recent years.
He said that, the Arab world now says that relations with Israel is more important than the Palestinian issue, which cannot be solved by Abu Mazen, for the foreseeable future.
While this may seem like a radical shift, he said that this kind of a shift could be viewed as being embedded in Arab culture.
Fluent in Arabic and Arab culture, he cited a famous Arabic saying, roughly translated to mean, If I and my uncle are up against a stranger, I am with my uncle. But if I and my brother are up against my uncle, I am with my brother.
Underlying the family phraseology is the deeply ingrained idea in Arab culture that a person or a groups closeness to another group is always relative and can be trumped by a greater interest.
In this case, the Arab states spent years coming to the conclusion that a number of their major interests are served by normalizing with Israel and becoming closer to the US, even if it is at the Palestinians expense.
Harris then lists off several interests which the Arab states intend to fulfill by normalizing with Israel. Noting that the shift is based on the strategic situation in the Middle East, he said Iran is the central threat. The conflict is Sunni versus Shi'ite. It is not just political, but also religious. The former top Shin Bet official flagged Hezbollah in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq as only a few places where Iran and Shiite are competing with Sunnis for influence and control of the regional agenda.
These Sunni states have chosen to grow closer to Israel and the US, viewing the two as interconnected, especially with the current unusually close relationship between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump.
One example, he noted, of an expected payoff is that the UAE is expected to be sold the elite F-35 aircraft, partially as a reward for being the first Gulf state to normalize with Israel.
But the interest in Israel and the US from the Gulf states is broader and extends to receiving new cyber capabilities, technology, agricultural expertise and general foreign investment, said Harris. This is embodied by a new generation of Arab leaders like Saudi Arabias Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who foreign reports say has felt the Tel Aviv sun multiple times.
Harris said that it helps that these countries have no actual land or concrete dispute with Israel beyond the vague commitment over the years to support the Palestinians.
Accusing Abbas of irrational miscalculations, he said the PA has failed to grasp the changing times and its attempt to retry uniting with Hamas or some kind of new round of elections will fail. Part of the failure he said was inherent in the fact that neither the PA nor Israel will allow Hamas to take over the West Bank as they did in Gaza.
Essentially, he said Abbas was shocked when he, woke up one morning and got slapped in the face by a series of normalization deals with Israel, with Qatar, Sudan and others potentially on the way.
Despite a playing field that currently favors Israel, Harris warned the country not to ignore or be dismissive of the Palestinian issue.
If you push them against the wall too much, you can receive terror in return. There are a variety of Palestinian groups which are acting responsibly and are bound to listen to Abu Mazen, who has failed to cut a deal with Israel, but has also stood steadfast against terror (unlike his predecessor Yasir Arafat). Cautioning that the volatile mix of the coronavirus, economic problems and being ignored by Israel could lead some of these groups to break with Abbas and start attacking Israelis.
If these groups turned on Israel it would be far more dangerous than the lone-wolf wave of attacks in 2015-2016. All of this is true even if Trump remains president in 2021.
In contrast, Harris said that if Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins the upcoming election, all of the rules of the game could change, especially because the Israeli leadership has not hid its close ties to Trump.
He said that a Biden win would likely lead to the Palestinian issue being re-elevated to a key component of US policy in the region.
At the same time, he said there could be an extended transition period early on in a Biden presidency when dealing with the corona crisis and other domestic issues would drain away any serious attention to the Palestinians.
Harris is hopeful that if Abbas is succeeded by friendlier officials like Salam Fayyad and Mohammed Dahlan, that Palestinian thinking on reaching a deal with Israel could be refreshed.
However, these individuals would not be on Abbas list for a successor and Harris said that it was unclear if the five or so top contenders would be more flexible in reaching a deal.
Another key issue to keep an eye on is security coordination with the PA.
Though Abbas has surprisingly reduced security coordination with Israel more than expected to show his anger with current Israeli-US positions on the Palestinians, Harris said that the PA has been meticulous to stop or warn Israel about any terror operations.
He said this is a core PA interest so that Israel does not accuse it of being connected to terror which could lead to another cleaning house operation like during the Second Intifada.
Instead, reduced cooperation has led to problematic incidents such as where the PA police were chasing a Palestinian car thief near the Israeli settlement of Hashmonaim.
Israeli forces arrested the PA police, though they were doing nothing wrong, because the PA did not coordinate the chase and any incursion into Israeli areas.
They know he’s a crook....................
Palestinians were never particularly important to the Arab world other than as a weapon to be used against Israel. Witness the refusal of most nations other than Jordan to grant citizenship. And their expulsion from Kuwait and Iraq. With the rise of an Iranian/terror threat they're no longer of any benefit.
Great! Maybe they are getting tired of fighting each other and the rest of the world.
There was never a state called “Palestine” to be liberated.
There was a region where Syria stuck the people even they didn’t want to deal with...
Abbas is a big time liar and thief (and mass murderer, if anyone in the media cares).
But it is the entire Fakestinian bullsheit script, Big Lie story that’s irrelevant. While their fellow Muslims tried for many years to help them, the basic problem of their continued Occupation of Israeli lands needs to be resolved. The money that’s been given them has been poured down a sewer, wasted on a false and ignoble “cause.” The Muslim countries are not stupid, they realize they’ve been taken advantage of (ripped off) for nothing. Their Korans instruct them that their god has given the Jewish Promised Land to the Jewish People, not to PLO, Hamas, Hezballah, or any of the other Fakestinians. Supporting and funding the Fakestinians goes directly against Allah’s express instructions for the land of Israel. Sincere Muslims don’t want to spent an eternity suffering in Jahannam (Hell). They’re cutting the Fakestinians loose. (Some of them still mouth “support for the cause’ but face-saving and of little avail.)
That has been apparent since 2000, when Clinton brokered deal that got the Palis 95%+ of the West Bank and Gaza, but Arafart turned it down and went back to war. And got even richer.
Fluent in Arabic and Arab culture, he cited a famous Arabic saying, roughly translated to mean, "If I and my uncle are up against a stranger, I am with my uncle. But if I and my brother are up against my uncle, I am with my brother."
Iranian chief terrorist Soleimani was a buttplug. Our President's ordering of that enema showed we meant business and could be counted on, and helped clarify a lot of thinking. Alas, Erdogan is the mini-me version of Soleimani, and will continue in power, playing the role of a common threat. Once that role is no longer needed, he'll be removed, ideally by the Turks themselves.
“a series of normalization deals with Israel, with Qatar, Sudan and others potentially on the way.”
Excuse me, but that would have huge implications for the support they give to the Muslim Brotherhood, and its local affiliate, Hamas.
That would bring Qatar in from the cold, and back into the fold with the other Gulf Cooperation Council countries - and mark a Strategic success for the Trump Administration’s drive to cut off ideological and financial support for islamist terrorist movements.
Qatar, and/or Saudi Arabia, would be some truly seismic shifts in the region.
I have heard it said that the Clinton Peace Deal(s) didn’t work, because both sides kept getting what they wanted from the status quo - Palestinians got foreign aid to plunder, and Israelis kept gradually accumulating land.
A real deal has to be based on a correct understanding of what is most important to the parties involved.
“Erdogan is the mini-me version of Soleimani, and will continue in power, playing the role of a common threat. Once that role is no longer needed, he’ll be removed”
From your keyboard, to God’s eyes...
It sure has worked out to Israel's benefit, however.
Qatar is the worst basket of snakes in the Islamic world, in part because it has so much money, but also it's a small place with Iran just a few sea miles and air miles away. They'll do anything, anytime, as long as the money's right and someone else can be blamed.
“Qatar is the worst basket of snakes in the Islamic world”
That is saying a lot.
I wholeheartedly agree.
A real deal has to be based on a correct understanding of what is most important to the parties involved.
For a deal to be real, it has to be negotiated in good faith. The jihadists aren't interested in good faith, negotiations, or anything but bloodshed, genocide, and their own corrupt power seeking.
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