Violence is Abbas’ way of distracting attention and seeking concessions from Biden

President Joe Biden is decided to reverse all the things President Donald Trump did — not least, what many Democrats take into account his misguided tilt toward Israel. Yet this week the world received a superb have a look at what overturning Trump’s insurance policies there means, with the eruption of recent clashes of violence in Jerusalem, new missile assaults and fires raging in south Israel.

Democrats are hard-pressed to dispute Trump’s historic achievement in brokering the normalization agreements between Israel and Arab nations, known as the Abraham Accords. But liberals despised his resolution to maneuver the US embassy to Jerusalem, his demand for accountability from the Palestinian Authority for supporting terrorism and his minimize of funding to UN businesses hopelessly biased towards the Jewish state.

They wished a return to an Obama-era “even-handed” strategy that may sign to the Palestinians that, as soon as once more, they’ve a pal within the White House. And Team Biden has been transferring in that path. The outcome: emboldened Palestinians, from their leaders on down.

For a number of days, Palestinians have resorted to violence within the streets of Jerusalem, supposedly over considerations concerning the mosques on the town’s Temple Mount and a controversial property dispute. The Biden administration responded in precisely the way its predecessor would not have: with statements calling for restraint on either side, plus a sign that it was taking sides within the property case in favor of the Palestinians.

The lawsuit entails Arabs who’ve been squatting in properties from which Jordanian forces evicted Jewish residents in 1948 once they invaded and sought to destroy the new child Jewish state. Since the town’s reunification within the 1967 Six Day War, Jews have sought to reclaim property by which Arabs have been dwelling for years with out possession rights or paying lease.

Israeli police use tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse Palestinians who were on guard Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Israeli police use tear fuel, rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse Palestinians who have been on guard Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Anadolu Agency by way of Getty Images

With Israel’s Supreme Court about to present a last ruling on the case, Palestinians try to ramp up stress to forestall the squatters from being evicted — by threatening to make the optics unhealthy and by offering a pretext for Palestinians to have interaction in violence.

That’s the context of the present violence, ginned up by the Palestinian Authority and its Hamas rivals. Both are additionally demanding that as Israel celebrates the anniversary of the town’s unification, Jews be prohibited from praying on the town’s Temple Mount, the holiest spot in Judaism in addition to the positioning of mosques which can be essential to the Islamic world.

All this has introduced down on Israel condemnations from politicians like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who each suppose it is “abhorrent” that Jewish property rights be revered in Jerusalem. It’s additionally sparked assorted moral-equivalence noises from the Biden administration.

“We call on Israeli and Palestinian officials to act decisively to deescalate tensions and bring a halt to the violence,” State Department spokesman Ned Price mentioned. “It is absolutely critical that all sides exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric.”

Meanwhile, let nobody be fooled concerning the greatest motive for the violence: Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas desires to divert attention from his resolution to postpone elections once more as he serves the seventeenth 12 months of the four-year time period to which he was elected in 2005. He fears defeat by the hands of Hamas or extra militant members of his personal Fatah Party.

Distracting Palestinians from the misrule and corruption of their leaders by fomenting hate towards Jews is an previous trick however a helpful one. Hamas’ firing of rockets into Israel, together with towards Jerusalem, and launching incendiary balloons within the south is its way of competing with Abbas.

When Americans fall for these techniques by condemning Israel, they aren’t selling a two-state answer (which Abbas and Hamas have confirmed they don’t need in any case). They’re simply validating rejectionism, and so making any risk of peace much more distant.

It’s no coincidence that this is occurring in 2021 moderately than on Trump’s watch. Abbas is hoping to leverage this violence to win concessions from Biden. But the president wants to know that the clashes and rockets are, at backside, indicators of Palestinians’ refusal to just accept Israel’s existence, not a necessity for a extra even-handed American coverage.

Washington wants to inform the Palestinians, as Trump did, that they need to cease the violence and settle for the truth of Israel. Biden’s ethical equivalence will solely lengthen the agony of Palestinians who’re once more being misled and betrayed by their leaders.

Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of

Twitter: @jonathans_tobin

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