The Palestinian Authority has not been known as a voice of moderation, having recently called it a crime not to teach school children to demonize Jews, glorify terror and become “martyrs.”
But a prominent Palestinian journalist, ‘Abd Al-Bari ‘Atwan, who writes for the daily Rai Al-Yawm, contends it’s time to get rid of such a soft and ineffective ruling party, so that Israel can be made to pay “more dearly in money and lives.”
The Middle East Media Research Institute said Atwan’s criticism came after the U.S. announced it is moving its embassy to Jerusalem in May to coincide with Israel’s 70th anniversary.
Atwan complained “of the feeble Arab responses to the U.S. administration’s previous moves.”
He said President Trump was right to assess that Arab rage over the decision to move the embassy would be short-lived.
MEMRI said ‘Atwan slammed the Palestinian Authority and the Arab states for continuing their normalization with Israel and even accelerating it recently. And the writer called on the Palestinians to step up their resistance against Israel and to dissolve the PA.
He said the current events are an “Arab disgrace” and it’s “the worst and most humiliating period [for the Arabs], which makes [even] the loss of Andalusia pale in comparison,” referring to what is now southern Spain.
He complained “the Palestinian security forces did not stop their security coordination [with Israel], but actually increased it and played a central role in providing information to their Israeli counterparts that contributed significantly to the assassination of the martyr Ahmed Nassar Jarrar, the commander of the cell that killed the Israeli rabbi in the settlement near Nablus.”
Atwan said the decision of the Hamas movement and Palestinian Islamic Jihad not to participate in the PA Central Committee meeting was correct and reflected an accurate reading of the PA position.
“However, [their decision] was not effective, since it was not accompanied by practical, deterring measures, first and foremost stopping the spreading of reciprocal lies [touting] the so-called ‘reconciliation,’ increasing popular protests against both the PA and Israel, and understanding the encroaching dangers.”
Atwan called an energy agreement between Israel and Egypt a grave sin.
“The Egyptians signed the gas agreement of the century with the occupation state, to the tune of $15 billion for a ten-year period,” he said. “[This deal] made Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu dance with joy, and not only because of its immense [monetary] value and its significance in terms of normalization [between Israel and Arab countries], but also because the Egyptian regime has assumed the task of marketing the surplus Israeli gas, stolen [from the Palestinians], to [other] Arab countries and to Europe.”
He said Jordan’s ruling Hashemite family “might have been expected to assume religious guardianship over occupied Jerusalem and the holy Muslim and Christian sites there – its government reopened the Israeli embassy [in Amman], on the pretext that it had received an Israeli apology for the deaths of three Jordanian citizens and a commitment [from Israel] to bring [those responsible] to justice.”
“However, it later emerged that there had been no apology and the Israeli murderers are still at large.”
Atwan complained about any “expression” of normalization between Arab countries and Israel, and said there’s really only one solution.
“The PA’s shameful and embarrassing responses on the first day following [Trump’s] decision to move the [U.S.] embassy [to Jerusalem] is the main factor [that led] to the provocative and humiliating steps that ensued, the last of which was a huge prize for the occupation state, [namely the announcement] that the inauguration of the American Embassy [in Jerusalem] will take place in three months’ time, on the day marking the Palestinian Nakba,” or “catastrophe,” referring to how the Palestinians view the establishment of Israel.
“What will President ‘Abbas do and how will the PA react to this slap in the face, apart from [making] more declarations and [voicing] more condemnations whose words we already know by heart? Will he dissolve the PA? This seems unlikely. Will he announce the disbanding of the Palestinian security services and the cessation of security coordination [with Israel]? He doesn’t have the guts. Will he ignite the spark of the second armed intifada? That is an impossible step for a man who has always gambled on negotiations, and has [now] started to play the role of a travel agent, exhorting Arabs and Muslims to normalize [relations with Israel] and visit occupied Jerusalem,” he wrote.
“[It’s time for] the Palestinians to regain their prestige and the prestige of their cause, escalate their resistance to the occupation, causing [it] to pay more dearly in money and in lives, and begin their resistance by getting rid of the PA and its ideology of surrender. Only then will Trump and his Israeli allies understand their mistake and regret their provocative and outrageous policy,” ‘Atwan wrote.