Thomas Friedman wades into the Israeli post-election fray.
You cannot win that dirty and just walk away like nothing happened. In the days before Israelis went to the polls, Netanyahu was asked by the Israeli news site, NRG, if it was true that a Palestinian state would never be formed on his watch as prime minister, Netanyahu replied, “Indeed,” adding: “Anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state, anyone who is going to evacuate territories today, is simply giving a base for attacks to the radical Islam against Israel.”This makes null and void his speech in June 2009 at Bar Ilan University, where Netanyahu had laid out a different “vision of peace,” saying: “In this small land of ours, two peoples live freely, side by side, in amity and mutual respect. Each will have its own flag, its own national anthem, its own government. Neither will threaten the security or survival of the other.” Provided the Palestinian state recognizes Israel’s Jewish character and accepts demilitarization, he added, “We will be ready in a future peace agreement to reach a solution where a demilitarized Palestinian state exists alongside the Jewish state.”
I do not actually see that it does contradiction Netanyahu’s Bar Ilan University speech. Netanyahu was quite clear on his vision on what it took to make a two state solution possible. And as of today, the Palestinian Authority is in the midst of a full-scale meltdown in the West Bank. You probably don’t know that, only because it gets very little play in the world media. Dateline March 10, 2015:
The West Bank is witnessing unprecedented security tensions. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has been arresting Hamas activists and partisans of ex-Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan, and armed clashes between the youth and security officers have taken place.
Al-Monitor was able to secure a copy of the statement issued by one of Fatah’s organizational structures close to Dahlan, which read: “The PA arrested more than 20 supporters of Dahlan and attacked the offices of the Gaza members of parliament who live in the West Bank.”
During an interview with Al-Monitor, Hamas spokesman Hossam Badran called for “ending the PA’s violations and the political arrests targeting Hamas, among others. The PA is fighting each patriotic person and pursuing those who resist occupation.”Maj. Gen. Adnan al-Damiri, spokesman for the PA’s security apparatus, accused Israel, Hamas and Dahlan on Feb. 16 of conspiring together to stir chaos in the West Bank by forming groups to end the PA’s presence and get rid of President Mahmoud Abbas. But what he described as “the Gaza coup” — meaning when Hamas took control of Gaza in mid-2007 — will not happen again, he said.
The security developments in the West Bank are not limited to a pursuit here and an arrest there. The PA is concerned about a local, regional and international scenario to turn Abbas’ page, given his multiple disputes with everyone, from Hamas to Dahlan and Israel. Fatah spokesman Osama al-Qawasmi said the PA seems to believe that these rivals might unite their interests temporarily to get rid of Abbas.Abbas cannot be envied for the situation he's in. He is fighting along several fronts, be they internal, with Hamas and Dahlan, or external, with Israel. Perhaps if he had resorted to a strategy to solve crises instead of fueling them — by withholding the Hamas employees’ salaries, pursuing Dahlan’s supporters in the West Bank and freezing the latter’s money in the Gaza Strip — he would not have been under these threats, as his partisans call them.Fatah and parliament member Alaa Yaghi, who's close to Dahlan, warned on Feb. 27 of the deterioration of the security situation in the West Bank if the PA’s security campaign persists. The situation will worsen, just like the incidents in Gaza that led to the division in 2007. He said the security campaigns in the West Bank are based on a conspiracy theory and on spreading rumors that a huge network is attempting to stage a coup against the PA.In the same context, a high-ranking official who frequently visits the PA’s headquarters, told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity about “simmering deliberations between senior Palestinian officers against the backdrop of growing tensions in the West Bank. Some of the PA’s high commands are deeply concerned about the recent behavior of some senior officers with Abbas.”
Go read the rest, but it just not the Al-Monitor reporting.In a phone interview from Ramallah, the official said: “Abbas received information stating that some high-level security officials are reporting to the US and Israel the details of the political steps he intends to take. Upon receiving these reports, the US and Israel warn him of the danger of taking such steps.”However, Ismail al-Ashqar, Hamas leader and chairman of the Palestinian Legislative Council's Security Committee, told Al-Monitor: “Abbas is to blame for the security chaos in the West Bank as it is in a state of loss and devastation. This could be a systematic sort of chaos that the PA is practicing to prevent Palestinians from defending themselves from the occupation’s soldiers.”
Mahmoud Abbas is an old man who is the midst of a bitter fight within Fatah for control that plays out on the West Bank streets. Once again, the Palestinian Authority threatens to end security cooperation withIsrael, but security cooperation is a two-way street.
If the Palestinian Authority were to make good on their threats of ending security cooperation with Israel, it would not be Israel who paid the ultimate price. In fact, without Israeli intel warning Abbas of the continued plots against his rule, well, the Islamists would completely co-opt and control the Palestinian narrative, and that is the narrative the Israeli Prime Minister rejects being created on his door step.