OpinionIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

The perils of a ‘revitalized’ Palestinian Authority

Any government that does not renounce terrorism and accept Israel’s right to exist will only perpetuate the conflict.

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas at a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Ramallah, May 25, 2021. Credit: Flash90.
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas at a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Ramallah, May 25, 2021. Credit: Flash90.
Danny Danon
Ambassador Danny Danon is a senior member of Knesset and chairman of World Likud. He previously served as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, minister of science and technology and deputy minister of defense.

The world is now contemplating the future governance of Gaza in the aftermath of the horrific Oct. 7 massacre and ensuing war. In particular, the international community has pushed for the installation of a “revitalized” Palestinian Authority as the government of Gaza, in addition to areas of Judea and Samaria.

The P.A.’s long history of violence and tacit endorsement and glorification of terrorism raises significant doubts about the feasibility of this proposal.

To date, neither P.A. chief Mahmoud Abbas nor any of his leadership team have condemned the Oct. 7 massacre. Worse still, captured Hamas terrorists who slaughtered innocent civilians on Oct. 7 are receiving stipends for life from the P.A. as compensation for their atrocities. Equally disturbing are the numerous polls that show a consistent majority of Palestinians support the massacre and Hamas.

None of this should be shocking. For decades, the P.A. has paid such stipends to terrorists as part of what is often called its “pay-for-slay” policy. For just as long, it has legitimized and incited terrorism through its educational system.

Both of these policies perpetuate bloodshed. They have caused shootings, stabbings, bombings, vehicular attacks, arson and the destruction of thousands of acres of land. Innocent Israeli civilians and their livelihoods have been targeted with impunity. Three recent terror attacks in Israel over just the past month were perpetrated by members of the P.A.’s own security forces.

The P.A.’s recent announcement of a new government, undertaken at the behest of the international community, might seem like a step towards stability. A closer look reveals disturbing truths. Key figures in the proposed government explicitly support terrorism and espouse virulent antisemitism.

Muna Al-Khalili, the P.A.’s newly appointed minister of women’s affairs, has openly praised deadly terror attacks, glorifying the perpetrators as heroes. Just three weeks after the Oct. 7 massacre, Al-Khalili emphasized “the right of the Palestinian people to resist.”

Muhammad Mustafa Najam, the new minister of religious affairs, has referred to Jews as “monkeys and pigs” and endorsed anti-Jewish violence. Several other ministers also champion terrorist ideologies, deny the legitimacy of Israel as a sovereign state and question the humanity of Jews.

These appointments underscore the P.A. leadership’s systemic antisemitism and discrimination against Jewish people and the Jewish state.

It is crucial for the international community to hold the P.A. accountable for its actions, particularly in the aftermath of Oct. 7. It should not pursue the failed path of rewarding terrorism. Genuine and substantive reform must be demanded as a prerequisite for any further engagement. Ending terrorism entirely and publicly acknowledging Israel as a legitimate neighbor are basic requirements for any meaningful and enduring peace.

Without addressing these fundamental conditions, peace efforts will remain futile, regardless of any superficial changes in rhetoric or policy.

The P.A. leadership, including the new “revitalized” government, has shown itself incapable of meeting these standards. It is time for the international community to acknowledge this reality. Gaza deserves better than leaders who glorify violence and perpetuate division.

At the very least, we owe it to the victims of terror past and present, and to our brave soldiers, to reject any government that condones or rewards terror. Our people’s sacrifices must not be in vain. The road to peace is fraught with challenges, but it begins with a firm rejection of terrorism and a commitment to justice and accountability.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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