Those who think that Hamas and other Islamic groups do not have a strong presence in the West Bank are completely detached from reality. True, these groups are lacking in arms and ammunition in the West Bank, but they still enjoy broad public support among Palestinians.
The Egyptians are finally learning that terrorism is a double-edged sword, and that those who approve of terror activities will one day find themselves targeted by the same terrorists.
If Muslim fanatics cannot tolerate moderate and secular Muslims, why should they be expected to accept those who belong to other faiths?
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is now saying that he will resume his efforts in September to achieve, unilaterally, UN recognition of a Palestinian state. This time, however, Abbas says he will go to the General Assembly, where the Palestinians enjoy the support of more than 130 countries, with a request to recognize a Palestinian state as a non-member of the UN.
Palestinians who fled the fighting in Syria this week said that the some suburbs of Damascus were full of Al-Qaeda militiamen from a number of Arab countries. Others said that many fighters belonged to radical Salafi groups.
By meeting separately with Khaled Mashaal and Mahmoud Abbas, Mursi has created the impression that the Palestinians have two legitimate leaders. Even more, Mursi has put Mashaal on an equal footing with heads of state, thus granting legitimacy not only to the Hamas leader, but to his entire movement.
According to the Greek Orthodox Church in the Gaza Strip, at least five Christians have been kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam in recent weeks. In a rare public protest, leaders and members of the 2,000-strong Christian community in the Gaza Strip staged a sit-in strike in the Gaza Strip this week to condemn the abductions and forced conversions in particular, and persecution at the hands of radical Muslims in general.
The world has become used to hearing and watching stories about massacres against civilians in Syria. But until recently, almost all the victims were Syrian citizens.
Abbas is not interested in reaching any deal with Israel: he knows that such a move would require him to make concessions. Abbas knows that Israel will never give him 100% of his demands; that is enough for him to refuse to sign any historic agreement. Like Arafat, Abbas does not want to go down into history as the first Palestinian leader to make concessions, especially on sensitive issues such as refugees and Jerusalem.
In March last year, thousands of Palestinians, inspired by the "Arab Spring," launched their own protests in the West Bank to demand reforms, democracy, and regime change. But the Palestinian revolt was short-lived. Abbas's security forces, backed by Fatah thugs, attacked the young men and women who were protesting in the center of Ramallah, torching their tents and beating them with clubs and rifle butts.
Like many Arab countries, Lebanon has always been treating Palestinians as third-class citizens. Nearly half a million Palestinians live in Lebanon's 12 camps. Though born and raised in the country, they are denied political, economic and social rights.
In the short term, the Palestinian Authority may succeed in restoring law and order to areas under its control in the West Bank. But in the long term, its current clampdown will increase bitterness and frustration among a large number of Fatah gunmen and security officers who feel betrayed by Abbas.
Any land that is handed over to the Palestinian Authority would end up in the hands of Hamas.
The Palestinians have been radicalized to a point where it is almost impossible to talk about peace and coexistence with Israel. For Palestinians, the true heroes are suicide bombers who blew themselves up in cafes and buses, killing innocent civilians. Peace activists, human rights advocates, moderates, journalists and reformers have almost no say and are often denounced as "traitors" and a "fifth column."
Today, most of the anti-regime demonstrations throughout the kingdom are being initiated and led by Muslim Brotherhood supporters whose goal is to turn Jordan into an Islamic republic. Many Arabs feel that President Barack Obama's endorsement of the Muslim Brotherhood has emboldened the Islamists and increased their appetite to drive moderate and secular rulers out of the Arab world.
In many ways, the status quo seems convenient for Fatah and Hamas. Fatah has a mini-state in the West Bank and is benefiting from hundreds of millions of dollars that are poured by international donors on Salam Fayyad's government. Hamas, for its part, is happy that it has exclusive control over the entire Gaza Strip, which has been turned into an independent Islamic emirate.
Try $100 million.
At a time when many Western governments, the World Bank, and various international organizations are continuing to heap praise on the Palestinian Authority for implementing reforms, the deputy speaker of the Palestinian parliament, Hasan Khreishah, announced that financial and administrative corruption was now more widespread than ever.
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate wants Palestinian journalists to serve as soldiers on behalf of the Palestinian cause. Journalists, according to the syndicate, should first and foremost be loyal to their president, prime minister, government, homeland, and cause. As for the truth, it appears at the bottom of the syndicate's list of priorities.
If the Western journalists and donors continue to ignore the reality on the ground, the West Bank could soon fall into the hands of gangsters and armed clans, as has been the case in Jenin -- among the main reasons the Palestinian Authority collapsed in the Gaza Strip in 2007, speeding the rise of Hamas to power.