web analytics
April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Political Persuasion, Palestinian Style

Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) masked gunmen.

Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) masked gunmen.
Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90

Share Button

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

The consequences in the long-term are disastrous: they embolden the radicals and help raise new generations of Arabs and Muslims on hatred and anti-Western sentiments.

Last week, Hussam Khader, a prominent Fatah activist, woke up to the sounds of gunfire outside his home in the Balata refugee camp in the northern West Bank.

Khader, a staunch critic of the Palestinian Authority leadership and government corruption, discovered when he walked out that his car and front door had been sprayed with more than 20 bullets.

Some of his terrified neighbors reported seeing masked gunmen fleeing the scene.

Although no group or individual claimed responsibility for the shooting attack, Khader has held Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas responsible.

Khader is convinced that Abbas or someone close to him wanted to send him a “warning message” — namely to keep his mouth shut.

This was the third attack of its kind against prominent Fatah representatives in the past 18 months.

A few weeks ago, unidentified gunmen opened fire at the car of Majed Abu Shamaleh, an elected Fatah legislator, outside his home in Ramallah.

A third Fatah official, Shami al-Shami, who is also an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was less fortunate. Last year, he was shot and wounded near his home in Jenin.

All three Fatah representatives have one thing in common; they represent the young guard of their faction and are known to be outspoken critics of the Palestinian Authority leadership.

Palestinians see the shooting attacks in the context of a power struggle between the old guard and young guard of Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction in the West Bank.

Headed by Abbas, Fatah’s old guard has always sought to block the emergence of a young leadership within the faction. So far, the old guard seems to have been successful in its efforts to maintain exclusive control over the Palestinian Authority.

This power struggle surfaced after the signing of the Oslo Accords, when Yasser Arafat and the PLO and Fatah leadership moved from Tunisia and other Arab countries to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Most young guard Fatah members still feel marginalized by Abbas and his veteran loyalists.

At the age of 78, Abbas feels no need to pave the way for the rise of new and younger leaders to power.

At this stage, he and his inner circle seem determined to maintain their tight grip on the Palestinian Authority, even if that requires dispatching masked gunmen to scare their critics.

This is perhaps why there is no “Palestinian Spring” in the West Bank. When a Palestinian sees masked gunmen shooting at the cars, homes and bodies of prominent Fatah figures, he or she will think ten times before uttering a word against Abbas or a senior Palestinian official in Ramallah.

Moreover, this is what is driving an increasing number of Palestinians into the open arms of Hamas and other radical groups.

Of course none of those who carried out the three attacks against the Fatah representatives was ever caught. And there is good reason to believe they will never be apprehended or brought to trial.

The reason? The attackers, according to Palestinians, are most likely members of the Palestinian security forces or Fatah’s armed wing, the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

It is one thing when Abbas uses Fatah gunmen to intimidate his critics, but it is a completely different story when he or any of his aides resort to the Western-trained and -financed security services to carry out shooting attacks.

A sign of how the Palestinian Authority leadership uses its security forces to intimidate critics was provided again this week when another Fatah operative, Sufian Abu Zayda, published an op-ed strongly denouncing Abbas’s “autocratic” governance.

Abu Zayda is also considered a representative of Fatah’s young guard.

His article enraged Abbas and his top aides in Ramallah. But instead of responding to the charges raised by Abu Zayda’s article, Abbas’s office issued a statement on behalf of the “Palestinian security establishment” threatening and condemning the Fatah representative.

“This statement is an assault on public freedoms,” remarked Abu Zayda. “It would have been preferable had the [Palestinian] security establishment tried to uncover the identity of those behind the shooting attacks instead of preoccupying itself with a political essay.”

Those who fund autocratic regimes apparently do not care about the long-term repercussions, so long as short-term stability can be secured. The consequences in the long-term are disastrous: they embolden the radicals and help raise new generations of Arabs and Muslims on hatred and anti-Western sentiments.

Share Button

About the Author: Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim, is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

One Response to “Political Persuasion, Palestinian Style”

  1. Thank you Mr, Abu Toameh, For you article I had the pleasure meeting you In Houston Synagogue, a few years ago, I appreciate your honest writings, and your courage, G-d bless you!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Who will he take to the dance?
It’s Prom Time, and Abbas Must Choose a Dance Partner – Israel or Hamas
Latest Indepth Stories
Al-Aksa Mosque was claimed to be the site from which Mohammed ascended to Heaven, but it was built nearly 50 years after Mohammed died.

Jerusalem only seems important in the Islamic world when non-Muslims control or capture the city.

Israeli police enter the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City to disperse stone-throwing Palestinian protesters.

Jordan’s king is adding fuel to the fire on the Temple Mount, blaming Israel for violence by Muslim Arab rioters.

Imam Suhail Webb who boasted his Muslim community persuaded Brandeis President Fred Lawrence to withdraw an invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

At Brandeis, much of what counts as Western civilization got cold feet and won’t stand with Hirsi Ali.

Text of anti-Semitic flyer distributed to Jews in Donetsk, Ukraine on Passover 2014.

But the lesson from this meditation is that hidden behind the anti-semitic act is the greatest light.

As support of their messianic dream, Halevi and Antepli approve dishonoring Hirsi Ali as a ‘renegade.’

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

More Articles from Khaled Abu Toameh
Acting Leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas (front left) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) in Ramallah, June, 2013

Kerry has literally been “begging” Abbas to agree to the extension of the peace talks.

US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and acting Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas meet, Dec. 5, 2013.

Abbas and the Arab leaders thumb their noses at U.S. conditions, instead they set their own.

Even if Abbas is forced — under U.S. Pressure and threats — to make concessions, the Palestinians will not “relinquish their rights.”

Palestinians are worried that Daesh terrorists will perpetrate atrocities against those who oppose their ideology and activities.

While in English Abbas was touting peace, in Arabic his officials were supporting “armed resistance” against Israel.

Kerry will now have to find a way to calm King Abdullah and his constituents before Jordan slips into civil war.

The Palestinians were unhappy with Kerry for being biased, now they are angry with Livni for daring to criticize Abbas.

The widespread support for “Hitler” [Jamal Abu al Rub] reflects the state of dissatisfaction with Abbas and his top aides.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/khaled-abu-toameh/political-persuasion-palestinian-style/2013/07/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: