web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



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

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.

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.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

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

Current Top Story
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Indepth Stories
Eller-102414-Cart

I had to hire a babysitter so that I could go shopping or have someone come with me to push Caroline in her wheelchair.

Bills to restore the balance of power in Israel will be fought by the not-so-judicial left.

Widespread agreement in Israel opposing Palestinian diplomatic warfare, commonly called “lawfare.”

Chaye Zisel Braun

Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.

Peace Now Chairman Yariv Oppenheimer

The Israeli left, led by tenured academics, endorses pretty much anything harmful to its own country

We were devastated: The exploitation of our father’s murder as a vehicle for political commentary.

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Torah scroll which my family donated will ride aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

More Articles from Khaled Abu Toameh
Relatives of missing Palestinian migrants who were on boats that sank near Malta demonstrate in Gaza, Sept. 22, 2014

To flee Gaza, Palestinian migrants reputedly paid $1000s to Hamas officials and Egyptian smugglers.

Senior Hamas and Fatah leaders in Gaza City on April 22. Hamas and Fatah signed a deal to establish a unity government at that time but it has taken until October to set the government's first Cabinet meeting in Gaza.

Fatah: Hamas stole relief aid for Gaza and distributed it amongst its followers in mosques.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are actually fighting to “liberate Jerusalem and all Palestine.”

Hamas seems to have reached the conclusion that the reconciliation pact with Abbas will not do it any good.

The dispute over money between Hamas and Fatah shows that each group signed the reconciliation agreement for its own interests.

While they continue to hate Israel and seek its destruction, many Arabs admire the independence of Israel’s judicial system.

The Palestinian Authority has jailed more than 350 Arabs for “security” reasons in just 2014.

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: