On the broader leadership spectrum, Netanyahu is seriously lacking. Abbas, however, is in negative digits even below the remarkable political ineptitude of Yasser Arafat. From attacking elementary schools and old men in wheelchairs to declaring his ‘alliance’ with Saddam Hussein during Gulf War #1, Arafat personally and routinely compromised any real hopes for Palestinians in order to sustain his own self-aggrandizing power.
Abbas, however, continues to present as Arafat political stupidity on super steroids. Other than Abbas’ increasingly desperate attempts to maintain his banana republic style neo-dictatorship, his incredibly corrupt PA leadership and be able to take up residence in the almost other worldly palatial ‘home’ office under construction for him, the tremendous harm he represents is much less to Israel but primarily to his own Palestinian citizens.
It is Abbas’ PA in combination with Hamas down the street who are a far bigger threat to any chance the Territories and its Palestinian citizens have for either even a limited or, ultimately, full statehood status.
It is the PA and Hamas alike who are brutalizing their own day to day in so many ways Israel can’t touch or stop.
It is Abbas and Hamas together who continue to provide cheap ‘feed’ and succor for the Israeli hard Right and Israeli Prime Minister to continue their own incredibly regressive and directionless practices both within Israel and, especially, towards those in the Territories.
It is Hamas and the PA who continue in their ill guided design to terrorize and disorient to include the stated intent by Hamas to ethnically cleanse Israel were they to suddenly evolve the power to do so. This, while Hamas keeps itself busy and in practice by butchering its own.
Herzog said yesterday that Netanyahu is ‘losing control’ of the Israel’s internal security. He is right. But Herzog then blew it by his referencing a prioritized need for still more and still harder legal punishment and harsher management of those committing these rapidly increasing single atrocities.
But these atrocities are also bi-directional and being perpetrated not only by those from the Territories to Israeli Jews but from Israeli Jews to those in the Territories. Any harsher legal punishment must absolutely and without question be equally dispensed whether it be violence by Palestinians towards Israelis or violence by Israelis towards Palestinians.
But more jail time all around will not effect change, stability or a secure future.
Change must occur within Israel and start by greatly cutting the political control and constant expansion by far right settlements and Haredi communities alike while identifying a real vision for Israel which recognizes that neither the Territories nor the Palestinians living there will be going away.
Abbas and the PA, Hamas and all of their regional and international sponsors, must similarly understand and recognize that Israel will most certainly also not be going away and, in this circumstance, really do continue to have much bigger and better guns. But indefinite acceptance, even encouragement of, mutual murder and destruction is neither leadership nor a vision for a stable future in any direction.
Abbas’ latest verbal nonsense and cheap performance art will be far more destructive and deadly to the West Bank and the legitimate aspirations of so many of his own citizens. And these are aspirations for which Abbas, himself, is ensuring abject failure while continuing to buoy the Israeli hard Right’s own political anal retention.
It is also those internationalists playing an immoral ‘all about Israel’ BDS card who remain a free operant. It these same internationalists who need to call down Abbas and Hamas alike. Unfortunately, many of the international BDS activists are far less concerned about the future of Palestinian citizens in the Territories but far more focused on undermining and compromising the State of Israel. Such a formula is not only presenting a lie but a lie which will sustain, rather than help reframe, the shared suffering.
Leadership and real vision by the Israeli government is critical towards helping to hugely deflate the agenda of so many of these internationalists just as it would Abbas’s deadly performance art and Hamas’ Charter alike.
If Abbas’ increasingly nihilistic, all-about-Abbas, deadly and ruminating histrionics blended with Hamas’ brutal destruction of Gaza and its pursuit of ethnic cleansing of Israeli Jews and were called down and change demanded, Netanyahu and Israel’s hard Right would also be forced by his own citizens to reframe towards a real and doable vision for Israel at the real risk of finally losing office.