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January 29, 2010: Where Is It Going?

May 10, 2010

I don’t know that anyone but Khaled Abu Toameh could have quite pulled off this interview, which was an exclusive front page story in the Jerusalem Post today:

Fahmi Shabaneh was appointed four years ago as head of the Anti-Corruption Department of the PA’s General Intelligence Service and served until very recently.  Now he tells Abu Toameh that Hamas is very likely to take over the West Bank one day, as it did Gaza, because of the enormous corruption of the Palestinian Authority.

“Had it not been for the presence of the Israeli authorities in the West Bank, Hamas would have done what they did in the Gaza Strip,” Shabaneh said. “It’s hard to find people in the West Bank who support the Palestinian Authority. People are fed up with the financial corruption and mismanagement of the Palestinian Authority.”

Shabaneh explained that Abbas has surrounded himself with the same corrupt officials who once worked for Yasser Arafat, Abbas’s predecessor.  Many in the West Bank have given up hope that reform of the PA will ever come.

Shabeneh gave several examples of what he alleges to be the corruption of the PA and Fatah (which is the major party of the PA).  Perhaps most startling was his charge that when the US gave a donation of $3.2 to Fatah ahead of the 2006 Palestinian Authority legislative election (which was ultimately won by Hamas) so that the party could improve its image, Fatah personnel stole much of it.

See the entire story here:



As is often the case in the winter before Shabbat, time is short.  We will return to other matters shortly.  But here I want to request that all US citizens contact their Congresspersons and Senators about this report.

Give the URL and a very brief synopsis. Then explain that this exceedingly corrupt regime is the one that the Obama administration wants Israel to negotiate with.  Point out that, first, the PA does not represent the Palestinians living in the West Bank  — Mahmoud Abbas has no legitimate constituency. And then, that if the IDF pulls out, as the Obama administration wishes, the PA is exceedingly likely to collapse.  This will not only be bad for Israel and for peace in the Middle East, it will have negative repercussions for the US, which will look very foolish for having promoted this.

For your Congresspersons: 


For your Senators: 



Additionally, please share this information very broadly, so that it can be understood what a dangerous and foolish idea Obama is promoting.  People are more likely to sit up and take notice because it is a Palestinian who was involved with the PA who is sounding the warning.  

Use this information to write letters to editors, as well, and place it on blogs. 


Information I am receiving is that Obama would rather act like he knows what he’s doing, in defiance of the evidence staring him in the face, and be a one-term president, than modify his perspective and regain electoral popularity.  (We will leave questions of his motivation, about which several readers have written to me, aside.) 

See, for example, Anne Bayefsky, who has written in “Dangerous Weakness” in National Review Online: 

“President Obama’s message in the State of the Union address confirmed that he is tone-deaf to the grievous threats that exist to American national security and incapable of changing course before those dangers become a terrible reality.”

Thus, there is no reason to believe he can be convinced of the foolishness of his program for promoting “a two-state solution.” 

The hope lies with Congress and grassroots reaction.


Tomorrow is Tu B’Shvat.  I had a rare occasion yesterday to ride through some back roads in the hills of Jerusalem. The almond trees, the earliest, are in bloom, and everything is delightfully green because of recent rains.  A blessing.




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