The Palestinian Authority is a fundamentally disordered political regime. Earlier this year PA President Mahmoud Abbas, age 85, entered the
fifteenth seventeenth year of his four-year term. Abbas recently made news of a kind. He issued a decree calling for new parliamentary and presidential elections within the next several months. Barak Ravid has a brief Axios item with relevant background here (or here via Yahoo News).
Aaron Boxerman’s Times of Israel story circles around a relevant point: “Abbas has promised elections several times since his four-year term was supposed to have expired in 2009. However, repeated attempts to hold votes for president and parliament have failed, largely due to the inability of rivals Fatah and Hamas to agree to terms.”
Hamas rules Gaza without legal authority. Abbas and Fatah rule the remainder of the the PA without legal authority. There is no prospect that either will transform itself into a lawful or decent regime. Any election they hold will be for the benefit of the fools in the Biden administration running the foreign policy of the United States. See, for example, Benny Avni’s January 26 New York Sun column “Palestinians Greet A New President With an Old Trick.”
All this is old hat. My purpose this morning is to draw your attention to Mordecai Kedar’s BESA Center column “The Truth About Financial Aid to the Palestinian Authority.” Kedar’s column features the letter written by former terrorist Muhammad Aref Massad, who is now a candidate in the upcoming elections. According to Ynet News, Massad was a member Fatah’s armed group called “Black Panther,” whose gunmen carried out numerous attacks against Israelis during the First Intifada. He was arrested by the IDF and spent more than seven years in prison.
Massad’s letter addresses the voluminous foreign aid that runs through the Palestinian Authority. “His words are addressed mainly to two audiences,” Kedar explains, “—the Israeli government and the countries that contribute to the PA[.]” Here is his letter:
My name is Muhammad Aref Massad [and I am] from the village of Burqin, Jenin District, Palestine. I was born in 1975. I was recruited to the terror organizations when I was 13, and I fought boldly against the Israeli side, but to my sorrow I discovered that the Palestinian leaders do not want freedom and do not want peace because they profit from the war and destruction in which we are engulfed. The greater the number of fatalities among our people, the more attention they get from the free and good people in the world, and the world gives them large quantities of aid each time the pictures of destruction in our land are published worldwide.
I have decided to reveal to the world the crimes of the real terrorists who occupy the Palestinian people, none other than the Palestinian terror organizations that are fully on the payroll of the corrupt Authority.
If you really want the killing, the destruction, and the siege of the Palestinian people to stop, if you really want the injustice and the poverty of the Palestinian people to come to an end, please terminate your support for the Palestinian Authority, which is run by a corrupt and unelected dictator. Please ask your government not to send money to the Palestinian Authority. Your government sends us a great deal of money despite the fact that it would be better directed to poor people in your country.
Any sum you send to the Palestinian Authority and to the terror organizations furthers our poverty and our ruin.
Friend, do not be someone who furthers the killing, poverty, and destruction of our Palestinian people.
We are weak and our people are ruled by the corrupt Authority and the terror organizations.
We want freedom like the other peoples of the world, and we want to have an independent state and to live in peace and security, to develop our economy and build a good future for our children.
Our demands have been accepted by all the countries of the world, but the corrupt dictatorial Authority and the leaders of the terror organizations do not want peace for us because peace will not bring money to their pockets as war brings it.
Stop your support for the Palestinians because we have more money than you have, but it is in the hands of thieves and terrorists.
We have no need for your money, since this money kills our people. We have an economic infrastructure and a lot of money, and we will become one of the states that help needy countries after we put the dictator Mahmoud Abbas on trial and retrieve what the leaders of the corrupt Authority and the leaders of the terror organizations have stolen.
The killing, the hunger, and the destruction in Palestine will not stop unless you stop sending money to the Palestinians.
Any money that you send increases the power of the dictator, the terrorists, and the robbers who starve my Palestinian people.
Kedar places the letter in the context of the upcoming election in his column here. Aaron Boxerman, whom I cite above, notes another prospective candidate in the Times of Israel story “Palestinian prisoner Barghouti expected to nominate himself for PA presidency.”
Unlike Massad, Barghouti hasn’t renounced his murderous ways and still has a following among the subjects of the Palestinian Authority. “In a recent opinion poll,” Boxerman reports, “37 percent of those surveyed named Al-Barghouti as their preferred candidate. Hamas terror chief Ismail Haniyeh was the runner-up with 23 percent.”
The holding of the elections appears to be fully supported by key officials in the Biden administration: both those who favor the establishment of a Palestinian state because of their blind faith in the two-state solution, and those whose sympathies lie with Muslim Brotherhood organizations in the US and elsewhere. The latter group would see a Hamas victory in the PA elections as a desirable outcome.
Muhammad Aref Massad understands that a terrorist Authority has been set up alongside Israel that could give rise to a terrorist state. When will the policymakers in Israel, Europe, and the US understand this?
That is a good question, but what policymakers don’t understand this perfectly well?