Have Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu and Palestinian (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas been in bed together to their own mutual detriment?
While the analogy might be a bit distasteful, it certainly represents the gravity of the situation. It has been revealed that at the height of the Gaza ceasefire negotiations, Netanyahu and Abbas held a secret pow-wow in Jordan to discuss a variety of issues. This despite the Hamas-Fatah unity government, established against Netanyahu’s warnings; this despite Abbas’s repeated threats to accuse Israel of war crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC), and despite his insistence on demanding that the United Nations (UN) Security Council force Israel to retreat to the 1949 armistice lines, or to what Netanyahu has correctly referred to as “the indefensible 1967 borders”.
This cavorting with the enemy takes place on the backdrop of an unofficial building freeze imposed by Netanyahu on the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria (the so-called West Bank). It was recently announced that there has been a 76% drop in building starts in the Jewish communities of these heartland regions in the first quarter of 2014. This is not for lack of public desire or public demand for housing. While Netanyahu has been bending over backwards to provide “economic peace” through massive financial aid to the PA-controlled areas, thereby fattening the wallet of the average Arab resident in Judea and Samaria, many hundreds of Jewish families with many children are forced to remain for years in caravans, or two room no-frills trailer homes, due to the serious shortage of housing in the Jewish communities.
Yet the partnership continues. As Abbas repeatedly violates past agreements, such as the Oslo Accords, with his Hamas-Fatah unity government; as the PA continues to incite and to teach its children that Jews are Nazis; as Abbas repeatedly spits in his face, Bibi meekly wipes it off and then returns to the well-mannered, well-spoken Jew-hater for another civilized secret meeting followed by more public abuse of Israel.
It’s interesting to note that, according to the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research poll reported today by the Associated Press, if presidential elections were held today in the PA unity government, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh would receive a whopping 62% of the vote, while Fatah’s Abbas would receive a humiliating 32%. In an almost simultaneous poll of the Israeli public by Channel Two, rating Israel’s political leadership, it was reported that Netanyahu’s approval rating has plummeted down to – you guessed it – 32%.
Yes, Jewish history makes for strange bedfellows, but we have seen that those leaders who pander to Israel’s enemies or trade off parts of our God-given homeland, as if it’s a mundane part of a jigsaw puzzle, eventually lose power. As we approach Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, our traditional time of reflection and self-improvement, Netanyahu should pay close attention to this lesson of history and start thinking seriously about abandoning the PA snake as he continues his free-fall drop in public support. At least with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, there are no illusions. The entire political spectrum in Israel knows that they are the enemy. Such a shift wouldn’t just help Bibi politically, but would certainly be a wise and prescient move for the good of the nation. And that’s good politics.