A Palestinian community center in Hebron was attacked recently, while a Palestinian store in Nablus (Shechem) was shot up. Not a peep of protest out of the Obama administration or the United Nations however–because the attackers were all Palestinians.
In Nablus, a Palestinian gunman opened fire on a store owned by Jamal Hasiba, who is also the president of a local sports club. Hasiba said the attack may have been connected to the fact that he recently took part in protests “to bring about change in the Nablus municipality.”Intra-Arab violence is a regular feature of Palestinian society, but one which attracts little attention in the West, because it discredits the cause of Palestinian statehood. A “Palestine” rife with clan violence, shooting of political dissidents, and “honor killings” of women would not be a stable, peaceful neighbor for Israel–which is why supporters of the Palestinian cause are so reluctant to talk about this grim reality.
The latest Palestinian-on-Palestinian violence comes on the heels of several other overlooked developments that reveal what a Palestinian state would be like.
One was the cancellation of the scheduled elections for student councils at Palestinian universities. Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas canceled them after the first such election, at Bir Zeit University, resulted the Islamist Bloc winning 26 out of the 51 seats, while Abbas’s Fatah movement won only 19.
Democracy is not Abbas’s strong suit. He was first elected as chairman of the PA on January 15, 2005, for what was supposed to be a single four-year term. That term ended in January 2009, yet, more than six years later, Abbas is still in power and no further elections have been held.
Even the State Department –a longtime champion of the Palestinians– acknowledges practices by the Palestinian Authority regime which make it obvious that a Palestinian state would be a brutal fascist dictatorship. Some excerpts from the section on the PA in the State Department’s latest annual report on human rights around the world:
Freedom of the press? “PA security forces in the West Bank…continued to restrict freedom of speech and press…PA authorities arrested some journalists and bloggers who either criticized or covered events that criticized the PA and PA officials…There were numerous reports PA security forces harassed, detained (occasionally with violence), prosecuted, and fined journalists during the year.”
Access to the internet? “The PA…monitored e-mail and internet chat rooms. There were multiple instances in which the PA arrested or detained Palestinians because of their posts on social media.”
Freedom of assembly? “The PA…broke up selected protests and demonstrations during the year.”
Human trafficking? “No PA law specifically prohibits trafficking in persons, and reportedly small numbers of children and adults experienced forced labor conditions in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip…These children reportedly faced exploitation and harassment.”
Torture of prisoners? “Palestinian detainees held by PA security forces registered more than 168 complaints of abuse and torture…Despite the commitment by President Abbas to investigate reports of torture in the 2012 Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) report, the PA Ministry of Interior took no action during the year.”
If this is how Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority regime behave today, one can imagine the nightmare of fascism and brutality that would characterize the sovereign “Palestine” that they and their supporters are constantly demanding.
Mr. Korn, chairman of the Philadelphia Religious Zionists, is former executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent and the Miami Jewish Tribune.