Topic:

Palestinian Authority

The Three-State Solution

Given Gaza’s sharp deterioration over the past 25 years – first under the PA’s rule (1994-2007), then under Hamas’s control – it is time to consider a new paradigm for resolving the Strip’s endemic predicament, and by extension the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. That paradigm could entail a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and northern Sinai, from Rafah to El-Arish, with the latter territory leased to the Palestinians on a long-term basis.

The Palestinian Authority Joins the Chemical Weapons Convention

The recent admittance of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) borders on the absurd. The PA has no access to chemical weapons technology and is not threatened by chemical weapons. Nor did it ever condemn the Halabja chemical weapons massacre of Iraqi Kurds by Saddam Hussein’s regime in 1988 or the multiple chemical weapons assaults on civilians by Bashar Assad’s regime during the Syrian Civil War. If anything, the PA’s admittance to the OPCW is another step in the Palestinian campaign to win recognition from international organizations that can then serve as additional fora through which to censure Israel. Next, the PA might attempt to be accepted as a member of international nuclear organizations and conventions.

DEBATE: Would a Change in Palestinian Authority Leadership Affect the Peace Process?

Q:   In 2005, Mahmoud Abbas was elected to a four-year term as president of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Thirteen years later he remains in the position without having held any further elections. While the date of his departure cannot be predicted, scenarios for the new leadership of the PA are already being examined. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: Would a change in the PA’s leadership affect the peace process?

The Test of the March of Return: Violence in the West Bank

| April 9, 2018

The real test of Hamas’s March of Return campaign in Gaza lies in its ability to mobilize mass violence in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron, and other parts of the West Bank. So far, most of the Arab inhabitants of those areas are content to watch the events on their screens rather than in the streets while confronting Israeli troops.

DEBATE: Can Mahmoud Abbas Achieve Anything in Europe?

| March 22, 2018

Following the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by US President Donald Trump, President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas is counting on the EU to support his cause. In his January 2018 meeting with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, he was assured “of the firm commitment of the EU to the two-state solution, with Jerusalem as shared capital of the two states – the State of Israel and the State of Palestine”. However, it remains questionable whether the EU has the necessary gravitas to play a catalytic political role in the peace process. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: Can Mahmoud Abbas achieve anything in Europe?

Narendra Modi’s Visit to Ramallah

| February 18, 2018

During Indian PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July 2017, India finally ended its long practice that dignitaries who visit Israel must also travel to the Palestinian-controlled territories. On February 10, 2018, he conducted a landmark visit to Ramallah, the first such visit by an Indian PM – and did not visit Israel. This “de-hyphenation” of Israel-Palestine reflects Modi’s pragmatic and sensible approach to relations with the two entities.

Reading Palestinian Responses to Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration

| December 8, 2017

The PA and Hamas are hopeful that unorganized Palestinian youth will mobilize against President Trump’s declaration acknowledging that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. A groundswell from the streets would preclude the necessity for the two organizations to actively take the lead. However, the readers of al-Quds, the Palestinian silent majority, are loath to sacrifice their sons on behalf of the warring factions.

The Rami Hamdallah Compliment: IDF Policy Towards the Palestinians Proves Its Value

| July 23, 2017

Measured IDF policy towards the Palestinians does not reflect leftist leanings in the IDF high command or fear of the ICC. The main driver of IDF policy is a sensible cost-benefit analysis. The benefits of a much harsher line, in terms of reducing the current occasional pattern of violence, are uncertain, but the costs would certainly be high – not least in terms of opportunities to boost Israel’s relations with key players around the world. These considerations have now withstood the test of the dramatic events on the Temple Mount, and proved as relevant as ever.

Abbas Will Never Walk the Walk of Peace

| July 15, 2017

Thanks to his struggle against Israel, Mahmoud Abbas is a political superstar. Many heads of NATO states can only dream of his access to great leaders. As long as Abbas does not make peace with Israel, he meets US presidents with almost the same frequency as the prime minister of Great Britain. If he does make peace, he might suffer the fate of Jordan’s kings, who meet the US president far less after having signed the Israel-Jordan peace treaty than they did before.

The Day After Abbas

| June 14, 2016

Lectures delivered (in Hebrew) at a June conference on “The Day After Abbas: Wither the Palestinian Authority?” The conference dealt with the expected battle for succession in the PA, Israel’s diplomatic dilemmas, and likely international scenarios.