Israel Protects the Palestinian Authority from the Islamist Wave

(Weekly Standard) Reuel Marc Gerecht - Not long ago, I asked a Fatah official how long he thought the Palestinian Authority could survive if Israel stopped supporting its security apparatus. I suggested one month. He replied: "We could probably last two." The truth is that the Palestinian Authority can exist as a non-Islamist polity only if Israel protects it. If the Jews pull back, then the militant Muslim faithful will probably wipe away the secular Palestinian elite of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Israelis are providing West Bank Palestinians with protection from the ongoing implosion of the Muslim Arab world. The Israelis rarely take credit for maintaining Fatah's supremacy (which would further vitiate the group's legitimacy), while the Palestinian Authority lambasts the Israelis for a wide variety of sins. Yet Israel's presence on the West Bank, however offensive it may be to Muslim sensibilities and pride, is the only power that has given some stability, structure, economic vitality, and flashes of free speech to Palestinians. The writer, a former CIA case officer in the Middle East, is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

2017-01-09 00:00:00

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