Thursday, June 11, 2020

 

It is not completely clear that Netanyahu in fact will be extending Israeli law over sections of Judea and Samaria come July 1st. The voices coming out against the idea are coming out louder and in increasing numbers. Some of those opposed are from the right-wing in Israel as well. But what about the Palestinian Arabs? Are all of them opposed to the idea? The Algemeiner reports that Some Palestinians Voice Enthusiasm About Potential West Bank Annexation by Israel

While Palestinian Authority (PA) officials are warning of a wave of violence in response to the possible annexation of parts of the West Bank by Israel, at least a few Palestinians on the ground appear to be unconcerned.
The article itself is based on a report by Channel 13 (Hebrew). The report notes that unlike the days of Arafat, when the Arabs followed what Arafat declared to be the will of the people -- willingly or unwillingly -- things are very different with Abbas in charge:
When the Palestinian Authority wanted to clear the area, the citizens wanted work permits in Israel. When the United States moved the embassy to Jerusalem, the Palestinians promised a wave of violence and the public chose not to take to the streets. Now, for annexation, this abyss is as wide and big as it never has been. [Google Translate]
The quotes in the Channel 13 article epitomize this abyss.
"I am from the village of Jeba. I want the villagers to be happy. They are subject to the authority today and they want Netanyahu and no one else, they want an Israeli identity card." "It is better than a million times for Israel to be responsible for the entire territory. We are prepared to be under Israel's military shoes and not under Abu Mazen's head." "I do not want a state - I want money. Money is better than a state. All the Palestinian people want it. The authority has looted us and destroyed us."
This account, of a minimal reaction to the extension of Israeli sovereignty, is echoed in an article in Haaretz earlier this week, Palestinian Leadership Struggling to Rally Public Against Israeli Annexation:
On Monday, at the height of the blitz of interviews, Palestinian factions organized a demonstration in Manara Square in Ramallah against Israel’s plans to annex territories of the West Bank. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party and the Palestinian security forces had been asked to recruit people to attend the demonstration, but even these two powerful organizations were unable to whip up public enthusiasm to turn out. Barely 200 people showed up at the square. [emphasis added]
Even the usual spots where the media can usually rely on for getting a story on conflicts between Israel and the Arabs are disappointing:
On Tuesday, news photographers who had their fill of two hours of speeches at Manara Square turned their attention to the nearby Beit El checkpoint, which is known to be an area of friction where clashes can quickly develop between young Palestinians and Israeli soldiers, but no one cared to show up there either. “There isn’t even one picture to take,” one photographer groused. [emphasis added]
Times really are tough. Whether the lack of reaction is in response to the growing dissatisfaction with Abbas, lack of interest in Israel's proposed policy or even acceptance of the proposal -- the signs are there that the expected anger from the "Arab street" in the "West Bank" just is not there:
It’s not that Palestinians have forgone their dream of self-determination, independence and liberation and the end of the occupation. It’s just that Palestinians have gotten to a situation in which they no longer believe in anyone,” a longtime Fatah member remarked. “The disconnect between the leadership and the public is worsening, and what happened at Manara is a symptom of it.” [emphasis added]
That is according to Fatah. But go ahead and combine the quotes from the Channel 13 article, with a recent poll indicating the shrinking identification of Arabs in the territories as "Palestinian," where the percentage of Arabs identifying as "Palestinian" has gone down:
14.6% in 2017 (Shaharit) 14% in 2019 (972 Magazine) 7% in 2020 (Jewish People Policy Institute)
Do that, and it may be that the claims made by Abbas and the Palestinian Authority in their fear of 'normalization' are reflective of an increasingly minority view.

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