The other day Eitam and Na’ama Henkin were shot to death by Arab terrorists in front of four of their children, in Samaria not far from the place where five members of the Fogel family were brutally butchered in 2011.
The Henkins’ murderers haven’t been caught yet, but we know a lot about who they are. This is something we should talk about, because in a very real sense, many of you – Israelis, Americans and Europeans – are paying them.
“Credit” for the “operation” was claimed by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades (via Palestinian Media Watch):
Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud Al-Aloul posted:
“The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement Fatah, accepted responsibility for the Itamar operation (i.e., murder of Eitam and Naama Henkin), carried out against settlers, leading to their deaths.”
[Official Facebook page of Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud Al-Aloul, Oct. 1, 2015]
So who are these creatures?
First, you need to understand that ‘Palestinian’ political groups have their own private armies. This probably sounds strange to you; it would be as if the US Republican Party had a militia that went around shooting people suspected of being Democrats and fighting with the Democrat militia. But that’s the way it has always been among the ‘Palestinians’.
The Al-Aqsa Brigades belong to Fatah, the party of Yasser Arafat, now led by Mahmoud Abbas. Fatah are the folks that brought us the Munich massacre and other bloody murders.
At the risk of confusing you, I have to bring in two other organizations: the PLO, an umbrella organization for ‘Palestinian’ groups, and the PA – Palestinian Authority – the official ‘government’ of the Arabs of Judea and Samaria.
In 1993-4, when the Israeli government made the historic mistake of signing the Oslo agreements, it agreed to recognize the PLO as the ‘representative of the Palestinian people’ and to establish the Palestinian Authority to temporarily govern the Arabs of the territories. Arafat was the first PA president. Since Arafat’s death in 2004, Abbas has been president, although his term expired in 2009.
The PA is in essence the PLO, and the PLO is dominated by Fatah. Abbas is the head of Fatah, the Chairman of the PLO, and the President of the PA.
The murderers of the Henkins belong to the private army that answers to Mahmoud Abbas. And Mahmoud Abbas’ PA receives about $400 million in aid from the US alone, as well as donations from the European Union and other countries. It gets money from the UN’s special Palestinian-only refugee agency, UNRWA, for ‘refugees’ living in Judea and Samaria. Many non-governmental agencies funnel cash into projects run by the PA. Israel collects customs duties for goods entering the country for use in the PA areas and transfers this money to the PA. The PA also has a massive debt to Israel for electricity.
The overall total comes to more than a billion dollars a year, leaving out the large sums that go to UNRWA facilities in Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas.
Much of the funding goes to ‘security forces’ whose job is – please don’t laugh too hard – to ‘fight terrorism’. Many of the ‘security officers’ moonlight in the Al-Aqsa Brigades. It’s a protection racket, except that we aren’t protected. I must also mention that with all the ‘security forces’ it has, the PA has to depend on the IDF to protect it from Hamas.
In addition, the PA maintains Arafat’s incitement and anti-Jewish indoctrination machine. Arguably the murder of the Henkins was a direct result of incitement by Abbas himself.
Periodically there are calls to cut funding to the PA because so much of the aid is stolen by corrupt officials and because the PA continues to pay salaries of terrorists in Israeli prisons. But it never happens, because it is argued that if the PA collapses, then unless Israel takes over, Hamas or even ISIS will come in – and that would be much worse.
Israel really, really doesn’t want to be responsible for the welfare of the Arabs of Judea and Samaria, and that’s understandable. In a real sense, the PA areas aren’t presently ‘occupied’ by Israel, despite what the Arabs claim. And both sides like it that way.
I think we have to call the PLO’s bluff. Disband or destroy the private armies, remove the most corrupt officials (starting with Abbas), and cut aid by the amount that is being paid to prisoners. Force them to end the incitement. Will the PA dissolve itself and invite Hamas to take over – and incidentally, settle scores with the families that have supported the PLO/PA?
I don’t think so. I think self-preservation will prevent that. We won’t get a Zionist PA, but at least we can have a somewhat less murderous one.
Vic, if your suggestion were followed, it would for sure lead to all-out “Intifada III”. Abbas wouldn’t go down without a maximum fight. He’s old, in ill health, and has nothing to lose. He’d probably welcome the opportunity to go out in a blaze of gunfire, to be a big “martyr” for the “cause”.
That doesn’t mean I disagree with your suggestions, only that I would recommend that if something like what you suggest were to be implemented, it would have to be “eyes wide open”, with the expectation – and related planning – that there’d be no more PA at the other end of this….and Israel would have to take full responsibility for the Arabs living in J&S. This is going to have to happen eventually, or this crap is going to go on forever.
The Jordanian monarchy is under very grave threat. I’ve heard credible reports that the Kinglet’s entire immediate family has been relocated to New York City. They could fall at any time….and while the Israeli establishment is worried about this, there is great opportunity here. In the short term, this would be bad, if Israel’s longest border is with a newly destabilized, Islamized Jordan. But this is not 1967; while Jordan’s military is man-for-man, the most competent of perhaps any Arab army, it is still no match for Israel (and a much poorer and less technically advanced Israel handily defeated them back in ’67, too).
But the good news, if Jordan’s king falls, is that you can seize the Temple Mount. And, if the new Jordanian leadership is officially “Palestinian” in nature…you’ve now realized the “Jordanian option”, as it is called. Now, the Palis in J&S who don’t want to live under Israeli rule there have got a genuine “homeland” they can go to, right across the border. The dynamic will be not so different, in a broad sense, from what prevails today in Ireland. You’ve got an independent sovereign Irish state in the form of the Republic of Ireland, and you’ve got British-occupied Northern Ireland, and yes, there is local resentment against the latter, but the fact of the former reduces the impetus for any decisive action against the prevailing status quo.
I know I’m “nit-picking” a bit here, but the main point being: You just cannot have a “less murderous” PA. If – or perhaps I should say, “when” – you go after them, it is going to have go be for keeps, for all the marbles. And you should, when the time is right. When the King of Jordan is no more. Which may come about any time now.
Regarding another intifada: it may be starting already.
I do not think that there can be a “less murderous PLO.” The PLO has to go. But I am not sure the only alternative is that Israel takes full responsibility. The Arabs don’t want that either, so possibly the PA could continue without the PLO, or, for that matter Hamas. But the current situation is only getting worse.
Regarding Jordan: I think a Palestinized Jordan would be just as bad or worse (from Israel’s point of view) as an IS-ized one. They would turn the whole country into a base to attack Israel, invite Iranian ‘advisers’, etc. Remember, the Irish don’t want to destroy the UK and kill all the English.
Vic, on your last point above, that depends entirely on the kind of government they have.
But even if they are hostile, they now have a country…which takes the wind out of the sales of their main propaganda point they use against Israel, this idea that it is Israel that keeps them as a “stateless people”. Once they have their state, if they then use this to attack Israel, you proceed to beat the shit out of them as per previous state vs. state Arab-Israeli wars. Then, they are getting into the kind of fight that Israel does best. And they learn – as the Egyptians learned, as the Syrians learned – that this is not a good idea. In other words, the Palis having a state means Israel no longer has to say she’s sorry, you see.
As to Iran, this is why it is so important for Israel to take decisive action against Iran’s nuclear program, if this is still feasible. They need to be sent an unequivocal message that threatening Israel is bad for their health, regardless of who is sitting in the White House.