Former Fatah senior Mohammed Dahlan was not present at the Bahrain conference, but his fingerprints were all over it from his efforts to gather financial aid for the Palestinian Authority.
Palestinian supporters of the former head of Fatah in Gaza, Mohammed Dahlan, hold posters depicting Dahlan (R) during a protest against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza City, Gaza, Dec. 18, 2014.
Two days prior to the June 25 US-led summit in Bahrain, finance ministers of the Arab League convened in Cairo at the request of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a bid to rescue the PA from collapse. The June 23 discussions produced a decision to provide the PA with $100 million in monthly economic aid, some of it as grants and some as loans.
Abbas’ appeal to the Arab League was likely intended to deflect some of the criticism directed at him within the PA for rushing to boycott the US economic plan presented in Bahrain, even though it would be wealthy Persian Gulf emirates offering most of the money and the aid would be provided through an international investment fund.
In the space of one week, the Palestinians have been deluged with an unbelievable bonanza: Tens of billions of dollars pledged in Bahrain and hundreds of millions in Cairo. Both groups also pledged infrastructure improvements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, new industries and trade, employment projects and even a transportation corridor connecting Gaza and the West Bank.
Abbas has long been the target of extensive criticism in the PA. Polls conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research indicate that most PA residents hope the 83-year-old leader will step down soon. Such sentiments are not voiced publicly, certainly not in the Palestinian media. Criticism of the president is taboo in the West Bank and those who dare express any could find themselves tarred as “enemies of the people” and risk imprisonment. Hints of displeasure with Abbas are found mostly on social media.
he only ones daring to express public criticism are those nicknamed “Jama’at Dahlan” or “the Dahlan band” — associates of exiled Palestinian leader Mohammed Dahlan, who has been living in Dubai since Abbas expelled him from the Fatah organization in June 2011. In exile, Dahlan has established aid funds for the Palestinians, raising most of the money in the Gulf states. His associates say that the ties he has formed helped Dahlan raise hundreds of millions of dollars used to rehabilitate refugee camps in Gaza and the West Bank, boosting his standing among wide swathes of the public, much to Abbas’ displeasure. Top PA officials claim Dahlan’s money is “tainted” and designed to establish an organizational infrastructure that will make him president.
The deteriorating economy has increased the persecution of Dahlan’s associates, and the more pressure Abbas’ security forces put on them, the more inclined they are to speak out. They feel they have nothing to lose and have to fight for their future and rightful place. They are so resentful of him that in conversations they never refer to Abbas by name, using instead defamatory nicknames.
“His ‘no’ policy will bring us down,” said one of Dahlan’s people who once worked for the Palestinian security forces in Gaza but fled when Hamas overthrew Fatah and took over the enclave in 2007. “We don’t agree with the alleged peace suggested by the unstable American president, either, but turning your back on the Gulf states that are willing to invest billions in easing the Palestinian crisis is an act of stupidity that could turn out to be a historic mistake. Abbas only cares about himself and his seat, not about the future,” he told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity.
Another associate of Dahlan who returned to Gaza after being beaten up by PA security forces, told All-Monitor that anyone who takes the trouble to do so can find Dahlan’s fingerprints all over the Bahrain conference. The source said on condition of anonymity that few know about his years of behind-the-scenes activities in the wealthy Gulf states, the ties he formed, the projects he led in Gaza and the West Bank. Dahlan’s involvement in the reconciliation between Hamas and Egypt and the funds he raised for the West Bank and Gaza in the Gulf “paved the way for mobilizing these countries’ active participation in the economic conference in Bahrain,” he said. Like his colleague, this member of Dahlan’s inner circle said, “One can argue with the diplomatic plan of the White House, but never say no to big money, especially since most of it comes from rich Arab states that believe something good can be done with it for the future of the Palestinians before it is too late.”
Abbas, he added, “decided to plead and raise money from members of the Arab League in order to divert criticism by his people, but experience shows that Arab League members make pledges they cannot keep. Who will give him money — Egypt? Jordan? Or maybe Yemen?” he asked. “Do they even have money for themselves? How will they give any to Abbas? After all, a promise was made in Bahrain to establish an aid fund for these very countries with whom he pleaded for money to save the PA. So can one rely on them to save the PA from collapse?”
Tensions between top PA officials and the Dahlan associates they consider subversives threatening the PA’s security are nothing new but have grown in light of the severe economic downturn in the PA. Abbas loyalists think Dahlan and his group are taking advantage of the situation and stirring up trouble because they smell impending chaos in the PA and are preparing the ground for their leader’s return. Even as the crisis expands and PA staff are not being paid in full, Dahlan is offering them more emergency aid. Thus, his people are gaining power and the needy seek their help. A kind word about them whispered in Dahlan’s ear could perhaps help and perhaps guarantee survival in these tough times.
The PA’s economic decline also greatly worries the Israeli political and security echelons. Israel has reportedly offered PA representatives various “creative solutions” to break the logjam created by Abbas’ determined refusal to accept funds that Israel owes the PA as long as Israel deducts from them the equivalent of the stipends paid to the families of terror attackers and jailed Palestinians. Both Israelis and Palestinians are well aware of the implications of a PA collapse. In addition to a projected increase in terror attacks and the security repercussions, Israel will have to provide massive humanitarian aid for residents of the West Bank while a war of succession is waged.
It is no secret that among those contending for Abbas’ seat, Israel favors Dahlan. He would not make life easy for the Israelis, but Israel is familiar with his pluses and minuses. For Israel, someone who used to head the Gaza counterterrorism forces, fought Hamas and met with the heads of Israel’s security agencies will be better placed than others to rebuild the PA left behind by the elderly and embittered president.
The US Treasury added three top Hezbollah figures to its list of sanctioned individuals on Tuesday, including two members of the Lebanese Parliament and a security official responsible for coordinating between Hezbollah and Lebanon’s security agencies.
It was the first time the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control had designated a member of Lebanon’s Parliament under a sanctions list that targets those accused by Washington of providing support to terrorist organizations. Washington has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
South African fans in Cairo celebrating their team’s win over Egypt at the African Cup of Nations. Photo: Reuters / Sumaya Hisham.
Three days after South Africa stunned the world of international soccer by knocking hosts Egypt out of the 2019 African Cup of Nations, the sound of elation remains clearly detectable in the voice of the team’s Jewish midfielder, Dean Furman.
“It was a fantastic victory, just fantastic,” Furman told The Algemeiner during a break in training on Tuesday, as South Africa prepared for its crucial quarterfinal game against Nigeria, another of the continent’s toughest sides, tomorrow.
Pieter van Oordt, left, with his brother, Roger, at the Israel
For the second time in recent history, a Dutch Christian organization dedicated to supporting Israel has gone head-to-head with the government. With their family tradition of belief in Israel that preceded the state of Israel by almost one hundred years, it seems unlikely that the van Oordts are about to back down, no matter what the odds.
Last month, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy made a request from the management of the Israel Products Center (IPC) to ensure they were in compliance with regulations adopted in 2015 by the European Commission requiring products made by Jewish owned companies in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, and sections of Jerusalem to be labeled in a manner indicating their origins.
Studies have shown that dairy cows contribute large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, caused by the organisms living in their microbiomes.
Genetically modifying cows may help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and feed world populations, a new study led by Prof. Itzhak Mizrahi of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev suggests.
“Our findings are both a major breakthrough for basic science and will have a positive impact on two major challenges facing the international community for the foreseeable future: climate change and food security,” Mizrahi said.
The decision by IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi to promote Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter reflects his future political aspirations.
Incoming Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi walks out at the end of a handover ceremony where he replaces Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Israel, Jan. 15, 2019.
Israel has its own version of Napoleon’s famous saying, “Every soldier carries a marshal’s baton in his pack.” In these parts, every general carries a prime minister’s baton — or at least that of a defense minister — in his pack
As Islamist Watch has pointed out many times before, Islam is enormously diverse – containing many competing schools of theology, schools of jurisprudence, sects, ethnicities, cultures and mysticisms. Islamism is also not a single force; it comprises dozens of (both) competing and collaborating radical ideologies.
One of the most intriguing divisions, then, within both American Islam and Islamism of late has been growing dissent over the question of liberalism.
Right after Trump’s inauguration, I ran an article about how incredibly fake the news coverage was about his inauguration. (Those reading my site know I’m not a big Trump fan, but credit where credit is due and calling fake where calling fake is due.) The media was nothing short of spectacularly fake in the news it contrived that week on CNN, the New York Times and the other major fake media, and they mostly got away with it.
It wasn’t condescension or contempt. Recent remarks by former Mossad head Shabtai Shavit reek of racism. That is the proper way to frame them, calling them anything else is letting him off easy. In its classic, formal sense, racism is when a certain social sector perceives itself as superior because of clear racial criteria. Shavit represents an updated version of racism that doesn’t require ethnicity or religion as proof of a defect – you can call it “essential racism.”
Little Napoleon Barak is going to save Israeli Democracy? What a bunch of claptrap Orwellian doublespeak.
Well let’s check out history. How well did the original Napoleon save France’s democratic revolution against the monarchy?
Hmm, if I recall he crowned himself emperor!
For years, the pundits have been telling us that Israeli democracy is in danger because of the Arab birthrate, or because of the Jewish nation-state law, or because of the debates over the powers of Israel’s High Court.
I wonder if they will recognize the danger posed by the 10 left-wing American Jewish organizations that have formed a new umbrella organization, the essential purpose of which is to undermine Israeli democracy.