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Arafat’s Next Successor Another Reason Why A Palestinian State Will Be A Disaster

The immediate release of terrorists incarcerated by Israel has remained a repeated demand by Hamas and recently, it added Barghouti to the list of those who must be freed.

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Barghouti has been a leading figure in Fatah for decades and joined when he was just 15, more than 50 years ago. A convicted mass murderer, Barghouti has been jailed since 2002. (Photo: X)

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken returned to the Middle East this month saying: “One, there needs to be calm in Gaza; two, there needs to be a clear and credible pathway to a Palestinian state.” But who would lead Blinken’s Palestinian state and why?

On February 4, The Jerusalem Post reported, “[Marwan] Barghouti is a popular figure in Palestinian politics, with many seeing him as a successor to 88-year-old Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas.” 

Abbas is a member of Fatah and has been in power since the 2004 death of terrorist leader Yasser Arafat. 

Barghouti has been a leading figure in Fatah for decades and joined when he was just 15, more than 50 years ago. A convicted mass murderer, Barghouti has been jailed since 2002. He was found guilty in an Israeli civilian court of 26 charges of murder and attempted murder of both Israeli civilians and soldiers. He is not a political prisoner. Barghouti is well known and electable, and the Associated Press reported in December 2023 that “the most popular politician remains Marwan Barghouti.”

The immediate release of terrorists incarcerated by Israel has remained a repeated demand by Hamas and recently, it added Barghouti to the list of those who must be freed.

This should be interpreted as both highly significant and surprising. Hamas’s push for Barghouti as a replacement for Abbas may be based on the assumption that America and Europe believe Barghouti to be someone they will be able to collaborate easily with to create a state.

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Leader of rival faction to Hamas

And yet, Barghouti was never a member of Hamas. Why should Hamas want a leader of a rival faction to be the president of Palestine? 

There is every reason for Hamas to take this gamble and there is almost no risk. 

Hamas knows that were Barghouti to become president of a future Palestinian state, Hamas would be able to wrest power from him at any point – whether with bullets or ballots.

Hamas believes, and with good reason, that its terrorists will be able to quickly take over from the PA’s Security Services, or whatever successor organization takes its place, based on the fact that it was able to overpower Fatah in Gaza in 2007 and effectively eliminate it as a force there. As October 7 proved, Hamas has grown in effectiveness and resourcefulness over the last 17 years.

Hamas’s desire to have Barghouti in office is all about the terrorist organization’s endgame: the destruction of Israel. Hamas can assume that its goals and Barghouti’s are more closely aligned than not. Both want an end to the existence of an Israeli state of any size. This basic agreement diminishes any differences, if they exist at all, over religion, culture, economics, and political systems.

THE BIDEN administration’s current aggressive campaign for Palestinian statehood tragically demonstrates its unwillingness to face the fact that a Palestinian state anywhere east of the Jordan River is unsafe at any size and with any borders.

Any agreements that a Barghouti government would make with Israel would be broken by Hamas should it desire to take back power. Blinken’s gamble that Barghouti could stop Hamas is a dangerous fantasy, and Hamas’s control of a second large swath of land alongside Israel would guarantee what it has already pledged: never-ending war. 

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Hamas official Ghazi Hamad has said that the October 7 massacre was “just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth – because we have the determination, the resolve, and the capabilities to fight… The existence of Israel is illogical.”

Every map of a two-state solution requires an Israeli withdrawal to the nine-mile-wide borders of 1949-1967. The reason those lines are inevitable is that PA cities such as Tulkarm and Kalkilya are nine miles from the Mediterranean – and Barghouti is not going to give up those cities.

What would Israel look like today if it had been nine miles wide on October 7, 2023, when Hamas attacked?

Nine-mile-wide borders mean that Israel’s strategic mid-section would be virtually indefensible. Israel’s major cities and Ben-Gurion Airport would be within easy rocket range of terrorists stationed on the “Palestine” side of the border.

If Israel’s soldiers chased those terrorists across the border, Israel would become the target of severe international condemnation. The United Nations would almost surely threaten sanctions, as would the European Union. And who would prevent “Palestine” from importing Iranian missiles or “volunteer” soldiers from Yemen?

Biden and Blinken need to recognize this reality. The American government must accept the fact that the world has changed. A two-state solution today means a situation in which Israel will be threatened with an October 7 every single day. That is something no reasonable person can accept.

Moshe Phillips is a commentator on Jewish affairs whose writings appear regularly in the American and Israeli press. He was a U.S. delegate to the 38th World Zionist Congress in 2020. His views are his own. 

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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