New US Palestinian affairs representative bodes ill for Israel - opinion

RIGHT FROM WRONG: Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu had better make haste in the forging of his coalition to prepare for the inevitable fallout from every direction.

THEN-US VICE-PRESIDENT Joe Biden shakes hands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in 2016. (photo credit: DEBBIE HILL/REUTERS)
THEN-US VICE-PRESIDENT Joe Biden shakes hands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in 2016.
(photo credit: DEBBIE HILL/REUTERS)

The promotion this week of Hady Amr, who’s been serving as US deputy assistant secretary of state for Israeli and Palestinian affairs since President Joe Biden’s inauguration nearly two years ago, is the latest example of Washington’s disastrous Mideast policies. But at least the heretofore non-existent role that was concocted for the Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer more accurately describes his true leanings, as well as those of his bosses at Foggy Bottom.

The only thing that this already obvious and therefore unnecessary transparency required – other than an undoubtedly handsome pay hike for the proud author of the Brookings Institution’s 2004 report, “The Need to Communicate: How to Improve US Public Diplomacy with the Islamic World”– was the dropping of “Israeli” and addition of “special representative” to his title.

It’s not a shabby career elevation for the founding director of Brookings’ Doha Center in Qatar, among whose additional works for the dubious think tank include “The Opportunity of the Obama Era: How Civil Society Can Help Bridge Divides between the United States and a Diverse Muslim World.”

NOR DID the timing of the announcement to Congress on Tuesday about Amr’s newfound position seem to cause Secretary of State Antony Blinken the slightest bit of embarrassment, despite virtually coinciding with a vile act of Palestinian aggression in Jenin against Israel’s Druze community. It also preceded by less than 24 hours a double bombing in the Jewish state’s capital, which left 16-year-old Aryeh Shechopek dead and some 20 other innocents wounded.

About the latter, Blinken declared in a statement on Wednesday: “The United States stands resolutely with the people of Israel in the face of the terrorist attacks that occurred this morning in Jerusalem. We express our condolences to the family of the deceased and wish all victims a speedy recovery. We remain in close contact with our Israeli partners and reiterate that our commitment to Israel’s security remains ironclad.”

US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

He failed to mention the previous day’s murder of 18-year-old Tiran Fero from the town of Daliat al-Carmel in the Haifa district. The Israeli-Druze car accident victim was being treated for multiple injuries at the Ibn Sina Hospital in the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Jenin, the area of the crash, when gun-wielding terrorists stormed into his room, threatened the relatives at his bedside, pulled the plug on his ventilator and snatched him from the premises. 

Their aim was to hold his now-dead body as a bargaining chip for the return to the PA of terrorists killed by Israeli security forces. They were more disappointed than remorseful to discover that Ferro was a high-school student, not an undercover IDF officer. Still, even his lower hostage status didn’t spur them to hand him back to his grieving parents.

Fero’s uncle told Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Ghassan Alian that the family was willing to wait for negotiations with the PA for the release of the boy’s body to bear fruit. 

“I don’t want another mother in Israel to cry,” he said, referring to the risk to soldiers that a military operation for that purpose would entail. Many fellow Druze weren’t feeling so patient, however. Hundreds gathered in Daliat al-Carmel on Wednesday to protest, warning that if the teen’s body wasn’t promptly returned, they would “enter Jenin” themselves, and without kid gloves. 

It was difficult not to sympathize with their plight, particularly in view of the delicacy with which the travesty was being handled – until the captors took the Druze threat seriously, and transferred Ferro to Israel in the wee hours of Thursday morning. 

Naturally, the efforts of such appeasers as United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland, who was “working with” the PA to try and secure Ferro’s release, will be credited with the development. You can’t make this stuff up, though the UN and the US –  too often with the acquiescence of the Israeli government – take pains to be inventive.  

US' new representative silent on Palestinian terror

SPEAKING OF which, Amr has thus far remained mum on the issue of his buddies’ assaults in Jenin and Jerusalem. As of early Thursday morning, his most recent social-media activity was a retweet of a “US Office of Palestinian Affairs in Jerusalem” post relating to a meeting he had on November 18 with none other than Wennesland.

Accompanying a photo of the two beaming cohorts is text about Amr’s having “expressed US support for tangible steps to advance equal measures of freedom and security for Israelis and Palestinians alike and a negotiated two-state solution.” 

Under the past and present circumstances, it’s unclear what part of this sentiment is more delusional: “negotiated” or “two-state solution.” 

In the first place, PA President Mahmoud Abbas possesses a desire for neither, since the absence of independent statehood has kept him in financial clover for decades and relevant in the international arena, regardless of how hated he is at home. Secondly, the octogenarian’s deteriorating health has led to an escalation of succession battles, all of which involve rival factions vying for support by lying about and condemning Israel, while violently targeting its citizens.

Indeed, the very notion of Palestinian peace with the Jewish state is as far-fetched at this point as amicable co-existence within the PA itself. According to Khaled Abu Toameh, “Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have taken a decision to step up their attacks not only to inflict pain on Israel, but also to undermine the PA.”

Of course, both of these bloodthirsty organizations are among the many radical Palestinian groups in the West Bank and Gaza who welcomed the twin bombings in Jerusalem. No surprise there.

It’s also a foregone conclusion that the perpetrator/s will receive a hefty monthly stipend from Abbas’s “martyrs fund,” courtesy of the Biden administration – which reversed its predecessor’s cutting of financial aid to the PA — and like-minded la-la-land occupants in Western Europe. 

Another move by former president Donald Trump that Team Biden was going to overturn but put on the back burner was the closure of the American consulate in Jerusalem, the de facto US “embassy” for Palestinians. To assuage Abbas’s anger, Blinken informed him in May of Washington’s plan to enhance relations with Ramallah by tasking Amr, well-liked in the PA for obvious reasons, with exclusive focus on the Palestinians.

THE PLOY didn’t work. In a characteristic hissy fit, the petty despot told the world’s highest-ranking diplomat not to bother with the consolation prize for the White House’s having reneged on its vow of a speedy reopening of the consulate. 

That Abbas had a change of heart following Amr’s visit to the region is not a good sign. After all, something he was promised behind the scenes must have been the source of his deigning to soften his stance and accept the bribe.

This may come as a great relief to Amr and his bogus peace-processor counterpart, Wennesland, but it bodes ill for Israel. Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu had better make haste in the forging of his coalition to prepare for the inevitable fallout from every direction.