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The Palestinian Authority Rejected Medical Assistance Rather Than Accept the Gulf States’ Thaw with Israel

Two months ago, the Emirati government sent fourteen tons of medical equipment to the Palestinian Authority (PA). The unmarked plane bearing these items made the first ever direct flight from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv. Despite needing the ventilators, medications, and other supplies aboard the plane to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, Ramallah turned down the gift. Edy Cohen explains:

According to Palestinian sources who spoke anonymously to the Arab media, it was because the United Arab Emirates coordinated the arrival of the shipment with Israel and not with the Palestinians. That fact, likely combined with the optics of a UAE flight landing at Ben-Gurion, was deemed so unacceptable as to render the aid untouchable. The Palestinian government does not want to function in any way as a bridge toward normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE, or anyone else for that matter. Anything that infringes on the Palestinian policy of enforced diplomatic isolation of Israel is to be categorically rejected, even if such rejection results in harm to the Palestinian people.

On June 9, the UAE again tried to send humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. This time, the plane was clearly marked as a UAE national airline: it bore the words “Etihad Airways” as well as state symbols. . . . Once again, the Palestinian Authority refused the aid.

The conduct of the PA in this matter has not won it many friends, especially in the Arab world. The Palestinian people have to pay—yet again—for their leadership’s warped priorities. It is unfortunate that most of Europe continues to refuse to acknowledge the malpractice of the Palestinian leadership and continues to support the PA blindly.

Read more at BESA Center

More about: Coronavirus, Israel-Arab relations, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, United Arab Emirates

The Summary: 10/7/20

Two extraordinary events demonstrate something important about Israel’s most fervent adversaries. One was a speech given at something called The People’s Forum (funded generously by Goldman Sachs), which stated, “When the state of Israel is finally destroyed and erased from history, that will be the single most important blow we can give to destroying capitalism and imperialism.”

The suggestion that this tiny state is the linchpin of a global, centuries-old phenomenon like capitalism goes well beyond anything resembling rational criticism. Even if Israel were guilty of genocide, apartheid, and oppression—which of course it is not—it would not follow that its destruction would help end capitalism or imperialism.

The other was an anti-Israel protest that took place in front of New York City’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, deemed “complicit” in Israel’s evils. At organizers’ urging, participants shouted their slogans at kids in the cancer ward, who were watching from the windows. Given Hamas’s indifference toward the lives of Gazan children, such callousness toward non-Palestinian children from Hamas’s Western allies shouldn’t be surprising. The protest—like the abovementioned speech—deliberately conveyed the message that Israel is the ultimate evil and its destruction the ultimate good, cancer patients be damned.

The fact that Israel’s adversaries are almost comically perverse does not mean that they can be dismissed. If its allies fail to understand the obsessive and irrational hatred that it faces, they cannot effectively help it defend itself.

Read more at Mosaic