United States Vice President Joe Biden is kicked off a Middle East tour Monday in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) but we all know where the trip will end and what the build-up will do for expectations for pressure to be placed on the Israelis in order to beg and grovel to get Mahmoud Abbas just to have him insult us and make broad claims of Israeli intransigence and refusal to make the needed sacrifice for peace. The reality is, and everyone in governments of Europe, the United States, United Nations and every corner of the globe is that Mahmoud Abbas cannot afford to make peace as doing so would lose him the one thing which keeps him alive and in power, the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) working intelligence and preventing any challenge or takeover by Hamas, Islamic State or any other terror group which would unseat and behead the leadership of the PA (Palestinian Authority) within days, weeks at the longest, of the Israelis pulling from Judea and Samaria (a.k.a. West Bank). Further, if Mahmoud Abbas did reach an accord and established his presumed dream of an Arab state named Palestine, or any other name, then he would have to actually provide real services to a much larger area as Israel provides most of the services in Area B and all the services in Area C which combine to make around three-quarters of the contested areas. Combine these additional government responsibilities and services with the fact that the amounts of aid received by the PA would soon dry-up as there would no longer be any conflict with Israel after such an agreement and without the conflict with the Jewish State the Europeans and United Nations would move on to some other pressing problem like forcing Israel to accept ten million Syrian refugees which Europe was refusing to accept. Without the funds the PA, now a real state, would simply become the latest failed state incapable of providing services or meeting the payroll leading to rioting and the eventual complete collapse of the state of Palestine while the exhortations by Mahmoud Abbas pleading for financial assistance in order to at least reach some form of equilibrium and functionality as without aid, Abbas might even threaten that they would need to declare war on Israel to force the world to take notice.
The announcement before Biden left Washington last week was that neither President Obama nor anybody from the administration expects the visit to produce anything concerning the peace process as Biden will be discussing military aid package for the next decade with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and the military command of Israel. If past experience is any indicator of future events, which it more often than not is, then there will be no military aid without concessions for peace and the Israeli leadership will be pressed and pressed and then threatened with an end to military aid, cancelling the F-35 JSF jet fighter deal, withholding of the United States veto in the Security Council on moves for Arab statehood, thus granting Palestinian statehood using the Green Line, the 1949 Armistice Line, which the Arab League demanded never be used as a border ever. There might be threats that the United States would assist and encourage the French to go forward with their plans for final peace talks which if they failed, then the world through the Security Council and General Assembly of the United Nations in a universal accordance would establish Palestine. There may even be floated the idea that Israel not only take whatever steps required to allow the formation of an Arab state named Palestine but also be made responsible for assisting and coordinating with the new state and held as the guarantors for its successful function. Granted this sounds preposterous, but this is not as far-fetched as you might first believe. Israel had been tasked with assisting the PA Security Forces assuring their functioning in Area B before the United States took to training the Palestinian Security Forces in Jordan for urban warfare and other tactical exercises under the command of Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton who succeeded Lt. Gen. William “Kip” Ward in December 2005. Their training has been similar in nature to elite infantry training in the United States. Why such training is provided to a security force which is not responsible for military tactics, but that is what the United States feels the security forces for the PA are going to need.
The reason that the United States may have for the extreme training would be believing they might be required to defend an actual nation of Palestine from any threats. But what threats as the neighbors of such a state would be Israel and Jordan, neither of which would have any reason for attacking the PA state unless attacked by them first. The only real threat would be terrorist groups such as Islamic Jihad, Hamas, al-Qaeda and Islamic State. In case of any of these entities attempting to take over any PA State would also pose direct threats to both Israel and Jordan thus it would be in both neighbors’ interest to assist the defense of the PA state if such was requested or possibly even if it was not, as long as the assistance was temporary as nobody desires a reinstating of any occupation. But this training was likely at the behest of the PA leadership which then begs a different question, why would the PA desire an offensive trained security force as security militaries are usually designed to hold their own ground and not having full infantry assault training as they are not exactly going to be forging beachheads from the West Bank as the Jordan River, Dead Sea and Sea of Galilee are the closest bodies of water. Still, there has to be a reason for the PA to have their security forces trained in general combat techniques and in urban warfare in addition to anti-terror operations. The anti-terror operations has an obvious reason, they wanted to understand the methodologies of how the IDF would respond to any major terror campaigns so as to be capable of blunting IDF efforts. Urban warfare training might be applicable against any attempt by Hamas to make an overt takeover of Judea and Samaria as they had done in Gaza. Of course the PA forces in Gaza had been trained and still managed to lose the entirety of Gaza within a few days when the final push came and the PA forces proved useless.
That leaves the question of what further use might having military operations training and general combat techniques be useful and what goals might the PA security forces, which number in the thousands of officers, be used towards? The only other target which the Arab Palestinians have ever claimed beyond driving the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea has been to overthrow the Monarchy of Jordan and allow the Arabs, who identify with the cause and quest for power of the PA against Israel, take complete control over Jordan. The main obstacle has been their lack of training and the fact that King Abdullah II’s military consists largely of tribesmen loyal to the crown which shows them preferential treatment and favor over the larger Palestinian population. This does not mean that the Palestinian people are not treated well and they do receive much support from the King and the government but the loyal tribesmen, especially those serving in the military and making up the reserve forces, serving the King in a show of gratitude. King Abdullah II has gained major support of the people from his actions when the Jordanian pilot captured by the Islamic State was tortured and executed in a barbaric manner burning him alive while trapping him in a cage and using the video as a message of superiority over Jordan and as a recruitment tool. Still, there have been those Jordanian Arab Palestinians, who have joined the Islamic State, as have peoples from all of the surrounding Arab Sunni states, but generally the population of Jordan are more sympathetic with the Arab Palestinians in Israel and desire that their military be more supportive of the fight against Israel even to the point of directly aiding the PA in any general uprisings such as the current intifada.
One must also remember the attempt by Yasser Arafat to overthrow the Jordanian monarchy and government in the early 1970s. The attempt to overthrow the Jordanian monarchy and take control of Jordan, something the many Bedouin tribes would oppose and who make-up the officer core due to their loyalty to the King, resulted in routing the coup attempt by Yasser Arafat. Their failure in Jordan was what forced the PLO into Lebanon where they quickly attempted a takeover of the Lebanese government resulting in Syria attempting to grab control over Lebanon taking advantage of the turmoil and confusion. This led to the Israeli intervention at the invitation of the Lebanese Christian militias. This resulted in a prolonged Israeli presence creating a buffer zone protecting the Israeli north. This interventional force did suffer a steady number of casualties from suicide bombings and other attacks which the left and the media in Israel used to apply pressure with sizeable demonstrations often by foreign financed NGOs from the left leading to Israel ending the interventional force presence. This permitted Hezballah to set-up their bunker systems and rocket launchers in the extreme south of Lebanon which eventually led to the very costly Second Lebanon War. One must also remember that Hezballah was a direct result of the PLO efforts to overthrow the Lebanese government in the mid and late 1970s.
The PLO was the direct progenitor of the PA which is as the PLO before it a direct arm of power projection of the Fatah movement. Any attempt to paint the PA as democratic is a farcical effort as there have been no elections, free or otherwise, since the debacle brought on by United States pressure to hold open elections which were won in large part by Hamas and not Fatah. This led directly to the Hamas flexing of their abilities and mastery and control in Gaza to oust the PA which had denied them their proper victory by basically imposing Fatah supremacy using the Presidency of Abbas. He assumed the position after Arafat’s demise as Arafat’s number two since the founding of the PLO, taking over of Arafat’s roles as leader of Fatah, the PA, PLO and presumed President for Life of any future state. The final straw for Hamas was the cancelling of Presidential election which they were sure to oust Abbas, something Abbas refused to permit as he exercised every bit of his powerful position to put a clamp on all PA and other political functions and preserve what he could.
All of this has not altered the grand plan of the PLO, and thus perhaps the PA, of a grander scheme and power play toppling the governances around the area and setting up their claim to be the true leaders of the Arab world. These efforts failed in the 1970s and are no closer to fruition today as Fatah is only holding on to power in the contested areas of Judea and Samaria, oddly enough, because of the efforts by Israel to keep Hamas and others from replacing them The PA would easily be toppled which would lead to a catastrophic terror war emanating from the then former PA controlled areas with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and who knows who else all perched on the southwest in Gaza and direct east in Judea and Samaria overlooking central Israeli population and industrial heart of Israel. This could lead to a far more disastrous rocket war from Hamas with their rockets all but incapable of missing vital targets in and around Tel Aviv and the central core of Israel, a heavily developed area. That is the reason that Israel has supported allowing the PA to remain in Abbas’s incapable and bumbling hands. The alternative is the devil Israel does not know and does not want to know. What they do know is that Abbas has less ability to control anything beyond incitement against Israel. Abbas is in a particularly uncomfortable position of needing to continue aggressions against Israel while making sure not to force any overt actions from Israel. Abbas is also relying on Israeli intelligence and presence in the contested areas of Judea and Samaria to prevent his being overthrown and very likely murdered even by those in the PA who believe him incompetent, or at least impotent in the face of Israel and their ‘occupation’ of the Israeli ancestral heartlands, Judea and Samaria.
Eventually this house of cards, which is the toothless PA, will unify, overthrow Abbas and believe they are ready and prepared to topple Israel. And on that day the contested areas will no longer be contested but in open revolt, a very temporary revolt, after which there will be imposed a one state solution and the end of incitement and the presence of the United Nations monstrosity that is UNRWA in Judea and Samaria. The truth is that the only result to the contested areas is complete and total control by Israel. Even if the world were to force the Arab state of Palestine on Israel, it would be a defenseless state, complete nonfunctional and failed state, and from the very beginnings would only devolve from there, with the ever fractious shards attempting to destroy the others and make a name by attacking Israel. Eventually Hamas or worse would emerge as the central power and this would lead to a costly and final war as Hamas or worse cannot be allowed to occupy any of the highlands overlooking central Israel. To allow such is suicide by the immediate thousand cuts made by inexpensive rockets needing no real guidance to strike at the heart of Israel. When such events do unfold, which are all but inevitable, Abbas will likely be the very first casualty and potentially at the hands of the very troops who now guard him, dying as every Caesar before has fallen. As soon as they are not paid their exorbitant salaries their loyalty will wane evaporating into the mists from whence they were born, and that will be the end of the PA. Very soon thereafter Israel will necessarily need to end the entire fiasco before it causes irreparable harm to Israeli infrastructure with attacks against her civilian populations where thousands are affected daily, and not the sparsely populated Negev regions.
The similar threat by Hamas and their longer range Iranian provided rocket engines and the ever larger payloads they carry deeper into the Israeli center which sparked the last Gaza War and will eventually lead to the final Gaza war which will result in the decimation of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and the crippling of any other sizeable force. The entire Arab Palestinian existence is that of two failed states whose only lifeline is their threatening Israel and being paid to do so. That cannot be permitted to reach its final goal of destroying Israel and murdering the six million plus Israeli Jews. The threat will eventually become sufficiently capable or sufficiently destructive despite their lack of credible force, only credible destruction, that will ultimately cause the quick and violent end of the Arab Palestinian autonomous states, Hamas’s Gaza and Fatah’s PA in Judea and Samaria. That is the sole finality and the one out for the PA is a successful takeover of Jordan giving them the arms necessary to bring on their destruction that much faster as the use of these weapons’ systems on Israel is an overt act of aggression and declaration of war, the final war.
Perhaps the best Israel can do is send Biden home joining those awaiting the election with the premise that it can’t get any worse. We are aware the Russians and Iranians are doing whatever they can, knowing that for them nothing could be better than Obama.
Beyond the Cusp