A Palestinian state will lead to more massacres, final nail in coffin torpedoing Biden legacy

A Middle East that includes a Palestinian state controlled by Iran and Islamist terrorists will be a less secure region.

By Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute

Since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has repeatedly spoken of the need for a “pathway” for the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.

According to Blinken, a Palestinian state would have two positive effects: First, it would pave the way for a normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and second, it would “isolate” Iran and its terrorist proxies, including Hamas and Hezbollah.

This is the same Blinken who has put pressure on Israel to refrain from a military operation to destroy the remaining four Hamas battalions in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

If the battalions are not destroyed, it means that Hamas will remain in power and that Israel will, by default, lose the war.

Hamas would be able to rebuild its military and, as it has vowed, will repeat the October 7 attack, time and again, until Israel is annihilated.

In addition, a Hamas victory would catapult the terror group’s power and popularity among Palestinians, as well as Hezbollah, the Houthis and other terrorist groups.

A Hamas victory would accurately be seen globally as proof that terrorism not only works but is rewarded.

A Hamas victory would also definitively seal the chances of Iran and Qatar continuing to control the Palestinian state that Blinken is so keen to establish – as is seemingly the Biden administration’s intent.

Opinion polls conducted by Palestinian organizations have repeatedly shown that a majority of Palestinians vastly prefer Hamas to the Palestinian Authority’s ruling Fatah faction of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Shortly after Hamas’s October 7 atrocities, 57% of respondents in the Gaza Strip and 82% in the West Bank said the terrorist group was “correct” to launch the attack.

“The work that Saudi Arabia, the United States have been doing together in terms of our own agreements, I think, is potentially very close to completion,” Blinken said during a recent visit to the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

“But then in order to move forward with normalization, two things will be required — calm in Gaza and a credible pathway to a Palestinian state.”

Saudi Arabia and the US are reportedly working on the details of an agreement to boost bilateral trade and defense ties – but a deal will not happen unless the kingdom and Israel establish diplomatic ties, US officials say.

The US argument is that a defense pact would solidify the seven-decade security alliance between Saudi Arabia and the US, tying the two countries ever closer together as US adversaries such as Iran, Russia and China seek to expand their influence in the Middle East.

Speaking to reporters earlier this year after a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Blinken tried to claim that the region faces two paths.

The first is “to integrate Israel, with security guarantees and commitments from the countries of the region and also the United State and [the second is] to create a Palestinian state — at least a path that leads to that state.”

Blinken added that, in his view, strengthening Israel’s security and creating a Palestinian state would be the best way to thwart attacks by Iran’s regional proxies such as Hamas, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Yemen’s Houthis and various militias that have carried out attacks on US and foreign interests in Syria and Iraq.

By establishing a link between Israeli-Saudi normalization and the establishment of a Palestinian state, Blinken would also give the Palestinians a veto right on any peace deal between Israel and an Arab country.

Many Arab countries, of course, have already demonstrated that they are capable of making peace with Israel without the establishment of a Palestinian state.

If the Saudis were really interested in normalizing their relations with Israel, they could have done so long ago.

Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is delaying the move, in part, reportedly, out of fear of facing a backlash from his own people.

He may, however, also have serious reservations that he would prefer not to talk about in public.

The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan never made their normalization agreements with Israel conditional on the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The Saudis pay a lot of lip service to a Palestinian state but have done little, if anything, in the last eight decades to help the Palestinians achieve a state.

Long before the 2020 Abraham Accords, Egypt and Jordan signed peace treaties with Israel without insisting on the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Decades later, those peace treaties are still in force, although no Palestinian state was ever established.

Like most Arabs, the Saudis could not care less about a Palestinian state and might secretly prefer not to have one at all.

They are no doubt aware that the Palestinians themselves are the biggest obstacle to the establishment of a state of their own.

During the past eight decades, they have acted as a serial wrecking ball to every peaceful place they set foot.

When Jordan graciously hosted them, in 1951, a Palestinian associated with Hitler’s great ally, the former Mufti of Jerusalem, assassinated King Abdullah I.

In 1970, in a bloodletting called “Black September,” Palestinians tried to overthrow the government of King Hussein, after which the Palestinians were forced to flee to Lebanon.

Since 2005, when the Israelis unconditionally transferred every millimeter of Gaza to the Palestinians so they could build a “Singapore on the Mediterranean,” Palestinian leaders squandered hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid and failed to create adequate state institutions and a free and vibrant democracy.

Moreover, the power struggle between the two main parties, Fatah and Hamas, has led to the creation of two separate entities for the Palestinians – one in the West Bank, ruled by the Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, and a second in the Gaza Strip, ruled by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, supported by Qatar and Iran.

The last thing most Arab states want is a Hamas-controlled Palestinian state.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain justifiably regard Hamas and other Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood as a threat to their national security, most likely the main reason they all have refused to take in Gazan refugees.

Blinken’s claim that a Palestinian state would “isolate” Iran and its proxies is pure nonsense.

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The opposite is the case. Iran, its proxies and Qatar would doubtless be extremely happy if the Biden administration would allow them to establish a terrorist state on Israel’s doorstep.

This state would be used by Iran and its terrorists as a launching pad for more October 7-style massacres of Israelis to further their goal of destroying first Israel, then the Arab states.

It is Israel — not Iran — that will find itself “isolated” and surrounded by Iran-backed Islamist terrorist groups thirsting for Jewish blood.

Blinken’s claim that establishing a Palestinian state would bring security and stability to the Middle East is, to put it as nicely as possible, counterfactual.

Palestinians had an independent Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip since 2005.

In 2007, Hamas overthrew the ruling Palestinian Authority in Gaza and took full control there.

At the time Palestinian Authority security officers were dragged into the streets and lynched, while another was thrown to his death from the roof of a high building.

The Hamas-controlled Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip poses a threat not only to the Palestinian Authority, but also to Israel and Egypt.

For years prior to the October 7 atrocities, Hamas fired tens of thousands of rockets and mortar shells from the Gaza Strip at Israeli cities and towns.

The Egyptians, for their part, accused Hamas of working closely with Islamist terrorist groups in the Sinai who were responsible for killing Egyptian soldiers and civilians.

One can only imagine what would happen if Iran and its proxies could extend their control to east Jerusalem and the West Bank.

They would undoubtedly turn these areas into bases for jihad (holy war) against Israel, as they have done in the Gaza Strip.

A Middle East that includes a Palestinian state controlled by Iran and Islamist terrorists will be a less secure region, especially after Iran acquires nuclear weapons.

The new Palestinian state will not only be used to attack Israel, but also to undermine security and stability in neighboring countries, especially Jordan and Egypt.

The Iranian regime and its puppets have never been satisfied with the peace treaties that these two Arab countries signed with Israel.

Just in case Blinken does not know it, Iran, through its proxies, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, has already succeeded in infiltrating the West Bank.

In recent years, the Israeli authorities have thwarted some of the countless attempts by Iran to smuggle weapons into the West Bank via Jordan.

“[Palestinian] Islamic Jihad is using Iranian money to buy weapons and loyalty in the West Bank,” said a Palestinian Authority official. “The organization is paying high salaries to its members.”

In the past three years, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas have established more armed cells and recruited dozens more gunmen in the northern West Bank, specifically the areas of Jenin, Nablus and Tulkarem, the official revealed.

The situation in the West Bank has become so dangerous that Abbas’s Fatah faction recently accused Iran of trying to spread chaos in its territory and declared that it would oppose outside operations that have nothing to do with the Palestinian cause.

Fatah said it would not allow “our holy cause and the blood of our people to be exploited” and warned that it would oppose any outside interference aimed at harming the security forces or national institutions.

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Jamal Nazzal, a member of Fatah’s “Revolutionary Council,” said that Iran’s fingerprints on the Palestinian reality were devastating, indicating that Tehran had decided to fight Israel to the last drop of Arab blood.

In an interview with the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV channel, he added that Iran has agents, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas.

Nazzal pointed out that the Palestinian situation will not tolerate Iranian interference. He also noted that there are Iranian-backed armed groups in areas of the West Bank.

By continuing to obsessively promote the delusional idea of a Palestinian state, the Biden administration is sending a message to the Palestinians that it wants to reward them for launching the deadliest, most sickening attack on Jews since the Holocaust.

In addition, by trying to prevent Israel from destroying Hamas, the Biden administration is facilitating the creation of an Iranian-controlled terrorist state that can only become a source of instability in the Middle East and pose an existential threat not simply to Israel but to the region, especially after Iran acquires nuclear weapons.

By withholding ammunition and other military supplies from Israel, demanding that Israel end the war against Hamas and accept a Palestinian terror state, the Biden administration is advancing its already threadbare legacy since his surrender of Afghanistan to the Taliban in 2021.

First, Biden, by reconfirming that terrorism “works,” would embolden all the other terrorists.

Just keep on terrorizing everyone, and, when your demands are met, keep on increasing and hardening them.

More significantly, by appeasing Iran, Qatar and potential voters in Michigan by creating a Palestinian state, the Biden administration will in fact be inviting Iran to initiate still more attacks – not only on Israel but also on US forces in the Middle East.

Iran has already launched more than 150 attacks on US troops in the Middle East just since October 2023, and nearly 300 since Biden took office in 2021.

If Iran finally coerces the US to withdraw from the region as it is reportedly thinking of doing, the regime will finally be able to take over its neighbors’ oil fields and holy sites without worrying about the US interfering.

Meanwhile, as the Biden administration, busy trying to win re-election in November, seems to have no idea how to end all the conflicts it ignited, directly or indirectly, in Gaza, Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific.

The US has been backing both sides of all of them. Iran, presumably taking advantage of these distractions, and perhaps as a consolation prize for losing so much of Hamas -– has been moving to take over Sudan.

It is a country rich in oil, gold, rare earth minerals and terrorism — and felicitously positioned to help Iran launch unlimited combat drones – the planet’s new “cheap, instant air force” — at both Israel and US forces, and enable Iran to use Sudan’s port on the Red Sea to continue obstructing maritime traffic.

After all, if terrorism “works,” why stop?