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December 5, 2014

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PAGE 12A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 5, 2014 Despite 'incitement,' Abbas seen by Washington as bulwark By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA) -The Mahmoud Abbas whom Is- raeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused of . incitement has said the Jewish state practices genocide and called the temporary closure of the Temple Mount after a terrorist attack a"declaration of war." Yet virtually no one in Washington wantsAbbas to do anything but what he's done for nine years: be president of the Palestinian Authority. For that matter, neither does Netanyahu. That means the $500 mil- lion annually that the Pal- estinian Authority receives in U.S. funding is unlikely to'stop, and that Warnings from American politicians to Abbas are relatively mild, if expressed at all. "The Palestinian Author- ity will be geRing aid from America because we want a two-state solution, but you better get your act together," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R- S.C.), who as incoming chair- man of the foreign operations subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee will hold considerable sway over foreign assistance, told the Israeli American Council earlier this month in reference to the P.A. Keeping Abbas in power and the PalestinianAuthority in place reflects Israeli policy, said Dan Arbell, a former deputy chief of mission at the Israeli Embassy. "The Israeli government is not interested in the collapse of the Palestinian Authority," said Arbell, a guest scholar at the Brookings Institutionwho teaches at American Univer- sity here. "There may be faults in Abbas and the leadership and in what they're doing, but they're still the safest bet." That's because Abbas is pre- siding over a West Bank where the violence that wracked the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip over the summer and Jerusa- lem in recent weeks is barely simmering. ShouldAbbas and the P.A. go, Hamas could take its place. "There is a bipartisan con- sensus on the significance of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority, while there is a lot of disagreement on Capitol Hill about every other thing," orld am I sup00 what's going on?" These are some of the comments we receive from readers when they miss an issue of Heritage Florida Jewish News. What are you missing out on?... Subscribe today! mmmmmmmmmmmmmmlmmmmmmmmlmmm I I m I I I MAIL SUBSCRIPTION TO: m Name I I Address ........ : ....... I City/State/Zip YES ! I want to be informed. Start my subscription at once. Please: O enter Q extend my subscription for: Q 1 year at $37.95 52 issues 12 years at $69.95 104 issues O 1 year out-of-state at $46.95 or 12 years out=of-state at $87.95 I I I I I I Phone I # I I expiration date Fill out coupon and mail, with check or credit card information to: HERITAGE Florida Jewish News P.O. Box 300742 Fern Park, FL 32730 (407) 834-8787 LIIIIIIIIlIII If different from above, fill in your: I Name I Address I I City/State/Zip I Phone I BllIIIIIIIII A Senior Living Community where Hospitality is a Way of Life. Assisted Living - Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Care Variety of Apartment Suite Selections, some with Lake Views Weekly Happy Hour hosted by the Jewish Pavilion . Monthly Shabbat Service Monthly Bagels and Lox luncheon  Special Celebrations and Meals during High Holy Holidays Call us today, stop by for a visit, join us for lunch, or all of the above. You are always welcome! ASSlb"I'ED LIVING AND SKILLED Ni.,'RSING 1301 W. Maitland Blvd. Maitland, FL 32751 Loc,ed dcty across the street ft;n Con,tion Ohe Shalom 407 -645-3990 lssam Rimawi/Flash90 Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, center, visiting the Ramallah grave of Yasser Arafat durin 9 a ceremony to mark the lOth anniversarg of the Palestinian leader's death, Nov. 11, 014. Husam Zomlot, a foreign policy adviser to Abbas who last month met with govern- ment officials in Washington, told JTA. "They know that the situ- ation in the West Bank is relatively calm because of the PLO," Zomlot said. The Obama administration is not encountering congres- sional resistance to continued assistance to the Palestinian Authority in part because of strict oversight that ensures the funds reach their desig- nated targets and because the cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian secu- rity services is seen as keyto keeping the West Bank from  boiling over. Natan Sachs, a fellow at the Brookings Institution's Cen- ter for Middle East Peace who focuses on Israel, noted that Israel's Shin Bet chief, Yoram Cohen, last week pushed back against Netanyahu's claims that Abbas is an inciter. Sachs said that the recent crisis in Jerusalem under- scored the utility of Israeli- P.A. cooperation. "It's not coincidental this wave of violence is in Jerusa- lem, where P.A. forces can't operate," he said. 1301 W. Maitland Blvd. Maitland, FL 32751 407'645-3990 Assisted Lvm 9 f:aedity License No. 8447 Skilled Nursing FaciliW License No. 1635096 O'l,i.k'l  ox ............. At the same time, con- gressional appropriators last week wrote to Abbas ask- ing him to end incitement. U.S. law "clearly stipulates that the Palestinian Author- ity must act to counter the incitement of violence against Israelis in order to continue receiving U.S. assistance," said the letter from Reps. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), the chairman of the U.S. House of Repre- sentatives Appropriations Committee; Nita Lowey (D- N.Y.), its top Democrat; and Kay Granger (R-Texas), the chairwoman of its foreign operations subcommittee. But the letter does not directly threaten a cutoff. Instead, it urges Abbas to "return to direct negotiations with Israel." LastApril, after the collapse of the U.S.-brokered peace talks, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, re- flecting Netanyahu's policies, urged lawmakers to review funding for the Palestinians. Abbas' overtures to Gaza's Hamas rulers, with both his Fatah party and Hamas backing a government of technocrats, may have made the P.A. ineligible for funds, AIPAC argued. Now, in the wake of the summer's Gaza war and the violence in Jerusalem, AIPAC frames funding for the P.A. as a necessary means of ensuring that Abbas keeps cooperating with Israel on security. In a memo last week, after Palestinian terrorists mur- dered four worshippers and a policeman at a Jerusalem synagogue, AIPAC listed Abbas' alleged incitements, including his call on Palestin- ians to prevent settlers from entering the Temple Mount by "any means" and to keep the Temple Mount from being "contaminated" by extrem- ists. (Abbas condemned the synagogue murders.) But theAIPAC memo, while noting that tamping down incitement was a condition for aid, also reflected in its recommendations the Israeli investment in Abbas as a bul- wark against further violence and Hamas. "The P.A. must continue security cooperation with Israel and take responsibility for controlling the border crossings into Gaza," the memo said. Jonathan Schanzer, the vice president of the Foun- dation for Defense of De- mocracies and the author of the book "State of Failure" about the P.A., said Abbas was walking a high wire -- accommodating anti-Israel sentiment while helping to rein in violence. The danger, Schanzer said, is that the violence may not be easy to control, something Abbas' predecessor Yasser Arafat discovered amid the second intifada in the early 2000s. "What he's doing now is trying to ride the wave of this sentiment," he said."He's flirt- ing with embracing a popular uprising. You get a sense he's walking in Arafat's footsteps." Zomlot, the Abbas ad- viser, said Palestinian security forces were not'sifnply a s6p fo Israeli needs but also a means of improving quality of life for Palestinians. He accused Israel of undercutting the : P.A.'s authorityWith raids into parts of the West Bank, for instance during the searches for the men who kidnapped and murdered three Jewish students over the summer. "The premise of security co- operation is you do not come into my territory unless we work together," he said. "Israel has beenwrecking this princi- pal, invading PalestinianArea A on a daily basis. You break the contract and ask yourself for how long this commitment will be one sided." Palestinian AreaA refers to those areas of the West Bank where the Palestinian Author- ity is meant to prevail, per the Oslo Accords of the 1990s. Zomlot said the Palestin- ians wanted to review other aspects of the relationship, saying that much of what the Oslo agreements outlined no longer held, especially with a substantial portion of Netan- yahu's governing coalition op- posing the two-state solutionl This month, the P.A. signed a $660,000 per year contract with the major Washington lobbyist Squire Patton Boggs to "help manage the P.A./U.S. bilateral diplomatic and politi- cal relationship" and review the 1994 Paris Protocol gov= erning economic relations, according to O'Dwyer's, a PR industry newsletter. "The Paris Protocol as- sumed a state would emerge within five years,, Zomlot told JTA, noting that its pro- visions keep the Israeli and Palestinian economies tightly interwoven. "It is no longer capable of serving the needs of the Palestinian economy."