The tragedy of the pro-'Palestinian' movement is its attachment to a single narrative: "Look at how wretched the lives of the 'Palestinian' people are," they tell us, "It is because of Israeli oppression." Because this narrative must be constantly reinforced, there is little room for real reporting about the failures of the 'Palestinian' leadership and the corruption and infighting that have caused the 'West Bank' [i.e., Judea & Samaria] and Gaza to languish.
One journalist who does pay attention to internal 'Palestinian' politics is Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning Israeli-Arab journalist who writes for The Jerusalem Post and the Gatestone Institute. He risks his life to tell the truth. Let's track the last few days in 'Palestinian' news through his reporting.
On April 22, Hamas, the terrorist group ruling Gaza, arrested a 'Palestinian' woman and Fatah activist, Ruwaidah Muhareb. Fatah, led by Mahmoud Abbas, is the largest faction in the Palestinian Liberation Organization [it is also funded by the West, the US being one of its largest donors—ed]. Abbas is the president of the sometimes-moderate Palestinian Authority that governs the 'West Bank'. This arrest follows Hamas's previous apprehension of journalist Taghreed Abu Tharifeh of Palestine TV last week.
On the same day, Fatah publicly called for a general strike among 'Palestinians' on Thursday and clashes with the Israeli Defence Forces on Friday — a planned "Day of Rage." The strike is supposed to be in support of hunger-striking 'Palestinian' prisoners in Israel. Marwan Barghouti, convicted of five murders, publicized their case in a New York Times op-ed. You may have heard of these hunger strikers. You will not have heard, however, of Abdullah Dataghmeh, held in the PA's Jericho prison, who died last month after embarking on a hunger strike against his 'Palestinian' jailers.
Let's move on to April 23, when Mahmoud al-Habbash, an advisor to Abbas, called on 'Palestinians' in Gaza to revolt against Hamas. It is "time to end a black chapter in 'Palestinian' history," he said.
The next day, April 24th, a 'Palestinian' official in Ramallah denied rumors of Abbas's deteriorating heart condition. Abbas, now 82 years of age, was elected to a four-year term as president in 2005. He has not submitted to an election since. This is the man with whom Israel is supposed to sign a peace deal — a leader with no democratic legitimacy running a government propped up by the money of the international community, an ailing old man with no clear successor.
On April 25th, Hamas released a statement accusing Abbas of practicing "political blackmail" against the Gaza Strip.
On April 26th, a Hamas official went beyond his party line and called for Abbas' execution for treason. On the same day, the party announced on its website that it will release a "political document" — wrongly reported as a "revised charter," for its previous charter calls for a genocide of all Jews — on Monday that is expected to accept a neighboring state on the borders created by the 1949 armistice agreement, reflecting where troops were when fighting from the Israeli War of Independence ceased.
However, the document is expected to deliberately not recognize Israel's right to exist. How these two can co-exist is confusing, at least to me, but it is still a step forward.
Today, the Palestinian Authority notified Israel that it would stop paying for the electricity that Israel provides to the Gaza Strip, effective immediately. The Palestinian Authority has not explained its actions but they can reasonably be interpreted as a move to exert pressure on both Hamas, which will face a serious humanitarian crisis if the flow of electricity stops, and Israel, which will surely face the wrath of the global media if it does not now provide Gaza with free energy, even though it is governed by a terrorist organization committed to Israel's destruction.
Most of this will be ignored in the international press, which seems to believe that 'Palestinian' — on — 'Palestinian' fighting isn't worth the paper isn't printed on. Were it not for Khaled Abu Toameh, many of us simply wouldn't know. But if the terrible governance doesn't end, the 'Palestinian' territories will never improve their own lot.
Elliot Kaufman is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential Blog. He is a student at Stanford University.