February 15, 2021
WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST
Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.
HOT TIMES IN OLD PALESTINE
The last election for a Palestinian Authority President was sixteen years ago when they were supposed to elect in approximately a four year or so period. You might say Mahmoud Abbas is a bit behind. Somehow old Abbas just kept dealing from the bottom of the deck. He has just decreed for the first time that a new election will be held July 31.
The eighty-five-year-old PA President is not in good health. A constant chain smoker with heart disease, he always has a doctor at his side usually disguised as a security team member. However, that’s only one of his problems. If he survives and should run again, he’s got Hama breathing down his neck. The scramble for election could turn into a real war.
As strange as it seems, 2021 could turn out to be filled with even more uncertainties than 2020 was. With President Joe Biden rejoining the Iranian nuclear agreement, even a small incident could set off a chain of events that would end in disaster. That’s a dark shadow always looming on the horizon.
But here’s the more immediate problem. A recent survey of Palestinians reveals that a majority believe that Hamas or Fatah would not accept the results of an election if they were on the losing end. One half of all Palestinians do not believe that an election would be free or fair. These findings indicate a civil war whether Abbas wins or not. That’s not a good picture.
Let’s say Abbas did have a heart attack or there was a contested election. The Fatah dominated P.A. could find itself in a “smoke’em dead” war with bitter rival Hamas. Hamas could see the clash as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to take over the PA. This is exactly what Hamas did in the 2007 coup when they took over Gaza.
Hamas is financed by Iran’s Shi’ite government. Should they prevail in Ramallah, they could destabilize Israeli security. Not much imagination is needed to understand how frightening this could all become.
There’s a long list of possible candidates to replace Abbas. They range from corrupt officials to terrorists to long time party hacks. Not exactly an admirable potential slate. Sorry, but the pickings are slim.
The question to be answered is whether the next PA president will be another extension of the Arafat terrorist style or someone like the Gulf state Arab leaders who have come to terms with Israel’s existence. If Hamas should succeed, all hell will break loose.
Keep an eye on Ramallah. There’s surely much more to come.
Please watch and subscribe to my new YouTube channel MIRACLES NEVER CEASE where I host interviews with people sharing their experiences with divine encounters!
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My latest books:
I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II
Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!
by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)
You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.
82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!
You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.
by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)