Weekend long read

1) At the INSS Orna Mizrahi and Yoram Schweitzer analyse the challenges currently facing Hizballah.

“The challenges facing Hezbollah have intensified recently on three fronts. Domestically, Lebanon faces economic collapse, the Hezbollah-led government demonstrates incompetence, and violent demonstrations against the government and economic elites have resumed around the country, and now include direct criticism of the organization and demands for its disarmament. Internationally, there is greater pressure on the organization and its partners on the Shiite axis, including the recent adoption by the US Congress of the Caesar Act. For its part, Israel continues its activity in Syria in the framework of the campaign between wars while challenging Lebanon’s sovereignty over its airspace and along the shared border.”

2) At WINEP David Pollock examines a topic completely ignored by the BBC in its recent coverage of potential application of Israeli civilian law to specific parts of Area C: ‘Palestinian Views on War and Peace with Israel’.

“Recently, much attention has focused on Israel’s drift away from a two-state solution and toward annexation of the West Bank. But hard data shows that the Palestinian public has also clearly moved away from the classic compromise peace deal with its neighbors. When the Trump peace plan was announced in January, it met with wide Palestinian condemnation. More troubling, majorities of Palestinians now oppose a two-state resolution to the conflict, a reversal from previous years. They also say that even if an agreement is reached, unlikely though that may be, it should not end the conflict.”

3) The ITIC analyses Palestinian Authority and Fatah responses to vehicular attacks.

“Ramming attacks are a common, deadly modus operandi carried out as part of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah’s strategy of “popular resistance” [i.e., popular terrorism]. The concept of “popular resistance,” which replaced the concept of armed struggle, includes the political-popular-economic-propaganda-legal campaign the PA wages against Israel. The “popular resistance” is not the non-violent strategy publicly touted by the PA leadership or the rhetoric the PA uses when dealing with the West. It is non-institutional violence carried out on the initiative of individuals or local networks. “Popular terrorism” includes throwing stones and Molotov cocktails, stabbing attacks, ramming attacks. The “popular resistance,” in the minds of the PA and Fatah, is different from an armed military struggle, as was manifested in the second intifada, whose renewal Hamas preaches.”

4) At the Fathom journal, Oren Kessler examines ‘Lloyd George’s Secret Testimony to the Peel Commission’.

“Oren Kessler reveals the secret 1937 testimony given by David Lloyd George to the Palestine Royal Commission. Lloyd George had been prime minister during the 1917 Balfour Declaration, and had remained an unswerving Zionist ever since. He was one of nearly 60 witnesses whom the panel heard in private, and whose testimonies have been kept secret for eight decades. His appears here for the first time; it depicts a boisterous, at times embittered septuagenarian defending the Balfour Declaration on grounds of wartime strategy, and the need to appeal to worldwide Jewry, ‘a dangerous people to quarrel with,’ and ‘a very subtle race.’” 

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