There are few institutions as powerful as the teacher unions in the United States. Not only do they lock in amazing benefits and pensions for their constituents (that’s very much the teachers and not the students), the unions protect horrible teachers from being appropriately fired.
Terrible teachers, many accused of disgusting wrong-doings, end up in so-called “rubber rooms” where they don’t actively teach students anymore but sit around and mark time. All the while, they continue to be paid handsomely and accrue retirement benefits from taxpayers.
A similar dynamic can be seen with the United Nations’ favorite constituents, the Palestinian Arabs, and their pathetic leader, Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Abbas is a disgrace by every measure. The Palestinians hate him, with 73% unsatisfied with his performance and 77% demanding his resignation, according to a June 2022 poll. Roughly 86% of Palestinians consider the Palestinian Authority to be disgracefully corrupt according to the same poll.
Abbas’s four year term as President was supposed to expire in January 2009 but he has refused to hold new elections, as he knows that he would be trounced, even by the leaders of Hamas, a US-designated terrorist organization.
Abbas lost control over much of the territory and people he was supposed to govern shortly after he assumed power. He and his Fatah Party were routed from Gaza by Hamas in 2007. Abbas has failed to negotiate a unity government with Hamas over fifteen of his eighteen year reign.
With no mandate, support, standing, proven ability to negotiate with fellow Palestinians (let alone Israelis), one would imagine that Abbas would be sidelined by the global community. Why would anyone back such a failed leader and regime?
A thoughtful initial reaction might be that it’s what corrupt political bodies do. Just like teacher unions support corrupt teachers to the chagrin of students and their parents, the United Nations continues to support Abbas and the PA, to the annoyance of Palestinians and Israelis alike.
Abbas has been given the podium to address the United Nations General Assembly every September since 2005. Last year, Abbas used the opportunity to declare that he will continue the “pay-to-slay” program in which the PA pays the families of terrorists who attack Israelis. During his address, he gave Israel one year – until now – to withdraw from the lands it took from Egypt and Transjordan in 1967, or he would abandon any attempts to negotiate a final agreement with Israel and would pursue a solution at the International Criminal Court.
Regardless of his track record and threat, US President Joe Biden paid Abbas a visit in Bethlehem and declared his administration’s support for Abbas. Abbas flew to Europe to meet the leaders of Romania and France. Abbas even went to Germany, where he outrageously accused Israel of committing “50 Holocausts” against Palestinian Arabs.
“The rubber room. Please put him in a rubber room as quickly as possible,” were the calls from around the world. We all know he wrote his doctoral thesis on Holocaust denial and that he continues to funnel money to terrorists but we kept telling ourselves “Abbas is a moderate” despite the facts. Keep him away from governance. Stop rewarding him with official state visits. Even corrupt agencies like the UN cannot continue the ignominy of his addressing world leaders.
But they can’t stop because this farce is two-party tango.
Abbas is indeed an unpopular, corrupt, inept Holocaust denier who should be shuttled off the global stage. But he is the flimsy veneer that hides the deep anti-Semitism and rejection of peace ingrained in Palestinian Arab society. He might occasionally go off the scripts that far left-wing NGOs put before him to enable billions of dollars to flow into the PA, but he’s the only front man they have.
Palestinians have been saying consistently: they do not want a two-state solution; they do not want Jews in the Middle East; they proudly support the anti-Semitic political-terrorist group Hamas which has sworn to obliterate the Jewish State.
So western leaders shake hands with the 87-year old cartoon cutout Abbas and pretend he is a legitimate Palestinian leader. They send him billions of dollars of support, knowing much will be wasted and go to fund terrorists in the hope of placating the more radical jihadists. Abbas effectively sits in the rubber room but is trotted out to legitimize the fund flows and to make the masses feel like they are being treated with dignity.
Imagine if a horrible teacher who fomented racism and violence, was considered the best of the lot? The pretty face that covered up the greater evil that was being taught in the classroom by the rest of the staff. Would society allow that teacher to continue to teach, sit in a rubber room or be fired? To be escorted from school or be the public face to address students and parents? Would everyone recognize the systemic problem and demand that the entire institution be shuttered completely, or would they be too concerned about not having any teachers at school?
The veneer has worn through and Abbas’s dark stains are apparent. However, the anti-Semitic rot that lies behind him in Palestinian society continues to be willfully and actively ignored. All because the world is too reluctant to both consider and internalize that creating a neo-Nazi state alongside the sole Jewish State is a terrible idea.
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