Blinken Meets Palestinian Pres. in Ramallah

    Blinken Meets Palestinian Pres. in Ramallah
    Photo: Scott Peterson/Contributor/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Continuing his tour of the region, US Sec. of State Antony Blinken met with Palestinian Pres. Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, in the West Bank, on Wednesday to discuss the conflict and the postwar role the Palestinian Authority (PA) may play in Gaza. While the Biden admin. has supported a reformed PA administering Gaza after the war, Israel has opposed any significant role over the strip for that body.

    • Upon his arrival in Bahrain later that day, Blinken claimed that Abbas had expressed commitment to make the PA — which has limited governing powers in the West Bank — more effective amid allegations of growing corruption and authoritarianism. Meanwhile, a senior PA official claimed that several reforms, including on free speech and corruption, were proposed to Blinken but only in the context of a broader deal on ending the war and subsequent governance and rebuilding in Gaza.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The US is doing everything it can to both prevent regional escalation and ensure that Israeli forces can eliminate Hamas's military capabilities. Israel must be able to defend itself from terrorist attacks, whether from Gaza or elsewhere, and is taking the right steps to wind down its military operations in Gaza, as it is not in the US or Israel's best interest to see the conflict escalate. Nevertheless, the US is prepared to defend its allies in the region and deter threats to regional and global security.

    Pro-Israel narrative

    Though this has been a tragic war, Israel must continue to eliminate Hamas and restore deterrence with Iran and its proxy Hezbollah. Hezbollah is a terrorist army with far greater military capabilities than Hamas, and Israel cannot allow its citizens residing in the north to live under the constant threat of terrorist attacks. The UN resolution that ended the 2006 war with Hezbollah has failed to ensure Israel's security, and if some sort of new arrangement is not made, Israel will be forced to intervene. Likewise, in Gaza, Hamas's military capabilities must be eliminated to ensure Israel's security.

    Pro-Palestine narrative

    Israel continues to demonstrate that its war is not against Hamas or Hezbollah, but against the Palestinian and Lebanese people as a whole. Nowhere in Gaza is safe, and Israel has effectively rendered the north of the strip unlivable. The occupation forces are killing Palestinians at an unprecedented rate and clearly wants to make the entire enclave uninhabitable. If the US, Israel's biggest ally, truly wants to minimize the war's intensity, it must instead exert more pressure to end the war completely.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 10% chance that the Palestinian Authority/Fatah will have de facto power in the Gaza Strip on January 1, 2025, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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