Monday, June 1, 2020

"A Real Civilization-Destroying Pandemic"

Another fan favorite on this blog, Heather Mac Donald has a few thoughts on the current state of the nation. She opens her column by remarking that the violence currently sweeping the nation’s cities feels like a real pandemic, one that is designed to destroy civilization itself. As it happens, some of the rioters, those who attended elite universities, have been taught that they should devote themselves to destroying Western civilization.

Mac Donald opens:

Savagery is spreading with lightning speed across the United States, with murderous assaults on police officers and civilians and the ecstatic annihilation of businesses and symbols of the state. Welcome to a real civilization-destroying pandemic, one that makes the recent saccharine exhortations to “stay safe” and the deployment of police officers to enforce outdoor mask-wearing seem like decadent bagatelles.

George Floyd was murdered by a policeman in Minneapolis. What did that city’s mayor, Jacob Frey, do? He ordered the police to evacuate a precinct, leaving it at the mercy of the mobs:

On the night of Thursday, May 28, Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey ordered the city’s Third Police Precinct evacuated as the forces of hatred, distinct from legitimate forms of protest, descended upon it for a third day in a row. The building was promptly torched, sending a powerful sign that society would not defend its most fundamental institutions of law and order.

Weakness invites aggression. Frey sent a signal to the rioters. Doubtless he was consumed by his white guilt. He got what he was asking for.

The media came together to explain that the rioting was taking place because Floyd’s murderer had not yet been arrested and charged. Then, when the police officer was arrested and charged, nothing changed. In fact, it got worse:

The media, visibly exhilarated by this latest explosion of black rage, had its own explanation for the chaos: people were outraged that the officer who had kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for a sickening eight-plus minutes had not yet been arrested and charged. But when that arrest came, along with murder and manslaughter charges after a lightning-fast investigation by the district attorney, the anarchy continued—not just in Minneapolis but across the country.

Why has the violence gotten worse? Mac Donald posits that the rhetorical violence directed against white people, especially against white privilege and white supremacy, has fueled it:

This pandemic of civil violence is more widespread than anything seen during the Black Lives Matter movement of the Obama years, and it will likely have an even deadlier toll on law enforcement officers than the targeted assassinations we saw from 2014 onward. It’s worse this time because the country has absorbed another five years of academically inspired racial victimology. From Ta-Nehisi Coates to the New York Times’s 1619 project, the constant narrative about America’s endemic white supremacy and its deliberate destruction of the “black body” has been thoroughly injected into the political bloodstream.

One might, she continues, put the police violence in some perspective. It’s the exception, not the rule. What is the rule, when it comes to crime, is black-on-white violence. Obviously, most blacks who are murdered in this country today are murdered by other blacks, not by white police officers:

Far from destroying the black body, whites are the overwhelming target of interracial violence. Between 2012 and 2015, blacks committed 85.5 percent of all black-white interracial violent victimizations (excluding interracial homicide, which is also disproportionately black-on-white). That works out to 540,360 felonious assaults on whites. Whites committed 14.4 percent of all interracial violent victimization, or 91,470 felonious assaults on blacks. Blacks are less than 13 percent of the national population….

The national media have been insisting on the theme of the allegedly brutal Minneapolis police department. They said nothing as black-on-white robberies rose in downtown Minneapolis late last year, along with savage assaults on passersby. Why are the Minneapolis police in black neighborhoods? Because that’s where violent crime is happening, including shootings of two-year-olds and lethal beatings of 75-year-olds. Just as during the Obama years, the discussion of the allegedly oppressive police is being conducted in the complete absence of any recognition of street crime and the breakdown of the black family that drives it.

As for the therapy culture’s contribution to the mayhem, we agree with Mac Donald. The urge to understand why people are committing acts of violence is, as noted in my previous post, an effort to exculpate them. If violence is committed for a righteous cause, it is not criminal:

Once the violence began, any effort to “understand” it should have stopped, since that understanding is inevitably exculpatory. The looters are not grieving over the stomach-churning arrest and death of George Floyd; they are having the time of their lives. You don’t protest or mourn a victim by stealing oxycontin, electronics, jewelry, and sneakers.

It Takes an Intellectual...

Just in time, you might say, John Podhoretz (via Maggie's Farm) reminds us of what he calls George Orwell’s “timeless admonition:"

Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.

Indeed, it is impossible to follow intellectual debates in this country without thinking that something is seriously wrong with the American mind. Not in the sense that it is warped or even ill, but that it is infested with terminal stupidity. And especially with the mind of America’s elite intellectuals. It did not begin yesterday. It has been around forever:

The glorification of mob violence and petty criminality that was one of the disgraceful hallmarks of bien-pensant thinking throughout the 20th century resonates through every tweet, ­every deep TV observation and every piece of writing that casts the coast-to-coast destruction and anarchy in a positive light.

Rationalize and justify, find a deeper meaning to the mindless violence. That is the media agenda. It was borne out of cowardice, I would maintain. After all, people who are terrified of mob violence are the first to insist that they are on the rioters side. So, intellectuals, lacking in moral character, are falling over themselves to excuse the moral depravity of the rioters. As noted yesterday, Atlanta Mayor Bottoms struck the correct counter-note, when she said: “We are better than this.”

Our elite intellectuals do not think so. Isn't that telling?Beginning with a Northwestern University professor named Steven Thrasher, they are providing air cover for the rioters. In their eyes we live in a police state. Thus, it is right and honorable and just to burn down police precincts.

How much do you wager that Thrasher will keep his job. After all, fomenting violence against the police or against the state makes you something of a hero.

Podhoretz writes:

A Northwestern University journalism professor named Steven Thrasher took to Slate to offer this analysis: “The destruction of a police precinct is not only a tactically reasonable ­response to the crisis of policing, it is a quintessentially American response, and a predictable one. The uprising we’ve seen this week is speaking to the American police state in its own language, up to and including the use of fireworks to mark a battle victory. Property destruction for social change is as American as the Boston Tea Party. . . .”

There is nothing new about this, Podhoretz reminds us. After all, Norman Mailer was defending criminal acts of violence committed by minority group members decades ago:

The difference between the hoodlums of Mailer’s day and the antifa “insurgents” of Thrasher’s and our time is that our insurgents are fully aware there is a phalanx of media and academic apologists at the ready, who will not only excuse their behavior but laud it. This both provides them internal psychological cover for the unleashing of the evils inside them and a vocabulary to explain away the evils they release.

An important point, worthy or emphasis. Today’s rioters know that they have the media on their side. They know that they will not be portrayed as idiot thugs or even as violent insurrectionists. They will be portrayed as heroes, as a vanguard of the revolution. It's not just about being permitted to riot; it's about being rewarded for rioting.

After all, they are doing what leftist intellectuals have been encouraging for yo these many years. If they add a little violence to the formula, that just means, Podhoretz suggests, that they have an excess of righteous zeal:

Ideological partisans of all stripes face this temptation every day — the temptation to believe that those who seem to be making the same argument you make but then add violence to the mix only do so out of an excess of zeal. In other words, the violent people may be wrong in their tactics, but their passionate loathing of injustice simply got the best of their good intentions.

Perhaps they feel it necessary to do so because they don’t want the bad behavior to discredit their beliefs, or because they can’t bear to examine their ­beliefs in light of the violence and wonder if they are a part of what made the violence happen.

Can you, by the amoral calculus of the American left, ever be too strongly opposed to injustice?

Besides, to keep with a theme of this blog, the rioters are doing little more than expressing their emotions, openly, honestly and shamelessly. Isn't that what therapists have been telling them to do? Isn’t that the height of mental health and emotional well being? Do we want them to bottle up their feelings and get cancer?

A Thought for Today

From Claire Lehmann, editor of Quillette:

Maybe saddling an entire generation of kids with debt & no hope of joining the property class while sending them to institutions that marinate them in neo-Marxist ideology wasn't such a good idea.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

"We Are Better Than This"

Remember the old proverb: Be careful what you wish for, you may get it. Most people seem to believe that it comes from China, but that seems subject to some dispute.

Wherever it comes from, we are living it today.

For the past three years the nation has been awash in seditious rhetoric. The American left, having run one of the worst candidates in American political history, lost the presidency to-- get this-- Donald Trump. Leftists far and wide proceeded to throw a monumental tantrum. In the name of their sacrosanct democracy they refused to accept the results of a fair election.

They called for the White House to be burned down, for Trump to be murdered and decapitated, for radical rioters to take over American cities. They lied and cheated to set up a phony impeachment process, one that ultimately failed. Now they are flocking to the so-called leadership of a man who is suffering from senile dementia, who barely knows what day it is, who assaults women by sniffing their hair in public. They do so because nothing could possibly be worse than Donald Trump. Where are their values? Out to lunch, I would say.

We had the pandemic, so the left decided that it could be a useful cudgel to beat on Donald Trump. Now, after a Minneapolis policeman obviously murdered a man named George Floyd, the nation has erupted in violence. It looks less like a protest and more like an armed insurrection. When you traffic in the rhetoric of mindless destruction, you might not like it when you get your wish.

Now, the American left is now getting its wish. The mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, a man who allowed Antifa fascists to take over sections of his city, suddenly finds the prospect of insurrection intolerable.Those who drooled over the greatness of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s black liberation theology or who happily embraced Rev. Louis Farrakhan are getting their wish.

Naturally, Democratic political operatives, even including former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich are spinning as fast as they can. They do not want to blame the rioters; they do not want to blame those who are fomenting chaos. They want to politicize the rioting by blaming it on Trump. And yet, how many of the rioters do you believe were Trump voters. This is not the Tea Party, bunky.

Reich wrote in The Guardian:

How has Trump responded to the widespread unrest following the murder in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for minutes as he was handcuffed on the ground?

Trump called the protesters “thugs” and threatened to have them shot. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he tweeted, parroting a former Miami police chief whose words spurred race riots in the late 1960s.

On Saturday, he gloated about “the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons” awaiting protesters outside the White House, should they ever break through Secret Service lines.

Were you to ask what’s wrong with this picture, which more closely resembles propaganda than reasoned analysis, the answer pops immediately to mind. Reich has nary a word of condemnation for the rioters who were trying to invade the White House grounds. He has not a work of criticism for the mobs who are burning down cities across the nation. For him, its all about Trump. Trump is the great devil, the root of all evil. Whatever goes wrong is Trump’s fault. Whatever goes right is to the credit of those who have been showering the nation with hatred for these past three years.

As it happens, the cities that are burning are governed by Democrats. They are all sanctuary cities. Most of their mayors are inept and incompetent. When their citizens rise up in anger, the mayors declare that it not the fault of the rioters. They are not to be held accountable. They are to be forgiven, because the real problem is Trump. And the real problem is racism. Among those trafficking in this nonsense is the mayor of Minneapolis, the epicenter of the rebellion. One needs to say it but Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey comes out of this looking like a complete pussy.

Of course, saying that the problem is white racism makes black people appear to be powerless to do anything to help themselves. Harping on racism is a counsel of despair. It demoralizes. It makes black people dependent on others. If the only thing you can do is burn your neighborhood down, then why bother to work for a living, to do schoolwork, to try to get ahead in the world. And why, after all, love the country.

And yet, the message that has nearly gotten lost is this: if any community rises up as a vanguard of a revolution, it is going to suffer reputational damage. The New York Times contrasted the actions of the rioters with the sober and sensible words of the mayor of Atlanta:

Not far from the park, the city’s iconic tourist destination, some people climbed atop a large red CNN sign outside the media company’s headquarters and spray-painted messages on it. Some people jumped on police cars. Others threw rocks at the glass doors of the Omni Hotel, eventually breaking the glass, and shattered windows at the College Football Hall of Fame, where people rushed in and emerged with branded fan gear.

“It’s enough,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in an evening news conference. “We are all angry. This hurts. This hurts everybody in this room. But what are you changing by tearing up a city? You’ve lost all credibility now. This is not how we change America. This is not how we change the world.”

The mayor’s words should stand out as the commentary on these riots, just as Rodney King’s statement-- Can we all get along?-- has come to represent the wisdom that came out of the Los Angeles riots.

The mayor continued:

Ms. Bottoms, the mayor, invoked her own experience as the black mother of four black children, one of whom is 18. She said when she saw Mr. Floyd die, “I hurt like a mother would hurt.”

But she said the demonstrations she saw in Atlanta were not a protest and not in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. but “chaos.”

“You are disgracing our city, you are disgracing the life of George Floyd and every other person who has been killed in this country,” Ms. Bottoms said. “We are better than this. We are better than this as a city. We are better than this as a country. Go home. Go home.”

She understood, as few seem to have, that once you burn down your neighborhood or someone else’s neighborhood, it cannot just be rebuilt overnight. Stock markets might recover in a short period of time. Neighborhoods take much longer. The race riots of the 1960s should have taught us as much.

Worse yet, reputations often do not recover at all. The people who are out rioting, who are out conducting an insurrection against America, are going to damage the reputations of everyone who seems to belong to the same group. Mayor Bottoms understood this. She was horrified by it. She was right. You wonder how many politicians will have the same courage to stand up against the rioters and speak reason to their will to violence.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

China and the Trolley Problem

Apparently, thought experiments are commonly used by philosophers to teach ethical principles. James Wilson outlines the issues in an article on Aeon. I will however take issue with the basic premise, namely that we use these experiments to discover higher ethical principles. I will argue that these experiments are more about executive decision making, especially those situations where an executive is facing two options, neither of which is good. That is, when he needs to choose between bad and worse. Any idiot can choose between good and bad. It takes true leadership to choose between bad and worse.

In the executive situation, there is no time to decide on some overriding general principle. One needs to decide and one is damned either way.

Wilson offers the most famous thought experiment, the trolley problem:

Most famous (or infamous) among these are ‘trolley problems’ – thought experiments about the permissibility of causing the death of a smaller number of people to save a larger number from a runaway trolley (or train). 

The situation is thus: a runaway trolley is rambling down the track. There is no conductor and no way to stop it before it plows into five men working on the track, killing them all. The only option is to switch the trolley to another track. And yet, one man is working on the other track and if the trolley switches tracks, that man will surely die. So, the issue is, saving five people at the cost of murdering one. Doing nothing is not an option, since that will consign the five workers to doom. And, the problem grants equal value to the six human subjects. If, for example, the one person on the alternate track is the leader of your war effort or if he is about to discover a cure for coronavirus, would that change the way you decide? Or better, if the one person were your father or your son, how would that change your decision making.

To be clear, in distinction to the thought experiment, it is rarely the case that we know to a certitude what will happen if we do nothing.

In any event, that is the trolley problem. It is not quite as bizarre or as uncommon as it appears. Let’s say that a law firm is having trouble staying solvent. Should it fire a few lawyers in order to save the jobs of everyone else. One might say that someone is going to get hurt. Should it be five first year associates or one partner? If it's a choice between one associate and one partner, the solution becomes trivial. As it happens today, many companies are facing just such decisions. Many New York law firms have cancelled contracts with summer associates and even with entering associates.

Or else, take another situation, one that involves political leadership. Let’s imagine that a group of protesters have gathered in the central square of Beijing. The year is 1989. They are demanding democratic elections and liberal political reforms. They camp out in the central square for weeks, refusing to budge on their demands. Now, we, with our superior Western wisdom sympathize with their cause. We see Woodstock. And we see liberal democracy coming to China.

As it happens, the leaders of the Middle Kingdom do not see what we see. They see a situation that they saw a quarter century before, when bands of student radicals amassed in Tienanmen Square to inaugurate the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

Given that China’s leaders in 1989 were mostly victims of the Cultural Revolution, one might attribute a certain degree of sensitivity to them. Perhaps even over-sensitivity.

Did they have any reason to think as they thought? Well, first, a teenaged student named Wuer Kaixi went on national television in his pajamas and berated the Premier of China, one Li Peng to his face. To humiliate a political leader publicly must have reminded some of members of the Politburo of what had happened during the Mao years. Second, the student demonstrators had provoked some considerable support around the nation. Strikes were breaking out. The economy was grinding to a halt. (Note the difference between that time and this year’s Hong Kong protests, which have elicited no public support on the mainland). Third, the army was in mutiny. A simple detail, often lost in the hubbub, but the People’s Liberation Army forces stationed around Beijing had announced that they would not obey orders to crack down on the demonstrators. One suspects that the police did not have the power to intervene-- situation that we are seeing play out on America’s streets today.

Now, we all agree that the best approach would have been to allow the protest movement to peter out on its own. And yet, if the movement was causing major disruptions across the nation, that may have seemed too dangerous a risk.

And besides, as Henry Kissinger pointed out at the time, China’s leaders were losing some serious face at the time. We think that losing face is all about keeping up appearances. Since I wrote a book in which I tried to dispel this misapprehension, I will point out that Kissinger was suggesting that if you cannot control the central square of your capital city, you look like you are not in charge. If China’s leaders were not in control, then the risk was that student radicals would seize control and announce another Cultural Revolution. And that that would lead to civil war.

So, China’s leaders did not merely want the protests to end. They were afraid that if they did not show themselves to be in charge, China would fall into anarchy. And they knew from the country’s history that internecine warfare would cause millions of deaths. As it happened the Cultural Revolution caused over a million deaths and destroyed countless more lives. It broke what remained of the Chinese economy and produced an extreme poverty rate that was well over 80%. 

And let us also understand that the Politburo debated the question for weeks. The students had the support of the Communist Party General Secretary and former premier, Zhao Ziyang. As it happened, Zhao himself walked into Tiananmen Square at a dramatic moment and announced to the student demonstrators that they had lost the argument.

Of course, the man who was called the Supreme Leader of China at the time, one Deng Xiaoping, only had one official title-- Chairman of the Military Commission. Deng’s opinion prevailed because he was respected, not because he possessed the authority of Mao Zedong. As you know, Deng abhorred the idolatry that surrounded Mao. He himself was targeted by the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. He was named the No. 2 capitalist roader for his efforts to replace Mao’s communism with a free enterprise system. The No. 1 capitalist roader, Liu Shaoqi was murdered by the Red Guards in 1969. Deng survived it because he was a favorite of the People’s Liberation Army. For the record, his son was tortured by the Red Guards and tossed out of a third story window. The young man ended up a parapligic. 

So, we can see that the leadership of China was faced with a trolley problem in 1989. It believed that it could either exert its authority violently by murdering a certain number of student demonstrators or could watch the country disintegrate. In the latter case, the case where it did nothing, a new civil war might well erupt and millions might die.

In any event, we know what happened. We know that the George H. W. Bush administration dealt with the fallout diplomatically. We also know that a young New York Times reporter, by name of Nicholas Kristof confidently predicted that the Chinese regime would soon collapse. By his jejune reasoning, oppression always provoked a counterreaction, an act of rebellion that would overthrow the powers that be. And we also know that one Gordon Chang wrote a book ten years after Tiananmen where he predicted the imminent collapse of the Chinese regime. 

Kristof works for the New York Times so no one expects him to be right. As for Chang, the reward for being wrong for two decades is to attain the status of expert and to appear on major television talk shows. Don't say Americans are not charitable. And don't say that they have any intellectual standards.

So, as I said, the trolley problem is more practical than theoretical. It refers to situations where an executive needs to choose between bad and worse, and especially at a time where, in distinction to the trolley problem, the outcome of inaction is in doubt. 

Friday, May 29, 2020

Should Israel Annex West Bank Settlements?

By any objective measure things are looking good for Israel. Thanks to the Trump administration, which has undone many of the anti-Israeli policies put in place by the Obama administration, Israel’s strategic position in the region has improved significantly.

Now, the issue on the table is the Israeli and American effort to annex Jewish settlements on the West Bank. As might be expected, the Palestinian terrorists oppose this action. So does presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Biden.

In order to lure Jewish voters into voting against their interests, Biden continues to float the phony prospect of a peace plan. As it happens, there are no peace negotiations. The Palestinian terrorists do not want peace. Talking about peace is merely a lure to dupe the gullible.

As noted, the important point involves Israel’s strategic position in the region. The second important point is Israeli alliances with Arab states. The third important point is to the need to destroy the Iranian regime. On these scores the Trump administration has done excellent work.

When Biden talks about undercutting the prospects for peace he really means that he wants to undercut Israel’s position in the region. And he refuses to accept the simple fact that Israel succeeded in a place where the Palestinians failed. And that Palestinians have nothing left to do but to negotiate terms of surrender.

Here is the Biden policy:

Joe Biden said that as president he would reverse Trump administration policies that have led to Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

“I do not support annexation,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee told Jewish donors on Tuesday during a fundraising webinar. “I’m going to reverse Trump administration steps which I think significantly undercut the prospects of peace.”

Biden, the former vice president, was referring to the Trump administration’s vision for peace released earlier this year that would allow Israel to annex parts of the West Bank. 

Of course, the Trump peace plan was greeted favorably by Gulf Arab states. One should not overlook this fact.

David Hornik reports on the current game of diplomatic chess:

Will Israel start “annexing”—the more accurate but cumbersome term is “applying Israeli law and/or sovereignty to”—the Jordan Valley and the Israeli West Bank communities in July?

A report by reporter-analyst Daniel Siryoti in the Israel Hayom daily strengthens the likelihood that… the Israeli move is on track for July.

As you know the Palestinian Authority has thrown a tantrum. And Turkey's president Erdogan has said that he will not let it happen. King Abdullah of Jordan has protested vehemently, but his protests seem to have been more theatrical than real. Other nations have sent a different message. 

Opponents of applying sovereignty say it will needlessly rile or even endanger Israel’s improved—though still mostly under-the-table—relations with Arab states, and will also spark a surge of Palestinian violence. But Siryoti’s report puts at least the former assumption in doubt.

“Behind the scenes,” he says, “moderate Arab leaders are in no rush to prevent Israel from pursuing the territorial bid.”

That would be in contrast to their public statements—especially in the case of Jordan’s King Abdullah, who warned of “massive conflict” with Israel and suspension of the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty if Israel applies sovereignty to the lands.

Yet, says Siryoti, “over the past few months several Arab leaders have met with senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and US Middle East envoy Avi Berkowitz [and] in essence, given the go-ahead” for the Israeli move.

Why would Arab leaders be giving the go-ahead for Israel to finalize its control of territories it conquered in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war?

Apparently, Jared Kushner has been doing a good job here. You will never read it in the media, perhaps because of his religious persuasion. 

A “senior Jordanian official,” Siryoti writes, told him that if Jordan suspends or cancels the peace agreement [with Israel], it will undermine its position [as custodian of] the holy Islamic sites in Jerusalem.

The king also prefers to see Israeli troops near Jordan’s western border [the Jordan Valley] over Palestinian forces or a multinational peacekeeping mission. Jordan’s security forces have close ties with their Israeli counterparts and with all due respect to Palestinian interests—the king cares more about Jordanian interests. He wants to maintain the kingdom’s status in Jerusalem and his good relations with President Trump.

Perhaps more importantly, Saudi Arabia has been telling the Palestinians to cut it out. We have reported extensively on signs of a Saudi shift, and we will point out that when a country like Jordan needs financial assistance, it calls Riyadh.

The following information strikes me as significant, especially since it sustains a point I have been making for a few years now. I underscore that the Saudis respect the Trump administration, fact that you will never read in the American media:

As for Saudi Arabia, whose tacit ties with Israel have been growing, Siryoti quotes a “senior diplomat considered a confidant of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman” who told him:

…the Palestinians need to understand that the entire world, especially the Arab states, has undergone great changes…. With all due respect to the tens of thousands of Palestinians living in the Jordan Valley, Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Jordan will not jeopardize their relationship with the Trump administration for them.

…It is time for [Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas] and his advisers to wake up and realize that global and regional interests have changed. If they again miss an opportunity to establish an independent and sovereign state alongside Israel because of the annexation of the [Jordan] Valley and some of the settlements, they will be left with nothing.

The same message is coming from Egypt.

And as for Egypt, a “senior Egyptian security official” said that moderate Arab rulers “see preventing Iran from achieving Shiite hegemony in the Middle East as more important than the Palestinian issue.” The official added, “The United States and Israel are very important [players] in the fight against Iran. No Arab leader will jeopardize his country’s own interest in curbing Iranian expansion for the Palestinians.”

So, the Palestinians have lost. They will probably be the last to know. Their only hope now is a Biden administration willing to prop up the mullahs in Tehran and to undermine Israel’s strategic interests.