What the U.S. Does Not Want to Know About Abbas
Abbas's autocratic rule and the frustration of many Palestinians do not seem to bother Kerry. The U.S. seems to want to bring Abbas to the negotiating table with Israel at any price. Kerry seems to be seeking to cut a deal with just one person -- who does not even have the backing of his people.
As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pursues his efforts to revive the peace process in the Middle East, Palestinian officials in the West Bank are complaining that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is keeping them in the dark and refusing to brief them about his plans.
For these officials, Abbas's autocracy has turned the Palestinian Authority into a one-man show called Mahmoud Abbas.
President Abbas has become the president of everything related to the Palestinians and the Palestinian cause, complained Sufyan Abu Zayda, a senior representative of Abbas's Fatah faction. He is the head of the PLO, President of Palestine, President of the Palestinian Authority, head of Fatah, and commander of the Palestinian Authority security forces.
Moreover, in the absence of a functioning Palestinian parliament, Abbas has taken it upon himself to issue his own laws.
The Palestinian parliament, known as the Palestinian Legislative Council, has been paralyzed ever since Hamas drove Abbas's Palestinian Authority out of the Gaza Strip in 2007.
Abbas sometimes meets with members of the PLO Executive Committee and the Fatah Central Committee to discuss latest developments surrounding the Palestinian issue.
But these two bodies are dominated by unelected Abbas loyalists, including many old-guard leaders whose only concern is to continue receiving monthly funds from the Palestinian Authority leadership so they can rent offices and hire several aides and secretaries, as well as drivers and bodyguards.
Then there is the Palestinian government in the West Bank, whose prime minister and ministers have no say in political matters.
Some Palestinians are also complaining that Abbas does not consult with the PLO's Negotiations Department, which is in charge of the peace talks with Israel.
Abu Zayda and other Palestinian officials say that Abbas's autocratic regime reminds them of the days when Yasser Arafat ran the Palestinian Authority as his private fiefdom.
No one dreamed that we would reach a situation where all the powers and top positions would be concentrated in the hands of one man, said Abu Zayda. Today, Abbas even has more powers than Arafat.
Abbas, according to Abu Zayda, has also appointed himself as the chief judge and prosecutor, making a mockery of the Palestinian judicial system.
Take, for example, the case of Ghazi Jabali, the former commissioner-general of the Palestinian Authority police force.
For many years, Jabali was wanted by the Palestinian Authority for corruption and theft. After fleeing to Jordan, the Palestinian Authority requested Interpol's help in the arrest of Jabali.
A few weeks ago, Palestinians were surprised to see Jabali staying at a luxurious hotel in Ramallah. It transpired that Jabali was able to return to the West Bank after receiving a written document from Abbas clearing him of any wrongdoing.
Abbas is surrounded by three or four people who are making important decisions on behalf of all Palestinians, noted another Palestinian official in the West Bank. These are the only people he consults with. Most PLO and Fatah leaders have no idea about Abbas's strategy.
The growing resentment about Abbas's autocratic regime and refusal to share powers and plans with other Palestinians cast doubt on his ability to win the support of a majority of Palestinians for resuming peace talks, let alone signing a peace treaty with Israel.
Abbas's autocratic rule and the frustration of many Palestinians do not seem to bother Kerry.
The U.S. seems to want to bring Abbas to the negotiating table with Israel at any price.
Kerry seems to be seeking to cut a deal with just one person -- who does not even have the backing of his people.
Unlike Kerry, Abbas is fully aware of the increased criticism at home -- and why Abbas is now telling his people that if and when he resumes peace talks with Israel, it will be only because the U.S. has exerted immense pressure on him.
Reader comments on this item
|Failures to understand Islam [80 words]||Bart Benschop||Jul 9, 2013 01:57|
|Is Abbas the legitimate leader? [55 words]||Amonseyman||Jul 1, 2013 23:22|
|So why no Arab Palestinian Spring? [131 words]||Lori Lowenthal Marcus||Jun 30, 2013 21:47|
|↔ The Only Reason [25 words]||Ethan P.||Jul 1, 2013 13:23|
|↔ Ethan, that does not answer my questions [55 words]||Lori Lowenthal Marcus||Jul 1, 2013 13:52|
|↔ It is the answer. [148 words]||Ethan P.||Jul 2, 2013 14:26|
|Cutting one's own throat [52 words]||Charles||Jun 30, 2013 15:52|
|Obama has learned nothing from the past Democratic administration - the PLO's total corruption [201 words]||Phillip Pasmanick||Jun 30, 2013 09:16|
|The Wrong Horse [50 words]||Ethan P.||Jun 29, 2013 23:28|
Comment on this item
by Douglas Murray
One year after the bombs went off at the Boston marathon, Brandeis authorities were so intent on avoiding the issues those bombs had raised, that they would rather point the finger at a critic of the radical ideology than do anything to criticize the ideology.
Is not the Palestinian leadership a viable negotiating partner with whom peace is just about to be achieved? How do you protest if the protesters are Muslims? Who are the victims and who are the victimizers? After all, "victims" cannot victimize, can they?
When we see a global bigotry and hatred such as this, we should identify it as such and demand, in the name of all that is decent, that it stop.
by Anna Mahjar-Barducci
Libya is the new jihadist front on the Mediterranean -- and just a few hours away from the centers of Europe.
Several security sources have confirmed that Belmokhtar is still alive and has moved, along with his troops, from Mali to a new base in the Libyan desert.
by Timon Dias
"If Lady Justice is truly blind, she will prosecute all of us or none of us. I hope none of us." — Geert Wilders, MP and Leader of the Party for Freedom, the Netherlands.
A more recent development is the pending Dutch Moroccan takeover of the drugs and human trafficking businesses.
by Shabnam Assadollahi
It is now being said that Morteza Sarbandi, instead of assaulting Reyhaneh Jabbari, was stabbed while performing Muslim prayers.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
"We reject all forms of violence... Palestinian blood is like Israeli blood. It is human blood and precious and no one wants anyone killed." — Mahmoud al-Habbash, Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs
"If your blood is like the blood of Zionists, our blood is not." — Zakariya Zubeidi, former leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade.
"We call for lifting his [al-Habbash's] diplomatic immunity and for prosecuting him immediately for his administrative, financial, and political corruption. We also call on President Abbas to fire him immediately from the Palestinian cabinet." — Mansour al-Sa'di, Fatah leader.
The angry reactions show that there are many Palestinians who see no problem with a terrorist attack against a Jewish family. Palestinian leaders can blame only themselves.
- Palestinians: "Prisoners Day"
by Khaled Abu Toameh
- Who are the Victims and Who Are the Victimizers?
by Douglas Murray
- UK: Multiculturalism vs. Islamism
by Samuel Westrop
- UK: Probe of Islamic Takeover Plot Widens
by Soeren Kern
- Anti-Israel BDS Resolutions Seize Campuses in Ontario, Canada
by Christine Williams