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.
by Peter Huessy
The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler not only invents points the Cheneys did not make, he then casually dismisses "uncomfortable points" they did make. How many Pinocchios is that worth?
Kessler evidently assumes that when intelligence assessments differ, the correct version is only that which differs from the points made by the Cheneys but not by their critics.
Most senior Democratic members of the Senate at the time voted -- twice -- for giving the President the authority to take down Saddam Hussein. How else can Democrats say they made a mistake voting for the war if they cannot now make the case that they were "fooled"?
The U.S. took down Saddam Hussein's regime because on balance the threat-intelligence could not be ignored.
by Soeren Kern
The Vatican failed in an attempt to cover up the contents of a prayer by a Muslim cleric at an interfaith "Prayer for Peace" service held in the Vatican garden on June 8. Departing from a pre-approved script, the imam recited verses 284-286 of Sura 2 from the Koran, the latter part of which calls on Allah to grant Muslims victory over non-Muslims.
Danish police raided a mosque in the Vibevej district of Copenhagen after a passerby allegedly saw weapons being carried into the complex.
"We now have hundreds of jihadists and thousands of sympathizers. This naïve Cabinet's inaction is inviting an attack in the Netherlands." — Geert Wilders, Dutch Freedom Party.
Conference attendees called on the Spanish government to sponsor an official study aimed at finding ways to bring European food standards into compliance with Islamic Sharia law.
by Douglas Murray
They carried banners saying, "Stop Israeli State Terror," but some went off-message, deciding, apparently, that it did not matter if their targets were Israelis or not.
In the Netherlands, fresh from a pro-ISIS rally in Amsterdam, the home of the Chief Rabbi -- not Israeli, just Jewish -- was attacked twice in one week.
We live in a rightful disgust for racism of any kind. And yet here we see -- and nowhere more clearly than in Germany -- the new racist nightmare for Europe.
by Samuel Westrop
"These boys were groomed [at the Al Manar Centre] ... so that they are satisfied that what they go to do is right ... once they're groomed, all it takes is someone to say come and I'll take you." — Source close to the Yemeni Community, Cardiff, U.K., as reported in The Telegraph.
All these preachers share one thing in common: they are favorites of the two leading government-subsidized Salafi charities in Britain.
by Bassam Tawil
"We know that Hamas uses human shields. But why would you report this when you are sitting in the middle of the Gaza Strip, surrounded by Hamas gunmen?" — Reporter covering the war, who asked not to be identified.
Besides the human shields story there is another item that the international media choose to ignore: the extrajudicial execution of Palestinian "collaborators" during the last two weeks. The executions were reportedly carried out in the most brutal manner. Hamas has also been shooting suspected "collaborators" in the legs to prevent them from moving around.
It is the media that is helping Hamas get away with war crimes.