Former Israeli minister and negotiator Yossi Beilin -- along with with a number of Israelis, including former army chief of staff Amnon Shahak and Zahav Gal'on, leader of the left-wing Meretz Party -- met this week in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and gave him some advice as how to deal with the Israeli government and the peace process.
The meeting in Ramallah came one day after Beilin called on Abbas to dismantle the Palestinian Authority so that Israel will be forced to manage the day-to-day affairs of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip -- basically meaning the abrogation of the Oslo Accords, which the two men played a major role in creating two decades ago.
Beilin and his friends are, in fact, inciting Abbas against the Israeli government: they are encouraging him to resist American and European pressure and stay away from the peace talks with Israel.
The problem is that Beilin and his friends are doing so not out of concern or love for the Palestinians. They are, instead, inciting Abbas to achieve their own political goals: the removal of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from power.
But Beilin is not the only Israeli who regularly offers different types of advice to the Palestinians. The list of "advisors" consists of politicians, Knesset members, journalists and columnists and "peace activists."
If Beilin, his colleagues and associates really cared about the Palestinians, they would be urging Abbas to stay away from Hamas and return to the negotiations with Israel immediately and unconditionally. They would also be urging Abbas to implement large-scale reforms in the corruption-riddled Palestinian Authority and stop violations against human rights and freedom of expression in the areas under his control.
It would also be a good idea to advise Abbas to stop the indoctrination and incitement in the mosques, media and rhetoric of Palestinian officials -- which are causing tremendous damage to the peace process and relations between Jews and Arabs.
Beilin wants Abbas to disband the Palestinian Authority so that Israel will find itself in an embarrassing and difficult situation where it would be forced to resume direct control over nearly four million Palestinians. The advice to dissolve the Palestinian Authority is one that would plunge the whole Middle East into instability and pave the way for another round of violence. Such a move would only embolden the radicals among the Palestinians and other Arabs and confirm their argument that the entire peace process is nothing but a farce.
How come we did not hear Beilin and his associates making a similar offer to Abbas before, when Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni were in power in Israel? Most likely because Beilin and they share virtually the same positions and views as Olmert and Livni.
Nor is this a new phenomenon. Some of the "advisors" used to tell Yasser Arafat and his aides what to say to Israeli government officials and the Israeli public about different issues. Some of these "advisors," according to Palestinian sources, were on Arafat's payroll or benefited from funds provided by Americans and Europeans.
Abdel Karim Saleh is a London-based Jordanian journalist.