Abbas is unfit to lead the Palestinian people
|Wednesday, September 29,2010 09:33|
|By Khalid Amayreh|
The reaction of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the latest Zionist provocations, including the all-out settlement expansion drive in the West Bank, has been disastrous and calamitous.
Abbas has issued a plethora of conflicting statements, some signaling his willingness to remain engaged in the so-called "peace process" with Israel. This is despite the fact that Israel keeps trampling on that damned, whoring process, if only by embarking on more settlement building, and more land theft at the Palestinians' expense.
This is not a minor matter. The occupied territories are the proverbial disputed piece of cheese which Israel keeps devouring around the clock to the extent that most Palestinians are justifiably worried that no territories will be left for establishing a viable and territorially contiguous state that is worthy of the name. Some, including this writer, believe that it is already too late for Palestinian statehood.
When Abbas is speaking to a Palestinian audience, he expresses his dissatisfaction with Israel and warns that he may pull out of the American-brokered talks with Israel.
It is not very difficult to diagnose Abbas's duplicity and inconsistency. The PA leader can't displease Washington for obvious reasons.
The financial bloodline upon which the deformed Ramallah entity depends comes from Washington. Moreover, Abbas realizes that should Obama or the US congress, both under effective Jewish control, clear their throats, a financial and economic earthquake would instantaneously occur in Ramallah and thousands of civil servants would lose their jobs and their salaries.
This is how stupid and bankrupt regimes that allow themselves to be hostage to foreign countries end up because he who pays the piper calls the tune.
Abbas often claims that this is not the case with his authority. However, his words in this regard can't really be believed.
In the meantime, Abbas, like other despotic dictators in the Arab world, would very much want to retain a semblance of popular legitimacy. This he does by pretending that he is still faithful to Palestinian national constants when in fact he is striving to destroy them, knowingly or unknowingly, by way of lying to the public and desensitizing the Palestinian masses.
In the past few years, many people gave Abbas the benefit of the doubt, citing the immense international pressure to which he was subjected as well as the phenomenal weakness overwhelming the Arab world.
However, there are things that can't be justified under any circumstances, but Abbas doesn't seem to know the difference.
Abbas keeps lowering the Palestinian national ceilings by allowing Israel to gain more time to build more settlements. And when the steps he is demanded to make prove too embarrassing or too scandalous, like resuming peace talks in the absence of a settlement expansion freeze by Israel, Abbas hastens to Cairo or Amman or Riyadh, begging Arab leaders to save him. The next day, he would reappear in Ramallah to tell the frustrated Palestinian masses that "I can't not refuse to take the advice of our brotherly Arab leaders."
In the not-too-distant past, Arab leaders did give us truly brotherly advice. They would urge us to reject Zionist schemes and resist Zionist aggression. "However, for many years now, the only Arab advice we have been receiving from most Arab capitals is a demoralizing message calling on us to surrender to Israel and cede all or most of our legitimate rights, including the right to freedom and independence.
In brief, the Arab regimes want us to "be happy and not worry." In other words, these regimes are a liability, not an asset in the struggle for the liberation of our countries from shackles of Zionism.
I don’t know for sure why Abbas is behaving the way he does. Is he senile? Is he not fully aware of what he is doing? Does he have a blind faith in Barack Obama, the man who shakes at the mere notion of criticizing Israeli insolence and arrogance of power?
Ok, cowardice is a natural phenomenon just as courage and wisdom and other attributes, good or bad. However, it is illogical to entrust the enduring Palestinian cause to a man who is unable and unfit to navigate the national boat to the shore of safety.
Like the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Abbas refuses to face reality as it is. He is also becoming increasingly peripatetic, preferring to be far away from the theatre of events. He also prefers very much to listen to himself, and when one confronts him with news or views he doesn't like to hear, he get nervous asks the speaker to shut up.
Abbas on many occasions justifiably attacked the governance style of Yasser Arafat. He thought that the second intifada was a disaster for the Palestinians. However, instead of suggesting a wiser approach, Abbas has effectively reached the conclusion that surrendering to Israel is the best alternative, not knowing that Israel is very much like a treacherous crocodile, the more meat you give it, the more it demands.
Indeed, the latest gestures Abbas and his aides have been making toward Israel have not only been scandalous from the view point of Palestinian national dignity. They have also been politically disastrous.
In the final analysis, displaying weakness and compromising our people's dignity will not make Israel come to terms with our usurped rights.
Today, the Palestinian cause stands at a crossroad as the US seems both unwilling and unable to pressure the Zionist regime to end the occupation that started in 1967.
I am not a prophet of doom and gloom. However, it is difficult to believe that the US would be able to force Israel to return to the 1967 borders when it can't get the Zionist regime to extend a partial and insignificant settlement freeze for a few more months.
As to what should the Palestinian leadership do in the face of Zionist insolence and American connivance with it, the matter shouldn't be too complicated. Let Abbas, whose term of office already expired a long time ago, let him resign and retire in dignity.