Wikileaks shocker: did Mahmoud Abbas know in advance about the devastating blitz on his countrymen in Gaza?
|Monday, December 6,2010 22:08|
|By Stuart Littlewood|
One of the most grotesque Wikileaks revelations so far is the disclosure that Palestinian top dog (Fatah faction) Mahmoud Abbas was told in advance about the murderous assault on his countrymen in Gaza two years ago.
Stench of treason
So what are we to make of the documents claiming that in a June 2009 meeting between Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak and a US congressional delegation, Barak said that the Israeli government "had consulted with Egypt and Fatah prior to Operation Cast Lead, asking if they were willing to assume control of Gaza once Israel defeated Hamas"?
The ambassador replied: "I am surprised as you are, and cannot confirm the Wikileaks revelation whether they are authentic or not."
Living on borrowed time
Abbas, as we all know, is living his elevated lifestyle on borrowed time. Since January 2009, when his term as president officially expired, Western-backed Abbas has clung like superglue to power and overstayed his welcome. A year ago, having already taken a one-year extension regarded by many, including Hamas, as unlawful, he announced he had no wish to seek re-election at a presidential poll he promised for last January. But January came and went, and there was still no presidential election. Abbas is now nearing the end of his second year of illegitimate tenure.
I have two vivid images of Palestinians. The first, in Gaza, was the sight of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and the crusty old Catholic priest, Fr Manuel Mussallam, who had guarded his flock through utmost deprivation and the darkest of days (with many more to come), standing shoulder to shoulder in front of the microphones and cameras, both proclaiming that they were Palestinians first and Muslim/Christian second.
That’s unity of a welcome sort.
The other is of Fatah playing Israel's armed poodle, reminiscent of the Vichy French government’s militia set up to fight the French Resistance and do much of the Nazis’ dirty work. Is Fatah prepared to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Gaza Palestinians against the common enemy – the occupier – and proclaim themselves "Palestinians first" and Fatah/Hamas second?