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I urge President Mahmoud Abbas to step down immediately

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank on 22 June 2017 [İper Topal/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank on 22 June 2017 [İper Topal/Anadolu Agency]

I wrote an article that was published in Al-Quds Al-Arabi on 18 June 2001 about the city of Jerusalem. “They conspired against you, Jerusalem, the city of the Arabs of the past and present, the home of Jesus son of Mary, and the destination of Prophet Muhammad during his [miraculous] night journey,” I said. “Oh Jerusalem, the first Qiblah, it was towards you that the first prayer was performed, when the Arab Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, performed his first prayer in Islam.”

I continued: “O sister city of Mecca and Medina [sic], some senior Arab leaders conspired against you, even before the West, with its organisations, institutions and doctrines, conspired against you. The plotting of these Arab leaders against you lies in the fact that they are incredibly silent in the face of the destruction, damage, attacks, confiscation, killings and torture you are being subject to at the hands of the Zionist leaders, without any real objection to these actions against your perseverant people.”

Instead, such leaders were content only with condemnation and disapproval. Now, in the light of the unprecedented Arab subjugation and submissiveness in order to keep their authority in some regional capitals, last month US President Donald Trump was emboldened to announce his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He also instructed his Secretary of State to work on moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority leadership went to the UN Security Council, but failed to achieve what it wanted. The PA then went to the General Assembly under the principle of “Uniting for Peace” and obtained a vote against the American decision with a majority of 128 in favour to 9 against; there were 35 abstentions and 18 countries absent. I now have a question to ask the PA: what is the next step after this?

Read: 70% of Palestinians want Abbas to resign immediately

Mahmoud Abbas says that he will seek to join more international organisations, such as the International Criminal Court, but what will the Palestinian people benefit from that step? The answer is simple: they will benefit nothing at all.

During the extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Istanbul to reach a unified position on the aforementioned US announcement, Abbas said that the Palestinians “will no longer accept” any American role in the Middle East process at all. Very close sources said that Saudi Arabia asked Abbas not to participate in the Istanbul summit (Middle East Eye, 25 January 2018). However, how can a summit be held for the sake of Jerusalem without the attendance of the PA president or Jordan?

All the evidence suggests that Mahmoud Abbas is no longer the decision-maker when it comes to the Palestinian cause. As I have noted previously, he is no longer trusted in Jordan or by many Palestinian officials, let alone the Palestinian people. This is because he is not transparent or honest in his dealings with his partners for the future of the region.

Jordan is the main partner in the future of Palestine, along with the leaders of other Palestinian organisations. Hence, the PA leadership must be honest and trustworthy, and exchange information with its partners as well as the Palestinian people in order for them to plan how they will confront the mutual enemy. They must avoid the fatal mistakes made in the Madrid and other Conferences.

Read: What options does Abbas have after that General Assembly vote?

After the Istanbul summit, it was expected that Abbas would take executive measures to respond to the Trump administration’s decision, especially after the UN General Assembly vote and an implementation of the spirit of the summit in Turkey. Such measures should, it is reasonable to assume, have included ending the internal political conflict and announcing a comprehensive reconciliation with the Gaza Strip, as well as bringing to an end the PA’s security coordination with Israel. Due to the fact that he has not made any decision that benefits the Palestinians, as well as many other reasons that date back to the Oslo Accords in 1993, Abbas is no longer worthy of leading the Palestinian people. He should step down and leave the matter to younger leaders capable of achieving the goals of the Palestinian people.

Mahmoud Abbas turns a blind eye on Gaza's blockade - Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

Mahmoud Abbas turns a blind eye on Gaza’s blockade – Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

In Egypt, meanwhile, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi is deceiving his citizens and the Arabs in general; indeed, he is also deceiving himself. How? I will not talk about the internal affairs of Egypt. What concerns me today is Egypt’s position on the Palestinian issue. When it was a member of the Security Council representing the Arab cause, its performance did not match Egypt’s great regional status. It proposed a draft resolution to the Security Council on Jerusalem on behalf of the Arabs, and the US amended it in order to make it worthless. The resolution did not mention the US by name in order to avoid it participating in the vote since it is a party to the matter, in accordance with the UN Charter. The Egyptian delegate informed Cairo of this and the Egyptian president agreed to the US amendments. The draft was then put to a vote and US Ambassador Nikki Haley used her veto to block the resolution.

Everyone went to the General Assembly, and Egypt dutifully voted in favour of the US announcement. Leaks broadcast by Mekameleen TV have revealed that Egypt colluded with America and Israel. They also indicated that the belief in Cairo is that any Palestinian uprising would harm Egypt’s national security; that it would favour Hamas and the Islamic groups; and that it must, therefore, be thwarted. The leaks also revealed that an anonymous Egyptian intelligence officer gave instructions to some local journalists and artists to promote the acceptance of Ramallah as the capital of Palestine instead of Jerusalem. This has apparently been accepted by Al-Sisi’s government. Furthermore, additional leaks will soon emerge to confirm that Egypt and some Gulf countries are working hard to block an Arab summit on Jerusalem, following US instructions and Israeli insistence.

We need to stop Mahmoud Abbas from becoming little more than a nightwatchman protecting Israel’s illegal settlements and the world’s Zionists. I urge him to step down and to announce to the Arab and international media that he has been subjected to the worst forms of threats from powerful and influential Arab leaders.

This article first appeared in Arabic on Arabi21 on 9 January 2018

Categories
AfricaArticleAsia & AmericasEgyptInternational OrganisationsIsraelMiddle EastOpinionPalestineUNUS
  • Kaminoyona

    The opinions of a Jihadi!

    he is correct about Abbas should step down however more then that his Arabs need to move on,you lost the war you started you do not get to make demands.
    If you want land talk to the midget king of Jordan who’s family stole your land.

    Stop denying the actual history.

    • charliematerne

      I’m curious, where in the Qur’an is Jerusalem mentioned even once? Muhammad’s “Night Vision”, a dream or hallucination, was to the “farthest Mosque”. That vision was several years before his death. There was NO Mosque in Jerusalem until years after his death. Islamic scholars say that that Mosque was named al Aska in a political decision by the Syrian Caliph to counter claims by the Meccans. The importance of al Aska was promoted in about 1935 by the Mufti (an active Nazi supporter) for even more political purpose. The 1925 “A Brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif, Jerusalem” published by the Supreme Muslim Council makes no mention of Jerusalem as the destination of the “Night Vision”. That would seem to be a very important omission.

      • Helen4Yemen

        How does an Ashkenazi like yourself – actually a Khazar convert of the 9th century-involve yourself in Arab matters?

    • DEADP00L

      Mizrahi are Arabs and they make up MOST of the cosplaying state. Try again, loser.

      Palestine is in every single book that ever was written of the Holy land and ever manuscript that was ever scribed. From Aristotle and Alexander the great, to Mark Twain. You can no more erase Palestine than you can erase DNA.

      Israel was a minor area run by degenerates that spent all their days slaughtering each other and worshiping animals.

      It was in the Sinai that the Jewish people were born and where the torah was revealed, meaning they are EGYPTIAN.

  • DEADP00L

    The writer of this article made a sound argument. Watch how quickly Zionists jump to Abbas’ defense, only proving what his real purpose has always been.

  • Helen4Yemen

    Are the Ashkenazi Khazars? What else are they?

    https://i.imgur.COM/tO9upjg.png