In a speech before the Central Committee in Ramallah yesterday, Abu Mazen outlined his complete rejection of Donald Trump's recent retorical and addressed the issue of national Palestinian reconciliation. He also talked about continuing the security coordination and cooperation with Israel under the pretext of continuing to fight terrorism. However, importantly, President Abbas's speech included, probably for the first time ever, a warning that some Palestinians seek to support Trump's agenda.
There were two important references to these developments in President Abu Mazen's speech. First, was an attempt by an Arab minister to undermine Palestinian morale. According to the Arab minister: the Palestinian popular protests are weak and will not change anything.
The second, Abu Mazen's said that an Arab official offered him extortionate amounts of money to buy his position and push him to compromise and accept the Trump-Likud policy. Abu Mazen did not reveal the identity of this official who is passing out billions of dollars and who is surrendering Jerusalem to Trump, but Israeli, Western, and Arab reports have agreed that this same official spent billions to kill the aspirations of the nations and their quest for freedom and social justice. They also believe this official spent millions on his yachts and artwork, without achieving any of his goals.
Abu Mazen did not address other forms of blackmail he may have been subjected to in order to adopt positions in favour of Trump and Netanyahu. This suspicious Arab role may re-emerge once again and other methods of coercion may be used, such as arresting him and holding him hostage or demanding that he resign. It seems that the Palestinian issue is different to the Lebanese or Qatari situation, or any other.
It seems likely that the suspicious Arab role sought to convince Abu Mazen to do one of the following:
First, to respond to Trump's plan to make Abu Dis or Ramallah the alternative to Jerusalem as capital of the Palestinian state. It also seeks to abandon the right of Palestinians refugees to return and steal more land in the West Bank, particularly surrounding major settlement blocs, such as Ma'ale Adumim, Gush Etzion, Ariel and others.
Second would be to force Abu Mazen to flip the equation, i.e. encourage the Arabs normalise relations and the Palestinians negotiate based on their own vision. Meanwhile, the Arabs will support them with their voices and determination, relying on their predictions that the negotiations process will continue until further notice. This will allow the suspicious Arab role to overcome the obstacle that is the Palestinian issue and work towards normalisation.
Thus, President Abu Mazen's speech to the Central Council posed another important historical testimony that can be added to the series of accumulating testimonies, statements, and reports, particularly since Trumps presidency. These testimonies reveal, expose, and even condemn the reckless Arab position supporting normalisation at any cost, in the context of the so-called deal of the century. This deal guarantees the backwardness and dictatorship of the Arabs and the sovereignty and rule of the Israelis. It seems that despite their weakness and division between rebels and peaceful protestors, the Palestinian people still form a major obstacle standing in the way of this plan. It is the strength of the weak in the face of the power of the arrogant, or David's strength against the arrogant Goliath.
This article first appeared in Arabic on Arabi21 on 14 January 2018
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.