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Mahmoud Abbas: the lost Palestinian leader

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas participates in the Palestinian Central Council meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)'s National Council in the West Bank city of Ramallah [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas participates in the Palestinian Central Council meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)'s National Council in the West Bank city of Ramallah [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

I do not know what is happening in our miserable Arab world. Our beloved Syria is burning and has been destroyed so severely as if by an earthquake at the hands of the Syrian regime’s forces and its allies. The rest of Idlib is awaiting its fate and the Arabs are standing by idly, watching, while some are conspiring against the country that was once the “beating heart of Arabism”.

Today, it has become a stage for saboteurs, the greedy, the hateful, and hordes of mercenaries. Yesterday, a Tehran conference was held, attended by the Russians, Persians, and Turks, where they discussed dealing a blow to the Syrian Arab regime under the pretext of protecting the government in Damascus and combatting terrorism.

I can exclude the Turkish leadership from this, as it was attending the conference to try to prevent the use of force in Idlib by any party under any pretext. Violence against Idlib and its destruction, while inhabited by more than 3 million displaced Syrians from all across Syria, is unacceptable.

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The Arabs were utterly absent from the conference for several reasons. The Saudis and Emiratis are busy with the crushing war in Yemen, and they compete to impose their influence and control over Yemen’s beneficial land (sea coasts, islands, natural resources, and trade routes). They also pursue the peaceful opposition and activists, as well as spy on the citizens and specific Arab leaderships.

Meanwhile, Egypt, the “mother of the world”, is busy issuing death sentences against political leaders and repressing the freedom of opinion and expression. It also prosecutes Islamists instead of prosecuting Israel’s spies inside Egypt and the corrupt, who steal the livelihood of the Egyptian people. The Arab have leaders have left Iraq to Iran to do whatever it wants with it, as it overthrows one government and appoints another more loyal to Iran. As for the Americans, they only care about destroying Iraq under the pretext of fighting Daesh and terrorism. God help Algeria, as it is dealing with enough regarding its internal affairs.

Abbas’s Palestinian Authority has become one of the disasters that have afflicted our Arab and Islamic nation in general and the Palestinian people specifically, since the signing of the ill-fated Oslo Accords in 1993. In August 2014, Mahmoud Abbas said to a prominent Gulf figure: “We are facing two issues we cannot resolve. First, negotiations with Israel have failed. We have been negotiating for 20 years over the 1967 borders and had yet to make any progress.

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Therefore we decided to reconcile with Hamas and form a national consensus government, but Israel refused to deal with the proposed government.” He also said, “If they do not agree, we will stop security coordination and cooperation with Israel and demand that Netanyahu come to take over the PA, making things back to how they were before the Oslo Accords; we can ruing it for everyone.” Imagine! Abbas is calling for Israel’s approval of forming the national consensus government in which all representatives of the Palestinian people participate.

The second issue is the relationship between Abbas’s government and Hamas. He said, “Since the establishment of the PA, Hamas has worked to undermine and overthrow it.” “Hamas conspires against it and organises coups against it in the West Bank. This information was reported to us by the head of the Israeli intelligence. I am growing old and am unable to achieve anything. I can no longer bear it. No matter what I do, I can’t achieve any results. We don’t have any authority in the West Bank,” he said. This information came straight from Abbas’s mouth. My question to Abbas is, if you have grown old, are unable to achieve anything, and have no authority in the West Bank to be worried about, why don’t you leave the PA and leave it to a generation capable of giving?

Mahmoud Abbas is living in his delusions. During his rule, Israeli settlements have increased, the Israeli army and security forces’ violations increased in the West Bank against Palestinian citizens, there has been kidnapping, murder, home demolitions, and arrests in broad daylight, close to the Presidential Compound, known as Al-Muqata’a, and the security forces.

The Separation Wall was constructed even though Abbas has the ICC’s ruling regarding the illegitimacy of the wall in his hands. He did not seek to destroy it with the many available means. Moreover, the Trump administration recognised Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel and Abbas did not take any measures to resist the decision except to boycott the US, as if he were China and possessed the same status and funds that would act as a deterring force. During this past month of August, the Israeli forces arrested 484 Palestinians in the West Bank, near Al-Muqata’a, Abbas’s administrative headquarters, and his security forces did nothing to protect the Palestinians.

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Furthermore, 93 settlers raised Al-Aqsa, but there was no official reaction from the authority. The Israeli Agriculture Minister stormed Al-Aqsa two days ago, accompanied by 150 Israelis. Two days ago, the US cut off its share of the UNRWA budget and aid to Jerusalem hospitals, as well as shut down the PLO office in Washington. Abbas, his authority, and his apostles in Ramallah stood idly by.

Gaza is burning and drowning in search of medicine, electricity, clean water and security, while Emperor Abbas intensifies the siege imposed on Gaza, in cooperation with the Egyptian gendarmerie, Israel, and all the evil forces. Meanwhile, Qatar provided $10 million to the people of Gaza for electricity, water and medicine, but Mahmoud Abbas prevented it from being delivered to the people of Gaza. He instead asked Al-Sisi’s Egypt to intensify the siege, close the crossings and open other outlets to increase the taxes imposed on the people of Gaza. This was carried out in cooperation with Israel by closing the Erez (Beit Hanoun) crossing leading to the West Bank.

In conclusion, Mahmoud Abbas and his authority need to go because they have not achieved anything for the Palestinian people. It has become an invalid and useless authority.

This article first appeared in Arabic in Al-Sharq on 11 September 2018

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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