Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Is The Abbas Regime Losing Its Touch?

Where is the leadership of the Palestinian Arabs?

While the world recognizes Abbas as President and Fayyad as Prime Minister, if one were to assume that the Palestinian constitution were binding, Abbas is no longer President and Fayyad is not the Prime Minister.

And that is the least of their problems.

With the election of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi as the President of Egypt, Egypt has been dealing with Hamas -- not the Palestinian Authority -- as the leaders of Gaza:
According to the sources, the Palestinian leadership (President Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad) are not satisfied with Egypt’s dealings following the election of President Mohammed Mursi. The Egyptian leadership “is dealing with Hamas as if it is the representative of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, ignoring the role of the Palestinian Authority (PA)”. The sources added: “Egypt is negotiating with the Hamas government about security affairs, the Rafah crossing and conditions relating to the people, including issues of electricity, medicine, smuggling tunnels and commercial traffic”.
Of course, considering that Hamas ousted the corrupt Abbas regime in 2007 in a bloody coup and has been in charge of Gaza ever since, plus considering the ties between the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas -- it should not be at all surprising that Egypt should deal with the Hamas terrorists.

But Egypt is not the only one toying with the Palestinian Arabs in general and with Abbas in particular.

In yesterday's edition of their Daily News Stream, Honest Reporting notes that Palestinians Don’t Own Their National Movement Like They Used To:
The story behind the Iranian invitations to both Fatah and Hamas to attend the Non-Aligned Movement summit says a lot about the way Tehran’s using the Palestinians. According to Maan News, it started when Ayatollah Khameini invited Ismail Haniyeh independently of Ahmadinejad, who had already invited Abbas.
The source said Khamenei wanted to show Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi that Iran retained influence over Palestinian affairs, and that Mursi was infuriated by Iran’s position, deciding to leave the summit after his speech.

They added that Abbas feels betrayed by Iran as he had defied the US and Israel by agreeing to attend the summit in the first place.
In the end, no Palestinians attended the summit. Does anyone remember the old days when the Palestinians really owned their movement? Where have you gone, Yasser Arafat?
Meanwhile, last week, Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman wrote a letter to the European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, noting that Abbas himself is an obstacle to peace and has not been acting in the best interests of his the Palestinian Arabs -- and should therefore be replaced in an election.

In the face of such blunt criticism, Abbas appears to be worried about his future:
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is worried about the future of his entity, a senior PA official said on Monday.

Speaking to the PA-based Safa news agency, the official said that Abbas is taking seriously the “threats” that were made against him by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. The official added that Abbas feels there is a rise in the level of such “threats” against him by Israel.
And if Abbas is not in fact actually concerned about the future of his regime, perhaps he should be.

Things are so bad that in a rare step, even Human Rights Watch has noticed human rights violations by the Abbas regime:
Human Rights Watch called on Monday for the Western-backed government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to take urgent action against police officers responsible for beating demonstrators in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

It said that during rallies on June 30 and July 1, "police severely beat protesters in the street and dragged others to a police station, where the police continued to beat and kick them."

"At least six protesters required hospitalization," it added.

...Following the violence, Abbas's office said it would establish a commission to investigate the incidents but HRW said in a statement on Monday that no action had been taken so far against officers involved.
While it is true that the focus in the Middle East has not been on the Palestinian Arabs as it normally is, it is understood that the reason is the Arab Spring in general and more recently the daily deluge of death in Syria.

Still, Abbas's own uninspired leadership -- especially when compared with his predecessor Arafat -- has not helped his cause. While Abbas has threatened to go to the UN and request recognition for a "Palestinian" state, the corruption of the Palestinian Authority,  the crushing debt and the unrelenting reliance on international contributions belie the appearance of a real legitimate state Abbas claims to be aiming for.

Could the West finally be catching on to the failure and weakness of the Abbas regime?

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