Sunday, June 30, 2013

Does Kerry Realize That Abbas and the Palestinian Arabs Have No Interest In a Peace Agreement With Israel?

The growing resentment about Abbas's autocratic regime and refusal to share powers and plans with other Palestinians cast doubt on his ability to win the support of a majority of Palestinians for resuming peace talks, let alone signing a peace treaty with Israel.

Abbas's autocratic rule and the frustration of many Palestinians do not seem to bother Kerry.
Khaled Abu Toameh

While Kerry's visits to the Middle East are well-publicized, Khaled Abu Toameh notes What the U.S. Does Not Want to Know About Abbas -- namely that Abbas is a despot who does not have the backing of his people.

Indeed, Toameh describes how Abbas has followed in the footsteps of his mentor, Yasir Arafat, in accumulating power:

  • Abbas is not only President of "Palestine" (in the 9th year of his 4 year term) -- he is also head of the PLO, President of the Palestinian Authority, head of Fatah, and commander of the Palestinian Authority security forces.

  • In addition, since the Palestinian Legislative Council, the Palestinian parliament, has been paralyzed after the Hamas coup in 2007, Abbas has been issuing his own laws.

  • The PLO Executive Committee and the Fatah Central Committee are dominated by un-elected Abbas loyalists.

  • Abbas does not consult with the PLO's Negotiations Department, which is supposed to be in charge of the peace talks with Israel.

  • Abbas, according to Sufyan Abu Zayda, a senior representative of Abbas's Fatah faction, has also appointed himself as the chief judge and prosecutor.
Perhaps the despotic rule of the Abbas regime does not bother Kerry because he figures that with all that power concentrated in one person, it will be easy to get the Arab side to sign onto a peace accord once Abbas rubber-stamps it.

The problem with that is the resentment towards Abbas's autocratic regime and the doubt as to whether Abbas can actually win the support of a majority of Arabs to even resume peace talks -- let alone sign a peace treaty with Israel.

Even putting aside disenchantment with Abbas, there has been no education towards Arabs making pace with Israel, rather the opposite. And the US watches on, silent.

As Elliott Abrams points out, Abbas has actively turned the Palestinian Arabs against peace with Israel:
The United States has not, for example, demanded an end to Palestinian glorification of terrorism or incitement against Israel in official media as the price for starting new negotiations. Abbas continues to repeat the lie that Israel is endangering or seeking to destroy Al-Aqsa mosque; Palestinian official media continue to celebrate prisoners who committed vicious acts of violence and terror; terrorists who prepared the bombing of civilian sites are honored by PA officials. Yet it is Israel's commitment to peace that is doubted and from whom concessions are sought, as if the Palestinians are doing Israel and the United States a great favor by entering into negotiations that are the only route to their stated goal of an independent state.
John Kerry and Abbas
John Kerry and Abbas meet in Istanbul. Kerry doesn't seem to care that Abbas
incites hatred against Israel. Credit: Wiki Commons
So now we have Kerry, doing everything he can to get both sides to sign a piece of paper claiming there will be peace, when it is clear that Abbas does not want peace, does not want to be party to a peace agreement and through his incitement of hatred against Israel has seen to it that not many other Arabs are eager to be party to a peace agreement with Israel either.

None of these realities will stop Kerry.

Abu Toameh notes that Abbas is aware of that and has taken action accordingly:
Unlike Kerry, Abbas is fully aware of the increased criticism at home -- and why Abbas is now telling his people that if and when he resumes peace talks with Israel, it will be only because the U.S. has exerted immense pressure on him.
We can only hope that has Kerry rushes onward into the abyss, he does not take Israel with him.

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