Sunday, February 07, 2010

How Is Israel Supposed to Negotiate With Abbas--When He Is No Longer In Office

True, we've already seen that the Obama Administration is not big on respecting the laws of other countries--it insisted that Zelaya was illegally ousted from Honduras by a coup, even though the Honduran Supreme Court backed his ouster from office. So it should not surprise anyone that Obama should be pushing Netanyahu to negotiate with a man who is no longer the leader of the people with whom Israel is supposed to be negotiating peace.

Abbas may be in office, but he is in office illegally.

This issue came up last year because in January 2009, Abbas's 4 year term ended. At the time, he argued that he should retain control for an extra year based on a technicality that the presidential and parliamentary elections are supposed to take place at the same time. Hamas of course did not agree.

I blogged about the issue last May and noted that Hamas might very well have the law on their side:
The Palestinian Centre For Human Rights has issued a paper siding with Hamas.
The Fatwa & Legislation Office has issued a paper siding with Abbas.

According to this Q&A about the election [PDF] from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, the law is with  the PCHR and Hamas
Well, be that as it may, we are now into February and after having last year passed the date for presidential elections according to Hamas, we have now passed the date for the presidential elections according to Abbas.

If the Palestinian Arabs cannot even uphold their own basic law, how are they going to uphold a peace agreement with Israel?

In any case, the Obama Administration is quiet on this point, ignoring the fact that negotiating with a man who is not really in office is--as is the man himself--lame.

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