Monday, December 31, 2012

Abbas Apparently Seems Intent To Abandon Palestinian Arabs To Hamas

After threatening 20 separate times to quit, Abbas is at it again: If stalemate continues after elections, Netanyahu can take back the keys to the West Bank:
If there is no progress even after the election I will take the phone and call [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu," Abbas said. "I'll tell him, 'my dear friend, Mr. Netanyahu, I am inviting you to the Muqata [the PA presidential headquarters in Ramallah]. Sit in the chair here instead of me, take the keys, and you will be responsible for the Palestinian Authority.
Meanwhile, Khaled Abu Toameh explains What Do Abbas's Latest Threats Really Mean?:

Abbas is trying to scare Israeli voters by warning them that the re-election of Netanyahu would be a disaster for the "peace process" and would result in anarchy and chaos in the West Bank after the Palestinian Authority is dismantled.

In private, Abbas and his top aides have been talking about the need to strengthen the left-wing in Israel. They were hoping that former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would run in the election at the head of a left-wing block that would remove Netanyahu from power.
Apparently Abbas sees this threat as a way to panic Israel not to re-elect Netanyahu, for fear of returning to the situation before the Oslo Accords -- which Abbas violated by going to the UN to upgrade the "Palestinian" status -- when complete responsibility for education and health there fell upon Israel.

Toameh points out that while he threatens to hand over responsibility to Israel after he quits, Abbas does not consider the other option:
Why doesn't Abbas consider the possibility of handing the "keys" to another Palestinian? The answer is clear: Abbas apparently believes that if he cannot lead the Palestinians, no one else should -- that if he comes down, then the entire Palestinian Authority should also collapse.
Jonathan Schanzer writes that Abbas's questionable health may make his threats to resign moot:
The Palestinian leader is 77 years old, a heavy smoker, and an incessant traveler. He reportedly underwent treatment for prostate cancer a decade ago, and in 2010 he was admitted six times to a Jordanian hospital for unspecified health reasons. In short, he's not a picture of perfect fitness. This raises the inconvenient question: Who will follow in his footsteps?
Next in line after Abbas is Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Aziz Dweik -- who is a member of Hamas.

Nevertheless, with a successor from Hamas on one hand and uncertainty on the other --
Abbas, however, refuses to name a successor. Taking a page from deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, his old ally, he has no vice president and no heir apparent. Instead, he has led campaigns to weaken potential challengers. Mohammed Dahlan, the popular strongman of Gaza under the late Yasir Arafat, has endured particularly nasty treatment from Abbas, who has made moves to freeze his assets abroad.
In any case, with the growing strength of Hamas and corresponding weakness of the Palestinian Authority, any decision by Abbas on a successor may be a moot point.

Both Schanzer and Abu Toameh stress the need for a successor to Abbas to be named.
The gross incompetence of Abbas till this point would seem to mitigate against that happening.

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