Friday, January 11, 2013

Why Abbas Has Finally Dropped The Pretense of Moderation

For years Abbas has been inciting hatred of Israel -- naming stadiums and such after terrorists and paying them salaries while they are in Israeli prisons. In addition, his maps of "Palestine" include Israel as part of its territory.

So the fact that he accused Israel of genocide at the UN last year after years of refusing to sit and talk peace should not have been such a surprise.

Now, Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi documents how indeed, Abbas Reinstates a Radical Political Doctrine:
  • Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Authority and leader of the PLO and the Fatah movement, presented a radical political doctrine in his speech on January 4, 2013, honoring the anniversary of Fatah’s establishment. The messages Abbas conveys express the political and national vision that he bequeaths to the Palestinian people.
  • In his speech Abbas avoids all mention of a historic compromise with Israel that would bring the conflict to an end. Nor does he mention the land-for-peace formula or the establishment of a Palestinian state beside Israel. Instead, Abbas chose to reemphasize that the Palestinian people remain on the path of struggle to realize “the dream of return” of the Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants.

  • Abbas pledged to continue the path of struggle of previous Palestinian leaders, mentioning the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, who forged a strategic alliance with Nazi Germany, and heads of Palestinian terror organizations who were directly responsible for the murder of thousands of Israeli civilians. All are equal and suitable partners in the Palestinian struggle, and their ideological platform, even if it is terrorist and/or radical-Islamist, is a source of inspiration for the Palestinian people.

  • In honor of the anniversary of the founding of the Fatah movement, at the end of December the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the military arm of Fatah, held parades of armed men in the city of Hebron, the town of Bani Na’im, and the Kalandia refugee camp just north of Jerusalem. In Hebron and Bani Na’im, scores of activists armed with assault rifles participated.

  • Anyone who expected that Abbas would follow a more moderate course after the UN General Assembly resolution of November 29, 2012, upgrading the status of the PLO’s Observer Mission to that of an observer state, was undoubtedly disappointed with Abbas’ remarks. He was not preparing the Palestinian people for making peace, but rather reverting to rhetoric perpetuating and even escalating the conflict.
Read the whole thing.
So after the UN obligingly consented to Abbas's request for upgraded member status, he is now in Egypt trying one more time to form a unity government with Hamas terrorists.

Reminiscent of the end of Orwell's Animal Farm, the leaders of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are becoming harder and harder to tell apart.

Why has Abbas chosen now to drop his pretense of an interest in peace?
It is more than just because of the UN.

Dore Gold explains What's behind Abbas' new tone?. He notes the political environment back in 1993 when Israel was holding peace talks with the Palestinian Arabs was different:
  • The Soviet Union was collapsing leaving the U.S. the sole superpower dominating the Middle East.
  • The defeat of Saddam Hussein, left the pro-American Arab pragmatists as the predominant regional force.
  • Iran was not in any position to assert itself as the new hegemonic power, following its eight-year long war against Iraq.
Compare that environment to the current one:
  • The Middle East has entered a new period in which the US is less involved militarily in the region and can no longer be depended upon to assure the security of the rich Gulf state Arabs.

  • Qatar deserted the US and reconciled with Tehran already in 2007, following the Bush administration's publication of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, interpreted as meaning the US would not use military resources to stop the Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons.

  • After the "Arab Spring" uprisings since 2011, a new rejectionist front has formed through Islamist parties ruling from Tunisia to Egypt -- allowing Hamas, a Palestinian affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, an advantage over Abbas.

  • In Muslim capitals across the Middle East, there is a perception that the shift in Egypt from pro-Abbas Mubarak to pro-Hamas Muslim Brotherhood has come with Washington's approval.

  • Despite the potential losses in Syria, and possibly Lebanon, Iran has been able to insert itself into various Middle Eastern conflicts -- including, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan and Gaza. This will increase once Iraq passed the nuclear threshold.
Read the whole thing.

Considering Obama's selections for his cabinet for his second term, none of these trends are going to be reversed in the near future. Islamism is on the rise, and with the US as less of a factor -- who which is less likely to help Abbas in any way but financially -- Abbas has less to fear by ignoring the US and much to gain.

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