Sunday, June 02, 2013

How Far Will Abbas and Fatah Go To Prevent Peace With Israel?

Khaled Abu Toameh describes Fatah's Drive Against "Normalization", noting the very selective way the Abbas regime agrees to talking to and dealing with Israel:
While Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was meeting in his office in Ramallah with Shelly Yacimovich, chairwoman of Israel's opposition Labour Party, his Fatah faction was busy threatening Palestinians who meet with Israelis.

Abbas and Shelly Yacimovich
Abbas meets with Israeli opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich:
Meeting with Israelis is not for Palestinian youths. Credit: Wiki Commons
So on the purely bureaucratic level
  • Abbas regularly meets with Israelis on a regular basis in Ramallah
  • The Palestinian Authority continues its "security coordination" between the Palestinians and Israel
  • Senior representatives of Fatah carry Israeli-issued VIP cards granting them special privileges denied to most Palestinians -- such as entering Israel and avoiding waiting at Israel Defense Force checkpoints.
However, when it comes to inculcating the idea of peace and normalization with Israel, Abbas's Fatah condemns
  • Palestinian Arab youths from Hebron meeting with Israelis near Bethlehem to share their problems and insights -- the Arab youths were forced to issue a statement distancing themselves from the meeting and claim they were "misled" about the purpose of the meeting.
  • Palestinian boys and girls who committed the "crime" of playing in a football match against Israeli teenagers. When pictures of a football match featuring Palestinian Arab boys and girls playing Israeli teenagers appeared in the media, Fatah issued threats against the Arab players and those who organized the tournament.
In fact, these are not isolated examples, but part of a purposeful campaign by Fatah to prevent "normalization" with Israel:
Organizers of the "anti-normalization" campaign, most of whom belong to Abbas's Fatah faction, have been boasting that, in recent years, they have succeeded in thwarting dozens of planned meetings between Israelis and Palestinians.
Read the whole thing.

It's no wonder that Abbas will agree to meet with Israelis that allow the appearance of interest in peace, while going nowhere. Similarly, the security coordination between the Abbas regime and Israel are in Abbas's best interests considering the strength of Hamas in the area and possibility of a repeat of the coup that ousted Abbas from Gaza. And of course, members of Fatah are not going to turn down any perks that their position affords them.

In all of these cases, the "threat" of broader normalization with Israel is contained and will not spread into the general Arab population.

However, when anything happens that allows for the lessening of tensions between Arabs and Jews -- especially among the next generation of Arabs -- such projects are quashed.

Abbas's refusal to speak out against Fatah's actions, when taken in the context of his honoring murderers of Israel citizens and providing stipends for imprisoned Palestinian terrorists, is a good indication of exactly where Abbas stands on this issue of peace with Israel.

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