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December 2, 2016 / 2 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Arafat’

Hillary Clinton and Suha Arafat: ‘The Two First Ladies’

Friday, October 28th, 2016

The above was the title of the column I wrote about Hillary Clinton in November 1999 when, as First Lady of the United States, she came to Israel to visit “good friends.”

One of those “good friends” was the “First Lady of Palestine,” Suha Arafat.

I remember watching as then-Israeli President Chaim Herzog and his wife Aura stood on the reception line together with Yasser and Suha Arafat, and Hillary Clinton formally shook hands with Aura Herzog and passionately embraced Suha Arafat.

The next day she visited Suha at Ramallah’s Grand Park Hotel to inaugurate a $3.8 million project for Palestinian women and children’s health funded by the U.S. through USAID (the United States Agency for International Development). Mrs. Arafat, in her welcoming remarks, accused Israel of poisoning the air and water supply of Palestinian land, “causing cancer and other widespread diseases” among Palestinian women and children. Without elaborating on how this was accomplished and where she obtained her statistics, Suha Arafat claimed that the pollution of Palestinian land by Israel was as high as 80 percent! Instead of taking sharp exception to false remarks made in her presence, Hillary responded: “On behalf of the president and his administration, I want to tell you that you can count on the United States and the strong U.S.-Palestinian relationship as you move forward on the path to peace.”

Nor did Hillary respond to the parting words of another “non-political” speaker, the Arab administrator of the project who said to the beaming Mrs. Clinton: “I hope that the next time we host you it will be in our homeland, the State of Palestine, and in our capital city, Jerusalem.”

The focus of my article was Hillary Clinton’s attitude to Suha Arafat’s accusation, which went beyond insidious political demagoguery to the realm of historic anti-Semitism.

The question we need to ask is: How sensitive is the former First Lady to anti-Semitism? Has she heard of anti-Semitic canards, particularly the accusation that Jews poison wells and fountains in order to spread disease and death? Ever since the 14th century, when the Jews were accused of poisoning Europe’s water supply and causing the bubonic plague, popularly known as the Black Death, the myth of Jews as progenitors of pestilence has lived on. It joined the earlier stereotype of the Christ-Killer Jew and Killer-of-Christian-children, resurfacing in different mutations at different times in many different localities and instigating persecutions of Jews – massacres, expulsions and sometimes total annihilation of Jewish communities.

Throughout the ages, hundreds of thousands of Jewish men, women and children lost their lives as a result of these ghastly accusations. The resurfacing of these stereotypes in pre-Nazi Germany made the Holocaust possible.

When questioned later about her reaction to Suha’s lies, Hillary gave the most shocking answer: “They are unhelpful to the peace process.” Can you believe the callousness of such attitude? I was thunderstruck.

Having sandwiched her visit to Ramallah between visits to Yad Vashem and the Western Wall, was Hillary not sensitized to historic Jewish vulnerabilities?

The awareness of Jewish historic vulnerabilities should pose a challenge for any leader who understands that he or she must fight the negative Jewish stereotype so richly fostered in the Arab mind and Muslim culture. It must be done not only on behalf of Jews, but on behalf of Israel, the collective Jew.

Hillary as a leader has a solemn responsibility, and a first-class opportunity, to make an impact. When this is accomplished, and only then, will there be fertile atmosphere for a potential peace.

Prof. Livia Bitton-Jackson

PA Official Gets Heavy UN Support in Getting FIFA to Ban Israeli Teams

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

The UN secretary general’s special advisor on sport Wilfried Lemke has been lobbying on behalf of the PA soccer association ban Israeli teams from Judea and Samaria, and sent FIFA a letter advising that all Jewish life in Judea and Samaria is illegal, which includes Jewish soccer teams.

Jibril Rajoub, President of the PA soccer association, has warned the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) that if it would not suspend six Israeli teams from the liberated territories, he’d take the association to court. That’s the Court of Arbitration for Sports conflicts, not the Criminal Court in the Hague, in case you were wondering.

Jibril Rajoub, whose history of terrorism goes back to 1968, and who spent a good chunk of his life in Israeli security prisons, was renowned as one of Chairman Arafat’s cruelest enforcers, when the PLO was invited by a Labor government supported by the Arab parties in Knesset to take over Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Starting in 1994, Rajoub served as head of Arafat’s Preventive Security Force until 2003, when Arafat appointed him his national security advisor. During his tenure, Rajoub was accused of using brutal force and harrassment to quash political dissent, including the frequent use of torture. Witnesses described him as shooting adversaries in their kneecaps in broad daylight.

The same Rajoub, who has moved down from murder to sports, told a press conference that “Israel receives quite a few benefits from FIFA, and some of those benefits also reach the settlements teams, which is unacceptable. Our message to FIFA is clear. The time has come to decide this issue and bring an end to Palestinian suffering, and thereby grant freedom of action to Palestinian sport and football, on one hand, and stop giving legitimacy to clubs active in the settlements, on the other.”

According to FIFA’s bylaws, one country may not allow a team located in the territory of another country play in its league without the other country’s consent, and Rajoub argues that six teams from Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria violate this law: Ma’aleh Adumim, Ariel, Kiryat Arba, Givat Ze’ev, the Jordan Valley and Oranit.

“Until a week and a half ago, we were very worried about what was likely to happen at the FIFA Council meeting,” an Israeli official told Reuters. “Now, we’re more relaxed, and believe that nothing dramatic will happen [during FIFA’s Thursday meeting] aside from a discussion of the issue. The big battle over the issue of the settlement teams will effectively be postponed until the FIFA Congress, which will take place in Bahrain in May 2017.”

According to the same Israeli official, the new FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, reassured the Israelis  that he would not permit a unilateral decision on the issue. Infantino wants to try to get a compromise that satisfies both sides, when he visits Israel and the PA come November.

According to Reuters, the UN secretary general’s special advisor on sport Wilfried Lemke stressed in his letter to Infantino that the UN Security Council has deemed the settlements a violation of international law, and so they have no legal status, and, therefore, “their soccer teams also have no legal status” and don’t meet the requirement of the FIFA bylaw.

In an interview he gave International Catalan Institute for Peace, Lemke counted among his chief achievements during his tenure as head of UNOSDP the active role he played in building “Extension Building for the Indoor Sports Hall” in the PA, to “empower refugee children and provide safe sporting environments for youth.” He has also supported “Sport for Resilience,” a project implemented by UNRWA. In 2014, UNOSDP also supported the Diyar Women Sports Center, a facility that provides PA women with the necessary skills and education required for them to enter the employment market. “The construction of this center contributes significantly to the enhancement of sporting infrastructure, human resources and social programs in Palestine now,” Lemke boasted.

Will the team of PA and UN officials be able to damage six Israeli soccer teams? We’ll find out in May, in Bahrain.

JNi.Media

Israel’s 9th President Shimon Peres Dead at 93

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Shimon Peres, Israel’s ninth President, former Prime Minister, Nobel Prize winner, who served for nearly five decades as a member of the Knesset, passed away on Wednesday morning at age 93, following a severe stroke. He will be buried in a state funeral in the plot on Mt. Herzl dedicated to the nation’s great leaders. Peres was married to the late Sonia Peres who died in 2011. They had three children: Tsvia Walden, Yonatan (Yoni) Peres, and Nehemia (Chemi) Peres.

Peres was born on August 2, 1923 as Shimon Perski (a relative of Lauren Bacall a.k.a. Joan Persky), in Wiszniew, Poland (now Vishnyeva, Belarus). In 1934, together with his mother Sara and younger brother Gershon, they followed his father, who made aliyah in 1932. Peres grew up in Tel Aviv and studied at the Ben Shemen agricultural school. He met Sonia in Ben Shemen and they got married in 1945.

Peres became active in the Socialist youth movement Hanoar Haoved and in 1947 was recruited by Levy Eshkol to serve in the Hagana underground headquarters, alongside Eshkol and David Ben-Gurion. In 1953, after a stint as head of naval services in the newly formed IDF, Peres was appointed (at age 29) as Director of the Defense Ministry by Ben-Gurion.

His mission, and greatest achievement as head of Israel’s fledgling defense apparatus, was to turn Israel into a nuclear power. Peres began negotiations with the French in October 1956, during the Sinai War, which was a collaboration of Israel, France and Great Britain to take over the Suez Canal from the revolutionary government in Cairo. Peres stressed Israel’s loyalty to France and the fact that a strong Israel is vital to the French national interest, seeing as the Egyptians were supporting the Algerian FLN underground whose aim was to expel the French from North Africa.

According to Peres’ biographer Michael Bar Zohar, the birth of the Dimona nuclear plant was an exciting tale of intrigue, as the promise to provide the technology was made by French Defense Minister Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury, but on the date set for signing the secret deal, the French government collapsed in the National Assembly. Peres was waiting for Bourgès in his chambers with a bottle of whisky, only to discover that his host was out of office and that his likely successor, Gen. Charles de Gaulle, objected to spreading French nuclear know-how. Peres took advantage of the fact that Bourgès would on occasion tell his wife that he was in a meeting with the Israeli visitor when he was actually meeting with his lover, and demanded to cash his chips with the fallen politician. They agreed to backdate the agreement to the day before, when Bourgès still had the authority to sign it. The Frenchman said “D’accord” and the deal to set Israel up as the sole nuclear power in the Middle East was signed — fraudulently.

In 1959, Peres was elected to the Knesset as member of the ruling Mapai Party, and continued to serve as MK and in various ministerial positions, including as prime minister, almost uninterruptedly for 48 years. In 1965, Peres followed his mentor Ben-Gurion out of Mapai, and formed, together with former Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan, the Rafi party. After the 1967 war, an alignment of Mapai, Rafi and Ahdut Haavoda formed the Israel Labor Party, now also known as the Zionist Camp.

In 1973, after the Yom Kippur war which created a wave of anti-Labor sentiment in the public at large, and following the resignation of Prime Minister Golda Meir and Defense Minister Dayan, only two labor senior politicians retained their public prestige: Shimon Peres and former Chief of Staff and Ambassador to the US Yizhak Rabin. Rabin won and went on to become prime minister, with Peres as his defense minister, and their campaign for the leadership of Labor started two decades of enmity combined with forced cooperation which culminated in Peres eventually presenting to Rabin the Oslo agreements as an almost fait accompli.

In 1976, as defense minister, Peres was responsible for the Antebe Operation. Meanwhile, his disagreements with Rabin led to the latter’s resignation and the 1977 elections that, for the first time in Israel’s history, placed Likud’s Menahem Begin at the country’s helm. In the 1980s, as Labor’s leader, Peres failed to gain a resounding victory over his rightwing foes, and ended up in a coalition government with Likud in which he and Yitzhak Shamir rotated in the role of prime minister. While serving as Shamir’s foreign minister, Peres launched the London Agreement, a precursor of the Oslo Accord, which was torpedoed by Shamir.

In 1992, with Rabin once again the leader, Labor won the elections and formed a narrow, leftwing coalition government that relied on the Arab votes in the Knesset. Peres and his emissary Dr. Yossi Beilin began secret, illegal negotiations with the PLO, which resulted in the August 20, 1993 Oslo deal. The agreement, which resuscitated a dying PLO and gave it dominion over the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria, resulted, as many had predicted, in rivers of blood, as the Arabs residing in the newly formed Palestinian Authority launched a campaign of bombing and shooting attacks against Israeli civilian centers. In 1995, on the eve of the next elections, Prime Minister Rabin was assassinated and replaced by Peres.

In 1996 Peres lost his final bid for sole possession of the Prime Minister’s office when he lost the election to newcomer Benjamin Netanyahu. The televised debate between them showed the nation a tired, old political hack versus a youthful and well spoken leader. Netanyahu succeeded in forming his first coalition government despite the fact that his party had won by a mere 30,000 votes.

At that point, possibly the lowest in his political life, Shimon Peres reinvented himself and began the next phase in his career, as statesman inspiring an entire world. He founded the Peres Center for Peace, and although he continued to serve in the Knesset and was member of Ehud Barak’s security cabinet, his goals have changed. In 2005 Peres resigned from the Labor party to join Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s government, to support the second assault on Jewish life in the 1967 liberated territories: the expulsion of the Jews of Gush Katif. His reward was his election by the Knesset to be Israel’s ninth president in 2007. He gained 58 out of the 120 MK votes in the first round (38 voted for Reuven Rivlin, 21 for Colette Avital). His opponents then threw their support to Peres in the second round and he received 86 votes, with 23 objections.

He spent his seven years in office in an indefatigable global activity, attending conferences, giving speeches around the planet, meeting world leaders and becoming synonymous with the image of Israel’s future as drawn by Israel’s leftwing. He maintained his rigorous schedule after the end of his term in 2014, until, two weeks ago, his body succumbed to a stroke.

His death marks the end of Israel’s generation of founding politicians. He will be remembered for his great contribution to the Jewish State’s military supremacy in the Middle East, but also for his grave mistakes in acting to reverse the same state’s remarkable territorial gains of 1967. May his memory be blessed.

JNi.Media

Analysis: Herzog Mocks Netanyahu, Israel’s SpongeBob SquarePants

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

In a witty speech, riddled with poisoned arrows, the leader of both the Zionist Camp and the Knesset opposition MK Isaac Herzog used his keynote address on the third and final day of the 16th annual Herzliya Conference to paint a grotesque image of the failures of the Netanyahu government, coupled with promises for a better future under his own party’s rule. Despite his repetition of ideas that have already proven themselves to be dangerously delusional, Herzog’s heartfelt bitterness was almost delightful:

“Finally we have a Right wing government,” he began. “Finally we have a right-wing prime minister, right-wing defense minister, right-wing Minister of Education, right-wing justice minister, right-wing Minister of Agriculture and even right-wing Minister of Transport… Now there is no one on the left to litter the agenda!”

And yet, he persisted, even without a shred of leftwing involvement, “look at what is happening around us: the waves of violence are stronger. An Intifada of stones has turned into terrorism of Kalashnikovs and Carl Gustavs and the citizens are scared to walk around Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Gush Etzion.”

“What’s the greatest mistake of the right wing government?” he continued to joke, answering his own trick question: “That there is no real left wing to blame. It really is a tragedy: even I thought we were getting a bunch of heroes with super powers – but it turns out we got SpongeBob leaders.”

SpongeBob SquarePants is the hero of an animated television series created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg for Nickelodeon, chronicling the adventures and endeavors of SpongeBob and his friends in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom. The series has been involved in several public controversies, including one centered on speculation over SpongeBob’s sexual orientation.

Herzog, who is often self deprecating regarding his own effeminate public persona in Israel’s macho political jungle, obviously picked the SpongeBob imagery to suggest his seemingly macho political enemies were, in fact, the effeminate ones. Not a sure-win choice on the week of the Orlando gay club massacre.

Herzog reminded his audience that “for years the Right preached that we had to remain in Lebanon, and had to sacrifice hundreds of soldiers every year to secure the northern border. Then came Ehud Barak and he took us out of Lebanon and created a political situation that is not ideal but the number of our fatalities decreased dramatically, and Northern agricultural workers and tourism are thriving…. For years the Right has preached that talking with the other side would be the end of the state, the end of the Zionist enterprise, the destruction of the Third Temple. Then came Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin z”l who talked with Arafat, the head of a dangerous and deadly terrorist organization, and they reached understandings that turned the other side and its leadership from one of hijackings and murdering civilians indiscriminately to a diplomatic organization that worked with us on political and diplomatic issues.”

Delivered outside the context of the several thousand murdered Israelis who have been the casualties of the Rabin-Peres-Arafat peace deal, Herzog’s ideas sounded outright reasonable. He did fail to mention the rivers of blood that ensued each time Israeli leaders on both sides of the aisle have attempted to ply Arafat et al with territorial concessions.

Herzog continued to list his perceived highlights of the various governments and leaders of Israel, again without the benefit of knowing what followed those brave men’s best plans: “Begin, Rabin, Peres and Sharon were not afraid to put their personal fate on the altar for the good of the country and won spots in the Hall of Fame of Israeli leadership.”

He did say that “in the context of the current wave of terror in which dozens of Israelis were killed and hundreds injured, I identified a new path… an opportunity for peace… I worked toward this solution with international and regional leaders directly and indirectly.” Presumably, his planned territorial concessions would not end in more bloodshed, possibly because the polls at this point predict a drop in Herzog’s party’s Knesset mandate from 24 to the low teens.

Herzog insisted, however, that although the idea of cooperation between Israel and the moderate Arab states was not new, the time was ripe for such collaboration, “it’s a unique and rare opportunity.” He continued, “Unlike the previous generation of Arab leaders, nowadays many Sunni leaders have less of what I call an ‘Israel complex,’ which their predecessors suffered from. They are bolder, younger, more independent and willing to work with Israel, as long as it serves their national interests. These leaders are willing to engage on issues important to both sides.”

Except that those same younger Arabs out there, as was seen from a poll commissioned by the Herzliya Conference in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, no longer care about the fate of Israel’s Arabs on either side of the green line. But Herzog plowed on: “Today there is a golden opportunity. The United States must take the lead and the international community should support it along with the regional leadership of the Middle East. With bold leadership and bold steps, we can realize this opportunity and create a better future for us and for our children. I and my partners in the Zionist Camp see this as a window of opportunity that could ultimately bring about a two-state solution.”

Herzog concluded, “I opened the door for Netanyahu and offered him my hand saying that he was the engine of the Right, I was the engine of the Left and behind us was a wagon” of citizens. “But the Right did not succeed in turning on his engine… Netanyahu preferred to think of his political survival.”

Indeed, Herzog’s own failure to lead his party to political victory, and his failed coalition negotiations with Netanyahu will likely not bode well for his own political survival.

JNi.Media

Kerry Agrees with Israel: No Foreign Troops on Temple Mount

Monday, October 19th, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in Madrid on Monday that the French proposal for foreign troops to maintain order on the Temple Mount is “not needed.”

It was a rare public statement that put Kerry and Israel on the same side and which was expressed hours before Israeli officials spoke to their French counterparts in Jerusalem that the idea is, to be polite, insane.

Kerry told reporters:

We don’t contemplate any change, but nor does Israel. Israel understands the importance of that status quo. What is important is to make sure everybody understands what that means. We are not seeking some new change. We are not seeking outsiders or others to come in….

We need to have clarity.

It is ironic that his remarks were made in Madrid, where the United States launched the “peace process” with the presence of then-Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir, Jordanian and Egypt leaders, and President George H. W. Bush.

The “clarity” that Kerry said is lacking today has been messing ever since the Madrid conference. It is speculation to ask what would have happened if there had been no “peace process,” but the facts are that since 1991, the ensuing Oslo Accords set the stage for the Oslo War, aka the Second Intifada.

Israel has erased every red line except for the Temple Mount and the “refugee” issue. Concessions have cost the lives and limbs of thousands of Israelis who have been victims of Palestinian Authority “resistance,” the Arabic code word for terror.

The Arabs in Gaza, Judea and Samaria have paid a price not only in casualties but also with a miserable political and economic life that had flourished under the “occupation” until the Egyptian-born Arafat wore his camouflage of a “Palestinian” when he blew in from Tunisia.

Here is what President Bush told Congress several months before the Madrid Conference:

Peace will only come as the result of direct negotiations, compromise, give-and-take. Peace cannot be imposed from the outside by the United States or anyone else

And now Secretary of State John Kerry, even if he had enough common sense to dismiss the absurd French proposal, announces that “clarity” is needed.”

There never has been clarity since 1991 because the Americans and the Europeans cannot understand that Israel and the Arabs world never were talking the same language. The Arab understanding of “peace” is the Jewish State of Israel becoming the Arab state of Palestine.

Ever since, the United States has done the opposite and has imposed conditions on Israel, leaving a “consensus” that a future Palestinian Authority country would include all of Judea and Samaria except for large Jewish population centers such as Maaleh Adumim and Gush Etzion. Israel would have to rely on the PA to protect Jews form terrorists.

That “consensus” no longer exists because the Palestinian Authority, contrary to Bush’s statement, understands “compromise” as “you give, I take.”

It only was a matter of time until the Temple Mount became the excuse for terror and lies that Israel is trying to change the “status quo,” at the same time that the entire Arab world is trying to change it by declaring, “No Jews allowed.”

Today, Kerry’s simple words that rejected the French proposal for foreign troops are nothing short of a shock for the Arab world. The Palestinian Authority, which called for U.N. intervention to stop alleged “excessive violence” by Israel, never intended that and never would accept non-Muslims guarding the Temple Mount.

But the fact that Kerry said out loud that Israel understands the need to preserve the status quo is a clear signal to Mahmoud Abbas that he also has to do so.

The Arab arson of Joseph’s Tomb and the attacks by Palestinian Authority police on Jews who arrived at the holy site have finally forced the Obama administration to take a stand, and it clearly is not with an ISIS-like theology against non-Islamic holy sites.

Madrid is where the “peace process

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Abbas Wins a Flag but Backs Off from ‘Bomb’ at Half-Empty United Nations

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Mahmoud Abbas informed the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday that he has submitted a request to the Security Council for recognizing the Palestinian Authority as an independent country based on its territorial demands with its capital in Jerusalem.

He also conditioned the Palestinian Authority’s abiding by agreements on Israel’s doing the same, which in his view means agreeing to all demands for a new state based on the Arab world’s terms.

However, the fact that the General Assembly was half-empty symbolizes the decreasing interest in the “Israeli-Palestinian” struggle and is a follow-up to President Barack Obama’s speech earlier this week in which he totally ignored the issue.

Abbas did not drop his threatened “bombshell,” perhaps a direct cancellation of all agreements, after a warning from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to keep his cool. Instead, he spun the yarn that the Palestinian Authority honors all agreements but that Israel does not..

His favorite point was “illegal settlements.” There is no agreement with the Palestinian Authority that Israel will not retain a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, unless negotiations conclude otherwise. But Abbas is relying on U.N. resolutions as “agreements.”

Since he has the support of most of the United Nations and foreign media, he can get away with the semantic trickery.

Abbas referred to Israel as an “occupying power” five times in his 40-minute speech, and he played on theme of the “Holy Land” six times, alleging that the “occupying power” prevents Muslims from worshipping at the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to tell the General Assembly in his speech that the Palestinian Authority is behind vicious incitement on the Temple Mount in an effort to change the status quo and prohibit Jews from the holy site.

Abbas’ speech was filled to the brim with accusations against Israel, which afterwards called the address one of “incitement,” while he acted as the eternal peacemaker.

He rewrote history for a receptive audience and media, stating in part:

We entered those negotiations with open hearts and attentive ears and sincere intentions, and we were ready with our documents, papers and proposals. But the negotiations broke down just weeks after their launch…..

Sincere efforts and endeavors undertaken by international parties were repeatedly wrecked by the positions of the Israeli government, which quickly dashed the hopes raised by the launch of negotiations last September.

Unsurprisingly, Abbas weighed into “settlements.” an issue on which he has the full backing of the Obama administration. He told the United Nations:

Settlement activities embody the core of the policy of colonial military occupation of the land of the Palestinian people and all of the brutality of aggression and racial discrimination against our people that this policy entails.

This policy, which constitutes a breach of international humanitarian law and United Nations resolutions, is the primary cause for the failure of the peace process, the collapse of dozens of opportunities, and the burial of the great hopes that arose from the signing of the Declaration of Principles in 1993 between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel to achieve a just peace that would begin a new era for our region.

He repeated what has become an Arab mantra, totally unsubstantiated by facts, that Israel is conducting “excavations that threaten our holy places, and its military checkpoints prevent our citizens from getting access to their mosques and churches.”

Abbas managed to bring Israeli Arabs under his umbrella, warning that the Israeli government is imposing “new conditions…that will transform the raging conflict in our inflamed region into a religious conflict and a threat to the future of a million and a half Christian and Muslim Palestinians, citizens of Israel.”

His speech exposed the Palestinian Authority strategy of using the original peace agreement with Israel as a basis to demand that all its conditions be met under “negotiations,” which in essence have left nothing to be negotiated.

Abbas recalled that in 1988, “We agreed to establish the State of Palestine on only 22% of the territory of historical Palestine – on all the Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel in 1967.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Report: With Little to Show for his Long Career, Abbas Told Jordan’s King He Plans to Resign

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

(JNi.media) The Saudi newspaper Okaz reported on Monday that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas had told Jordanian King Abdullah II that he wishes to resign because of the impasse in the peace process. The two met last Wednesday in Amman. Gaza sources have told the newspaper that Abbas plans to make a “surprising” speech in the coming days, notifying Palestinians about his resignation and retirement from political life.

On August 27, Abbas announced that he, along with a few others, will resign from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee.

“Mahmoud Abbas last received the approval of Palestinian voters in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip more than a decade ago,” writes Ben White in the Middle East Eye. “He is now 80 years old, with no vice president, no publicly anointed successor, and no prospect of new elections any time soon.”

Syndicated columnist Ramzy Baroud has suggested that, at the age of 80, Abbas is concerned about his legacy, a fact Baroud consideres “hardly encouraging.” The Unity deal Abbas’ Fatah signed with Hamas included the restructuring of the PLO and the inclusion of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in one unifying, representative Palestinian government. But Hamas is furious with Abbas for not living up to his commitments. In fact, Hamas is now seeking its own alternatives to breaking the Gaza siege through “indirect talks” with Israel, using the good services of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

“There is no doubt that the moment when Abbas exits the scene has arrived,” writes Baroud, adding, “That could either become a transition into yet another sorry legacy of an undemocratic Palestinian leadership or it could serve as an opportunity for Palestinians, fed up with the endemic corruption, political tribalism and across-the-board failure, to step forward and challenge the moral collapse of the Palestinian Authority and the charade of self-serving ‘democracy’ of factions and individuals.”

JNi.Media

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