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Posts Tagged ‘Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas’

Palestinians: the War between Mahmoud and Mohamed

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

After a prolonged lull, the ongoing war between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and ousted Fatah operative Mohamed Dahlan erupted once again over the past few days.

The two men are now accusing each other of treason, corruption and conspiracy, prompting some Palestinians to wonder whether the time has come for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to make an effort to hold “peace talks” between Abbas and Dahlan.

The Abbas-Dahlan rivalry reflects growing tensions in the ruling Fatah faction, which dominates the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

But the war is not only between two figures. Rather, it is between two camps in Fatah representing the old guard and new guard.

There were days when Abbas and Dahlan were considered close allies and friends. When Abbas served as prime minister under Yasser Arafat, in 2003, he appointed Dahlan as Minister of Security.

Back then, Abbas and Dahlan were forced to work together to face Arafat’s autocratic regime, which sought to undermine the power of the two men.

However, tensions between Abbas and Dahlan first surfaced after Hamas seized control over the Gaza Strip and drove the Palestinian Authority out of the area in the summer of 2007.

Abbas and his loyalists then held Dahlan and his forces responsible for the Hamas “coup,” saying they had not done enough to prevent the defeat of the Palestinian Authority. Dahlan was a former commander of the Palestinian Preventive Security Force in the Gaza Strip.

The tensions between the two reached their peak four years ago when Abbas learned that Dahlan had been bad-mouthing the president’s sons, Yasser and Tareq Abbas.

In response, Abbas ordered the Palestinian Authority security forces to raid Dahlan’s residence in Ramallah and confiscate documents and various types of equipment. Some of Dahlan’s friends and aides were arrested during the raid.

Dahlan was forced to flee Ramallah and has since found refuge in the United Arab Emirates.

Abbas escalated his campaign against Dahlan by persuading Fatah’s Central Committee to expel him from the faction.

Abbas aides have since accused Dahlan of involvement in various crimes, including the “poisoning” of Arafat, who died in November 2004, the assassination of a number of Fatah officials in the Gaza Strip, and embezzlement of public funds.

In recent weeks, the United Arab Emirates and other Arab countries have been trying to negotiate an end to the war between Abbas and Dahlan, but to no avail.

Palestinian sources claimed that the Arab mediators had even asked the 78-year-old Abbas to appoint Dahlan, 53, as his deputy. Abbas, according to the sources, turned down the proposal, saying he would never forgive Dahlan for betraying him and Fatah.

The failure of the mediation efforts prompted Dahlan last week to launch a scathing attack on Abbas and his close aides in Ramallah, reigniting the war between the two men.

Dahlan was quoted as saying that Abbas and his team were not negotiating with Israel about the restoration of Palestinian rights, but in order to win American and Israeli backing. “The leadership of the Palestinian Authority is so weak that it can’t turn down any Israeli request,” Dahlan was quoted as saying.

Dahlan was also quoted as accusing unnamed Palestinian Authority officials of providing logistical aid to construction work in Jewish settlements.

Dahlan’s statements have drawn strong condemnations from Abbas and his top aides. They are now referring to the ousted Fatah operative as “Lieberman Dahlan” – a reference to Israeli right-wing politician and former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is a strong critic of the Palestinian Authority and its leaders.

Abbas’s aides are also accusing Dahlan of being part of a “conspiracy” to topple the Palestinian Authority president. They claim that Dahlan is wanted by the Palestinian Authority for his role in the assassination of Fatah activists and financial corruption.

Dahlan does not seem to be standing alone in his battle against Abbas. Several Fatah-affiliated groups and figures in the Gaza Strip and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon have come out in support of Dahlan, deepening divisions inside Fatah.

The war between Dahlan and Abbas has seriously undermined Fatah’s credibility among Palestinians. Fatah has already lost much of its credibility as a result of its failure to reform and come up with new leaders.

Abbas Gives $6K to Dancers Named after Terrorist who Killed 37

Monday, September 9th, 2013

In the midst of renewed Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas awarded $6,000 to the Dalal Group for Popular Arts, a dance troupe named after Dalal Mughrabi, a Palestinian terrorist who was behind a bus attack in which 37 Israeli civilians died, Palestinian Media Watch reported.

The official Palestinian Authority newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, reported on Abbas’s “Presidential Grant” to the dance group last month. Additionally, “The Lion Cubs and Flowers,” a youth group for boys and girls run by Abbas’s Fatah party, named a class after Mughrabi. Twelve of the 37 Israelis who died in the 1978 bus attack orchestrated by Mughrabi were children.

State Dept. Shows Faint Signs of Dumping ‘Peace Process’

Monday, June 10th, 2013

U.S. State Dept. comments on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s scheduled return to Israel this year offer faint indications that the Obama administration, may finally be getting ready to tell the Palestinian Authority and Israel, “Go fight it out among yourselves and leave us alone.”

No one is quite certain why Kerry is coming, unless he has some super-duper trick up his sleeve. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has dug his heels deep in the Saudi 2002 Initiative that has been developed into the basis of PA demands that there is nothing to be negotiated.

On the Israel side, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, one of the most senior and nationalist Likud Knesset Members, took it upon himself to say that the government is against a two-state solution.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was so upset that he called on the Sabbath to the Times of Israel website, which had quoted Danon, to voice his distance from Danon’s remarks.

The facts on the ground tell the story. On the one hand, Palestinian Authority Arabs, heavily backed by European Union and international leftist funding, have settled on thousands of acres in Judea and Samaria to stake claims and isolate Jewish communities.

On the other hand, In  the first three months of this  year, there were 865 housing starts in Judea and Samaria, compared with 313 in the same period in 2012, mirroring the nationalist influence of the Jewish Home party and its “partner through silence,” Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid party.

Significantly, the figures do not include areas of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority and where the Netanyahu government has reportedly carried out a de facto building freeze since the beginning of the year.

Senior PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said Sunday following Danon’s comments, “I believe that a government that continues to tender settlements and rejects the two-state solution will not go for peace.”

So why does the Obama administration really think anyone is listening?

It does have an audience, limited but elite.

Only someone with the Ivory Tower view of President Shimon Peres, and there are still a few thousand like him, could actually believe that Abbas is sincere in wanting a peace agreement with Israel, even if all of his demands are met, while refusing to declare that Israel is a “Jewish state.” And only the same view could actually believe that peace can be achieved even Israel were to satisfy all of Abbas’ demands.

“It’s clear not only to us Palestinians but also to the American administration and John Kerry that the current Israeli government is not interested in the peace process,” Nimr Hamad, an adviser to Abbas, told the Associated Press. “The Palestinian position is clear. Israel has to be forced to stop the settlement activity.”

Abbas has long passed the point of no return, and Netanyahu, honest or not, can comfortably go through the motions of wanting to negotiate because he knows Abbas will refuse.

Is Kerry finally getting the message?

In Washington, the growing doubts among reporters of what has become a “peace process charade” have started to creep into the State Dept. comments.

In Friday’s daily news briefing, State Dept, spokeswoman Jen Psaki emphasized what previously has been stated as  a secondary clause:

“Let me just reiterate the larger point here, which is that this is between – this is up to the Israelis and the Palestinians to make the decision to move back to the negotiating table… But it is ultimately up to both sides, regardless of who else is involved on the outside.”

She could not even answer reporter’s questions concerning what meetings Kerry will conduct.

Kerry and President Barack Obama have said before that in the end, the Palestinian Authority and Israel  must decide if they want an agreement.

Kerry does not want to be another failure  following a long line off U.S. diplomats who have thought they could change the Middle East.

The smartest thing would be for Kerry to blame both sides and make a quick exit.

Is Kerry smart? Don’t bet on it.

Hawking’s Boycott Falls into a Black Hole

Monday, May 13th, 2013

The Israeli Presidential Conference that Stephen Hawking is boycotting because of the “occupation” of supposed Palestinian land has drawn in the past none other than several senior Palestinian Authority officials, including one who two weeks ago said he would like to drop a nuclear bomb in Israel.

Thanks to a bit of Internet homework by Times of Israel reporters, it appears that former Palestinian Authority minister and negotiator Ziyad Abu Zayyad spoke at all three of the prior presidential conferences that have been held since 2008.

Another former speaker was former teenage terrorist Jibril Rajoub, who as an adult terrorist was head of Yasser Arafat’s “preventive security.” He also heads the central committee of Fatah, the party of Mahmoud “peace Process” Abbas, and last week he said he wished he had a nuclear weapon to destroy Israel.

So why didn’t Rajoub boycott the conference?

Because it is a lot easier to undermine Israel from within than staging a useless boycott, which is a total fake since a true boycott would mean no generic drugs from Teva Pharmaceuticals, the world’s largest generic drugs manufacturer. Everyone who has read about Hawking’s boycott probably already knows that Teva is working on a drug that could cure the brilliant physicist of the motor neuron disease that has afflicted the 71-year-old Hawking for the past 50 years.

The boycott would also include Intel chips, but who needs them? Besides the rest of the world, Hawking needs them, and probably more than anyone else. He communicates through a computer-based communications system that runs on a chip made by Intel.

And who designed the chip? Intel’s Israeli team. Intel’s factory operations in Kiryat Gat, north of Be’er Sheva, are among the largest in the world.

A handful or more of other Palestinian Authority political leaders and academics have spoken at the presidential conferences, one of President Shimon Peres’s pet projects to bring Israeli and Palestinian Authority leaders together, based on the still-to-be proven maxim that if they talk forever, someone will listen.

Of course, no one can listen if everyone boycotts.

Enter Hawking. His hearing from his left is exceptional, but he apparently filters out anything else, whether on the right or even in the center.

That is why his boycott of the  conference is one of the best things that has every happened to Israel’s “hasbara” program of trying to explain itself to the rest of the world, a policy whose main accomplishment is that it keeps a lot of people from being unemployed.

It is current history that Cambridge University stated that Hawking is boycotting the conference because of Israel’s awful policy of not letting the world dictate what is good for Israel, because who knows more about the Middle East than Westerners?

It is current history that Cambridge backtracked and said he was not attending the conference because of his poor health.

And then Hawking said, no, that’s not so. “I really am boycotting Israel,” he said, explaining that the international leftists [Read: anti-Israel], convinced him it was the right – or left – thing to do.

So Cambridge struck out.

And now comes the report that blows another hole in the Black Lie of the international community’s effort to drive Israel back to the “Auschwitz Lines” of 1949-1967, as former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Abba Ebban called the old borders.

The anti-Israel, or pro-Palestinian Authority effort, if you prefer, is talking to itself.

It camouflages its built-in hatred of Israel with a bleeding heart sympathy for the poor Palestinians.

Their do-good effort to break their boredom in life is to boycott Israel. But a funny thing happened on the way to Hawking’s boycott of the presidential conference. Palestinian Authority officials love to speak there. Why boycott an opportunity to stand on a soapbox and deliver a rant against the people that gave you the soapbox.

Only in Israel

One would think that someone like Jabril Rajoub – the former adviser to Yasser Arafat, the former 16-year-old terrorists, the head of the council of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s own Fatah party, the man who two weeks ago said he really wished he had a nuclear bomb so he could destroy Israel today – would not stoop so low as to accept an invitation by the President of Israel to speak at the conference.

Kerry Hosts ‘Peace Process Partner’ Livni to Advance PA Demands

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is Prime Minister Netanyahu’s de facto “peace process minister,” is in Washington for talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is fresh from winning a supposed “concession” from the Arab League for the American-sponsored peace process.

Kerry has come up with a proposal to adopt most of the Saudi 2002 Peace Initiative, which is virtually everything that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has demanded.

Kerry’s mission is to make a deal. Getting Israel and the Palestinian Authority to agree on the final status of an independent Arab country under the aegis of the Palestinian Authority would be a glorious triumph for Kerry, possibly the stepping stone to the White House in  2016.

To get there, he is taking the course of least resistance, meaning the Israeli government.

Enter his real peace partner, Tzipi Livni.

Prime Minister Netanyahu holds the portfolio of Foreign Minister until there is a court decision on whether Avigdor Lieberman is guilty of fraud or can return to his former post. In the meantime, Netanyahu hurriedly bought Livni’s tiny party of six Knesset Members into the government by granting her the responsibility for handling the American effort for Palestinian Authority peace talks, one of Livni’s pet hobbies.

She and Kerry have the same goal, a deal at any cost with the prize of international admiration.

He came away from a meeting with the Arab League last week and tried to sell Israel a bill of goods of the Great Concession: The Arab supposedly are prepared to amend the Saudi 2002 Peace Initiative and back “land swaps,” meaning Israel would have their approval for sovereignty over a small amount of the land that was restored to the country in the Six-Day War in 1967.

In return, Israel would fork over an equal amount of land that has been part of the country since 1948.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheik al-Thani, whose kingdom has been unusually aggressive in handing out fat checks to Hamas and is pouring money into Arab areas of Jerusalem as well as the Palestinian Authority, led the Arab League delegation.

He agreed that perhaps – maybe if this and maybe if that, and if Israel behaves – the League could agree to “minor” land swaps.

For Kerry, this was a big concession. He “broke” the back of the Arabs and all that is left for him to do is tell Israel it is the best thing for the country since felafel.

“The Arab League delegation affirmed … the two-state solution on the basis of the 4th of June 1967 line, with the (possibility) of comparable and mutual agreed minor swap of the land,” he declared.

Of course, no one has any idea of what “minor” land swaps could mean, but you can rest your bottom dinar it does not mean that Israel would retain Gush Etzion. Maaleh Adumim? Maybe. Maybe not.

Perhaps the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ramot, French Hill, Pisgat Ze’ev and Talpiot, among others? Could be.

And Gilo? Probably not.

It does not matter now. The most important thing for Kerry and Livni, his one-woman Israeli government fan club, is to talk it up. It does not matter to them that Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal already has rejected the idea. But they can take of him later and drop Hamas from the list of outlawed terrorist organizations, make it a legal terrorist group, and everything will be just fine.

Livni said the Qatari prime minister’s grand concession of possibly, just maybe, agreeing to a  minor land swap was “very positive news.”

And what would land would Israel give up in this “minor” swap. Most likely, enough land to link Gaza with Judea and Samaria.

Of course there is one not so minor point that Kerry has forgotten. Actually, he has not forgotten because the State Dept. does not know any better.

What Israeli Arab in his right mind would give up all the benefits and security he gets from the Israeli government and become subjects of the Palestinian Authority in order to help Kerry’s political career?

Welcome to the State of Palestine, Main Export: Delusions

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

On Sunday, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree giving his cabinet two months to come up with regulations to issue identity documents bearing the State of Palestine logo.

The decree covers passports, identity cards, population records, vehicle and driving licenses, postage stamps, official papers and embassies.

Abbas reminds me of the cliché new business owner who starts by ordering stationary and business cards. I say, make your first sale, then go to Kinko’s.

That’s what State Dept. Spokesperson Victoria Nuland was thinking, I’ll bet, when she was asked on Monday to comment on Abbas’s renaming the Authority the “State of Palestine.”

“You can’t create a state by rhetoric and with labels and names,” she said. “You can only create a state in this context through bilateral negotiations.”

Nuland added that “our policy on continuing to call it the Palestinian Authority until such time that there is a negotiated agreement for a state with borders will not change.”

Phew… That’s gotta’ be a load off our mind. But the questions persisted:

“So you don’t really take a position on the decision to start calling themselves the State of Palestine?”

The spokesperson dutifully repeated her previous answer, more or less. It doesn’t matter what they name themselves, they could call it the Galactic Empire of Palestine, they’d still have to stop at an Israeli checkpoint and present their papers.

Indeed, Ynet reported that Abbas is not rushing to change passports and ID cards which the Palestinians need to pass through Israeli crossings.

“At the end of the day, the Palestinian Authority won’t cause trouble for its people,” Abbas’ spokeswoman Nour Odeh, told Ynet.

But PLO spokesman Ahmad Assaf sounded extremely militant on Tuesday morning, declaring: “The Palestinian leadership couldn’t care less about Israel’s objections to planned State of Palestine passports and other identity documents.”

“Since when does the occupier allow the occupied to attain liberation and self determination?” Assaf challenged. “If we had waited for Israeli approval, we would still have been living in the time before the PA (government was established), because Israel doesn’t want any Palestinians to live in this land and this is a fact.”

And vice versa…

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office said Abbas’s decree was “devoid of any political meaning and creates no practical impact on the ground. A Palestinian state will only be created as part of a peace agreement with Israel.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/welcome-to-the-state-of-palestine-main-export-delusions/2013/01/08/

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