The article wrote that “Mr. Abbas was now seeking to renew his legitimacy in the eyes of the international community, especially with the imminent arrival of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. in the White House, which they said Mr. Abbas hoped would herald a return to negotiations with Israel.”
Nowhere in the article did it state that Abbas has no legitimacy with Palestinian Arabs.
The Palestinians poll themselves every quarter and the last results were released on December 15, 2020. There are important results to share with the public which were omitted by the Times:
86.3% of Palestinians think the Palestinian Authority is corrupt
That 86.3% compares to 63.4% who think Hamas-led institutions are corrupt
64.4% of Palestinians are not satisfied with the job of Abbas as president
66.0% of Palestinians want Abbas to resign
If Abbas was in an election against the leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, he would lose 42.8% to 50.2%
If it were a three-way race including jailed terrorist Marwan Barghouti, Abbas would place third, with Barghouti at 41.2%, Haniyeh at 32.3% and Abbas at 24.5%
75.9% of people polled do not expect Abbas’s Fatah party to accept the results if Hamas wins
37.7% and 21.0% of Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank, respectively, seek to emigrate
The number one concern for Palestinians is unemployment and poverty. The “occupation and settlements” was number two
Marwan Barghouti, a convicted terrorist, is the leading contender to win Palestinian presidential elections, yet his name did not make it into the Times article at all. How not surprising – on both fronts.
If the authors had read the poll results, they would have known that the Palestinians are more concerned with their economy than negotiations with Israel.
The Times called Abbas’s Fatah as “the mainstream Palestinian party,” even though it is highly unpopular and likely to lose the elections.
The Times continued that “The United States and much of the west refused to work with the unity government [of Fatah and Hamas] because Hamas, which they consider a terrorist organization, would not accept international demands such as renouncing violence and recognizing Israel’s right to exist.” There was no commentary on how Biden would work with a PA president who was either a convicted killer (Barghouti) or leader of a terrorist group (HAMAS).
Making sure Israel could be cast in a negative light, the article added that “Israel may also decide to bar Palestinians from voting in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem.” The December poll states that 56% of Palestinians favor such people being able to vote in West Bank polling stations, if Israel does not allow a foreign election to take place on its soil.
The Times coverage of the Palestinians is an alternative universe of peaceful Democracy-loving people being unfairly cast in a negative light by right-wing Israeli and American governments. It will be interesting to see how the paper’s language evolves during a year in which the U.S., Israel and Palestinian Authority might all change administrations.