Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Abbas and Fatah's choices

Yassir Al Zaatara
'Everyone knows that there is nothing that scares Netanyahu and the Zionist security institution more than an Intifada, even a peaceful one.'
Those who have seen the leaked minutes of the meeting between Mahmoud Abbas, the Qatari Emir, and Khaled Meshaal, accompanied by a delegation from Hamas and Fatah, which seem to be credible, would see a president in a dire situation, as he continuously says "he is fed up".
This occurred during the frequent and boring references to Hamas' attempt to stage a coup in the West Bank, on one hand, and to the old story of the tunnel dug by Hamas under his house, which he believes is an attempt to assassinate him, on the other.
Haaretz newspaper revealed the falseness of the first story and that the investigation and questioning of the detained Hamas official have not proven that there were any plans for a coup attempt against the PA. The second story was merely words said jokingly amongst the Hamas members, describing a tunnel that is simply a part of the tunnels dug by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The fact is that any rational person does not need any proof from the Shin Bet or anyone else to realise that the story of the coup in the West Bank is pure fantasy and delusion, as the movement is not that politically senseless that it would ignore the reality of the West Bank and its violation by the occupation, which would make any coup attempt security suicide that will quickly end. This is especially true because the Hamas members in the West Bank do not possess weapons, as the occupation and PA authorities have been zealously persecuting the movement since 2004, and even before then, after "Operation Defensive Shield" in spring 2002.
Accusing Hamas of trying to ignite an Intifada in the West Bank is also a false accusation, because all of the honourable people in Palestine want an Intifada, and President Abbas repeatedly says that they want a popular uprising. However, there is no indication of any intention to spark this, as he reiterates, on a daily basis, that there will be no Intifada as long as he is alive, unless he views an Intifada as a few seasonal protests and vigils against the Wall in one village or another, and not massive demonstrations and clashes at the occupation's checkpoints and the areas where they are present, reaching the point of civil disobedience.
In this context, Abbas is acting like a person who wants to enter a battle but come out with no scratches. About a year ago, clashes erupted and resulted in a number of martyrs in the West Bank, and he described it as a conspiracy by Netanyahu to blow up the situation in the West Bank in order to justify the killing of the Palestinian people. Have you ever heard such words uttered by any leader of a liberation movement in the world?
Everyone knows that there is nothing that scares Netanyahu and the Zionist security institution more than an Intifada, even a peaceful one. In the West Bank that would hit the security and economic well-being of Israel, a well-being that is mainly possible because of the security provided by the security coordination with security agencies set up by General Dayton that were established on the basis of never fighting the occupation, and which remain faithful to this day, even if the occupation army enter Area A and arrest, and sometimes kill, whoever they want, without these agencies even lifting a finger.
In the same meeting's minutes, Abbas shows unprecedented levels of nervousness and anger, which shows the reader how the issue of Dahlan has taken over (of course because he practically controls the Fatah branch in Gaza), as Abbas described Dahlan as a scoundrel and spoke excessively about his relationship with Hamas, basing this on his relationship with the martyr Nizar Rayan's son, a young man who does not represent the movement's policies in any way, as stated by a member of the Hamas delegation during the meeting.
It is clear that the man is acting like a leader of a full-fledged state, and not like the leader of a liberation movement, and therefore, the rival Dahlan poses an obsession that controls him, and the competition posed by Hamas is another one of his obsessions. This is true despite the fact that his executive power and control over the PA, PLO, and Fatah exceeds even that of the late Yasser Arafat in his prime and despite the fact that Hamas accepted the national unity government and reconciliation agreement.
Those who read the minutes can conclude what is understood by all of those concerned with the general behaviour of this man; his only option is preserving the PA/state that he has control over, while continuing his efforts to improve it by means of negotiations. He is absolutely not thinking about changing his course of action, and in the current stage, he wants to annex the Gaza Strip to his future state, while continuing the political struggle that is likely to lead to recognising Palestine as a permanent member of the UN. However, he will not change anything on the ground, keeping the conflict focused on borders, addressed, from time to time, by the international community, all the while giving himself the chance to say he will not abandon the national constants. (What constants?)
He will continue to come up with stories every now and then to distract people, just like his most recent story claiming that America is demanding the recognition of the 1967 borders, or the story about the Security Council's demand for the same thing (ignoring the American veto). It is as if a resolution stronger than resolution 242 was not issued by The Hague against the Wall, and that no one followed up on it and that a significant development was made as a result.
Based on this, we can say that relying on the man changing his course of action is not an option in any case and the only way the cause will escape from its current state of limbo is either by means of a popular uprising, his (Abbas') departure followed by putting Fatah on the right path, or by Hamas and the resistance forces taking initiative after their historic victory in Gaza and turning the tables on him and announcing an expanded internal and foreign national alliance that rejects the negotiations and reiterates the resistance's programme, making the PA only an administrative body which can be joined by members of Fatah and those undecided.
Translated from Addustour newspaper, 16 September 2014

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