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Most Palestinians Won't Be Sorry For Abbas's Departure

30 September 2015

By Khalid Amayreh

Palestinian Authority (PA) sources have been disseminating rumors indicating that Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has submitted his resignation as Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee.

It is uncertain whether these leaks contain any modicum of truth or are just balloon tests meant to gauge Palestinian public reactions to the possible resignation of the PA leader.

Abbas did on several occasions "threaten" to resign. According to sources close to him, Abbas, now 82 years of age, probably thought that the overall Palestinian scene would fall into shambles should he quit his post.

A disaster

I believe that the Palestinian people are entitled to know the truth about Abbas in case they don't already know it. And the truth is that Abbas has been a colossal failure in every conceivable respect.

A nominal leader of a nominal entity that is bereft of sovereignty and authority, Abbas has failed to carry out the most basic duties toward his people.

Instead, he continued to indulge in futile rhetoric about Palestinian statehood and a political process that has been in a state of clinical death for many years.

In this sense, one can safely accuse Abbas and the hangers-on around him of knowingly deceiving the people. This is a grave matter bordering on treason.

After all, a true leader ought to be first and foremost honest with his people who trusted him to lead them to the safety shore, not plunge them into uncertainty and precariousness.

No one expect Abbas to be another Salahuddin. But we do expect him to be honest at the very least.

But Abbas has not been honest. He clung to a sham "peace process" that was totally and manifestly void not only of peace but also of honestly as well from the very inception.

This is alone a clarion and indicting proof that the man has utterly failed to perform the tasks the Palestinian people entrusted him to perform.

Abbas should have declared the death of the so-called peace process a long time ago. However, instead of telling the truth, all the truth and nothing but the truth, he opted to chase a mirage in the desert, thinking that water would eventually show up. But water never showed up and probably never will.

In a nut-shell, one can claim, with little exaggeration, that Abbas has sacrificed whatever prospects for the creation of a viable Palestinian state for the sake of maintaining his hapless and disingenuous Palestinian "authority", an authority without authority, save the authority to arrest, torment and persecute honorable Palestinians deemed hostile toward the "Israeli partner."

Israel has always wanted the PA to be a police state without a state, an entity that would repress the Palestinian people on Israel's behalf.

In light of the PA record, is hard to say that Israel has failed to accomplish its desires in this regard.

In fact, it is hard to pinpoint any field where the PA has scored a real success. Not only, the prospects of establishing Palestinian statehood have been dashed irreversibly, but our collective steadfastness as a people has been considerably eroded due to the disastrous political management of the Palestinian cause by the PA and the PLO.

The rift with Hamas

While Hamas cannot really be completely vindicated of blame for the persistence of the rift with Fatah, one can honestly claim that Chairman Abbas bears the bulk of the blame for the failed reconciliation efforts between two chief political camps in occupied Palestine.

Abbas invoked ad nauseam the mantra that that the PLO was the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, ignoring the fact that the PLO belongs to a bygone era and no longer envoys acceptance by the bulk of Palestinians.

Abbas also repeatedly called for organizing elections to allow Palestinians to elect a new national leadership. However, he has always proven unable or unwilling to secure the right environment for holding free, transparent and honest elections.

For example, he gave his undisciplined security agencies a free rein to suppress human rights and civil liberties, a condition without which no true elections can be held.

Likewise, Abbas doggedly maintained the ignominious "security coordination regime" with Israel whereby Israel and the PA cracked down harshly not only on Palestinian activists demanding freedom and liberation but also on activists voicing banal grievances pertaining to living conditions and economic rights.

I really don't know how true elections can be held in an atmosphere of fear. This is a serious matter that Abbas and his regime have utterly failed to address as they continued to shamelessly demand that elections be held while the Israeli occupation army remains in tight control of every corner and street and refugee camp in the West Bank.

None the less, the biggest scandal surrounding the PA and its chairman is related to their conspiratorial stance on Gaza and the hermetic Israeli-Egyptian siege on the coastal enclave.

We all know that numerous elements within the PA had prayed hard for the success of Israeli wars on Gaza (2008-2014) in the hope that Israel would crush Hamas and consequently enable the PLO to return to the Strip, reach a lasting peace with Israel and enjoy a lasting victory over the forces of resistance.

But the PA audacity actually went far beyond indulgence in morbid dreaming. The PA leadership effectively incited the Egyptian regime to tighten the noose on Gaza so that Hamas would beg the Ramallah regime to come to its rescue.

For years now, the PA has been waging a relentless war of words against Hamas, accusing the resilient Islamic movement of conceivable harm done to the Palestinian cause.

But the real PA goal has remained unchanged, namely the destruction or dismantlement of the resistance forces in Gaza, the very people who put up the severest resistance ever to the Zio-Nazi onslaught that murdered and maimed thousands of Palestinians and reduced the Gaza Strip to rubble.

What is more scandalous still is that this criminal goal would be carried out under the rubric of national reconciliation as if Palestinian national unity could only be achieved if only Palestinians succumbed to Zionist depravity, arrogance and supremacy.

In light, no Palestinian would or should shed tears for Abbas and his failed leadership. On the contrary, Palestinians ought to entertain the hope that the post-Abbas era will be auspicious and promising for our people and their enduring just cause.

Khalid Amayreh is a Palestinian journalist and political commentator living in Occupied Palestine. 



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