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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Abu Mazen's betrayal

Personally, I find it delicious that Abu Mazen finds himself in the predicament described in this article. But if you look at it from the 'Palestinian' perspective (and even from the American one), you can only conclude that President Obumbler fouled up royally to put Abu Mazen there.
Abbas will come to the meetings with the Americans when Palestinian elections will be approaching, and the last thing he needs is the renewal of negotiations with Israel without a complete freeze of construction in the settlements. Nonetheless, Clinton will ask Abbas to restart the negotiations without getting what he has been seeking for so long - a halt to Jewish construction in the West Bank and especially in East Jerusalem.

The American secretary of state may have the United States to blame for the current situation. The Obama White House and State Department pushed Abbas not to seek a hearing at the United Nations on the Goldstone Commission report on Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. This greatly damaged Abbas' standing in Palestinian public opinion.

The Americans had engendered a feeling in Abbas' office that this time the administration was serious in its determination to apply pressure on Israel to stop all construction over the Green Line. President Obama, his secretary of state and Middle East envoy were the ones who, over and over, said they were demanding this as part of the first stage of the road map peace plan. The moment they came to an agreement with Israel on a partial construction freeze, they left Abu Mazen high and dry. He was up a tree they had helped him climb.

The embarrassing situation in which Abbas finds himself may leave him feeling more than a little betrayed. This helps explain his implied threat in the course of a weekend conversation with Obama that he would not submit his candidacy for the presidency in the upcoming Palestinian elections - in other words, he would resign. A high-ranking figure in Fatah explained the situation well when asked about it by Haaretz: "You can remain calm. On our side, no senior official resigns."
The truth is that this article is just plain wrong, because it makes it sound like what got Abu Mazen into this mess was his inaction on the Goldstone Report. But the Goldstone Report was the icing on the cake.

What got Abu Mazen into this mess was his seizing on Obama's demand for a 'settlement freeze' - something the 'Palestinians' had never demanded before as a condition to negotiations. And that's Obama's fault because he never should have made demands on the 'Palestinians' behalf.

Elsewhere, the article talks about how Abu Mazen felt a warm connection to Olmert but doesn't feel that way about Netanyahu. That's part of the same equation. Abu Mazen never demanded a 'settlement freeze' from Olmert. When you make unreasonable demands on someone, they won't be your friend.

That's a lesson in life as well.


At 2:48 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I don't think Israelis see Abbas anymore as a "peace partner." They too feel betrayed and they see someone who can't keep his promises let alone credibly negotiate much less than carry out an agreement. He's finished and it doesn't look like the Palestinians will have a leader who will want to compromise with Israel and end the conflict.

What could go wrong indeed

At 8:30 PM, Blogger J. Lichty said...

of course it was Emperor Obamus who put Abbas in that position where he could only demand a settlement freeze. How can Hopey Changey expect Abbas to be more catholic than the pope.

Of course all of this puts aside the fact that Abbas does not negotiate in good faith, and although inadvertant, Obama's putting the final nail in the coffin of the fake peace process is a just dessert.


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