Abbas admits failure of the peace process

By Khalid Amayreh

Ramallah: Mahmoud Abbas, the beleaguered head of the Palestinian Authority, has finally but belatedly admitted that the so- called Peace process with Israel has completely failed and that the Palestinian people will have to seek an alternative to it.

In a speech in Ramallah Thursday evening, Abbas rightly blamed Israel for the collapse of the political process, saying that the PA had carried out "all our commitments and obligations" while Israel continued to steal Palestinian land and build Jewish settlements.

The 74-year-old Fatah leader said he decided not to seek a second term as PA Chairman, citing the failure of peace talks with Israel and the Israeli refusal to end the occupation that started in 1967.

He cited America's embrace of Israeli rejectionism, especially with regard to Jewish settlement expansion, and the so-far unsuccessful efforts to reach national reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, as the main reasons for his decision.

In short, Abbas blamed everyone for his failure, except himself.

Indeed, from the very inception of his "presidency,"!!!! Abbas sought to appease the Israelis and the Americans in ways that seriously undermined Palestinian national dignity, making our enemy and its guardian-ally overseas view the PA leadership as a quisling entity.

Abbas and cohorts allowed an American general to train and "build" Palestinian "national forces" in accordance with a manifestly treasonous doctrine whereby the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation was considered "acts of terror."

Keith Dayton inculcated our sons with the poisoned belief that Israel was the friend and Hamas was the enemy.

Eventually, the Americans cajoled and encouraged some ambitious and careerist-minded Fatah leaders to try a military coup against the democratically elected government in Gaza, which eventually led to the enduring showdown between Fatah and Hamas.But instead of seeking genuine reconciliation with Hamas, the Abbas leadership stopped short of forging a brazen alliance with the Israeli occupation army against Palestinian resistance, mainly in order to obtain a certificate of good conduct from the Israelis and Americans.

We all remember that infamous treacherous encounter between Abbas's generals and Israeli army commanders at Beit El near Ramallah in September, 2008, when the highest ranking Palestinian security commander in the West Bank told his Zionist colleagues that "we are allies against terror" and that "we have one common enemy, and the name of that enemy is Hamas."

These remarks were not merely a slip of the tongue on the part of the Abbas's leadership. They were translated and are still being translated into policy in every street and corner in the West Bank where the PA security forces have been waging an harsh inquisition against Hamas's supporters.

This inquisition, which is continuing unabated, saw the imprisonment and torture of thousands of innocent people and the death of many. The PA connivance with Israel culminated earlier this year during the Nazi-like Israeli onslaught against Gaza when the PA hoped that the Jewish Wehrmacht would finish off Hamas and restore the Gaza Strip to the Ramallah Junta on a silver platter.

Abbas's sins are not confined to the post-2006 elections plots and machinations against Hamas, such as encouraging the west to keep up and even tighten the blockade of Gaza and encouraging the Egyptian leadership to seal the Rafah border-crossing for the purpose of strangling the coastal enclave's 1.5 million inhabitants in the hope that they would rise up against Hamas.

His management of the futile peace talks with Israel was decidedly scandalous. Often behaving like Alice in Wonderland, Abbas on numerous occasion gave his people the impression that peace was around the corner and that Ehud Olmert, the hero of the virtual genocide against Gaza , was an honest peace partner.

The kissing parties involving Abbas and Olmert in West Jerusalem made many people in Palestine as well as the outside world think that Israel was finally coming to terms with legitimate Palestinian rights and that the establishment of a viable Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital was only a matter of a few months.

Needless to say, all these hectic but disingenuous activities, misleadingly termed "peace talks," were taking place while Israeli bulldozers were pulverizing more Palestinian land, farms and orchards.

During these chummy chats, Abbas never really insisted on a full and total stoppage of Jewish settlement expansion, the malignant cancer devouring the remainder of the West Bank , nor did he insist on determining the end-game of the protracted process.

Hence, his stupidity, naivety, and misplaced trust of Israeli intentions got him where he is now. He has none but himself to blame.

Many Palestinian and Arab leaders had advised him not to be duped and deceived by the Israelis into succumbing to a vague and lengthy process that would allow Israel to create more facts in the West Bank and East Jerusalem .

However, he nearly always refused to listen, insisting that the "peace process" was the Palestinians' "only strategy."

And when a Palestinian journalist asked him a few months ago what he would do if the peace process failed, he shamelessly said that the alternative to the peace process was the peace process. Abbas claimed in his speech that the door was still open for the "two-state solution." However, a day earlier, Saeb Ureikat, a key political advisor to Abbas, was quoted as saying that time was becoming too late for a Palestinian state and that the Palestinian leadership would have to be honest and frank with the Palestinian masses in this regard.

It is hard to think how Abbas can redeem and rectify some of his blunders. Some of his sins, such as the security coordination with Israel , can never be forgiven. But Abbas can still embark on some daring steps to salvage things before it is too late.

At the top of these steps should be the orderly dismantling of the Palestinian Authority under whose rubric the national Palestinian cause is being liquidated.

Failure to do so, under whatever pretexts and excuses, would only mean legitimizing the colonial Israeli scheme and capitulating to the status quo.

Let us get rid of the big lie and confront ourselves with the all too-clear fact that the colonialist Zionist occupation of our country never really receded and that the Oslo Agreement was a deception from A to Z. We must tell our people that the PA is not a phase toward liberation from Zionist tyranny, as we have been told, but is rather an instrument for the liquidation of the Palestinian cause.

Is Abbas willing to face reality? Or does he need another15 years of deception and lies to realize what every Palestinian child knows thoroughly well.          

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 November 2009 on page no. 23

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