Sunday, January 9, 2005
Abu Mazen - illusions of peace
by Greg Felton
Thanks to Mimi for forwarding this article!
Mr. Greg Felton is a Canadian writer on the Middle East, and the author of an upcoming book on Osama bin Laden. His "Mind over Media" column appears every month in the Greater Vancouver Arabic/English newspaper al Shorouq, and every second Thursday in the Alberta Arab News. He contributed this column to Media Monitors Network (MMN) from Canada.
(Friday 07 January 2005)
"If the 1930s taught us nothing else, it is that appeasement toward a colonial oppressor merely emboldens it to take more land and kill more people. Nevertheless, Abbas is eager to play Neville Chamberlain to Sharon's Adolf Hitler."
Only one kind of Palestinian leader is acceptable to Israel; a quisling who will sell out his people for a few parcels of dust and the illusion of peace.
To achieve this end, Israeli Prime Murderer Ariel Sharon and his U.S. underlings are doing everything possible to help Mahmoud Abbas (a.k.a. Abu Mazen) become the new leader of the Palestinian Authority on Jan. 9. What the forces of zionism do not understand, though, is that any leader who betrays his people has a short life-political or otherwise.
Abbas's usefulness is mainly due to his declaration that all armed resistance against Israel is counterproductive. Unfortunately for the Palestinians, they have no other means to defend themselves. They can either die quietly or die fighting, and residence groups like Hamas and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade believe that lives and land are worth fighting for.
If the 1930s taught us nothing else, it is that appeasement toward a colonial oppressor merely emboldens it to take more land and kill more people. Nevertheless, Abbas is eager to play Neville Chamberlain to Sharon's Adolf Hitler. Regarding recent Qassam rocket attacks, Abbas said: "I say to [Hamas], This is not the time for this kind of act. Do not give Israel more reason to attack us.?*
More reason?! Attacking Palestinians is the essence of zionism; the founding philosophy of the 'Jewish State.' If Abbas had his way, Hamas and other armed resistance groups would lay down their arms and trust Israel to negotiate a honourable agreement. What of self-defence?
Without a means to force Israel to behave like a civilized state, negotiations merely force Palestinains to surrender more land, lives and dignity, which happened throughout the 1990s.
Article I of the September 1993 Declaration of Principles to the Oslo Accords stated that the objective of the negotiations was to lead to a permanent settlement based on UNSC resolutions 242 and 338. Under these resolutions, among other things, all Jewish 'settlements' are illegal, yet over the decade they more than doubled.
All of this Abbas had to have known, yet he was still prepared to roll over. In October 1995, he and Israeli negotiator Yossi Beilin hammer out a secret final solution to the question of Palestinian statehood and Israeli "security."
Their private agreement would have allowed Israel to maintain military forces in the Jordan Valley and dishonestly rename Abu Dis as 'Al Quds' (Jerusalem) thereby completing the theft of the entire city. (In the 1947 "Partition Plan," which the UN Security Council never passed, none of Jerusalem lay within "Israel")
In the end, Arafat refused to be stampeded into signing an ignoble pact, and for this act of fortitude he was vilified and ostracized for the remainder of his life. Meanwhile, Abbas showed himself to be a person Israel could do business with, and so was cultivated as a polite soft-spoken 'moderate Arab' who would serve Israel's interests.
These interests concern the perpetual occupation of huge swaths of the West Bank. For this, George W. Bush is also important.. As Sharon said at the recent Herzliya conference:
"The understandings between the U.S. President and me protect Israel's most essential interests: first and foremost, not demanding a return to the '67 borders; allowing Israel to permanently keep large settlement blocs which have high Israeli populations; and the total refusal of allowing Palestinian refugees to return to Israel."**
For all this to happen, Sharon needs Abbas. He needs his pacifism, his irrational optimism, and his need to be respected by the U.S. The last time Abbas was head of a negotiating team, he resigned in frustration because of U.S.-Israeli obstructionism. Sharon cannot afford to make that mistake again; therefore, he is willing to pull out of the Gaza Strip to give the illusion that he is giving Abbas something in return.
Sharon knows that the Gaza Strip is more trouble than it's worth, and he's already making much out of his decision to pull out. The deal would cost Sharon little and the Palestinians everything. The Gaza Strip is resource-poor but the West Bank contains rich agricultural land and sits atop huge aquifers.
Since Abbas has already acquiesced on the question of "settlements" Sharon seems to stand a decent chance of getting away with this con job. This time, though, Abbas is in charge and must watch his back.
On Jan. 4, Israeli tank fire in the northern Gaza Strip killed seven Palestinians ages aged 11 to 17. They were in a field picking strawberries. Abbas, who was campaigning in southern Gaza Strip, had to respond appropriately. He merely said: "We are praying for the souls of the martyrs who were killed today by the shells of the zionist enemy."
Israel's Vice Prime-Murderer Ehud Olmert condemned Abbas's comment as "intolerable, unacceptable, and [that it] cannot serve as the basis for any cooperation in the future."
How could stating the obvious be intolerable? Israel is the zionist enemy, and the youths were killed by zionist shells. A reasonable person would say that murdering boys "cannot serve as the basis for any cooperation".
Here we clearly see the role Abbas is supposed to play in this farce - say nothing when Israel commits an atrocity, but condemn Palestinians when they retaliate with rockets. Even after the tank killing, Abbas maintained his tone of appeasement: "I'm still condemning the rockets, and I won't apologize. In most of the rocket firings, we pay the price."
The best characterization of Abbas comes from Hamas spokesman, Mushir al-Masri: "The Palestinian leadership must support the choice of the people and defend them instead of promoting itself to the enemy," ***
* Greg Myre, "Candidate Asks Gaza Militants to Stop 'Useless' Attacks on Israelis", New York Times, Jan. 3, 2005.
** Roni Ben-Efrat, "On the Narrow Shoulders of Abu Mazen," Challenge, No. 89, January-February 2005.
*** Greg Myre, "Abbas Denounces Israel After Tank Fire Kills 7 Youths," New York Times, Jan. 5, 2005.