Who’d bother to kill Mahmoud Abbas?

News item:

Fatah head Mahmoud Abbas, current chairman of the Palestinian Authority, claims that Israel is trying to assassinate him. Abbas told an Egyptian news agency this week that Israel had murdered his predecessor,Yasser Arafat – despite Arafat’s commitment to peace – and that he is afraid of suffering the same fate.

The man is beyond belief, and the US keeps paying him!

The implication is that he is for peace and a two-state solution, and Israel, which does not want peace, might kill him for his courageous stance, like his mentor Arafat.

In the real world the PA is doing its best to avoid negotiations with Israel, because it knows that its bottom lines — strict 1949 borders, return of ‘refugees’ to Israel, no recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, etc. — are unacceptable to either Israel or the US.

This is because they do not represent a compromise; they represent the whole ball game. Even Barack Obama has ruled out a right of return, has called for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, and has favored land swaps.

So Abbas insists that the fact that Israel will not extend its building freeze to East Jerusalem means that it is impossible to talk. Of course, extending the ill-considered freeze would prejudge the status of East Jerusalem, something which is theoretically part of the theoretical negotiations. It’s bad enough that a cloud has been cast over all the rest of Judea and Samaria.

In any event, Israel is not building new settlements and there’s no connection between construction anywhere and the possibility of holding negotiations.

Israel understands quite well that neither Abbas or anyone else associated with the PA wants a ‘peace’ agreement that would be anything other than a complete capitulation to all of their demands. Even if someone did, he would receive no backing and probably be in physical danger from more extremist elements.

So killing Abbas would get Israel exactly nothing, just as killing Arafat in 2004 would not have. Israel could have and should have killed Arafat in 1982, but that’s another story.

The legend about Israel having poisoned Arafat — most authorities think it more likely that he died from complications of AIDS or was poisoned by Palestinian rivals — has joined Arab mythology along with the one about the Mossad’s responsibility for 9/11. It’s a good story, though, and Abbas used his interview to get in another lick at Israel.

The so-called ‘peace process’ which the US is bound and determined to ‘restart’ yet again is a diversion from more serious issues — Iran — as well as an excuse for the US and Europe to slice bits off of Israel in pursuit of their real policy goal. That is to shrink Israel as close to the 1949 lines as possible in order to appease Saudi Arabia, which has been pressuring the US to oppose a Jewish state in Palestine at least since Ibn Saud met with Roosevelt in February of 1945.

Apparently the plan goes just this far, with a sort of hazy idea that security problems will be ironed out after the main goal has been attained. This is the same kind of reasoning, by the way, that brought us the disaster in Iraq.

How to make the tiny Palestinian state viable, how to defuse the terrorists in Judea and Samaria when the IDF pulls out, what to do about Hamas, what about the crime and corruption-ridden Palestinian society and politics, what about the influence of Iran by way of its proxies Hamas and Hizbullah, etc. — all of these issues are ‘handled’ by wishful thinking, just like the problems of post-Saddam Iraq.

In truth, the US and Europe care as little for Israel and the Palestinians as they did for the Iraqis. Peace can come only when the outside forces — in this case the West, Iran and Saudi Arabia leave the area alone. Without the ‘encouragement’ that today leads Palestinian Arabs to believe that they will succeed in getting the Jews out of the region,  perhaps a realistic  leadership could arise that will accept the idea of a state alongside Israel. But I’m not holding my breath.

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One Response to “Who’d bother to kill Mahmoud Abbas?”

  1. Robman says:

    Well, the idea that the West, Iran, and Saudi Arabia will “leave the area alone” and thus pull the plug on Palestinian maximalist demands, is of course, wishful thinking, and I’m not holding my breath, either. So what can we do?

    Israeli leaders and her supporters abroad (I think that means people like us) need to work towards deligitimizing the PA in the eyes of world opinion as the representatives of Palestinian national aspirations. They’ve spent 40+ years trying to delegitimize Israel; it is high time we responded in kind.

    We can do this by stressing the RECOGNITION issue. What follows is a letter to the editor I recently submitted to the local paper:

    “The [newspaper in question’s] January 13th editorial, [concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict], reflects a disturbing bias concerning the situation between Israel and the Palestinians.

    The main obstacle to peace is not “settlements”, but rather, Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, a position made explicit in the Palestinian Charter. This would be tantamount to Russia refusing to recognize Poland as a Polish state. Mahmoud Abbas, with whom Israel is expected to negotiate, claims that it is not his “responsibility” to “define the national character” of Israel, but if this were so, why do the founding documents of the polity he represents very much make it their business to define Israel in the negative? Without recognition, any peace treaty would be worthless. Once they renege – as they always have – the Palestinians could logically claim that they cannot be bound to the terms of an agreement signed with an “illegitimate” entity.

    American envoy George Mitchell raised the specter of suspending aid to Israel if she is not more forthcoming with concessions; what threats are made to the Palestinian leaders if they refuse to compromise? The message from Obama is that the Palestinians need only wait and Obama will deliver Israel to them.

    Imagine if we applied the same logic to the Korean peninsula as the Obama administration applies to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Suppose we took an “even-handed” approach between North and South Korea, and then threatened to reduce the American presence to defend South Korea (which costs far more than aid to Israel) in order to coerce South Korea into being more conciliatory towards the North. Such policies would be absurd, but this is how we treat our ally, Israel, in the face of terrorists who are little different than the ones we are fighting in Afghanistan. Small wonder there is no peace.”

    I know I could have said more, but bear in mind, at this particular newspaper, letters to the editor are limited to 300 words.

    At any rate, that’s the kind of letter we all need to be writing at every opportunity. And I’m sure we all get plenty of opportunities, the way the media is these days. Even if they don’t get published, the more the merrier, as it puts editors on notice that people see through the anti-Israel media bullshit. Besides, the more who write, the better the chance of getting in. We have to be willing to “succeed by attrition”; they can’t just ignore all of us.

    There are other things we can do. We can call or e-mail radio or TV programs and make ourselves heard on this issue (and don’t be afraid to call them Saudi stooges or ‘petrodollar prostitutes’, because at the national level, we know they are, and we need to shine a light on this like a flashlight on cockroaches). We can join local Israel advocacy organizations, and stress these ideas at such forums. We can make relevant posts on internet forums, not only like these, but on more neutral venues where people may not have seen or considered ideas such as these. None of this has to cost you a dime; what is involved here is merely the willingness to get involved and speak up.

    Back to the “program”:

    The PA must have it’s feet held to the fire to recognize Israel is a Jewish state, a perfectly reasonable demand in the eyes of the public (reputable polling supports this). They will never do this, of course, so this is the lever upon which we can topple them as a legitimate negotiating entity.

    By default, the only player who can fill that niche is Jordan. So we then must promote the idea of Jordan=Palestine. Western governments – particularly the UK and US – have considerable influence there, and if the will existed, probably could pressure the monarchy to adopt democratic reforms that would lead to the Palestinian majority in that country being ‘masters in their own home’. After all, we can ask, why is it that when the Palestinians cite ‘majority rule’ as their justification for claims on the West Bank, that this very same principle is ignored next door?

    Some – even in Israel – are leary of alienating the Jordanian monarchy. They are such great friends of Israel, placing the whole onus for solving Palestinian national aspirations on Israel’s shoulders. What swell guys! And such good friends of the U.S….just ask those front-line CIA troopers who got blown away by a Jordanian double agent. I can come up with many more examples of just how “indispensible” the good graces of the Jordanian monarchy can be, but you get the point.

    Once the PA is removed from the equation and Jordan is recognized as Palestine in a de jure sense as well as the de facto sense that prevails today, then a real peace agreement can be hammered out, with Palestinian majority areas of the West Bank that are contiguous with Jordan confederating with that state, and Jewish majority areas of the West Bank that are contiguous with Israel being formally annexed to Israel, and the whole of the West Bank remaining as a demilitarized zone a la Sinai.

    Every stage of what I describe above will take time, patience, and diligence. Even if you don’t agree with my ultimate program, I think few in this forum can find fault with the proposition that the PA must be pinned to the wall on the recognition issue, if for no other reason than to take pressure off of Israel over the bogus “settlements” issue. In short, in the “battle for hearts and minds”, we need to stop being reactive, we need to stop apologizing for Israel, AND WE NEED TO GO OVER TO THE OFFENSIVE.

    And finally, keep up the good work, Vic.