Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, February 2010
The Abbas Administration Scandals:
How Israelis Destroy Awakening Cooperators
By Hassan El-Najjar
Al-Jazeerah & ccun.org, February 14, 2010
Few days ago, the Israeli TV, newspapers, and internet websites started a smearing campaign against the acting Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas. *
Basically, the Israelis have used a Palestinian intelligence officer (Fahmi Shabana), who provided them with information, documents, and video footage about financial corruption, blackmailing, and sexual scandals involving people surrounding Abbas. These include the head of his office, Rafiq Al-Hussaini, as well as Palestinian officials in Jerusalem. The names of the two sons of Abbas were also mentioned in an implicit threat to reveal more about them.
This is the dead end which Mahmoud Abbas has reached after a long journey of cooperation fully with the successive Israeli governments.
He was the one who signed the Oslo Accords on the lawn of the White House on September 13, 1993.
He accepted to be the first Palestinian prime minister when the Israelis lost faith in Arafat, basically displacing him.
He announced that the way to achieving the Palestinian goal of statehood is through negotiations, not armed struggle.
He agreed to everything the Israelis asked him to do, betting on their sincerity and hoping that the peace process would lead to the Palestinian state.
After more than five years of his experience and seventeen years since his signature on the White House lawn, he concluded that the so-called peace process is an open-ended ploy and a cover-up for the continuation of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
He was publically humiliated when the new Israeli occupation government of Netanyahu refused to agree neither to the goal of the peace process (a viable and independent Palestinian state) nor to the references of negotiations (the US-authored Road Map and previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements). Moreover, the Netanyahu government continued its illegal settlement activities on confiscated Palestinian lands.
As a face-saving excuse, Abbas announced that he would not return to negotiations until the Netanyahu government accepts the two-state solution, the references of negotiations, and freezes its illegal settlement activities.
The Netanyahu government humiliated him more by not accepting his demands and insisted that he should return to negotiations without pre-conditions (a reference to his demands that the Netanyahu government freeze illegal settlements and accept the former Israeli-Palestinian agreements and the US Road Map).
When he insisted on his position, the Israeli smearing campaign started basically to destroy him, after discrediting and humiliating him (character assassination).
They knew these things about the people surrounding him for a long time but kept them as bargaining chips until the time comes for them to be used. The time has come now and this could be just the beginning. The Israeli smearing campaign could extend to his sons and probably more, depending on whether he would capitulate or not.
This is not a new Israeli practice.
They did this before to Arafat when he refused to agree to their plans in Camp David, in December 2009. He concluded that the Israelis were not serious about the two-state solution, which was supposed to result in a viable Palestinian state. This led to the breakout of the second Uprising (Intifada) of 2000-2004, during which he was humiliated and imprisoned in his office in Ramallah until his medical assassination in 2004.
They also did this to Hamas when it accepted to participate in the 2006 elections, which was basically acceptance of the Palestinian Authority, the baby of the Oslo Accords. Hamas won the majority in parliament, which would have meant good news for the Israelis if they were really sincere about making peace with the Palestinian people. The Hamas-Fat'h national unity government, resulting from the elections, would have guaranteed reaching an agreement about the two-state solution. However, the Israelis started demanding that Hamas recognize Israel, accept former Israeli-Palestinian agreements, and change its charter.
When Hamas refused to accept the Israeli conditions in advance of any negotiations, the Israeli occupation government imposed a brutal siege on 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which has continued until now. Moreover, the Israeli occupation forces attacked Gaza in late December 2008 and January 2009 committing horrendous war crimes and crimes against humanity, killing more than1,400 people, the overwhelming majority of them were children and women. More than 5,000 civilians were injured and entire neighborhoods in Gaza were destroyed, all on TV screens broadcasted live to the whole world.
The Morale of the Story:
The successive Israeli governments have demonstrated that they were not interested to live in peace with the Palestinian people as neighbors. Rather, they invented an endless process of negotiations for the sake of negotiations, which would keep the Palestinian people under the Israeli military rule while their lands are taken from them on daily basis.
If a Palestinian politician is willing to play this role of eternal negotiator, giving the Israelis what they want without giving the Palestinian people anything, then things go well for that "cooperator." However, if he awakes and says "No," even after it has been too late, then he is going to be smeared, discredited, and destroyed.
It's the Israeli policy, which dominates the world today, not just in Palestine. Ask Bill Clinton about it.
* For a background, readers may find more information from the following two links:
Israeli Smear Campaign Against Abbas for Refusal to
Re-Start Peace Talks
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