Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Abbas Versus Dahlan
By Khalid Amayreh
PIC, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, March 24, 2014
Abbas and Dahlan
It is a little appealing to let PA leader Mahmoud
Abbas and former Fatah strong man in Gaza Muhammed Dahlan batter each other
in public as they have been doing recently.
In the final analysis,
both don't belong to the realm of saints, to put it extremely mildly.
For his part, Abbas is not the kind of leader who particularly values truth,
Moreover, it is also highly likely that his
"presidency" is involved in a substantial degree of corruption, including
nepotism and favoritism.
The reportedly huge wealth his sons have
amassed since he became president following Yasser Arafat's death in 2004,
raises compelling questions as to the wanton corruption permeating through
The very least one could argue is that the
principle of equal opportunity was not always considered when Abbas's sons
were involved in winning tenders and business contracts from the PA
Politically, there is also compelling evidence that
Mahmoud Abbas is not the ideal nationalistic leader who would not compromise
inalienable Palestinian rights, especially the paramount right of return for
millions of Palestinians expelled from their ancestral homeland in 1948 at
the hands of Jewish invaders from Eastern Europe.
The remarks he
made last year that he wouldn't exercise his right to return to his hometown
of Safad went decidedly against national Palestinian consensus and further
emboldened Israel to reject the repatriation of the refugees.
said that, I believe that Abbas is not the ultimate evil man Muhammed Dahlan
wants to convince us he is.
Last week, Abbas told Fatah's
revolutionary council that he wouldn't conclude his life with betraying the
Palestinian national cause. That was probably the best thing Abbas has ever
We would like to see the PA leader stick to his words, because
if he doesn't, everyone, including Abbas and us, will suffer rather
immensely and our enemies, Israel will be the ultimate winner.
Finally, we have to be honest and give Abbas credit for the fact that the
rift between Fatah and Hamas didn't evolve into an internecine civil war as
has been the case in Syria and Egypt. Indeed, had Abbas behaved like Bashar
el-Assad and Abdul Fattah al-Sissi, we would have seen the streets of Gaza
and the West Bank overflow with Palestinian blood.
True, credit for
this should be given to many people, including Hamas. However, Abbas, too,
ought to be lauded for his non-convulsive approach to Hamas.
should also be praised for suppressing gung-ho Fatah leaders, especially
Dahlan, who wanted to stoke the fire of civil war and "be it as it may."
Needless to say, had Abbas allowed Dahlan to have his way, perhaps
another Palestinian Nakba would have befallen the Palestinian people.
Dahlan: The irredeemable thug
I have no doubt in my mind that
Muhammed Dahlan is a key Israeli agent at the
Palestinian arena. At the very least, he has been acting like one.
His mission has always been to fight the Islamists and destabilize
political life in the occupied territories, all on Israel's behalf.
Several years ago I wrote the following on Dahlan's role in sabotaging the
fledgling Palestinian democracy, especially after Hamas defeated Fatah in
the 2006 elections.
(As a confidante of Yasser Arafat, Dahlan was
entrusted with the difficult task of routing or weakening Hamas in the Gaza
Strip, which Dahlan carried out to the best of his ability, with the help of
his deputy, Rashid Abu Shbak. Dahlan's men are widely believed to have
employed extremely cruel and "hair-raising torture methods" against Islamist
leaders, including Mahmoud Al-Zahhar and the late Abdel-Aziz Al-Rantisi.
When Hamas unexpectedly won the Palestinian legislative elections in
2006, Dahlan, who was at the zenith of his power, warned his fellow Fatah
lawmakers that, "I will deal roughly with anyone opting to cooperate with
Hamas". He also vowed to make Hamas "eat shit", claiming the Islamist
movement should understand that "giving sermons in the mosques is one thing
while running a country is quite another thing.")
In 2008, US
magazine Vanity Fair published what seemed to be a meticulously researched
expose showing that Dahlan actively conspired with the Bush administration
to topple the democratically elected government of Hamas in the occupied
territories. The lengthy article, based on confidential documents
corroborated by intelligence sources, spoke of a covert US operation,
approved by president George W. Bush and implemented by secretary of state
Condoleezza Rice to provoke a Palestinian civil war.
confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current US
officials, David Rose reveals how president Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and
deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams backed an armed force
[operation] under Fatah strongman Mohamed Dahlan, touching off a bloody
civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever.
worked closely with the FBI and the CIA, and he developed a warm
relationship with CIA Director George Tenet, a Clinton appointee who stayed
on under Bush until July 2004."
In 2001, president Bush famously
said that he had looked Russian president Vladimir Putin in the eye, gotten
"a sense of his soul," and found him to be "trustworthy". According to three
US officials quoted by Vanity Fair, Bush made a similar judgment about
Dahlan when they first met, in 2003. All three officials recall hearing Bush
say, "He's our guy."
Dahlan has argued repeatedly that all his
dealings with the CIA and neoconservative figures such as Abrams were not
secret and were done in close coordination with Abbas. Abbas's people
concur, at least in part, but insist that Dahlan would have been willing to
go to any extent to satisfy his self-inflated ego and unlimited ambitions.
Dahlan, who once described himself as akroot, which can mean
"survivalist" or "thug", has often accused his detractors of hypocrisy and
moral duplicity. "Do you really think the one who embezzled a hundred
million dollars is qualified to judge petty thieves who might have embezzled
a few hundred dollars?"
Today, Dahlan continues with his dirty role,
not only against the Palestinian people and their just cause, but also
against Egypt and revolutionary forces in the Arab world.
shameless vilification of the Muslim Brotherhood, along with his demeaning
sycophancy to the bloody coup authorities in Cairo caricature a man
with cheap character and very little morality and virtually with no
conscience or rectitude. Such a man is a disaster upon himself and his