Abbas Ill-Serves and Insults Palestinians
by Stephen Lendman
Abbas is a longtime Israeli collaborator. He provides enforcer services, not legitimate governance. Corruption, sham elections, targeting critics, and other type malfeasance continue on his watch.
Instead of governing responsibly, he defiles rule of law principles and other democratic values. Why Palestinians put up with him, they'll have to explain.
Insults compound injuries making things worse. As long as he's in power, they'll be no third Intifada, he said. One insulting comment followed another. So did responses. More on them below.
Large-scale Palestinian resistance is badly needed. Submissiveness is self-defeating. A third Intifada is long overdue. Not on Abbas ' watch.
"We will not go back to terrorism and violence," he said. Israel wrote his lines. He dutifully regurgitates them as ordered. "We will only operate through diplomacy and through peaceful means."
In other words, he'll permit only occupation harshness passivity and acquiescence. Freedom isn't in his vocabulary. Liberation struggles won't be tolerated. Israeli rogues couldn't say it better. Puppet Abbas leadership serves them.
He added more insults to injuries saying he's a refugee from Safed. As a young boy, he was forcibly expelled but won't return. That's his choice, but suggesting Palestinians sacrifice their inviolable right is unconscionable.
"Palestine for me is the 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as the capital. This is Palestine. I am a refugee. I visited Safed before once. But I want to see Safed. It's my right to see it, but not to live there."
"I live in Ramallah. The West Bank and Gaza is Palestine. Everything else is Israel."
He's "ready to return to negotiations," he added. Unexplained was that Israel doesn't negotiate. It demands. Equitable agreements aren't possible.
Abbas surrenders rights he should fight for. Never on his watch or earlier as a corrupted Fatah official. Those around him have the same cross to bear.
They're fully responsible for Palestinian suffering. They're guilty by collaborating shamelessly with Israel against their own people. They say one thing and do another.
They govern with iron fist authority. They crack down harshly on resisters. Fundamental rights are denied. Palestinians wanting to live free have no friend in Abbas or other Fatah rogues.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh denounced Abbas for his comments. He called them "extremely dangerous." They contradict fundamental international law and Palestinian rights.
Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri , said he spoke for himself, not others. "No Palestinian would accept ceding the right of our people to return to homes, villages and towns from which they were displaced," he stressed.
"If (Abbas) does not want Safed, Safed would be honored not to host people like him."
Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar also said he spoke for himself, not others. "If Abbas claims that he represents the Palestinians, then he should hold a referendum and ask the people what they think about the right of return," he added.
London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper editor-in-chief Abdel Bari Atwan accused him of making unacceptable concessions. He also showed disrespect for Palestinian rights.
If he doesn't want to return to Safed, that's his choice. He has no right to speak for millions of diaspora refugees globally. How they feel matters most.
Israeli Foreign Minstry spokesman Paul Hirschson  said if Abbas "wants to see Safed, or anywhere else in Israel, we would happily show him anywhere."
He's not an Israeli citizen. "He doesn't have a right to live in Israel. We agree on that." International law states otherwise.
Leaked concessions showed Abbas earlier was willing to sacrifice core demands. Included was a cap on refugees returning to Israel. He can speak for himself but not others.
Israelis President Shimon Peres  praised him, saying:
He "condemned terror and has pledged that under his leadership there will not be a third intifada. He understands very well that the solution to the Palestinian refugee problem cannot be within Israeli territory, so as not to change the demographic character of Israel. But he has put out a hand to Israel to renew the peace process."
Israel values collaborationist Palestinians. Abbas sold his soul long ago.
For decades, Palestinians struggled for inviolable rights. He and Israel won't deny them. Occupation, colonization and apartheid are intolerable. International law affirms rights too important to sacrifice.
Abbas and Israel are on the wrong side of history. So are Washington and European allies. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) joined Hamas in supporting right over wrong.
It condemned Abbas' remarks. He can surrender if he wishes, but they won't. PFLP  leader Rabah Mhanna said:
"Abbas doesn't have the right to surrender on these principles. Abbas with his remarks lives in a dreamland, and tries to beg for the American and Israeli position to hope to gain something."
He called on the PLO executive committee and central council to rebuke him. He added that Palestinians will hold steadfast to their principles and fundamental rights.
Self-determination, the right of return, and East Jerusalem as Palestine's capital are too inviolable to sacrifice. For sure, Abbas has no right to do it.
He spoke on the anniversary of the November 2, 1917 Balfour Declaration. Many Palestinians commemorate it in protest.
It "favour(ed) the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people (and affirmed UK) endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object…."
It did so at the expense of indigenous Palestinians. Their agreement wasn't sought. Behind their back diktat authority assured land theft, dispossession, and occupation harshness.
Palestinian refugees call their right of return sacrosanct. PA damage control tried to reword what Abbas said. His spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh , said:
"The position of the Palestinian leadership remains fixed. The refugees and the right of return are among the final status issues that will be negotiated with the Israelis."
"We are committed to the Palestinian principles as endorsed by the….Palestine National Council."
He criticized Palestinians willing to accept a state with provisional borders. "Those who accept a temporary state are the ones who are giving up the right of return and harming Palestinian national principles, causing a catastrophe for future Palestinian generations."
Abbas political advisor, Nimer Hammad, said he didn't mention sacrificing the right of return. In fact, he implied it in part or entirely.
Electronic Intifada contributor Nour Joudah  lives and teaches in Ramallah. She's unable to visit family members in Gaza or her favorite uncle in Tel Aviv. Israel won't allow it.
She tries to acclimate to the reality of living in the diaspora and Palestine simultaneously. On November 2, she awoke to Abbas' remarks.
"The next time someone tells me any particular word I choose is too strong or harsh to describe Abbas, I am considering printing the transcript of this interview and slapping said person with it," she said.
Her 80-year old father and siblings "have more than the right to see the grass where a village once stood. (They) have the right to return and rebuild Palestine from the ground up. All of it. And so does every refugee and their descendants."
Millions of refugees dream of their Safad. "If I or they want to sign away our right of return, we will let you know."
"Don’t mistake your people’s exhaustion and frustration for surrender. Don’t mistake the young people’s re-organizing and re-acquainting themselves with their own history for lack of vision."
"And most importantly, do not mistake being head of a local Palestinian Authority (and yes, a defunct PLO), for a continued free pass from members of the diaspora to speak on its behalf."
Abbas speaks for himself, not them. Many condemn him for spurning their rights and governing like a tinpot despot. The sooner they're rid of him, the closer Palestine comes to liberation. Like ordinary people everywhere, they're on their own to achieve it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
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