On May 3, 2017, the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, came to the United States to meet US President Donald Trump. Is this the pathway to the “ultimate deal” of peace between Israel and its neighbors?
Abbas has no Legitimacy
Abbas was elected to a four year-term as President in 2005. That term ran out in January 2009, and he has refused to hold new presidential elections as he and his Fatah party are weak.
Abbas has no Control
A year after Abbas took office, the Palestinian Arabs elected the rival political party, Hamas, which is viewed by much of the world as a terrorist entity, to 58% of the parliament of the Palestinian Authority. In 2007, Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip and launched three wars against Israel (2008; 2012; and 2014). Abbas either supported those wars or he had no control over the region.
Abbas is Unpopular
The Palestinian Arabs poll themselves on a number of issues every three months. In September 2015, they began to ask people their thoughts of Abbas. In every poll since that time, between 61% and 65% of respondents wanted Abbas to resign.
The Palestinians Prefer War
While Abbas would have won several theoretical elections many years ago, his rival in Hamas has become the Palestinian favorite as a result of the wars against Israel. As evidence, in the September 2012 Palestinian poll, Abbas would have beaten rival Ismail Haniyeh by 11%, but he would have lost by 3% just three months later after the November 2012 Hamas war. Abbas’s popularity bounced back in the next quarter’s poll, but he has never been able to recover from his dramatic fall in popularity after the 2014 Hamas war: In the June 2014 poll Abbas would have beaten his Hamas rival by 12%; after the war, Abbas would have lost by 17%.
The Palestinians are done with Abbas and prefer to stake a future with terrorists.
Lack of Support for Two States
Since the 2014 Hamas war, Palestinians have become ambivalent about a two-state solution, with roughly even percentages supporting and opposing the plan. The notion reached the lowest point at the aggressive Palestinian push of the “stabbing intifada” in December 2015, when 54% of respondents stated they opposed two-states to 45% in favor.
Abbas has no Ability to Govern
In the last ten of the twelve years that Abbas has headed the Palestinian Authority, he has been unable to rule. He has not been able to control Gaza or reconcile with rival political parties. How can he possibly be expected to negotiate and deliver a peace deal with Israel?
Abbas Continues to Attack Every Aspect of Zionism
Abbas has used every opportunity during his tenure to fight against the basic rights and beliefs of the Jewish State, laid out in international law (references to the 1922 Palestine Mandate below):
- Citizenship: Abbas stated that no Israelis will be citizens of a Palestinian State, even while international law promoted Jewish citizenship. (Palestine Mandate Article 7: “facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews,” and Article 15: “No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.“)
- History: Abbas routinely denies the 3000+ year history of Jews in their holy land and works with United Nations agencies to promote false narratives. (Palestine Mandate preamble: “recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine“)
- Owning Land: Abbas has said that no Jews can own land in Palestinian areas, and PA law has a death sentence on any Arab that sells land to Jews. (Palestine Mandate Article 6: “shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.“)
- Immigration: International law in 1920 and 1922 explicitly encouraged Jews to move to the holy land. Meanwhile, Abbas has sought an international apology for the declaration. (Palestine Mandate Article 6: “shall facilitate Jewish immigration“)
- Reconstituting the Jewish Homeland was the stated goal of the San Remo conference and the Palestine Mandate. Abbas has repeatedly refused to acknowledge that Israel is a Jewish State. (Palestine Mandate preamble: “grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country“)
- Freedom of Religion and Worship was both part of the international laws calling for reestablishing the Jewish homeland, and part of Israel’s basic laws. However, Abbas seeks to prohibit Jews from accessing and praying at their holiest location. (Palestine Mandate Article 13: “securing free access to the Holy Places” and Article 15: “complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship.“)
The Freedom CHOIR are fundamental building blocks of long established international law underpinning the Jewish State. And the weak and unpopular Abbas tramples on every aspect of it.
In case the aforementioned list wasn’t enough, Abbas peddles vile Holocaust conspiracies, as a further affront to the Jewish people.
The Ugly Straw Man
So the inept straw man came to Washington, D.C. to meet with the president of the United States. Is he the man that can negotiate and deliver peace. No.
Abbas serves as a fig leaf for both Israeli and Palestinian leaders that they are actually moving forward with a peace process.
If people wanted to take constructive steps towards peace, there are two different paths to take: 1) treat Abbas like the unpopular straw man that he is, and force him to accept the peace proposal that is put in front of him; or 2) let the Palestinian Arabs hold new elections with someone that has the backing of the people and can deliver on the results of the negotiations. If the Arabs elect someone who has no interest in peace, then the Israelis have no need to compromise on its cherished goals.
The failure of past peace processes was that they were based on a failed dynamic. There is no point in dealing with a cut-out. It is time to either treat Abbas like the straw man that he is, or show him the door.
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