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« An 'improved mirror image' | Main | Photo-op opportunism »

Tuesday, January 17 2006

Abbas a lame duck: blame Israel

Abbas_2Gaza is sliding into anarchy and Hamas is poised to become a real powerbroker after the Palestinian elections. So guess who this NY Times editorial blames for that. According to the Times, Israel didn’t shore up PA president Mahmoud Abbas enough:

Any elected government stands or falls on its ability to deliver security and jobs, and the authority was left unable to provide either. When Mr. Abbas came to power and said the things Mr. Arafat could never bring himself to say about Palestinian violence's being counterproductive, Israel gave him only marginal support. Israel is right to press Mr. Abbas to follow up his words with deeds, and to do more to crack down on terror, starting with his own Fatah movement. But Israelis also need to recognize that he is not politically or militarily strong enough at this time to achieve victory.

Saying Israel didn't support Abbas enough gives the world carte blanche to blame Israel for the ugly consequences of Hamas' expected success at the polls and absolves the PA of responsibility for not taking steps against the Palestinian terror infrastructure. So if the Times wants to see Abbas get more support, the paper should instead call on the Fatah gunmen responsible for the chaos to shore up their nominal leader before he becomes a proverbial lame duck.

 

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Comments

The Times editorial position has always been critical of Israel, no matter how egregious is Palestinian behavior or how restrained are Israel's responses. The editorial, "Disarray Among the Palestinians," (Jan 17) yet again excuses Abbas and blames Israeli policies for"systematically" undermining the PA since the second intifada began and that Sharon's military attacks in the West Bank "stripped the self-weakened PA of much of its remaining capacity for governing." Really? Arafat had never planned to govern; he wanted only money and power and the intifada provided both -- that's why he ran from Camp David in 2000 like a scared rabbit and immediately put his plan into action. The PA oozed with money, except that Arafat kept most of it and used the rest for bribes. Israel's policies had nothing to do with undermining either Arafat's or Abbas's capacity to govern. The editor's suggestion that the PA kleptocracy needs more financial aid is utter nonsense, as it is bound to disappear as it did before; besides, there is plenty of money coming in from Saudi Arabia, Iran and private sources.
After Oslo there was a brief interlude when Palestinians had jobs in Israel and the borders were open, so it is disingenuous to insist that Israel has been causing economic hardships for them. Moreover, Israel's recent disengagement from Gaza, while leaving behind intact residences and hothouses, should have been a stimulus to the Palestinians for starting to build their new country; but increasing terrorist attacks refute any foreseeable prospects for peace. Hamas makes no bones about destroying Israel, as did Hitler regarding Jews.
The final bon-mot by the editor suggesting that Israel's politicians will use the disarray in Palestinian territory as an "excuse to stay away from peace talks" shows the utter stupidity, ignorance and malevolence of this editor with respect to Israel.

Basia

Hmmm, we need to appreciate his empty promises, don't we? Maybe we'd appreciate the words if we sensed one iota ot sincerety... but none is to be found...

If Abbas' plan was to disarm terrorists (which it clearly wasn't) Israel has helped him. Israel has greatly damaged the military capacity of terrorist organizations. Unfortunately disaming terrorist groups is not Abbas' agenda.

Stan

When Arafat was stymied by Bush he chose Abbas, who had been with him since the beginning, to carry on.
The Quartet went along with it, whether for perfidious reasons or just plain stupidity, and let him carry on in typical Arafat fashion; initially plenty of pious talk with no action.
He has not come through on any agreement he signed with the Israelis and to boot the US gave him a pass on his obligations under the Roadmap accord plus half a billion in 2005.
Had he stopped the terrorist groups there would be no anarchy now. Unfortunately his Fatah security force is composed mainly of terrorists from different groups and their behaviour is what we see in the street.

"Israel gave him only marginal support."

What would other than "marginal support" imply? = Backing him fully? = Going in and dismantling the groups under force of arms? = Jenin again?
Or was it the free movement of homicide bombers that the Times had in mind?

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