Has Abbas bowed out by blaming everyone for his failures?

Home"TO THE ONE"Has Abbas bowed out by blaming everyone for his failures?
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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in the center, speaks during a meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 14 January 2018 (photo credit: AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI)

Reserving his most severe rant to Trump, the PA's 82-year-old president told the PLO's Central Council: 'Maybe this is the last time you see me here'

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's speech to the Palestine Liberation Organization Central Council on Sunday appeared to be the farewell of a leader at the end of his political path, as he admitted him himself.

"This may be the last time you see me here," Abbas said in his speech in Ramallah.

In March, Abbas will be celebrating its 83rd birthday and will, for the occasion, be showing a significant achievement in recent years. In the absence of a political solution on the horizon, the idea of ​​a two-state solution becoming a sad joke and the prospects for a unity agreement with the Hamas terrorist group that is fading day by day, it seems that even Abbas has given up.

The fact that he told US President Donald Trump, "may God tear down your house," could be attributed to the general "trumpetry" that has gripped the world's leaders, but it also shows the deep desperation of Palestinian leaders.

In his early years as a Palestinian leader, and especially after Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007, Abbas succeeded in doing what his predecessor, Yassar Arafat, had not attempted. It put an end to the chaos in the West Bank and established some form of public order. With Palestinian security forces and with the help of Israel, Abbas managed to stabilize the West Bank and remove the armed men from the streets of Palestinian cities. It seemed like an unattainable goal.

However, since the change of government in Israel, after the resignation of Ehud Olmert - who had offered Abbas all over the West Bank and never got an answer - and with the electoral victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2009, and especially since Trump entered the White House in 2017, the idea of ​​creating two states through negotiations with Israel seems to belong to ancient history.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (C) speaks at a meeting in Ramallah, West Bank, on January 14, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI)

The banner that Abbas wielded over and over again, as an official and unofficial policy - establishing a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders - has become an idea too far removed from reality. It's easy to blame Trump for this situation, but you have to be realistic, since 2009.

The reign of Hamas in Gaza on the one hand and the movement of Israeli settlements on the other, clearly show that the dream is one thing and the reality is another. Trump's December 6 speech to the White House, in which he recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, made things clear for Palestinians, as did the message sent by Saudi Arabia about "the deal". of the century "developed by the American administration.

The frustration of Abbas and his colleagues was palpable. In addition, on Sunday, he blamed the world for the plight of Palestinians, the United States, Israel, Hamas and even Europeans for their role in sending Jews to Israel.

Abbas also devoted much of his speech to internal critics - not only did Fatah activists refuse to participate in the conference, but also Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups, who remained on the sidelines.

Israel, he added, destroyed the Oslo Accords. "Israel is a colonialist project, which has nothing to do with Jews," he added.

"The agreement of the century has become a slap of the century," thundered Abbas.

Only a few from the Palestinian Authority and the highest echelons of Fatah and the PLO have been excluded from the list of those responsible for the failure.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks at a meeting in Ramallah, West Bank, on January 14, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI)

When we look at those attending the conference from Sunday to Monday, we realize how much the PLO and Fatah have refused to change or reform. Today's leaders are about the same as those who led the PLO in the 1980s in Lebanon and the West Bank.

In recent years, Abbas has ensured that he does not have an heir, or even establish a clear formal process for choosing a successor. He ignored calls for reform and any form of criticism. He has ensured the isolation and weakening of the most popular leader in the West Bank, Marwan Barghouti, imprisoned since 2002 and sentenced by an Israeli civilian court to five prison terms for orchestrating a series of terrorist murders during the second intifada.

In what sounded like a farewell speech on Sunday, Abbas promised that Palestinians would not give up their rights, that payments to terrorist families would not stop, and that he would not allow Americans to arbitrate. the negotiations. A beautiful series of "NO".

"We do not receive instructions from anyone and we say 'No' to anyone, when it comes to our destiny, our cause, our country and our people ... A thousand times no," he said. .

This has allowed many Palestinians to ask themselves a simple question - a question that many people in Israel also pose to their leaders: "So what is a 'yes'? "

It seems unlikely that we will get an answer during the Abbas-Trump-Netanyahu era.

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