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drdon326 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 07:28 PM
Original message
The problem with Mahmoud Abbas /

The embrace of Zubeidi was no anomaly. Abbas is sometimes described as a "moderate" opposed to terrorism, but his opposition is purely tactical. He has no moral problem with blowing up buses and cafes, he simply thinks such methods are, for now, counterproductive. Last week, Abbas hailed Palestinian gunmen in Gaza, but urged them to stop firing rockets at Israeli towns. Because deliberately targeting civilians is wrong? No. "Because this is not the proper time for such actions." Hardly the words of a moderate.

Again and again, Abbas has expressed his solidarity with violent extremists. Last month he traveled to Damascus to meet with some of the region's most implacable terror groups, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front For the Liberation of Palestine-General Command. Afterward, Abbas's "foreign minister," Nabil Sha'ath, declared that between the Palestinian Authority and the other groups, "there are no differences over the objectives."

And what are those objectives? About that, Abbas has been explicit. In recent weeks he has promised to shelter terrorists from Israeli arrest and vowed that there will be no PA crackdown on Palestinian terrorism. He hews unswervingly to Yasser Arafat's hardline positions -- an Israeli retreat to the 1949 borders, Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, the elimination of every Jewish settlement, the dismantling of Israel's security fence, and no limit on the "right of return" -- code for the abolition of Israel as a Jewish state.

Abbas is no moderate. His election is not a step toward peace. What was true in Afghanistan and Iraq is true in the Palestinian Authority as well: Without regime change, freedom and democracy are impossible. Just as the defeat of the Taliban and Ba'athists were a prerequisite to elections, so the dismantling of the corrupt Fatah autocracy is essential to Palestinian reform. President Bush got it right in 2002: The Palestinians need "new leaders . . . not compromised by terror." They still do.


compelling article.

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 07:33 PM
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1. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
drdon326 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Riiiiiiight......
anything but discuss the article about abbas.

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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. my comments addressed these remarks....
What was true in Afghanistan and Iraq is true in the Palestinian Authority as well: Without regime change, freedom and democracy are impossible.
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Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
2. Well everyone wanted Arafat gone
and thought everything would be peachy keen when that happened.

Guess not eh?
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southlandshari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
5. Objective source?
I read the entire opinion piece from Jeff Jacoby on Abbas because I don't like to reply to posts without reading them (and related links) thoroughly.

If I hadn't known who Jacoby was before, and knew nothing about Abbas or the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, I might have been persuaded by his piece. But I know better.

Just do a search on "Jeff Jacoby" and "Israel" and the truth is there. I'm NOT maligning Jacoby for having his opinion - and expressing it everywhere from mainstream U.S. publications to the hardest of hard right wing pro-Israel publications. Just urging some perspective on his Globe op-ed. It is not exactly objective, investigative journalism.

Grain of salt, folks. Abbas is not perfect, but he has proven himself a moderate and a pragmatist time and again. In a political situation that seems unwinnable to those who speak truth to the fanatics on both sides, not many would have his courage. Will he succeed? Unfortunately, it isn't up to him. If all parties involved truly want peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians, Abbas can deliver. If not, he'll just be the latest casualty of an unwinnable clash between the new David and Goliath, a battle with a nasty geopolitical spin.

Just a couple of articles offering a different perspective, for the record...

"Resist Israel, But Not Violently"

BBC Profile: Mahmoud Abbas

"Why They Love Abbas"

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drdon326 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. WOW.
Abbas is not perfect, but he has proven himself a moderate and a pragmatist time and again.

Must have missed that.Not perfect??...The understatement of the year.

I couldnt help but notice in your summation, that you didnt mention abbas's ...

calling terrorists "not criminal"

calling terrorists "honorable"

calling israel that "zionist enemy"

refusing to even consider confronting terrorism

calling on unconditional ROR.

demanding the release of all prisoners no matter if they have murdered innocents

demanding jerusalem as the exclusive capital of palestine

calling a stop to terrorists attacks....not because they are wrong (abbas has no problem with them on moral grounds) ...he just thinks they are not useful right now.

What a guy.

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southlandshari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Sources
Edited on Sun Jan-09-05 09:00 PM by southlandshari
Please provide a credible source for direct quotes from Abbas on each of (or some of or even ONE of) the points you have listed, and I will be happy to respond.

I can promise an honest response from my end, and if there is documented proof that Abbas spoke in support of terrorism in any form or fashion, I can promise I have no love for him or his ideology.

Thanks in advance for the info.
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drdon326 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. OH come on...its been posted.
Abbas calls Israel 'the Zionist enemy'

Abbas says he wants to shield militants

Abbas Statements on Militants Monitored

Abbas: Killers of Jews are not murderers

Abbas embraces leading Palestinian gunman in tour of refugee camp

Abbas Pledges to Follow Arafat Policies

Abbas strikes note of defiance as Palestinian presidential contest begins

read each one....good luck

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southlandshari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. thanks for the links
I am off to read each article now! I still promise to post my reaction here for what little it may be worth tomorrow evening. I have to admit that, while I have a deep and personal interest in the situation in Israel and Palestine, I've not been able to follow pre-election events as closely as I'd like in the past couple of weeks. Daily life demands have been at a high point lately some of you can relate, I hope.

I have lived extensively in both Israel and Palestine, and have friends and family on both "sides". I don't look at all this from some academic or ideological perspective. Lives of people I care deeply about are at stake. Government officials on both sides have been disastrous in the past decade. Israeli settler vigilantes and Palestinian suicide bombers - neither is justified, no matter what was done unto them the day before.

That's why I wish I had a quick comeback for you on Abbas and his recent comments, but I don't. But I ALWAYS have an open mind, and appreciate you sharing info with me, especially given the fact that we seem to have some opposing views on the issues.
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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 09:22 PM
Response to Original message
9. There are problems with Abbas

I will repost this from an earlier thread:

Were I a Palestinian voting in this election, I wouldn't vote for Abbas, but for Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, who is the kind of progressive technocrat that Palestine will need to establish social infrastructure in a post-bellum Middle East.

Abbas has other warts than those laid out here. Living in one of the poorest nations in the world, he owns two large houses, one in Gaza and the other in Ramallah. There is some question about where he acquired the wealth to maintain such a lifestyle. Contrary to the mood you are conveying, many are also suspicious that he will give away too much in a peace agreement. These Palestinian critics of Abbas see him as having more ambitions of being a Western toad than a Palestinian leader.

It is not unusual for a politician trying to manage popular perception to make remarks such as Abbas is making. However, a final peace agreement can only be made when each side marginalizes its respective extremists. There will be two states; the Islamic militants and the Yesha councils will just have to learn to like it. Abbas' recent remarks will only present him problems later, either with those with whom he must make peace or with those with whom he must sell a peace agreement in order to make it effective. It is as though an Israeli leader promises to make peace, suggests that will mean dismantling outlaying settlements and exchanging some acreage of presently Israeli land for those settlements that will be incorporated into Israel, and then tells the Yesha council what a great contribution they have make to peace and stability in the region over the last quarter of a century.

Nevertheless, Abbas will win. Whether he's the best person or not, or even a good one, he is the Palestinian leader with whom the world must deal. We can only hope that his intentions are better than his rhetoric in the past week. We can only hope that, unlike Arafat in his last years, he cares more about the Palestinian people than in retaining personal power in order to milk the PA cow. We can only hope that he will be firm enough both with the Israelis and with the extremists in the Palestinian territories to bring about a truly sovereign Palestine.

Some critical views of Abbas from the Arab press might be helpful here:

Profie: Mahmoud Abbas, Al-Jazeera, November 22
Why they love Mahmoud Abbas, Electronic Intifada, December 1

As for Mr. Jacoby. he has demonstrated time and again that he is a neoconservative shill. Before I take his views on Mr. Abbas seriously, he will have to demonstrate to me that he just doesn't have a problem with Palestinian nationalism or with Palestinians airing their legitimate grievances against the occupation (as if the likes of Jacoby think they have any).

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drdon326 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. hmmmm......
from your EI article...

The real issue is not the removal of the symptoms in order to achieve temporary relief. We must attack the source of the problem; the Israeli occupation and Israel's racist ideology that places its "rights" above those of the indigenous people on whose land it was created by ethnic cleansing and war. Israel seeks, above all, to prevent people from reaching the conclusion that its policies are in fact the major obstacle to peace and stability in the region.

And I too have a problem that time and time again EI baselessly slurs israel while defending terrorism dressed up as 'resistance' all the while refusing to acknowledge the PA's diplomatic,governmental and propaganda failures.I cant even begin to take EI seriously.

But even though I have no interest in what EI says, I respect your right to post it.

As for Mr. Jacoby, while i couldnt give a rats ass about his RW/LW politics, i find his articles often inciteful with regard to i/p.
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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I posted the EI piece not because I agreed with it
It showed that there is an element of Palestinian that believes Abbas will be too conciliatory twords the Israelis for the wrong reasons. It's an objection to Abbas for the exact opposite reasons that Jacoby has.

So who's right? Jacoby? EI? BOth? Neither?

Perhaps all of us would do well to reserve judgment.
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drdon326 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:51 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. Agreed.....
and I hope I am wrong.
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Englander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #10
14. "My Flying Saucer......
"..where can you be? Since that sad night that you sailed away from me?"

"Palestinian Authority

Corruption and Reform
Corruption in the Palestinian Authority is rampant and ubiquitous, from the top downwards."

"Internal Crisis (Summer 2004)
Information about the in-fighting and violence that plagued the PA in mid 2004."

"ei In The Press;

Electronic Intifada featured in book declaring dissent patriotic
Press Release, Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation, 24 October 2004

Electronic Intifada co-founder Laurie King-Irani is one of nearly forty authors featured in a new book, Patriotism, Democracy and Common Sense: Restoring America's Promise at Home and Abroad, published by the Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation. The book aims to educate Americans about alternatives to current US foreign, economic, Middle East, domestic, media, campaign finance, and voting rights policies.

King-Irani's chapter, "Awakening the American Political Debate on Palestine and Israel," examines the role of the internet in building networks of citizen-activists to confront one of the most pressing challenges of US foreign policy: the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Other authors addressing the Middle East in this new book include Chris Toensing of Middle East Report, Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies, and Professor Roger Owen of Harvard University."

Virtual war
Hannah Brown, The Jerusalem Post, 27 September 2003

"....There are many sites out there that give a Palestinian perspective of the news, but one of the most elaborate is the Electronic Intifada at http: / electronicintifada. net/introduction/index.shtml#top. Many other URLs for Web sites that no longer exist, such as the Palestinian Authority's old Web site at http: /, now take you directly to this site. EI, as it calls itself, is very professional, user-friendly and well written. It is mainly a compilation of news from publications all over the Internet, aimed at combating the pro-Israeli, pro-American spin the EI creators feel is generally found in press accounts. (While many of The Jerusalem Post readers may feel that the American and international media tend to display a pro-Palestinian bias, apparently Palestinians are also alarmed by what they read.) It does collect news from a wide variety of sources, including (although not usually) the Post. It is adorned by photos, such as a picture of a lone, small Palestinian boy aiming a stone at an Israeli tank."

" NYT: World Court Says Israeli Barrier Violates International Law
Christine Hauser, The New York Times, 9 July 2004

The International Court of Justice ruled today that it is against international law for Israel to build its barrier in the West Bank and that it should be dismantled.

The advisory ruling by the World Court, in the Hague, is nonbinding. But it contributes to the debate surrounding construction of the network of fencing and ditches on lands that have been the focus of Middle East peace efforts.

Israel says it is building the barrier as self-defense against attackers, but Palestinians call it an attempt to grab land.

A copy of the ruling, posted on the Web site before the court began its reading of the decision, said that the construction of the wall is "contrary to international law."

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Lithos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. I would have voted for Barghouti over Abbas
Abbas is an outsider who was brought back to Palestine along with Arafat's corrupt Tunisian mafia. He represents the existing corrupt power base. Barghouti is termed an insider and one of those who stayed and worked in the camps from 1967 onward. I felt he had a better chance of bringing back into the fold the disaffected Palestinians who are currently either apathitical to the whole process or who are slowly drifting towards the much more extremist Hamas out of frustration.


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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
15. the actual question....
is will he follows arafats line of deliberate fog...not being clear on any one issue, telling different people different things and letting them all interperate them as they please. OR...will the new pres be clear and concise with what he says, be it in arabic or english.

that in itself will be the first step..and lets take this one step at a time.
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