Abbas wants what?!?

Mahmoud Abbas (Palestinian Authority)

Mahmoud Abbas (Palestinian Authority)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he wants NATO troops in Palestine. For a very long time. Yes! He really said that. Read it here and here.

Abbas is responding to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s concerns about security. Netanyahu says he only trusts his own military, not a third party like NATO. So this proposal is probably going nowhere, just like Secretary Kerry’s framework.

No Palestinians I’ve talked with in Gaza, the West Bank or the Diaspora believe these current talks between Abbas, Netanyahu and Kerry are going to result in anything good. They are just a smokescreen for continued Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories. Nothing more.

Maybe my Palestinian “contacts” are limited, representing only the fringe element. Perhaps there are thousands of Palestinians somewhere cheering Abbas on and expecting a successful end to these talks.  I haven’t found them, and they haven’t shared their opinions in any publication that I’m aware of, but maybe they’re out there somewhere.

I think Kerry, Abbas and Netanyahu are all blowing smoke. Here’s why.

Although Netanyahu is the duly elected representative of Israelis, Abbas can’t make any such claim to legitimacy on behalf of Palestinians. He was originally elected to a 4 year term in 2005. His term ended in 2009 and there haven’t been any elections in Palestine since. Why?

Maybe because the US likes a compliant leader who does what US leaders instruct him to do.  Just sayin’

Maybe because the discord between Fatah and Hamas prevent elections. Maybe the US and Israel have a vested interest in maintaining that discord. Just sayin’

Maybe because if  elections were held in Palestine, the outcome could not be predicted (aka manipulated) because there are just too many young, new voters. Just sayin’

No one has asked me for my opinion (no one has asked the opinion of Palestinians for whom Abbas says he speaks) but I think this farce is going to blow up in their faces …… in the faces of Kerry, Netanyahu and Abbas …… big time!

They will do everything possible to extend, extend, extend the talks, a strategy which only works in Israel’s favor. Then, after squeezing the last drop of PR value from this effort to negotiate, each side will point fingers at the other and the blame game will commence.

This is all so predictable.

So, what might work?  No one has asked me this question either, but it’s plain to see for anyone looking clearly and dispassionately at the Middle East conflict.

Palestinians must go to the International Criminal Court. John Dugard, Professor of Law, thinks so too.

Abbas says he doesn’t like courts, but the status quo hasn’t worked for Palestinians for decades. He needs to shake things up.

A senior Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch notes:

Why isn’t Palestine playing ball in The Hague? Those responsible for rocket launches from Gaza targeting Israeli population centers could be held criminally responsible at the ICC, but that should not deter the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah from seeking the court’s jurisdiction, since it has stated that it is against such attacks.

The main reason, current and former Palestinian officials say, is that Israel has threatened unspecified retaliation if it seeks the court’s jurisdiction, and the US has reinforced the threat. As a former Palestinian legal adviser told me, “The US said to us clearly, conveying Israel’s position, ‘Don’t touch it.'” US Secretary of State John Kerry said during his Senate confirmation hearings that the US was “very, very strongly against” any “effort to take Israel for instance … to the ICC.”

Enough is enough! Time for Abbas to head to the ICC. If he won’t, maybe Palestinians need to show him to the door and hold long overdue elections.



Filed under Elections, Israel, People, Politics, US Policy

2 responses to “Abbas wants what?!?

  1. jerry T. Lawler

    I talked to many Israelis when I was there who told me they would never trust outside forces-like UN Peacekeepers-to give them security. I think it goes back to the holocaust when Jews learned they could never trust anyone else to guarantee their safety. How to we get past this emotional barrier is a compelling question.

  2. Palestinians should take it to the ICC. they have little to fear from America I think. Israel may have some influence in congress or among a few of our elites, but the American public is tired of all things middle-east and will not allow our country to be drawn deeply into it.

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