Appeasing Israel is Mahmoud Abbas' priority

Appeasing Israel is Mahmoud Abbas' priority
4 min read
05 Apr, 2016
Comment: While Israel persists in its extrajudicial killings of Palestinians, Abbas lauds security coordination with Tel Aviv and plans to thwart the Jerusalem Intifada, writes Ramona Wadi.
Abbas should be empowering Palestinian youth, not compromising their revolt [AFP]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has announced efforts to thwart the Jerusalem Intifada by means of the Palestinian Authority's security coordination agreement with Israel. This further exposes the dynamics of dependency that have resulted in the Palestinian people being subject to collective punishment in a variety of forms.

As news reports last week discussed the extrajudicial killing of Abdel Fatah al-Sharif in Hebron, Abbas ensured a shift of focus by aligning himself fully with the Israeli authorities, using a discourse of protection as a veneer for his deception.

During an interview with Israel's Channel 2 TV, Abbas not only normalised Israeli incitement and violence, but also discussed the Jerusalem Intifada as a phenomenon unrelated to ongoing colonial violence and expansion.

According to a report by Reuters, Abbas revealed that the PA security services "search pupils' bags and see if they have knives". He added that, in one school, 70 students were discovered carrying knives.

"We took the knives and spoke to them and said: 'This is a mistake. We do not want you to kill and be killed. We want you to live, and for the other side to live as well.'"

International law has unfortunately served to incarcerate Palestinians rather than to empower them.

Abbas also added that he had suggested a meeting to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

"If he gives me responsibility and tells me that he believes in the two-state solution and we sit around the table to talk about the two-state solution. This will give my people hope, and nobody dares to go and stab or shoot or do anything here or there."

Delusional rhetoric

There seems to be a prerequisite for discourse regarding Palestinians to be littered with the absurdity of "hope". Apart from the ambiguity associated with such rhetoric, it is inconceivable that Palestinians might equate any superfluous statements regarding the two-state paradigm with a tangible possibility of independence or autonomy.

However, as is typical of the subjugation associated with a colonial experience suffering from weak leadership, Abbas has rejected any authoritative expression from Palestinians, preferring instead to bequeath the pedestal to Netanyahu and, in turn, attempt to intimidate Palestinian resistance.

International law has unfortunately served to incarcerate Palestinians rather than to empower them. The paradox is magnified further, given that Abbas, in his appeals to Netanyahu, is clearly undermining the people's will by projecting a fictional equivalence between what the PA deems acceptable and the will of the Palestinian people.

While the Jerusalem Intifada is clearly lacking in strategy, Abbas should be empowering Palestinian youth, rather than compromising their revolt


A recent survey by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Research has concluded that the majority of Palestinians support coordinated armed resistance in the struggle for achieving national rights.

While the Jerusalem Intifada is clearly lacking in strategy, Abbas should be empowering Palestinian youth, rather than compromising their revolt. Of course, given that the PA's priority is to provide coordination from within and facilitate colonial expansion, the scenario is permanently hypothetical - and, as a result, further pandering to Israel will undoubtedly lead to more nauseating headlines.

It is clear that, despite Abbas' assertions, the post-Oslo generation of Palestinians is unwilling to abide by redundant agreements which have only furthered colonisation. The issue is not the alleged discovery of 70 students with knives, but how the PA is capitalising upon the lack of strategic planning by Paestinian youth, in order to promote security coordination with Israel.

Abbas and 'Greater Israel'

The reciprocal relationship that Abbas is always keen to display is particularly evident in his assertion "We want you to live and for the other side to live as well."

There is no doubt that allowing the "other side" to live is intrinsically linked to Abbas' survival, as well as to the security coordination agreement that has benefited the PA. For Abbas to show concern over the survival of colonial settlers is an absurdity - even moreso when there is no similar concern over the fate of Palestinians other than a weak evocation of non-existent similarities between the colonisers and the colonised.

Historically, the implications of such a statement reflect acquiescence to the concept of "Greater Israel" espoused by Zionist colonisation.

The shift from ideology to all-out expansion is not yet complete, but Abbas' declaration betrays his willingness to compromise Palestinian lives for an ideology that has bludgeoned Palestine. Abbas' analysis is strictly confined to the PA's survival, and extends neither to Palestinians nor to the protection of their territorial remnants.

As a result, there is a lack of criticism over Israel's extrajudicial killings of Palestinians participating in the Jerusalem Intifada. This in turn implies a tacit approval of the extreme measures that Israel is employing, while distorting resistance into the tired adage of purported "terrorism".



Ramona Wadi is an independent researcher, freelance journalist, book reviewer and blogger specialising in the struggle for memory in Chile and Palestine, colonial violence and the manipulation of international law. Follow her on Twitter: @walzerscent

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The New Arab, its editorial board or staff.