Op-Ed: Gilbert & Sullivan in "Palestine" (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) Yonatan Silverman 05/02/12)
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Sometimes the manipulations and corruption of Abbas and Fayyad
resemble nothing less than a Gilbert & Sullivan lampoon - with about
as much connection with reality as the HMS Pinafore´s ruler of the
Queen´s Navy who would "never go to sea".
The schemes and maneuvers of the Palestinian Authority, especially
since they closed the door on bilateral negotiations with Israel in
2009, are just frivolous and even farcical.
The things they do and say may stab Israel in the back
diplomatically, but they have no practical purpose. The schemes and
maneuvers the Palestinian Authority has implemented since 2009 will
gain them absolutely nothing.
Bilateral negotiations are the only path to a permanent settlement of
the problem. Over the last few weeks however, the president of the
Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has taken a dive off the
frivolous and farcical plane into Gilbert and Sullivan government-
It all started with a very dramatic letter Abbas wrote to PM
Netanyahu, ostensibly as a last ditch effort to restart negotiations.
The letter was revised many times and one big revision apparently was
Abbas’s change of mind about dismantling the Palestinian Authority.
He withdrew that threat. Among other things, Abbas wrote in the
letter that Israel’s actions have stripped the Palestinian Authority
of its “raison d´etre”, creating a reality which cannot continue.
“As a result of actions taken by successive Israeli governments, the
Palestinian National Authority no longer has any authority, and no
meaningful jurisdiction in the political, economic, territorial and
security spheres,” says the letter.
The letter also explicitly states the PA’s demands for renewing
negotiations with Israel:
Abbas asks Israel to outline “as soon as possible” its positions on
four key issues: the principle of a two-state solution based on the
pre-1967 borders, halting all settlement activity, releasing PA
prisoners, and the revocation of all decisions which undermine
agreements between the two sides since 2000.
And this is precisely where this episode descends from an
international political issue to musical comedy in the style of
Gilbert and Sullivan.
The PA demands are in the form of an ultimatum to Israel.
An Abbas spokesperson said that the PA was ready to restart
negotiations with Israel if Jerusalem responds positively to the list
of Palestinians demands outlined in the letter by Abbas and relayed
to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Otherwise, the PA will resume efforts to unilaterally achieve UN
recognition of the Palestinian state, and move to isolate
Israeli. "occupation" policies by exposing their real effects on
Palestinians living in the West Bank, the spokesperson warned.
Of course, these threats are as hollow as a plugged nickel. But this
is the sort of parlor drama the Palestinians perform and for which
they obtain world recognition. Go figure.
It seems few in the world were paying attention, however, to the
truly ridiculous scenario that developed surrounding the delivery of
Abbas’s vaunted letter to Netanyahu.
The meeting with Netanyahu in which the letter was to be delivered
was supposed to be attended by Fayyad, Erekat and the PA’s
intelligence chief, Majed Faraj. Netanyahu was accompanied by his
long-time envoy, Yitzhak Molkho.
But at the last minute, Fayyad backed out, citing as his reason the
fact the meeting coincided with Palestinian prisoner’s day hunger
One source quoted Fayyad as saying, “I don’t work as a postman for
Abbas and Fatah.”
So Erekat handed Netanyahu the Abbas letter, and the prime minister
stated he would send his answer in two weeks.
But now comes the operetta´s denouement. Abbas became angry with
Fayyad for failing to attend the high level meeting and hand deliver
his letter to Netanyahu.
Consequently, Abbas refused to answer Fayyad´s calls, and the
presidential office refrained from scheduling a meeting between the
two to decide on changes in Fayyad´s government.
PA President Abbas has also moved to censor Palestinian websites that
are critical of his leadership.
Ma’an News Agency in Bethlehem is reporting that at least 8 websites
have been taken offline by PalTel, the Palestinian telecommunications
company, using specialized software, under the direction of Abbas.
The officials of the Palestinian Authority are showing their true
colors. They are exposing the fact that the governing administration
of the Palestinian Arab population in the West Bank is fascist and
totalitarian. Democracy isn’t even part of their diction, despite the
fact they periodically hold bogus and illegitimate elections.
The plague of PA censorship of critical websites is a prime emblem of
fascist and totalitarian governments. Repressive regimes live and
breathe on a tissue of vicious lies. Information sources that oppose
them and threaten to expose these lies are instant targets for
censorship and closure. If the totalitarian PA lives and breathes on
lying in this way to its own people – just imagine the whoppers they
are constantly spinning to the nation of Israel.
No one seems to know if this tempest in the PA teapot has blown over
or whether Abbas continues to give Fayyad the cold shoulder.
But the Donor Nations have definitely taken note of the controversy.
They warned Abbas not to try removing Fayyad from his position as PA
finance minister. Meanwhile, PA and Fatah officials in Ramallah
refused to discuss the Abbas-Fayyad tensions in public.
However, some Fatah officials pointed out that the rivalry between
the two men was not new and that tensions between them have existed
for some time now. The officials noted that Fayyad had opposed
Abbas’s statehood bid at the UN in September 2011 or the way the PA
president was handling the issue of reconciliation with Hamas.
“President Abbas appointed Fayyad and he is the only one who could
fire him or keep him in power,” said Fatah legislator Najat Abu Baker.
Unfortunately, Abu Baker’s statement above is a cover-up and
distortion of Fayyad’s position as PA prime minister:
On January 25, 2006, elections were held for the Palestinian
Legislative Council (PLC), the legislature of the Palestinian
Authority (PA). Hamas won these elections to the Palestinian
Legislative Council and the terror organization’s leader Ismail
Haniyeh became prime minister.
Then Prime Minister, Ahmed Qurei, resigned, but at the request of
President Mahmoud Abbas, remained as interim Prime Minister until
February 19, when newly elected prime minister Haniyeh formed the new
Hamas terrorist entry into the Palestinian Authority government
triggered sanctions. The 2006–2007 economic sanctions against the
Palestinian Authority were imposed by Israel and the Quartet on the
Middle East against the Palestinian Authority and their territories.
President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed Haniyeh from office on 14 June 2007
at the height of the Hamas bloody coup for control of Gaza, but
Haniyeh did not acknowledge the decree and continues to exercise
prime ministerial authority in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian
Legislative Council also continues to recognize his authority.
On 14 June 2007, Abbas appointed Salem Fayyad in Haniyeh’s place.
This followed action by Hamas armed forces to take control of Gaza.
The appointment of Fayyad to replace Haniyeh has been challenged as
illegal however, because under the Palestinian Authority Basic Law,
the President of the Palestinian Authority may dismiss a sitting
prime minister, but may not appoint a replacement without the
approval of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
According to the law, until a new prime minister is thus appointed,
the outgoing prime minister heads a caretaker government.
Fayyad´s appointment was never placed before, or approved, by the
Legislative Council. For this reason, Haniyeh has continued to
operate in Gaza, and been recognized by a large number of
Palestinians as the legitimate acting prime minister.
Anis al-Qasem, the Palestinian constitutional lawyer who drafted the
Basic Law, is among those who publicly declared the appointment of
Fayyad to be illegal.
What this episode says simply about the PA and its key players is
that their corruption and manipulation are so thick you can cut themt
with a knife.
If Abbas were to appoint Winston Churchill himself as the PA prime
minister, there can be no doubt but that even a venerable world
leader of Churchill’s stature would not survive the stain of
Palestinian Authority corruption. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/02/12)
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