Everyone's favorite Holocaust denier has been completely circumventing existing Palestinian Arab laws in order to keep himself in power. Now, the quality of freedom and democracy in the PA was never very good to begin with, and there has been no judicial system to speak of for years. Even so, Abbas has now extended to the military a lot of judicial powers and he's done many other questionable actions. As PCHR mentions:
PCHR expresses its utmost concern over the latest presidential decree concerning the military judiciary under the state of emergency, which implies an extortion of the authorities of the Palestinian civil judiciary to be granted to the military judiciary. PCHR believes that this latest decree, which has been the most breakneck in a series of presidential decrees issued in the context of the state of emergency, is a prescription for the destruction of the judicial authority and the civil life towards the militarization of the Palestinian society, the derangement of the constitution, the confiscation of public liberties and the enforcement of a military dictatorship.Some of PCHR's specific problems with Abbas' decress are:
1) PCHR believes that this decree opens the doors wide for militarizing the Palestinian society, enforcing a military dictatorship and destroying the civil life and judiciary under the pretext of the existing state of emergency, through:
- The extortion of the authorities of the civil judiciary to be given to the military judiciary;
- The extortion of the authorities of the Attorney-General to be given to the military judiciary; and
- The extortion of the authorities of judicial warranty officials to be granted to all members of security services.
2) PCHR is very astonished that the decree relied in its preamble on the PLO Revolutionary Law of the Regulation of Trials Revolutionary Penal Law of 1979, which are unconstitutional because they have not been ratified by the PNA. PCHR also denounces recalling Military Order #555 of 1959, which was issued during the Egyptian control of the Gaza Strip pertaining to the Egyptian Penal Law that is no longer effective in Egypt.
It has always been a mistake to pretend that Abbas was a real partner for peace, but to prop up someone who breaks his own laws will never work.
Seeing Condi Rice and President Bush and Ehud Olmert and the EU fall all over themselves to support this ineffective and impotent joker is not the way to win over Arab hearts and minds. The hole that was dug by allowing Hamas to run in the elections as a legitimate democratic party is getting deeper by the week, and I don't have a good short-term solution.