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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Arab analyst notices Abbas' tactic of passivity

From an op-ed in Asharq al-Awsat by its editor, Osman Mirghani:

The Palestinian situation is now at its worst stage with division and conflict between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Even if reconciliation efforts are successful, mutual confidence between the two parties is something that may remain absent for a long time. This would mean continuation of a state of weakness and the absence of true bargaining power. To be clear, the Palestinians should not expect an Arab miracle that will result in all their dreams and aspirations being fulfilled. The current Arab situation is extremely frail, and even if there is a desire to take serious steps to support the Palestinian negotiator, this is something that would require the Arab position to derive its strength from the cohesion and strength of the Palestinian position.

It is not logical for the government of President Mahmoud Abbas to pin all of its negotiation hopes on the US effort, just as it is not acceptable for Hamas to stall reconciliation and subject the fate of the Palestinians in Gaza to the calculations of Tehran. While Fatah and Hamas fight over power, Palestinian suffering is increasing; their lands are being confiscated, and the dream of a Palestinian state is diminishing day by day. What is currently required of the Palestinian leadership is for it to rise to the level of responsibility and stop jeopardizing the rights of its people. Without complete reconciliation, neither the Arab states nor Washington will be able to do anything for the Palestinians.



While I obviously disagree with Mirghani's politics, it is refreshing to see an Arab call out the Palestinian Arabs for their lack of leadership and their waiting game. Abbas pretends that the US will create a state for him with no effort on his part, and while the direction of the US has changed, in the end he will need to make decisions that he has been assiduously avoiding - because of his fear of criticism.

Chances are, he will continue to avoid these decisions until he dies, because Abbas has never shown the slightest ability to lead.