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Sunday, May 13, 2012

To Abbas, NGOs aren't for human rights - they're for bashing Israel

In the latest Crisis Group Middle East Report N°122, 7 May 2012, "The Emperor Has No Clothes: Palestinians and the End of the Peace Process," there is a most interesting footnote number 169:
A U.S. official commented that Abbas had inquired into the activities of the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, two organisations Egypt’s military authorities accused of seeking to interfere in domestic politics. According to him, “Abbas asked, ‘What are these NGOs doing here? Are they trying to overthrow me?’” Crisis Group interview, Washington DC, March 2012. A presidential adviser expressed similar concern: “My worry is that NGOs can be easily used against the PA, rather than against Israel. They talk a lot about human rights in the PA, less about occupation”. Crisis Group interview, Ramallah, April 2012.
According to these two quotes, Abbas sees NGOs as having only a single purpose - to demonize Israel. They have nothing to do with human rights or improving people's lives - they are simply political tools to be used as he wishes.

And for the vast majority of them, he gets his wishes. They spend much more time on Israel than on his own corrupt dictatorship.

So when a couple of NGOs break the formula, Abbas is incensed at how they could dare to actually do anything against his interests!

Another part of the same footnote is also notable, and shows that Abbas is more on the side of the Arab dictators than the protesters of the Arab Spring:
A senior PLO official said that Abbas “believes that the Arab Spring is bad for Palestine and for the region”. Crisis Group interview, Ramallah, November 2011.
Despite how the West pretends to love him, Abbas' words and actions show that he is much more like Mubarak and Assad than those who are fighting against the Arab despots.

(h/t Gidon Shaviv - Israel Research Fellow at NGO Monitor)