Thanks to Mahmoud Abbas and his brilliant negotiating team, they helped Israel turn around the issue of settlements from a source of punishment to a source of rewards. Not so sure if President Mahmoud Abbas whose term expired some times ago, will ever realize that his way and the negotiating team he is relying on will bring nothing but one disaster after another.
It seems that he and his team has not and will not learn from years of consistent failures in managing the negotiations with Israel and irreparable harms he and his team are causing the people inside under the occupation and in the Diaspora.
I am sure Mahmoud Abbas and Saeb Erekat as his chief negotiator do not realize what they are doing and how their reckless incompetent mismanagement of the negotiations is becoming a windfall for Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu.
For the two month freeze Abbas and his team insisted on as a condition of direct negotiations the US as a bribe, paid Israel one billion for each month of the temporary freeze and once the temporary freeze was over the Israeli government and the Jewish Settlers/Squatters more than double the construction making up for time loss. Perhaps Mahmoud Abbas and his chief negotiator can tell us what they have achieved during these two months when they sat face to face with the Israeli leaders? We know what Israel got and what the government did, not sure if Mahmoud Abbas and his team can tell us anything they got, because they got nothing, absolutely nothing in return, other than help Bibi fleece the American treasury.
Bibi Netanyahu the smart and conniving man he is knew President Obama does not have the courage, the broad political base, or the well defined short term and long term strategy nor the will to stand up to Israel and is venerable before and after mid-term elections and he knew he can successfully milk the US out of tens of billions in aids and other guarantees for additional periods of “temporary freeze”. Mahmoud Abbas and his brilliant team are solely responsible for making it possible for the US to bribe Israel and handing over aid packages to Israel on golden platter. By calling it quite and disbanding the PLO/PA as a manager of the Jewish Occupation, Mahmoud Abbas can make scramble eggs out of Bibi and Hilary partnership and can throw the issue of occupation, even the creation of the Palestinian state right in the face of the UN Security Council. However Mahmoud Abbas and his team are willing to negotiate until the last dunum of what is left of Palestine.
Abbas and his team has been negotiating with successive Israeli governments for years, while Israel continued with its settlements policies expanding settlements, continuing with building the Apartheid Wall, continued with systematic expulsions of Palestinians from East Jerusalem and continued with its policies of house demolitions and allowing and providing covers for marauding Jewish Settlers/Squatters to rein terror against unarmed and unprotected Palestinians farmers and villagers. Again, perhaps Mahmoud Abbas and his brilliant chief negotiator can tell us what they achieved all these years, other than continued cooperation between the Israel’s High Commissioner for Judea and Samaria and the Palestinian Security Forces. Of course the PA is paid well for keeping its commitment to protecting the Jewish Occupation and maintenance of the Security Forces is the life line of continued financial support for the Palestinian Authority. If this cooperation ends then all financial support to the Palestinian Authority will come to an end.
It is clear, so far Mahmoud Abbas and his negotiating team did not finish what Arafat set out to do in Oslo, not liberation and ending the Jewish Occupation but the continued management of the Jewish Occupation as one sure way to keep the PLO/Fatah in business. As long as there is a Jewish Occupation, the PLO/Fatah will remain in business. What is surprising is the intensity of and loyal support Ramallah gives to Tel-Aviv in its efforts to blackmail the US. Perhaps Ramallah will be seeking better terms for its management deal with Israel, perhaps its is seeking more and more funding for its Security Forces to be more effective in providing higher level of cooperation with Israel and more intensive security for Israel’s armed forces and its criminal settlers.
So far the US is offering Israel some $20 Billions in bribes and is offering Israel security guarantees and written commitments to offer is ready veto against any efforts to bring the issue of the Jewish Occupation, East Jerusalem, the Apartheid Wall, the Jewish Settlements, and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, not to mention the continued house demolitions before the UN Security Council. All of this is in exchange for 90 days temporary freeze. Again, perhaps Mahmoud Abbas and his brilliant negotiating team can tell us what they will get in return for agreeing to go back to direct negations? If the past is an indications of the future, they will get nothing for the people, perhaps they will succeed in getting some additional VIP passes and few more permits allowing senior PLO official to use their private cars as they cross to Jordan. Mahmoud Abbas will be doing himself and the people a big favor if he simply flies to Washington and hand over the keys of the Occupation to President Obama and his team.
We can understand the reasons for Arafat not seeking any legal and professional help in negotiating Oslo, but we could not understand why Mahmoud Abbas continue to rely on the same failed team and will not go out of the circle of the incompetent team within the PLO and seek the help of professional from among the Diaspora Palestinians, even seeking the help from international legal and professional experts. Time for Mahmoud Abbas to fire Saeb Erekat and the entire PLO/Fatah negotiating team and disband the Palestinian Authority.