‘Mahmoud Abbas’s term as president officially ended more than six years ago. The Basic Law allowed him an extension of one year but he still clings to power with scant legitimacy. Too many people see past his charade. He now appears to them as the king with no clothes and, in the words of the Danny Kaye song, “altogether as naked as the day that he was born”.
The trouble with Abbas is that he travels a long way “behind the curve”. The Israelis’ determination to make their occupation permanent was clear long ago. Illegal settlement building under the Allon Plan, effectively annexing Palestinian territory, began in 1967 and their dash to create as many irreversible “facts on the ground” as possible has been staring us in the face for decades.
Abbas claims to be one of the architects of the Oslo interim agreement, which was supposed to ensure a start to negotiations on the permanent status by May 1996, leading to the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 and the settling of all the main issues. Has it really taken him 19 years to see that it was going nowhere?’
‘The Israeli Military Governor in the West Bank has signed a military order expelling Palestinian Legislative Council Member and Addameer board member Khalida Jarrar to Jericho for a period of six months, with immediate effect.
At 1.30 A.M on 20 August 2014 approximately 50 Israeli occupying soldiers surrounded Jarrar’s home in Ramallah. An Israeli captain then proceeded to hand Jarrar an order which states that Jarrar must not leave the district of Jericho for the next six months and can only leave with the express permission of the Israeli military commander in the West Bank. Accompanying the order was a map outlining the boundaries of Jericho district. The order states, based on secret information, that Jarrar is a threat to the security of the area. She was given 24 hours to leave Ramallah. Jarrar refused to sign the order.’
‘Proponents of the two-state solution have for years faced a grim outlook. Every new Jewish settlement that pops up on the lands slated for a Palestinian state has added to the despair and disillusionment with any peace process.
After 46 years of military occupation and colonial policies highlighted by an aggressive attempt to build exclusive Jewish settlements in Palestinian areas, it is no surprise that many are losing faith in a peace based on the two-state solution. The latest intellectual to join the ranks of the disenchanted is American political scientist Ian Steven Lustick.’
‘Yasser Abed Rabbo, a key participant in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations over the past two decades, is far from sanguine about the latest iteration of talks, convened in July by the United States. Last week, the Palestinian negotiator despondently told Voice of Palestine radio that “These negotiations are futile and won’t lead to any results.”
A brief sketch of the Israeli proposal on offer, leaked to the Associated Press from within the Palestinian negotiating team, demonstrates why Abed Rabbo’s assessment is unfortunately correct. In the negotiations, Israel has “shown no intention to dismantle any settlement,” according to an anonymous Palestinian official, potentially leaving in place as many as 650,000 Israelis in colonies established illegally on Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since Israel militarily occupied these territories, along with the Gaza Strip, in 1967.’