the abbas legacy

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    The Abbas legacy

    By Joseph Farah
    September 24, 2003

    There are still many in the U.S. – and even in Israel – who do not understand the real lesson of the failure of Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas.

    Many believe Abbas was sincerely trying to seek peace and compromise with Israel and was undercut by Yasser Arafat. That's the conventional wisdom. That's the view of the U.S. administration, still seeking to continue with its so-called "roadmap" to a Palestinian state as the solution to the conflict between Arabs and Israelis. That's the view of many in the U.S. Congress. And it's still the view of a number of Israeli leaders.

    But it's simply not true. In fact, it's provably untrue.

    During his speech to the Palestinian Legislative Council, Abbas admitted he did everything possible to avoid compliance with the U.S. backed peace plan and that he actually had no major difference with Arafat over the control of security forces.

    While the meeting was closed to the press, the London Quds Press Arabic news agency obtained the text of Abbas' speech, which was translated into English by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service.

    Contrary to reports in the international press, Abbas said he never sought to wrest control of the Palestinian security forces from Arafat, nor had he agreed with Washington on establishing a unified security apparatus.

    "Many say I want to place the security services at my disposal and command and want to free them from [Arafat's] grip," he said. "This is false and it has never happened. I do not want the security services to be at my disposal."

    Yet, that is precisely what is called for by the U.S. roadmap. Those forces, under the control of the new prime minister, not Arafat, were to be used to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure.

    Abbas also admitted he understood this was a requirement of the U.S. plan: "The roadmap says: "All security services are at the disposal of the prime minister. I did not even ask for the unification of the services. … When the Americans spoke about the unity of the services, we told them we do not want that."

    Abbas went even further, explaining he did not approve of the roadmap and might have opposed it had it not been previously accepted by Arafat.

    "The roadmap calls for the unification of the security services," Abbas told the group. "We surmounted this obstacle. It called for striking and uprooting the [terrorist] organizations. We surmounted this obstacle, too."

    In other words, quite clearly, what Abbas says in English to Western audiences is at odds with what he says in Arabic to his constituents. Does this sound familiar? It is exactly what we have witnessed with Arafat for the last 40 years.

    My point is there is little or no difference between Arafat and Abbas, who have worked together now for generations. Likewise, there is no discernible difference between Arafat and his latest handpicked puppet, Ahmed Qureia.

    When are the Americans – and, even more importantly, all Israelis – going to wake up to the game that is being played by Arafat and company. It's a shell game. It's now you see it, now you don't. It's the old good-cop /bad-cop game. In Hegelian terms, it's the dialectic.

    Nothing these people say is meaningful. We must watch their actions instead. And their actions show only one thing: They continue to work toward the total destruction of the state of Israel and the murder of as many Jews as possible.

    America is as much the enemy of these people as the state of Israel is. These are the front lines in the war on terror. When are we going to recognize the obvious?
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