PA cabinet changes show Abbas is freaking out


Abbas is worried that the tsunami that swept the Tunisian and Egyptian presidents from office would sooner or later hit Ramallah.

In the eyes of many Palestinians, Abbas is not much different than Hosni Mubarak and Zine al-Abidin Bin Ali. Like the two ousted dictators, Abbas has also been accused of being a “puppet” in the hands of the Americans.

The events in Tunisia and Egypt have taught Abbas that US backing alone is not a guarantor for the survival of his regime in the West Bank. He knows that without the support of a majority of Palestinians, he could end up facing a popular revolt.

Arab leaders who failed to draw the conclusion from the downfall of the Bin Ali regime have finally woken up. The intifada that ended Mubarak’s authoritarian rule has shown them that the Arab masses are serious in their demand for reform and democracy.

Abbas is perhaps one of the few, if not only, Arab leaders who stand to lose most from Mubarak’s departure from the scene. For many years, the Palestinian president considered Mubarak to be a strong political ally in the Arab and international arenas.

Mubarak supported Abbas against Hamas, Israel, the US and hostile Arab and Islamic regimes such as Syria and Iran.

The downfall of Mubarak’s regime is a “catastrophe” for Abbas and an award for Hamas, admitted a senior Fatah official.

Almost immediately after it was announced that Mubarak had stepped down, Abbas convened PLO leaders in Ramallah and declared his intention to hold long overdue presidential and parliamentary elections by September. Earlier, Abbas had also announced plans to hold municipal elections in July. On Monday, he went a step further by asking Fayyad to form a new cabinet.

All these measures are seen as an attempt on the part of Abbas to prevent the anti-government tsunami from reaching the Mukata “presidential” compound in Ramallah. However, it’s hard to see how Abbas would be able to hold the elections given the fact that Hamas and other Palestinian groups have announced that they would not only boycott the vote, but would also prevent it from taking place in the Gaza Strip.

It’s also hard to see how the replacing of a number of cabinet ministers would help Abbas and Fayyad, especially in light of the grave damage that has been caused to the PA leadership’s credibility with the recent publication of the leaked “Palestine Papers” by Al-Jazeera.

Had Abbas called for new elections and reshuffled his cabinet before the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, he would have scored more points. But the fact that he’s doing all these things only now reinforces the impression that Abbas, like most Arab leaders these days, is freaking out.

February 14, 2011 | 4 Comments »

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  1. Palestinian Authority Settles Lawsuit Over 1996 Terror Attack

    From the World Jewish Congress: Palestinian Authority settles US lawsuit over 1996 terror attack

    The Palestinian Authority has settled a lawsuit brought in the US state of Rhode Island over the killing of an American couple in Israel by Hamas gunmen in 1996. However, the court papers do not reveal the terms of the settlement, and it is unclear how much, if any, money the Palestinian Authority offered to resolve the case. The documents also show that a US$ 116 million default judgment entered by a judge against the Palestinian Authority for failing to respond to the lawsuit has been vacated.

    Yaron Ungar, a 25-year-old US citizen, and his pregnant wife Efrat, were killed by Palestinian gunmen while returning from a wedding. The infant son Yishai survived the attack unharmed. Family members of the Ungars sued in 2000 in Rhode Island, where the family’s lawyer practices. The suit was one of several brought under the Anti-Terrorism Act, a federal statute enacted after a disabled Jewish-American was killed when terrorists hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship in 1985. The law that allows US citizens to recover damages for terrorists acts committed overseas.

    Israel, on other hand, exerts no similar pressure on the PA in wrongful death cases. Even in the rare instances when Israeli courts have awarded damages to the relatives of Jewish victims, the government has refused to block Palestinian accounts in Israel or even deduct the court-ordered payments from the tax transfers Israel pays to the PA.

  2. veahavta le-reyacha kamocha !

    veahavta le-reyacha kamocha !

    Which fellows should we love?

    Murders? Rapists? Traitors?

    No! Where it says, “You shall love your fellow just as yourself,” the Torah enjoins a positive attitude toward one’s compatriots, toward like-minded people only.

  3. To Jew #1

    As we say in Israel “Chas veshalom” have people leave and seek asylum elsewhere.

    I’m no fan of anyone on the left including supreme court judges, politicians, media, even some some close friends. And I wish their tactics would cease and they would receive a telephone call from reality so they would get on the right side of Jewish history. But to wish them away from israel, away from the things I love and cherish, is to break the most important clause in our torah and in our tradition – veahavta le-reyacha kamocha !

    It saddens me to think that we result to the tactics of lowlifes in our inter-communal bigotry, even of it is a joke meant to grab attention.

    The reason we were given this land was to make it holy, not just free. Not just a place to escape to when the Nazis or Arabs, or Turks, or BDSers or whomever comes after us decides that we have too good a life. We were given it to make it a place where God, or whatever you want to call the creator of the universe, can rest his presence. And if you happen to be an atheist, then a place where each man in his relative morality can be proud and be made proud.

    This meaningless sinat chinam is not worthy of even a lowlife…why would our brothers care to participate in it !!

  4. the “tsunami” could also reach Israel.

    remember: in Israel, too, prices are up and democracy is down.

    i would like to see the day, dorit beinisch and shimon peres entering the same plane in the middle of the night and seeking asylum in germany.