The Worst Palestinian
Abu Mazen will enter Palestinian history: he will be remembered as one of the worst Palestinians ever. He will be remembered in the same league as the Nashashibis before 1948, who along with the Hashemite royals were on the payroll of the Zionists.
Abu Mazen was an accidental “leader”– if he even can be considered a leader. He, along with Salam Fayyad, have been imposed on the Palestinian people. Prior to Oslo, the PLO succeeded in preventing Israel or Jordan from imposing any Palestinian as representative of the Palestinian people. The PLO succeeded on presenting itself as the “sole legitimate representative” of the Palestinian people, against the wishes of Israel and Jordan. Palestinians who tried to come forward (on behalf of Israeli occupation and the Jordanian monarchy) were either shunned or killed by their people. The PLO succeeded in foiling all schemes that intended to impose alternative (non-representative) Palestinian representatives.
The attempts to circumvent the PLO’s credentials as the representative body of the Palestinian people, were comical.
First, it was the Jordanian king who was supposed to speak on behalf of Palestinians even after he massacred thousands of them in Black September. Then the Israelis organized collaborators in “village leagues”, but the Palestinian people quickly discredited that effort. And then the US stumbled on the amusing mayor of Bethlehem, Ilyas Furayj, and decided that he should speak for the Palestinians. Another time it was the Jerusalemite journalist, Hanna Sanyurah, and on and on.
The quest for an alternative leadership never ceased. The US and Israel never gave up. They just would not settle for a “No” answer from the Palestinian people.
Then came Oslo, where Arafat basically surrendered to the Israeli occupiers. Arafat pretty much gave in to the Israeli negotiators and gave up on the basic demands of the Palestinian national movement. He squandered all the major and minor strengths of the PLO thinking all along that he was outsmarting the Israelis by keeping a small armed militia – not to launch a serious armed struggle against the occupation but to press ahead during negotiations to bolster his posture.
And then came Abu Mazen. The former Mossad director Efraim Halevy admitted in his book, Man in the Shadows, that he invented the post of prime minister to weaken Arafat and to push for a collaborator-in-chief.
Israelis knew Abu Mazen more than other PLO figures. This second-tier figure was not known outside the small circles of Fatah. He was based in Damascus (which explains his silence regarding the killings by the Syrian regime) and thought of himself as a scholar. He was an ill-informed bureaucrat who took his holocaust denials and his belief in a Zionist-Free Mason conspiracy as a sign of deep scholarship.
Abu Mazen also promoted direct negotiations with Israelis not so much because he necessarily liked Israel – after all, he was (and presumably still is) a hater of the Jewish people – but because he argued that Israel would implode from within and that all the Palestinians have to do is to sit back and enjoy the demise.
What Abu Mazen lacked in scholarship, popularity, and charisma he made up with an uncanny ability to give the enemy whatever he asks for.
The interview that Abu Mazen has just given to Israeli TV is an insult to the century-long Palestinian struggle. Abu Mazen decided to speak on behalf of all Palestinians. Finally – after Arafat killed the PLO, and after Arafat signed a deal that establishes a collaborationist regime in Ramallah, and after the Oslo process assigned to Fatah the role of killing other Palestinians on behalf of Israel – Israel succeeded in establishing a Palestinian leader who shares Israeli security and political objectives.
The scheme was simple: the US and Israel decided to starve the Palestinian people and to cut off all sources of funding for Palestinian organizations and to keep all financing in the hands of trusted PA tools, chiefly Abu Mazen and Salam Fayyad (although Muhammad Dahlan and Jibril Rajjub also played similar roles in the past).
If the revolution was supposed to grow out of the barrel of the gun, the anti-revolution passed through the flow of money. Abu Mazen not only controlled the massive PA public sector, but he incorporated the retired fighters in a mini police non-state. Abu Mazen controlled not only Fatah: he was able to fend off secular and nationalist oppositions by dispensing monthly payments to Palestinian organizations.
Arafat gave PLO funding to member organizations even when these organizations were publicly disagreeing with his policies.
Abu Mazen is less secure: funding would be cut off if any organization voiced criticism of his policies. Even the PFLP (especially its branch in the West Bank), became a loyal and subservient opposition group.
The Palestinian people can be faulted for tolerating the leadership of Abu Mazen for too long. There are no concessions left for Abu Mazen to make, so he decides to speak on behalf of the refugees. He sees fit to donate his birthplace of Safad to Israel and says that he only has the right to “see it.”
Abu Mazen forgot that seeing Palestine was not the goal of the Palestinian national movement especially that many Palestinians fought and died on Palestinian lands. They fought to liberate the places and not to visit them like tourists.
Abu Mazen said that he only wishes to visit Safad. Israeli officials gave him the insult that he deserves: they said that they can arrange for him to visit “Israeli” cities. Maybe Abu Mazen can go there and prostrate before the occupiers.
Palestinians leadership historically fell well below the standards of the struggle of the Palestinian people. From Hajj Amin Husayni to Yasser Arafat, Palestinian leadership was incompetent, shifty, dishonest, deceptive, and secretive.
But Abu Mazen is not even a leader.
The accidental leader, who sits in his job (from which his corrupt family draws large sums of money) merely because of US/Israeli will, does not even belong to the list of Palestinian leaders of the 20th century. He should be celebrated by the Zionist movement as one of the clients of Israeli occupation, alongside people like Bashir Gemayel and Antoine Lahd.