Unmasking of Abbas gives Bush final shot at imposing Bantustan

Where does he hide now? Mahmoud Abbas, de facto dictator of the Occupied Territories is in hiding from his own people! Unlike his predecessor Yasser Arafat, who was incarcerated in his Ramallah HQ –” under siege from Israel; Abbas is an esteemed guest in Jerusalem.

His limited movement within the West Bank and zero presence in the Gaza is in sharp contrast to the way he is feted by the Israelis. While he does Israel’s bidding by outlawing the elected government led by Hamas, Abbas has foolishly painted himself into a corner.

Unable to step into any role to lead a spirited struggle for freedom from the colonial occupier, Abbas has nowhere to hide. Neither his policies of collaboration, nor his unprincipled attempts to wrest control through a coup, have left him with any integrity. Now that he has been unmasked as a sell-out, his dependence on Israel is his only lifeline to gain endorsement from an equally discredited US leader.

In his rush to marginalize Hamas, he has in fact been following a script flowing from what is known as the Bush doctrine. This required him and his coterie of advisors to conspire with the Zionist regime and the US to dislodge Hamas from power. According to various accounts and more specifically from the editor of the on-line Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah, this entailed funneling weapons and tens of millions of dollars to militias, particularly the “Preventive Security Force” headed by the former Gaza warlord Mohammad Dahlan.

Abbas’ humiliating failure, compounded by revelations of Dahlan’s complicity in the murder of Arafat, has in effect tarnished his image in the eyes of Palestinians, thereby undermining his ability to lead his people. Indeed, sticking to the script has entrenched him as the latest addition to a long list of puppet leaders in the Arab world.

Within PLO structures many questions are being raised about why Abbas would turn his back on the Mecca Agreement, so soon after huge expectations were raised about a united Palestinian position –” with a single minded focus on attaining national liberation.

Hamas was applauded for displaying graciousness in allowing Fatah a substantial role within a Government of National Unity, notwithstanding the fact that it [Fatah] lost the Jan ’06 elections by a huge margin.

In such a scenario where the defeated party is given a respectful presence in the legislative structures of the Palestinian Authority, it makes no sense for such an arrangement to be scuttled. Yet this is the route chosen by Abbas and his cohorts, who sought to regain complete and total control as became evident in the short-lived anarchy they created in the Gaza.

Why? Is it because Abbas was tempted to forego his people’s legitimate rights for a handful of dollars? Or is it due to US pressure and manipulation which he found too hot to handle? Perhaps it was the promise of being enthroned as the Czar of Palestine, with unlimited capacity to reign over his people without any regard to democratic values?

These questions will be answered in due course in possibly the same dramatic way Hamas uncovered Dahlan’s nefarious links and destructive mission to keep Palestinians in perpetual bondage.

In the meantime, reports about the handful of dollars turning into bucketsful and increased US training for Abbas’ private militia point to a set-up intended to culminate in the so-called “International Conference” organized by the Washington/Tel Aviv alliance for the end of the year. Many pundits expect that as much as that conference may be Bush’s last aria, it also will seal Palestine’s fate as a doomed Bantustan and Abbas crowned as King –” if allowed to proceed!

Mahmoud Abbas and his small group of unelected charlatans have become Palestine’s biggest liability. They are willing to barter Jerusalem, the right of return and every legitimate right of the Palestinians for no more than the disgrace of being outright sell-outs.

Will they succeed?