Stumbling through the Israeli press, I can across this little doosie by Moshe Elad on the Yedioth newspaper, the most popular paper in Israel. In Elad's mind, the assassination attempt on Ehud Olmert re-emphasised his doubt that Abbas is not the "true representative of the Palestinian people." That much should have been obvious to anyone with a remote interest in Middle East politics, considering Abbas' Fatah not only lost an election, but was booted out of Gaza. It is no comfort either that his "emergency government" is totally illegal under Palestinian law, but Fatah is losing its tenuous hold on their safety net the West Bank. Yet Elad had a hope that Abbas had some sort of authority over the Palestinians, even though many in his own party were deeply distressed at Fatah's attempt to oust Hamas and coddle with the colonials, Israel and the US.
Elad insists that the trio of Abbas, Fayyad and Ekrat are responsible, since they are "so weak and has such feeble control over [their] own organization" and this latest plot reaffirms that "Fatah has not changed at all its good old strategy, which views Israel as the bitter enemy."
Fayyad has denied any links, as well as the Al-Aqsa Brigade. Palestinian Authority General Intelligence Tawfiz Al-Tirawi said "that what Israel depicted as an assassination attempt was actually only talk and an exchange of ideas between two Palestinians on attacking Olmert's convoy." Another report has Fayyad stating that the suspects were released for "lack of evidence" (and then rearrested them). It's difficult to decipher, considering the source of "Israeli Intelligence", but even if it is the truth that there was an attempt to take Olmert's life, it really should not be so surprising.
Or perhaps the disgruntled Palestinians had enough of what is going on and took a page out of Israel's book of political liquidations. Understandably, this is a subject that is conveniently missing in Elad's piece: the fact that Israel is a nation that still views political assassinations as valid to their foreign policy. Here it is in plain writing according to B'Tselem:
"Assassinations have been part of Israel’s security policy for many years. Israel is the only democratic country which regards such measures as a legitimate course of action. This policy is patently illegal, according to both Israeli and international law."
Israel continue with fervour their march to destroy as many Hamas members is possible as well as other Palestinians seen as a danger. And yet Elad maintains that it is the Palestinians whose strategy hasn't changed one bit.
Much to Elad's insistence, Fatah's strategy has certainly changed tenfold. Times are definitely different when Fatah is seen as the Washington and Tel Aviv's puplit instead of a group that hijacked planes and took the fight to Israel by sabotage. Abbas is seen more as a collaborator than Arafat did, despite the latter closely resembling Abbas today in his later stages. The armed wing of Fatah has a mind of its own too, and a guy like Abbas could not keep them in check. Let us remember that the Palestinians are the ones who are forced to give up something to show "moderation" and not the Israelis. In fact, the latest peace proposal doesn't seem to deviate from the norm, only with legitimacy from Abbas this time around instead of rebuffing an offer that no Palestinian could accept. Here's a little insight thanks to Tony Karon:
"The Palestinians have very little leverage over Israel, whose military power ranks it among the world’s top five armies, and whose advanced economy and way of life is not substantially impeded by the conflict with the Palestinians. Palestinian suicide bombers managed to disrupt Israeli life for a brief period, and the Kassam rockets fired wildly into Israel from Gaza have made life hell for the residents of a marginal Israeli town in the Negev desert. But even then, by and large, on the current terms of conflict, the Palestinians are unable to muster a strategic threat to Israel. The corollary, of course, is that despite its increasingly vicious collective punishments and its ongoing repression, Israel has not managed to bend the Palestinians to their will."
So they continue to resist in any form at their dispersal, whether it be stone-throwing, Qassam rockets, or even the momentary assassination attempt. This is a desperate time, with the West Bank inching closer to Israel's total control and the permanent "bantustanisation" of the Palestinians [PDF], they remain adamant that what is on offer is not acceptable and they want to act out in ways that show that it is NOT the way to peace if "negotiating" actually meant anything to the Palestinians anymore. Israel still has the high card, and they have not relented in their aggression and annexation. To the Palestinians the question is, negotiating for what? They only get the same outcome all the time.
While Elad has it perfectly correct that Abbas is weak, it is because of Israel's policy of refusing to deal with Hamas that they contrived up a "good guy" to act in the theatre of "negotiations". And now he has the temerity to announce for his removal because of an attempt on Olmert's life, which seems futile anyway because he seems to have little support nowadays and is reliant on pathetic sideshows with his other leading actor Abbas to implement a historic peacetalk between the two sides. In his mind, "Fatah would have won the next elections by an overwhelming majority because only a major terror attack is the key to political success across the territories, rather than an agreement with Israel."
Wrong again. Fatah continued their agreement with Israel and that led them here in their complete futility. What the lesson should be is that revulsion of Israel would win with the common Palestinian who has seen that agreement with Israel leads to hollow power coupled with corruption at the expense of the peasantry that held Palestinian identity through all its turmoil. What I don't get is why Elad sees all of this as such a shock, since Abbas did not have any legitimacy at all. He seems to feel perturbed that such an act was concocted in the first place, despite the fact that it was foiled by Palestinian authorities. Only lately has Rabin's killer come out in the news again; Israel is not immune to this feeling.
"It’s a waste of time," states Elad. It definitely is, but only because Israel refuses to deal with the rightful authority of the Palestinian people: Hamas. Abbas only has the power that Israel gives him, he cannot do much as a quisling of Israel's making. Complaining about his ineffectualism seems rather mute since he is a puppet made in USA.