Abbas, stop wasting time

WE call on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to leave the grey area, forgo expectations for an Arab and regional miracle that will never come, and start unconditional negotiations with the Israelites. Delaying tactics and exchange of accusations are no longer useful. While the Palestinians reel in agony, deprivation, austerity and loss of their land, the Arab opposition and Tel-Aviv government are busy wobbling in the ‘no-war, no-peace’ conditions.

Abbas has no choice but to follow in the footsteps of the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and try to cause international embarrassment for Israel even if the latter continues to apportion land areas to itself through its settlement construction. If this happens, the entire world will no longer listen to the flimsy excuses of Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders. The Palestinians must use a language the entire world understands, enforce on the international community their will to build their own country and determine their own future.

Yes! It will be the end for some Arabs and Palestinians, similar to what transpired when Sadat announced his famous initiative. Even if some of his Cabinet members resigned in protest of the initiative and Egypt was isolated from the Arab world at the time, we know that Sadat made the right decision because he was able to stop Israel’s exploitation of oil in Sinai and also regain the Suez Canal — the ‘life-wire’ for Egypt. Without a single drop of blood or destruction of the economy, Sadat recovered Taba and other occupied territories in Egypt.

At this point, we should recall that the Palestinians had the opportunity to regain their land through self-governance that was approved by the Camp David Treaty. They should have taken this opportunity and built on it later to become a nation with clear landmarks but they instead chose to move towards the path of Arab slogans and bargaining until the problem was blown out of proportion. Instead of a West Bank void of Israeli settlers in 1978, the Palestinians are now offered 22 percent of the land; so the longer the waiting period, the lesser the space.

President Abbas, as the leader of the Palestinian National Authority — which is the only legal representative of the Palestinian people, should put the interests of his people above all else. He should not listen to the flimsy reasons marketed by some Arab circles, which have been grappling with the impasse in negotiations since 1973. These circles have been raising the slogans of resistance, confrontation, opposition and combat even if they themselves have never resisted or liberated any land, not to mention confrontation and battle. They have been delaying procedures and giving lame excuses, leaving the people of Palestine to face modern weapons with bare chests!

The Palestinians, starting from President Abbas, must realize that they bear the brunt and pay the price on their own, while the slogan traders in Iran, Lebanon and Syria put their hands and feet in water, using these poor people as fighting tools. These people are ready to compromise anything to gain political cover and remain in power without any concern for the future of the Palestinians or their struggle to regain their occupied territories. These people at the end of the day cannot give the Palestinians more than what they have been giving over the last six decades, which means more failure, disappointment, war, misfortunes and catastrophes. Did the Palestinian leaders realize the truth? Are they working on embarrassing Israel in front of the international community without wasting more opportunities?


By: Ahmed Al-Jarallah - Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

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