Top Abbas Confidant: ‘I give up… We failed.’

mahmud abbas
Mahmoud Abbas (Photo: Andrew Gombert/EPA)

Months before Secretary of State John Kerry arrived at this year’s World Economic Forum in Amman, Jordan to meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, a key Abbas confidant told me the US-led peace process had no future, and neither did the Palestinian Authority.

“They pushed as PLO leaders, they pushed us as seculars to give up,” Nasser Laham, the 46-year-old editor-in-chief of Ma’an News Agency, said of the Israeli government. “I confess in front of you: I give up!”

maan
Nasser Laham with his 11-year-old son in his office at
Maan News Agency in Bethlehem (Photo: Max Blumenthal)

Laham continued: “I like Mahmoud Abbas. I believe in Mahmoud Abbas. I like Salam Fayyad. I like non-violence. I believe in peace. And let me give you this confession: I give up! And now, let [the Israelis] deal with Jihad, and Hamas, and Al Qaeda – congratulations! And I know, in my heart, in my mind, in just a few years, Israel will be evaporated, completely deleted from this country.”

I met Laham at his office in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank last December. Though he is little known among English-speaking news consumers, Laham is one of the most influential commentators in Palestinian media, hosting several shows for Ma’an and publishing a widely read column. With his fluency in Hebrew (like many Palestinian men his age, he learned the language in an Israeli jail) and contacts on the other side of the wall, networks across the Middle East seek out his insights on Israeli politics and society.

Laham is also a top ally of Abbas, and is routinely seen alongside the P.A. President around Bethlehem and Ramallah. Once a fervent advocate of a diplomatic settlement with the Israeli government, Laham has lost faith in the possibility of a Palestinian state, while casting doubt on the prospect of Israel’s survival in an increasingly tumultuous region.

“We failed,” he told me. “The PLO made a mistake. The negotiations with Israel failed. Arafat believed in peace, signed with Rabin, they killed Rabin, they killed Arafat, they succeeded, and I believe we will have to pay the price…. Trust me, in just days or months, we will quit. We gave up. Congratulations. Game over. We failed. We made a mistake. We believed in peace.”

Laham crushed a cigarette into an ashtray on his desk and threw his hands in the air. “We are saying to our people, we are sorry!” he exclaimed. “Forgive us. I can say this because I’m a journalist and a writer: I’m sorry that I wasted twenty years of my life trying for peace in this area to people like [Avigdor] Lieberman and his friends. I’m not sad, though, and I’m not angry. But I’m praying that America will step in, because I know the result if we continue struggling. Bloodshed, again and again. And Israel will have to escape from here, by the sky, by the sea, by the camel, and you will see the new Middle East after the Arab Spring.”

Our interview took place days before Israel’s national elections, in which the settlement movement would consolidate its influence. Laham commented that the election’s ultimate meaning was that “there will be no two states. So we have two nations in one land,” he said, “but Israel refuses to call it one state — they don’t like this vocabulary. Let them call it what they like. But there will be no Palestinian state — I can’t see on a map where is Palestine and where is Israel.”

Laham said he liked to challenge Israeli journalists to draw their country on a map, only because none of them are able to do it. “We are at a loss to understand Israel right now,” he remarked. “They call me from all the networks to talk about Israeli society; I have five books, mostly about Israel, and honestly, really, I can’t understand the Israeli people. I just don’t know what they want. Ask the settlers, ask the leaders, if the West Bank is Israel, why are you occupying it? Why don’t you give the Palestinians Israeli citizenship? If yes, why not? So I think they don’t know. They only invest in time and this is not sustainable.”

Laham told me he had repeatedly urged Abbas to quit his post and “leave these crazy Israeli leaders.” He said that at the time I met him, Abbas and the Western-backed Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad were “depressed, frustrated and surprised” by how badly things had turned out for the P.A.

“2013 will be the decisions year,” Laham told me. “Enough thinking about what to do. We will say to the Israelis, take it or leave it — the Palestinian state.”

“I forgot to tell you,” he added, “after we quit, we will not advise. There is no free advice. We will not advise Israel or the Americans. We will be observers, just watching.”

Though Fayyad resigned in April amid tensions with Fatah senior leadership and against the pleadings of Kerry, Abbas has shown no sign that he will heed Laham’s advice. Record Israeli settlement building was forcing Palestinians from their property across East Jerusalem and the West Bank, however, Abbas remained stubbornly in his place. “Until now, [Abbas] listens to Obama,” Laham complained. “I don’t know why.”

Laham brought the interview to a close with a story about Shafik al-Hout, the Palestinian Liberation Front founder who grew up in Jaffa, and was among the tens of thousands of Palestinians forced from their homes by the Israeli army in 1948.

“Al Jazeera interviewed al-Hout before his death,” he recalled. “The main question they asked him was, Why did Israel win in 1948? He said, ‘The Jews could hate us enough to kill us, but we couldn’t hate the Jews enough to kill them.’

“And now we hate them enough,” Laham declared plaintively. “We hate them enough.”

About Max Blumenthal

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author.
Posted in Israel/Palestine, Occupation, On the ground reports, US Policy in the Middle East | Tagged

{ 56 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. seafoid says:

    “They call me from all the networks to talk about Israeli society; I have five books, mostly about Israel, and honestly, really, I can’t understand the Israeli people”

    Khalaas ya’ni.
    Al Yahud majnooneen.
    Laysh?
    Ashaan, ya’ni.

    “We are saying to our people, we are sorry!” he exclaimed. “Forgive us. I can say this because I’m a journalist and a writer: I’m sorry that I wasted twenty years of my life trying for peace in this area to people like [Avigdor] Lieberman and his friends. ”

    I know Palestinians who left behind lives in the US to go back to Palestine in the late 90s because they believed that Israel was genuine.

    Israel is a nation with a personality disorder. All the lies are coming to a head. And the Palestinians are too decent to believe the lies any more.

  2. seafoid says:

    I can’t understand the Israeli people…

    they don’t understand themselves either …

    link to haaretz.com

    “In contrast to Sand, I don’t think the deplorable aspects of Israeli politics have anything to do with Jewishness. Psychological and political research shows that human beings tend to become more nationalist and racist when they feel threatened, and unfortunately Israel is no exception to this. Since its founding, Israel has been under threat from its neighbors.”

    • American says:

      ‘Psychological and political research shows that human beings tend to become more nationalist and racist when they feel threatened, and unfortunately Israel is no exception to this”…seafood

      The difference in them and normal people under some threat is they have become ‘addicted’ to enemies and fear and threats…that is their “existential” state of being.
      ‘Enemies, threats, hostile others !….has been their rallying cry since the day the Tribe took shape.
      I suppose it would be fitting if it ended where it began.

  3. “Israel will be evaporated, completely deleted from this country.”
    I wish he had elaborated on this. How does he see that happening?

    • Danny_123 says:

      “Israel will be evaporated, completely deleted from this country.”
      I wish he had elaborated on this. How does he see that happening?

      South Africa, circa 1994.

      • apartheid evaporated, south africa didn’t.

        • kalithea says:

          Israel is worse than South Africa. Zionism is Apartheid on steriods. Zionism has an inherent self-destruct mechanism. Palestinians will be the future majority any way you slice it. They already are if we include the exiled refugees. The inevitable will happen. Time is on the Palestinian side; and it is Israel’s greatest threat because this is the eleventh hour and Zionists are STILL in denial digging the hole for themselves.

    • Taxi says:

      Israel is surrounded by fires and israel is the pyromaniac who lit the match. Hotter winds have been blowing and now blazing tentacles are at the doorstep of the fire-starter.

      No israeli firetruck in sight. No global firetruck in sight.

      Therefore israel will be consumed/evaporated by it’s own hand.

  4. Elisabeth says:

    ‘The Jews could hate us enough to kill us, but we couldn’t hate the Jews enough to kill them.’

    The Palestinans were not prepared for what was planned for them (how could they be?). They were overwhelmed by better armed forces and in confusion, and perhaps what Al-Hout says played a role as well.

    But mainly when I read his words I wanted to shove them in Golda Meir’s face. That woman’s sickening condescension (“We will have peace when the Arabs start loving their children more than they hate us… “”We can forgive them for killing our children, but we cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children…..” blahblah) still makes my blood boil.

    • Clif Brown says:

      I know a Jew who hates the Arabs (though he knows not one) and his philosophy, formed by the holocaust, is to get the other before the other gets you.

      What struck me when I read Pappe’s book on the ethnic cleansing of Palestine was how deliberate and methodical the process was – right down to infiltrating each Palestinian town to do a secret census for the purpose of rooting out the leaders at the desired moment. Pappe even mentions how the hospitality of the Palestinians was exploited.

      Now, who would be able to argue with a Palestinian who believes one should get the other before he gets you? They have been “gotten” so many times, a listing would be very long. Yet the evidence is they don’t generally have this philosophy even so.

      My point – is it possible that the hardened attitude I first described above not only helped to form the state but is also working to end it? To look at the other, in whatever form, as the insidious enemy, is not sustainable. The attitude undermines the one who holds it.

      • andrew r says:

        his philosophy, formed by the holocaust, is to get the other before the other gets you.

        This is a good quote to throw at him: “We have the moral right, we had the duty to our people to do it, to kill[5] this people who would kill[5] us.”

        link to nizkor.org

        Still the same speech: “I ask of you that that which I say to you in this circle be really only heard and not ever discussed. We were faced with the question: what about the women and children? – I decided to find a clear solution to this problem too. I did not consider myself justified to exterminate the men – in other words, to kill them or have them killed and allow the avengers of our sons and grandsons in the form of their children to grow up. ”

        link to en.wikipedia.org

      • kalithea says:

        “My point – is it possible that the hardened attitude I first described above not only helped to form the state but is also working to end it?”

        No doubt, but I believe it comes down to one major flaw that has been the downfall of many in the history of mankind: G.R.E.E.D.

        Zionists wanted it all from the beginning; and with that bad intention underscoring their actions; I hope they end up getting what they deserve. In fact, it looks promising that they will get exactly that.

    • kalithea says:

      Don’t you know they teach hubris in Zionist kindergarten? It’s part of the supremacy complex to dehumanize their subjects. Stripping the occupied of their humanity prepares the way for cleansing.

  5. just says:

    What an eloquent and heartrending article. I think this gentleman is absolutely correct. Painful to witness, but acknowledging reality is best– always. I just viewed the video that Phil put up with the American/Jewish youth by Rimon Club– it’s clear that the indoctrination and sense of superiority and entitlement continues apace.

    The only failure of the Palestinians was that they believed that people are not inherently liars, thieves, or oppressors. They trusted the US and the Israelis to help them eventually. In this, they were very wrong.

    I always cheer hope on, and encourage those that abandon it to regain it. I am constantly astonished at the perseverance and fortitude of the Palestinian people– to me, it does mean that their cause is entirely just.

    I say, “peace talks” be damned. The Palestinians need to go to the UN and let the world speak. They cannot rely on the US or Israel at all.

    • Real Jew says:

      Well said. And I couldn’t agree more. However when u said:

      “The Palestinians need to go to the UN and let the world speak. They cannot rely on the US or Israel at all.”

      They tried that already and the US and israel bullied the Security Council to vote or abstain from declaring an independent Palestinian state. There’s an article on Haaretz.com that states the onky way to create a Palestinian state is to put American soldiers on the ground in israel and push them back to the 67′ borders.

      This may be shocking to some and if it is then ur analysis of the conflict is flawed. I highly recommend reading it.

  6. seafoid says:

    More on the theory that Israel is nuts

    link to haaretz.com

    “They point out that Israel’s moral basis for bombing Iran’s nuclear sites, as the country directly threatened with destruction, is stronger than America’s. ”

    Same theory as for Iraq….

    • Ramzi Jaber says:

      Yes Woody! 1S1P1V.

      • Taxi says:

        The return of the stolen Historic Palestine WHOLE. No zionism in the mideast. No european colonialists, repentant or not. If euros wanna live in Historic Palestine, then get a frigging visa like the rest of the world does.

        The only jews who belong in Palestine are Palestinian jews. Other Arab jews should go back to their real Arab motherlands. African jews back to Africa. Peruvian jews back to Peru.

        This is justice to the letter.

  7. Citizen says:

    The latest edition of DMS–DMS 5 is out. Nothing in there about the hate goy or hate jew syndromes. For some odd reason, the shrink establishment has yet to adopt US VP Beiden’s view (presented at the last AIPAC annual conference, as justification for sending Israel endless streams of $ & diplomatic cover) that all goys, including Americans, have an innate hatred of jews, igniting at any time in the future. Of course, he excludes himself as he thinks he’s a Righteous Gentile. Just happens to know what feathers his own tiny nest, pays for his hair plugs, fake sun tan, chicklet teeth.

    You say, Beiden puts his money where his mouth is because his sons serve in US miitary, unlike most congress folks and WH folks?
    Beiden’s youngest son, Hunter, 42, joined the Navy. The lawyer and former lobbyist applied for a commission into the Navy Reserve as a public affairs officer and was selected. Biden’s oldest son, Beau, was Delaware’s attorney general and an Army National Guard member who served a year long deployment in Iraq–as a member of JAG. Never got his boots dirty, for sure.

  8. mondonut says:

    Not much new here: Give us what we want our Israel will be wiped out in a wave of violence and/or the US will step in and give us what we want.

    Either solution seems to be preferable to a negotiated solution that would require the painful reality of not having Jerusalem or the RoR.

    • Ramzi Jaber says:

      mondonut, you seem to forget that you and the zionist colonial settlers took MY land and MY houses, imprisoned MY people, stole MY freedom, took away MY livelihood, stole MY rights, and humiliate MY family and friends. Do you expect me to love you? Well, I have news for you: I don’t.

      All Palestinians have the right to return to their land, their country, their homes, their families. The entire world and international law recognize this basic human right.

      I was very generous having your zionist state on the 1967 lines. But your zionist regime over-extended its welcome by wanting more than 78% of MY land and thus ended any possible coexistence by its extreme actions and the extreme action of the colonialist zionist settlers. You have to now live with the consequences of your extreme actions: 1S1P1V. This is a just, fair, and equitable solution after all.

  9. Ramzi Jaber says:

    This is a great dialog that Laham started. It reflects reality. The dominos will start to fall very soon. ICC/ICJ next then fall of PA. All lead to 1S1P1V – one state, one person, one vote. The only logical and feasible and just and secure and democratic path forward as the zionist regime has left us all with no other option. 1S1P1V.

    • HarryLaw says:

      Ramzi Jaber @ “The only logical and feasible and just and secure and democratic path forward as the zionist regime has left us all with no other option. 1S1P1V”
      Unfortunately logic does not come into it, if it did the problem would have been solved long ago. One person one vote in a single state is the last thing the Zionists will accept, a huge war with an Israeli defeat would be the only way your one state could come about, until that happens the status quo or Bantustan like prisons [fried chicken] is what the Israelis have in mind. I agree the ICC/ICJ and all legal options plus BDS on a global scale could force the Israelis to a political solution along the lines of the Arab League plan.

      • seafoid says:

        Israel ‘s economy is the achilles heel . Hasbara is DoA . Diplomacy is laughable . If the PA says khalaas then the 2SS is dead and Israel is responsible . None of this is in the script.

      • Hostage says:

        Months before Secretary of State John Kerry arrived at this year’s World Economic Forum in Amman, . . . a key Abbas confidant told me the US-led peace process had no future, and neither did the Palestinian Authority.

        This isn’t news. The Palestinians had obviously written off maintaining the status quo and the PA when they began the UN bid, signed agreements on a unity government and PLO restructuring plan with Hamas, and redesignated it as the government of the State of Palestine.

        “2013 will be the decisions year,” Laham told me. “Enough thinking about what to do

        Abbas gave Kerry 8 weeks to end construction in the settlements and East Jerusalem before the State of Palestine proceeds again with its own unilateral actions.

        ‘I give up… We failed.’

        Look around, failure is no obstacle to statehood. In fact, statehood is the prime example of “too big to fail”. For example, the Restatement (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States § 201 Reporter’s Note 3 says: “The United States will treat States the territory of which is under foreign military occupation as continuing to exist.”

        The US spent 50 years pretending that the Baltic states still existed and hadn’t been annexed by the Soviet Union.

        I agree the ICC/ICJ and all legal options plus BDS on a global scale could force the Israelis to a political solution along the lines of the Arab League plan.

        That’s fine, just so long as you remember that the pretense of a Palestinian victim state is a prerequisite for any direct approach to the ICC/ICJ.

        Non-state actors have to wait in the queue outside the the UN Security Council chambers. Palestine has already been there and done that enough.

      • Ramzi Jaber says:

        HarryLaw, I agree that 1S1P1V is not going to happen because Israel accepts it. It’s going to happen in spite of Israel’s objections and doings against it. It’s going to happen due to the sheer force of momentum against zionist apartheid, supported by non-violent actions within and without Palestine, ICC/ICJ, dissolution of PA, BDS, etc. etc. etc.

    • ritzl says:

      @Ramzi Jaber This is where it gets confusing, to me at least. The ICC path would seem to me to principally be leverage for two-states, if pursued prior to global state/diplomatic recognition that it is no longer an option (i.e. now).

      By pursuing that path aren’t you/the Palestinians mixing the message? On one hand there is the inescapable reality that 1S1P1V is the only path left, but otoh, by advocating for the ICC, etc. route, at this juncture, aren’t you saying the 2SS is still a possible outcome?

      After global recognition (i.e. everyone but Israel) that there will not be two states, this all changes and the ICC path could serve as negotiating leverage for voting rights. But then the Palestinians, opting out of the process as a state, would probably negate their standing in those venues. I guess it becomes a question of deftness, strategically speaking. Do the Palestinians continue to entertain the slimmest of prospects for their own notional state in order to preserve their international leverage for voting rights within the one de facto state? I don’t know if that’s possible. Again, confusing.

      I guess this is why Gaza looms large in the calculus (or again, at least my distanced calculus on this). I’ve said this before, but if Gaza became the Palestinian state it would retain standing, in pursuit of 1S1P1V justice in the WB (i.e. for the majority of Palestinians). This would remove the ambiguity in pursuing the various forms of leverage.

      • Ramzi Jaber says:

        Great argument ritzl. As I see it, it depends on the strategy my leaders take to the ICC. I would advocate all action in ICC/ICJ to be based on equal rights for all citizens based on the foundation that Israeli actions on the ground have already rendered the 2SS unworkable. So the ICC/ICJ path ought to be for 1S1P1V unless Israel agrees immediately to 1967 lines with a strict committed timetable for withdrawal ending in less than 3 months.

      • Hostage says:

        By pursuing that path aren’t you/the Palestinians mixing the message? On one hand there is the inescapable reality that 1S1P1V is the only path left, but otoh, by advocating for the ICC, etc. route, at this juncture, aren’t you saying the 2SS is still a possible outcome?

        No. The ICJ ruled in the US v Nicaragua case that the government of the “victim state” was in the best position to determine if it had been the target of the crime of aggression. That logic would also hold true for a victim of the crime of apartheid too.

        In the days when the Union of South Africa was establishing Bantustans in Namibia and at home, there was no other remedy except for collective non-recognition of the plethora of new mini-states. It would be a strange result if a modern-day victim state could not accept the jurisdiction of the newly established ICC for the crimes of apartheid committed by others on its own territory.

        Israel has exploited Palestinian statelessness for decades to prevent the application of international laws that govern relations between states. Adopting a formal one state solution would be one method of avoiding future penal sanctions now that the UN has recognized the State of Palestine.

  10. ” I challenger them to draw their country on a map……”

    • mondonut says:

      Richard Armbach says: ” I challenger them to draw their country on a map……”
      ====================================================
      I do not recall seeing anything drawn by the Palestinians either, at least not one that actually included Israel.

      • Hostage says:

        I do not recall seeing anything drawn by the Palestinians either, at least not one that actually included Israel.

        The State of Palestine’s application for membership in the UN cites the permanent international armistice lines of demarcation, aka “the Green line” or “the 4 June 1967 borders”. FYI, after the ICJ advisory opinion, the General Assembly credentials committee ruled that the State of Israel’s credentials are not valid and do not apply to the occupied Palestinian territories.

    • Taxi says:

      Thanks Richard – hahahaha tuneful AND truthful song.

    • ritzl says:

      Great song. Love protest music of the folk variety. Bring it back!! Please!

  11. Denis says:

    Sounds like this guy Laham got it. Finally.

    With the ME, the only calculus that counts is the hate calculus. You have Shia (Alawites), Sunnis, and Israeli Jews (iJews) and in every case two will pair off against the third depending on the hate factor.

    Does Abdullah hate the Shia more than the iJews? If so, Jordan will let Israel use Jordanian airspace to attack Syria. If not, then Jordan will supply Syria’s effort against the rebels, which is to say, against Israel.

    Do iJews hate the Shia more than they hate Sunnis? If so, Israel will team up with the Saudis to take on the Iranians and will team up with Turkey to take on Syria.

    The Palestinians get screwed because, first, Hamas hates Fatah, second Fatah hates Hamas, and third, mainstream iJews hate Palestinians of any type more than they hate the violent, right-wing Zionists and settlers.

    Forget about what is right, or what is just, or what is in the best interests of anyone. Until you have mapped the relative hatreds of all the players toward each other, you can’t understand the ME.

    Laham’s point about the Palestinians in 1948 not hating the iJews enough sounds like the Native Americans not hating the whites enough when the white bastards started taking over North America. By the time the Indians figured out that they needed to hate the whites and not help them, it was too late – there were too many and their technology was too powerful. Same situation in Palestine today, IYAM.

    The Palestinians have, essentially, been herded into reservations the same way the Indians were. Any attempt they make to reverse this situation with violence turns the world against them. Any attempt they make to reverse the situation peacefully is ignored. Hard place/rock.

    The only hope for the Palestinians is if world opinion shifts and the world begins to hate the iJews more than it hates the Palestinians. With the iJews controlling the message and the US Congress, don’t wait up.

    @thankgodimatheist:

    “Israel will be evaporated, completely deleted from this country.”
    I wish he had elaborated on this. How does he see that happening?

    Precisely. I get so tired of hearing that sort of laughable crap from Muslims with their backs against a wall. Basically, this bluster is an expression of frustration and fear and the realization they don’t have a hope in hell.

    We heard it from Gaddafi; we heard if from Saddam; we heard in from Mubarak; we hear it constantly from Ahmadinejad. Threats of mothers of all wars, of annihilation, of wiping one country or another off the map. This type of bluster doesn’t do anyone any good. It certainly doesn’t scare anyone with a spy satellite, a cupboard full of nukes, and a stable full of F-16s. The adage about speaking softly and carrying big sticks doesn’t mean that if you don’t have a big stick then you should make a fool of yourself by bluffing at very high decibels. That will only turn the world against you . . . the last thing the Palestinians need right now.

  12. gingershot says:

    Abbas has tried to sell Palestine down the river every way he could imagine and still failed? – and now is discouraged that he wasn’t able to pull it off? GOOD…!

    Time for popular leadership that demands pan-diaspora Palestinian elections INSTEAD OF standing in the way of them

    Time to take Israel to the ICC and begin the long multi-year process of getting ICC judgement after ICC judgement against Israel – while Apartheid Israel tries to spin out her last few years on planet earth

    Abbas said he was giving a 2mo moratorium on taking Israel to the ICC to allow the Kerry charade to run it’s course – that 2 mo period is up NEXT WEEK

    PS – the Polonium poisoning case with Arafat should have CONCLUDED all the testing phases this week (the Swiss labs doing the testing, after several months of delays, said the tests would be complete ‘the end of May’) – then it’s a matter of writing up the reports. I can’t help but think these reports are incoming any day now

  13. gingershot says:

    JPost reporting today that ‘Israel to build over 1000 East Jerusalem homes’.

    Israel issued a tender for 300 housing units beyond the green line in the Ramot neighborhood in east Jerusalem – this as part of Bibi’s punishment of Palestine for upgrading status at the UN last year

    I’m sure Mr Kerry will call Amb Oren up immediately, summon him to the White House, and threaten our aid to Israel.

    Israel is forcing Abbas to go ahead and take them to the ICC.

    • Dutch says:

      If this is really happening (those 1,000 extra homes) there is a lot at stake, as Kerry is openly displayed as a powerless broker. It would mean ‘game over’ for any negotiations, but I also think Israel is kicking the last bit of air out of the special relationship – at least with the White House.

  14. RE: “. . . Abbas has shown no sign that he will heed Laham’s advice [to resign]. Record Israeli settlement building was forcing Palestinians from their property across East Jerusalem and the West Bank, however, Abbas remained stubbornly in his place.” ~ Max Blumenthal

    MY COMMENT: Perhaps we should take a page out of Pat Robertson’s book*. About ten years ago, had his flock praying for the “retirement” (wink, wink) of three liberal Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court.

    FROM ‘SOURCE WATCH’ [Pat Robertson], 7/17/03:

    [EXCERPT] . . . In July 2003, Robertson urged the “700 Club” audience to pray for God to remove three justices from the Supreme Court so they could be replaced by conservatives. “We ask for miracles in regard to the Supreme Court,” Robertson said as he launched a 21-day “prayer offensive” directed at the Supreme Court in the wake of its 6-3 June vote that decriminalized sodomy. Robertson said in a letter on the CBN Web site that the ruling “has opened the door to homosexual marriage, bigamy, legalized prostitution and even incest.” The same letter targeted three justices in particular: “One justice is 83-years-old, another has cancer and another has a heart condition. Would it not be possible for God to put it in the minds of these three judges that the time has come to retire?” . . .

    SOURCE – link to sourcewatch.org

    MEDIA MATTERS, 1/04/05:

    [EXCERPT] . . . On the January 3 edition of Christian Broadcasting Network’s The 700 Club, Reverend Pat Robertson, host and Christian Coalition of America founder, made predictions for the New Year based on what he said God told him during a recent prayer retreat. Robertson said that God told him: “I will remove judges from the Supreme Court quickly, and their successors will refuse to sanction the attacks on religious faith.” Robertson also said that he “heard it from the Lord” that President Bush will have Social Security and tax reform passed and that Muslims will turn to Jesus Christ. . .

    SOURCE – link to mediamatters.org

    * P.S. I WAS JUST KIDDING about taking a page out of Pat Robertson’s book. I don’t believe in “imprecatory prayer”.

  15. And Israel will have to escape from here, by the sky, by the sea, by the camel, and you will see the new Middle East after the Arab Spring.

    What gives me nightmares is that when that happens, most of those zionists will end up here in my backyard. Imagine a doubling down of the zionists’ manipulation of our government as 6 million of them show up here! Beam me up, Scotty!

    • RoHa says:

      Rather your backyard than mine. I certainly don’t want the buggers coming to Australia and deafening us with their whining.

  16. Sycamores says:

    no surprse here Abbas said this ages ago if israel carry on with the illegal settlements.

  17. alexpsu says:

    ” But I’m praying that America will step in, because I know the result if we continue struggling.”

    I would argue this guy is still delusional. Since when has America ever stepped in for the better good?

  18. Any legitimate Palestinian leader who wants to represent, inspire and lead his people would set the following minimum conditions for the resumption of negotiations with Israel.

    1. Israel should immediately lift the 6-year-old siege on the Gaza Strip. The siege is illegal, immoral, and as it represents the collective punishment of 1.6 million people, a crime against humanity.
    2. Israel should immediately freeze all evictions of Palestinians and all demolition of Palestinian homes, property and villages.
    3. Israel should immediately freeze all Jewish settlement activity beyond the 1967 borders.
    4. Israel should immediately stop all offensive military activity beyond the 1967 borders.
    5. Israel should immediately recognise the right of Palestinians to exist in their ancestral homeland.

    Mahmoud Abbas is not a leader.
    Mahmoud Abbas is the Chief Buthelezi of Israeli Apartheid in 17.2% of the West Bank (self-ruled bantustan Area A), which is equivalent to only 3.5% of Palestine.

    • Ramzi Jaber says:

      iResistDe4iAm, you said it much more eloquently than I could have ever done myself. I agree with you totally. But it will never happen. So we are left with only the 1S1P1V option supported by vigorous and aggressive ICC/ICJ/BDS action plus massive daily peaceful demonstrations within and outside Palestine.

  19. Blownaway says:

    @Ramzi-hanging your hat on the ICC with no enforcement powers and with the US willing to ignore anything and everything including their own strategic objectives for the benefit of Israel is a losing game. There have been enough moral victories. What we need is for Abbas to quit and acknowledge the catastrophic loss. This is the greatest fear of the US and Israel. It will be the start on the road to 1s1p1v.

    • Hostage says:

      @Ramzi-hanging your hat on the ICC with no enforcement powers and with the US willing to ignore anything and everything including their own strategic objectives for the benefit of Israel is a losing game.

      The ICC has 121 member states that have plenty of enforcement powers. It only takes one to arrest a suspect and surrender them into the custody of the Court in the Hague. That’s already happened on several occasions.

      Even in the seven contentious cases the Court is handling now, the African Union has been forced into responding by implementing national judicial reforms, the formation of special regional police forces, and extraordinary tribunals. So even the states that are inclined to defy the Court have been reigned-in to some degree by its mere existence.

      Israel is no different. The threat of prosecutions has become part of the national consciousness and every political calculation the government makes concerning its actions in the region. The fact that Israel attacked a vessel flagged by Comoros, an ICC and Arab League member state, has placed the responsible officials at risk of prosecution.

      The devil is always in the details. In the 2004 Wall case the ICJ ruled that the Geneva Conventions apply because of the armed conflict between two state parties, Israel and Jordan. The peace treaty between Israel and Jordan contained a safeguarding clause which stipulated that the agreement did not alter the status of any territory occupied by Israel as a result of the war in 1967.

      The Rome Statute applies to all of the territory that is subject to the jurisdiction of a member state, like Jordan. The recent agreement between the State of Palestine and the Kingdom of Jordan places the holy sites in East Jerusalem under the joint jurisdiction of the parties and applies Jordanian municipal law. So there is a de jure and on-going confederation between two state parties and both of them have accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC.

      Jordan was one of the founding members of the ICC. The first President of the Court’s legislative body, the Assembly of State Parties, was Ambassador Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al Hussein of Jordan.

      Here is the text:
      This agreement has been made by and between:

      His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem,

      And:

      His Excellency President Mahmoud Abbas, in his capacity as President of the State of Palestine, and Head of The Palestine Liberation Organisation, the representative of the Palestinian people, and President of the Palestinian National Authority,

      Preamble

      A. Recalling the indissoluble bond between all members of the Arab and Muslim Umma;

      B. Recalling the special status of Jerusalem as a holy and sacred city in Islam, and recalling present and eternal association of the holy sites with Muslims of all lands and all ages; and bearing in mind the significance of Jerusalem to those of other faiths;

      C. Recalling the unique religious importance, to all Muslims, of Al Masjid Al Aqsa with its 144 dunums, which include the Qibli Mosque of Al Aqsa, the Mosque of the Dome of the Rock and all its mosques, buildings, walls, courtyards, attached areas over and beneath the ground and the Waqf properties tied-up to Al Masjid Al Aqsa, to its environs or to its pilgrims (hereinafter referred to as “Al Haram Al Sharif”);

      D. Recalling the role of King Al Sharif Hussein Bin Ali in protecting, and taking care of the holy sites in Jerusalem and in the restoration of the holy sites since 1924; recalling the uninterrupted continuity of this role by His Majesty King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, who is a descendant of Al Sharif Hussein Bin Ali; recalling that the Bay’ah (oath of allegiance) according to which Al Sharif Hussein Bin Ali held the custodianship of the Jerusalem holy sites, which custodianship was affirmed to Al Sharif Hussein Bin Ali by the people of Jerusalem and Palestine on March 11, 1924; and recalling that the Custodianship of the holy sites of Jerusalem has devolved to His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein; including that which encompasses the “Rum” (Greek) Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem that is governed by the Jordanian Law No. 27 of the year 1958;

      E. The continuity of Hashemite King of Jordan’s custodianship of the holy sites since 1924 makes His Majesty more able to maintain the holy sites and to preserve Al Masjid Al Aqsa (Al Haram Al Sharif);

      F. Recognising that the Palestine Liberation Organisation is the sole legitimate and legal representative of the Palestinian people and;

      G. Recognising that the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people is expressed in realising the State of Palestine whose territory encompasses the land within which Al Masjid Al Aqsa (Al Haram Al Sharif) is situated;

      H. Recalling the terms of the official statement by His Majesty King Hussein Bin Talal, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem, concerning Jordan’s qualified disengagement from the West Bank, made on 31 July, 1988; the statement excluded the Jerusalem holy sites;

      I. Recalling the terms of the official statement by the Jordanian Government on its role in Jerusalem, made on 28 July, 1994, reaffirming Jordan’s invariable position and historic, exclusive role over the holy sites;

      Intending to establish legal obligations and to affirm their recognition of the legal status of the parties set out in this agreement, the parties to this agreement have agreed and declare as follows:

      ARTICLE 1:

      The “Preamble” to this agreement shall be an integral part of this agreement and is to be read and construed with it as a whole.

      ARTICLE 2:

      2.1. His Majesty King Abdullah II, as the custodian of the Jerusalem holy sites, exerts all possible efforts to preserve the Jerusalem holy sites, especially Al Haram Al Sharif, which is defined in item (c) in the Preamble to this agreement, and to represent their interests so as to:

      A. assert the respect for the Jerusalem holy sites;

      B. affirm that all Muslims, now and forever, may travel to and from the Islamic holy sites and worship there, in conformance with freedom of worship;

      C. to administer the Islamic holy sites and to maintain them so as to (i) respect and preserve their religious status and significance; (ii) reaffirm the proper identity and sacred character of the holy sites; and (iii) respect and preserve their historical, cultural and artistic significance and their physical fabric;

      D. to represent the interests of the holy sites in relevant international forums and competent international organisations through feasible legal means;

      E. to oversee and manage the institution of Waqf in Jerusalem and its properties in accordance with the laws of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

      2.2. The King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem, will continue to endeavour to procure that the duties referred to in Article 2.1. here be fulfilled.

      2.3. The Palestine Liberation Organisation and the Palestinian National Authority recognise the role of the King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan set out in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Article 2 and undertake to respect it.

      ARTICLE 3:

      3.1. The Government of the State of Palestine, as the expression of the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people, shall have the right to exercise sovereignty over all parts of its territory, including Jerusalem.

      3.2. The King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Palestinian President will consult and coordinate with each other concerning the holy sites when necessary.

      Done at the Royal Palace in Amman on Sunday, March 31, 2013 on Jumada I 19, 1434 Hijri.

      link to en.lpj.org

  20. kalithea says:

    The PA under Abbas has been the sub-contractor for EXPANDING Zionism. The largest landgrab in Palestinian history happened under Abbas’ watch.

    The PA needs to tell Israel to go to hell; quit already! Dump the Palestinian territories on Netanyahu! The PA is a cover for Israeli A P A R T H E I D. How convenient for Israel!

    QUIT NOW! Israel will beg for the PA to take over the territories. Quit and never give Israel that satisfaction again! The day the PA quits; Palestine will be reborn!

    • Hostage says:

      The PA under Abbas has been the sub-contractor for EXPANDING Zionism. The largest landgrab in Palestinian history happened under Abbas’ watch.

      Correction: You and the UN Security Council, the 10th Emergency Special Session of the UN General Assembly, and the ICC Prosecutor have simply ignored the things Abbas did on his watch to prevent the expansion of Zionism:

      This letter is in follow-up to our previous 450 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 15 January 2013 (A/ES-10/577-S/2012/23), constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000. For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

      I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.
      (Signed) Riyad Mansour
      Ambassador
      Permanent Observer
      of the State of Palestine to the United Nations

      link to un.org

      The government of Israel advised the US that it considered this declaration “an act of war”:

      Declaration recognizing the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court

      In conformity with Article 12, paragraph 3 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Government of Palestine hereby recognizes the jurisdiction of the Court for the purpose of identifying, prosecuting and judging the authors and accomplices of acts committed on the territory of Palestine since 1 July 2002.

      As a consequence, the Government of Palestine will cooperate with the Court without delay or exception, in conformity with Chapter IX of the Statute.

      This declaration, made for an indeterminate duration, will enter into force upon its signature.

      Material supplementary to and supporting this declaration will be provided shortly in a separate communication.
      Signed in The Hague, the Netherlands, 21 January 2009
      For the Government of Palestine
      Minister of Justice Ali Khashan

      link to iccforum.com

      *The cable describing the discussions between the US and Israeli government officials over the PA complaint @ the Hague: link to wikileaks.org

      • HarryLaw says:

        Notice in that wikileaks cable from the comment by Hostage above, how the IDF cut two holes in the Sawafeary chicken farm fence in Gaza to let the chickens out, then they destroyed the farm. How can anyone now say the IDF is not the most moral army in the world, its a pity they did not let any humans out of Gaza before they destroyed it.

        • NickJOCW says:

          It also refers to …the necessity of destroying the site to protect
          themselves from the fighters inside…
          which sounds a bit like a rapist defending himself for strangling his victim ‘because she was attacking him.

    • Hostage says:

      The PA is a cover for Israeli A P A R T H E I D. How convenient for Israel!

      I’ve never read anything about Israeli apartheid that wasn’t included in Chapter 10 of the written statement that the PLO Negotiations Support Unit (headed-up by Abbas) submitted to the International Court of Justice in 2003. Here is an example:

      564. In the previous Chapters, in particular Chapters 4 and 6, it has been described how the construction of the Wall is having several grievous effects:
      - The Wall creates walled enclaves which artificially divide the Palestinian population from their own environment, encircles them with hostile Israeli settlements and prohibited roads reserved for Israeli settlers, and establishes non-contiguous areas similar to the Bantu homelands of the former apartheid regime of South Africa. Although the term Bantustans may appear improper, as one of its features was a fictitious grant of ‘sovereignty’ to each homeland, the rationale is the same. Progressively a process is under way limiting any ‘Palestinian State’ to Palestinian cities and villages comprised of a number of separate enclaves without sovereignty and with no resources for self-sustenance and no possibility of free circulation for the population, and surrounded by Israeli sovereignty in the interstices between the enclaves.

      - it discriminates against the Palestinian population and in the interest of the illegal Israeli settlers, by inter alia:
      - the denial of the right to liberty, infringement of their freedom or dignity;
      - arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment;
      - the imposition of living conditions calculated to cause the displacement of the Palestinian population;
      - the imposition of measures preventing the Palestinian population from participation in the political social, economic and cultural life, impeding their right to work and access to education and health facilities, limiting the right to move freely within or outside their country and their the right to freedom of residence;
      -the expropriation of their land and property, destruction of their houses, orchards, and other property.

      565. Article 1 of the International Convention on the Elimination of Al1 Forms of Racial Discrimination of 7 March 1966, to which Israel is a Party, defines “racial discrimination” as:
      “any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race,
      colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.”

      566. In the case concerning the Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), the Court defined apartheid in the following way:
      “130. The application of this policy [apartheid] has required, as has
      been conceded by South Africa, restrictive measures of control
      officially adopted and enforced in the Territory by the coercive power of the former Mandatory. These measures establish limitations, exclusions or restrictions for the members of the indigenous population groups in respect of their participation in certain type of activities, fields of study or of training, labour, employment and also submit them to restrictions or exclusions of residence and movement in large parts of the Territory.
      131. Under the Charter of United Nations, the former Mandatory had pledged itself to observe and respect, in a territory having an
      international status, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race. To establish instead, and to enforce, distinctions, exclusions, restrictions and limitations exclusively based on grounds of race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin which constitute a denial of fundamental human rights is a flagrant violation of the purposes and principles of the Charter.

      567. The similarity with the situations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is blatant. The Ziegler Report to the UN Commission on Human Rights characterizes Israel’s policy as follows:
      “3. The strategy of “Bantustanization”

      link to icj-cij.org

  21. seafoid says:

    I like the bit where he asks Israeli journalists to draw a map of their country. We discuss the system but he works with it and knows its dysfunction intimately. He is as smart as any of the bots on the other side but is not indoctrinated. He should write a book.