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Abbas’s crime was saying that Zionism is a colonial project

Jonathan Ofir on
Mahmoud Abbas

There was no end to the denunciation by Israelis of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech last Monday: “Laced with vile antisemitic conspiracy theories,” Abbas has “lost his marbles,” “disgraceful lies.” But Abbas’s crime, as Gideon Levy points out, is correctly identifying Zionism as a colonial project. That must not be said, and marks Abbas as an extremist.

Israel has three years to end the occupation — Abbas

Allison Deger on

A leaked transcript of a meeting between Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Mashal includes Abbas’s claim that the U.S. has pressured the Palestinian Authority from joining the international criminal court, Abbas’s threats to hand over West Bank to Israel, and Israeli reports of assassination attempts by Hamas.

Abbas’s speech to UN General Assembly, transcript

Philip Weiss on

This is an official transcript of Mahmoud Abbas’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly today. PDF here. Abbas was introduced as president of the state of Palestine. Mr. President of the General Assembly of the United Nations, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, At the outset, I extend my congratulations to H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremid on […]

Trump intends to move US embassy to Jerusalem, Palestinian president says

Allison Deger on

This morning President Donald Trump called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to notify him he of plans to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to a spokesperson for President Abbas. Abbas responded and “warned of the dangerous repercussions of such step on the [long-stalled] peace process, security and stability in the region and the world,” his spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh told the Palestinian outlet Wafa, adding that Abbas will seek out support from other governments “to prevent this rejected and unacceptable” action.

Israel and the g-word

Jonathan Cook on

Mahmoud Abbas’s use of the word “genocide” for Israel may not have been helpful given popular conceptions of the word but we need a word to describe the incremental destruction of Palestinian communities. The late Baruch Kimmerling invented a word, “politicide”.

PA refuses to accept ‘incomplete’ tax revenues from Israel amid deepening financial crisis

Yumna Patel on

Every month, Israel collects some $190 million in customs duties on goods being imported into the Palestinian territory and transfers it to the PA. But recently it has been withholding $10 million per month, meant to represent the amount paid by the PA to the families of political prisoners and “martyrs” killed by Israel. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is refusing to accept the reduced tax revenues, which has plunged the government into its worst financial crisis in years. This is leading Israel to start discussing a plan of action should the Palestinian Authority collapse completely.

Abbas’ declaration that he was ‘suspending all agreements’ with Israel met with collective eye-roll from Palestinians

Yumna Patel on

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said his government would be “suspending all agreements” made with the Israeli government over Israel’s demolitions in Sur Bahir. But with no explanation as to what he meant, and no concrete plan of action, Abbas is being called out by activists and political analysts for doing nothing more than “playing games.”

Palestinian Authority official arrested after criticizing Abbas decision to attend Peres funeral

Sheren Khalel on

Osama Abu Arab, a well-known official at the Palestinian Authority’s military liaison office, was arrested by PA forces on Saturday after publically criticizing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to attend Shimon Peres’s funeral. Hours after Abu Arab’s arrest, an Abbas administration official said in an Israeli Radio interview that Abbas had “no regrets” in his decision to attend the funeral. In Beit Jibrin refugee camp, one young man, who asked to remain anonymous, told Mondoweiss that Abbas’ attendance at Peres funeral was just another indicator that the Palestinian President was “not on the side of the people.”

Mahmoud Abbas seals his intellectually impoverished legacy

Nadia Naser-Najjab on

Nadia Naser-Najjab writes that Mahmoud Abbas’s widely criticized speech on April 30th, that has since become known as his “anti-Semitic speech,” simply served to underline his own political irrelevance.

The day after Abbas: Will it make a difference?

Nadia Hijab and Alaa Tartir on

The Palestinian National Council is expected to meet this month to accept the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Palestinians at home and in exile don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the unfolding spectacle, which may herald a succession process. The 80-year-old Abbas appears to have hand-picked Saeb Erekat to handle the international community and the intelligence chief Majid Faraj to control internal affairs. Erekat was revealed in the leaked Palestine Papers to have bent over backwards to accommodate Israel, including largely giving up the refugees’ right of return to their homes and land. As for Faraj, he has used an iron fist to stabilize the West Bank and he oversees the hated security collaboration with Israel that keeps Palestinians occupied and subjugated.

Video: Thousands rally in Ramallah for prisoner hunger strike

Mondoweiss Editors on

Thousands of Palestinians gathered in Mandela Square in Ramallah on Wednesday to support the more than 1,000 Palestinian political prisoners who have been on hunger strike for 17 days in Israeli jails. Demonstrators took to the street while Mahmoud Abbas was meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. According to Haaretz, the Trump administration has asked Abbas to end government payments to the families of prisoners in Israeli jails. Palestinians will strongly disapprove if Mahmoud Abbas concedes to Trump’s request. Ahmad Al Akra, a demonstrator in Ramallah, said, “[Abbas] has been compromising more of our freedom and so far nothing has been accomplished. And I think this might be the final straw.”

Kerry and Abbas discuss– Mohammed Assaf

Annie Robbins on

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas discuss Arab Idol June 30, 2013 (photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was shuttling between Israel/Palestine on his fourth diplomacy junket to region to “jump-start negotiations”.  Sunday morning he met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Guess what they discussed? AP: The […]

Abbas fears the prisoners’ hunger strike

Jonathan Cook on
Mahmoud Abbas

The Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is due to meet Donald Trump in the White House on Wednesday. Back home, there is anger in the West Bank on the streets and within the ranks of Abbas’s Fatah movement triggered by the two-week-old hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners. Jonathan Cook writes, “The visit to Washington and the hunger strike have brought into sharp relief the biggest fault line in the Palestinian national movement.”

Abbas: ‘Hamas is a part of the Palestinian people’

Annie Robbins on

Wow, this is best coverage I’ve encountered thus far on Palestinian Unity reportage. Thanks to Noam Sheizaf @ the essential +972. Abbas seems to have strengthened his cojones, perhaps because he realizes he has nothing left to lose. At a meeting of businessmen and veteran security officials including former head of Mossad, Danny Yatom, and […]

Reimagining Abbas’ speech at the UN General Assembly

Rida Abu Rass on

Rida Abu Rass shares the speech she wishes Mahmoud Abbas had given at the UN last week. It includes: “We did our best to accommodate the Israeli need for a state alongside us, but the geopolitical reality that Israel created renders this solution impossible. On behalf of all Palestinians, I declare that our hands are still open to designing a peaceful solution for the region, but this time, as equal partners in our shared homeland.”

Abbas seems to know, one-state solution is coming

Philip Weiss on

Jared Malsin of Palestine Note interviewed Abbas’ spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaina, in Washington yesterday. He asked if Abbas thinks about abandoning negotiations and embracing a new paradigm and this is what he said: “That’s what we are warning the Israelis and the Americans, that there is a golden opportunity right now, that peace can be […]

‘The Israel Project’ cuts Abbas out of the picture

Philip Weiss on

Two nights back I received the following email from The Israel Project (TIP) after a long day of watching the Middle East peace circus that has descended on Washington : Subj: Netanyahu: “We Seek a Peace That Will Last for Generations” · At White House dinner, Netanyahu tells Abbas, “You are my partner in peace” […]

Analyst: Egypt is mending relations with Gaza to hurt Abbas

Isra Saleh El-Namy on

News of a possible rapprochement between Egypt and the Gaza Strip is welcomed by the Palestinian population of the besieged territory. While one motivation for the Egyptian shift may be economic, analysts in Gaza believe that Abdel-Fatah el-Sisi’s government may be seeking to undermine Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas as well.

Abbas confirms Trump tried to sell Abu Dis as Palestinian capital, in ‘Oslo is dead’ speech

Allison Deger on

In a fiery two-hour speech on Sunday where Mahmoud Abbas unloaded on the Trump administration, Israel and Arab partners, the Palestinian president confirmed a report published more than a month ago about back channel peace talks where the U.S. pitched, along with Saudi Arabia, Palestinians should accept the West Bank town of Abu Dis as its future capital. “The deal of the century is the slap of the century,” Abbas said of the Trump administration.

Abbas at the United Nations a game changer? Maybe.

Phyllis Bennis on

There was a potential game changer in Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ speech at the General Assembly – but it wasn’t in the words he said: that this marks the end of the 20-year-long U.S.-backed failed peace process, and the potential beginning of a whole new approach to Palestinian-Israeli diplomacy, one based on international law, human […]