Saturday, December 16, 2006

ABBAS CALLS FOR EARLY ELECTIONS

In a fiery and lengthy speech broadcast nationwide that was at sharp contrast with Haniya's more conciatory talk last night, Mahmud Abbas has called for unspecificed early presidential and parliamentary elections in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.

Abbas spoke for more than 1 1/2 hours, hurling verbal insult after insult at Hamas and at unnamed figures abroad "who dont' dirty their feet on our soil", a jab at Khaled Meshal.

But througout the speech, it was not clear that Abbas would come outright and call for new elections. He merely stated in the beginning that it was his legitimate right to do. The whammy of the an announcement came as the final sentence of his speech, to which those in attendence jumped to their feet amdist thunderous applause. Outisde, Fateh supporters shot gunfire in celebration and honked their horns.

Abbas began by explaining the reasons why he believes a unity government has not been formed and why he said in a press conference with Sec. of State Rice that the road to national dialogue has been closed.

Abbas went on to talk about how the firing of rockets has hindered foreign investments in Gaza, saying "there were high hopes that the land freed of settlements would flourish with investements, but because we insist on firing rockets this has not happened".

"They continue to fire them till this very second, despite first and second and third truces."

The ironic thing is, Abbas's talk was riddled with contradictions. He condemns the actions (firing rockets, attacks against Israel) of the very people he later praises as heros languishing in Israeli jails-Marwan Barghouthi and Ahmed Saadat and their likes. He also made no mention of the fact that the ones who continue to fire rockets are his own al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

Abbas went on to accuse the government of prolonging the siege, and blamed the capture of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit for the death of some 500 Palestinians and injurey of more than 5000 at the hands of the Israeli Army since this summer.

He also categorically denied any "conspiracy" to assasinate Ismail Haniya, saying the very people Hamas accuses of being "conspirtors" are the ones who helped facilitate his his arrival and departure.

Abbas criticized the throngs of Hamas supporters who welcomed Haniya "with machine guns and RPGs, instead of bouquets of roses".

He said the Rafah Crossing was operating smoothly, "and people could get through within minutes" and it was the Hamas supporters who destroyed it two days ago. OK-I don't know what crossing Abbas has been using, but the one I just crossed over DID NOT TAKE a few minutes, and it certaintly was not under Palestinian control, and never has been.

The interesting thing, Abbas focussed his energy on attacking and tearing apart Hamas and its government, blaming them for everything from the state of siege and hunger we are in, to the death of hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli attacks this summer, to the closure of the Rafah Crossing. He ignored completely the fact that Gaza's imprisonment and isolation began LONG before Hamas was elected into power, something verified by the UN's OCHA Itself.

In a verbal jab against Meshal, Abbas said “he who talks about the illegitimacy of the executive power of the PLO is the very one who is protected by it in the outside. He talks from afar, in comfort, without dirtiing his shoes in the soil of our land.”

Many people consider the PLO an aging, defunct body that need to be either dissolved or reformed, including independents like Mustpha Barghouthi. So I don't really see Hamas's objections as entirely outrageous.

Abbas went on to talk about what he called the contradictions in Hamas's positions, and view about him.

"How can we have winter and summer under one sun? I don’t’ understand. Once hour I am a hero, another hour spy? Come on, we all know it takes longer than one hour to become a spy."

“It’s my right to dissolve the government, and I can do it whenever I please. Hamas does no scare us when they say it’s a precursor for a civil war. It’s my constitutional right" Abbas said early on.

The other interesting thing is that it seems Abbas, or Abu Mazen, has assumed the role that he once condemned in Arafat: the entire reason the role of Prime Minister was created in the first place early 2000 (at the prodding of the US) was to serve as a counter-balance to the absolute authority of Arafat. Abu Mazen served as Prime Minister for a while before resigning in protest because he felt he could not properly carry out his job and the President continued to exercise ultimate authority. Interesting how the tide turns...

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

well he has called for early elections to the presidency and parliment

hopefully it will be the end of abu mazen...unless he takes lessons from baby bush and karl rove on how to steal elections...something they didn't do very well last time

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Halfiranian said...

While his call for early elections will be criticised in many places, I find it depressing to think how this will be welcomed in the West.

After suffocating the only democratic government in the Arab world, the West will no doubt support Abbas in calling elections again and again, until they get the result they want.

It's an insult to those of us who do believe in democracy.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Canuckgirl said...

Why is election required? This has already taken place and the result was clear. I have been very impressed with the restraint and dignity of Ismail Haniyeh; not so with Mr. Abbas who appears to be a puppet for Israel & the US (and Britain). And how out of touch must he be by making such remarks about the ease of (and control of) crossing at Rafah??
All this nonsense about Hamas not recognizing Israel is utter rubbish; Arafat 'recognised' Israel years ago, and to what end? Your note re the source of Kassam rockets is pointed - NOT Hamas but Fatah's followers.
Let Hamas govern, release Marwan Barghouti, and dissolve the PLO in its present form.
I have to say that if I, my family, friends, community, had been locked for so many years in the ghastly sociological experiment that is Gaza, and indeed the West Bank, we'd not have had the forbearance and patience of the Palestinian people.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laila, honestly. How would you feel were you told that you have to vote again? That your vote early this year is basically invalid? Because this is the way I see it. It wouldn't surprise me if Hamas won again just because people feel that Fatah wants to "cancel" their choice. Arghhh, I don't know, on the other hand Hamas doesn't enjoy the support from... outside.

Katerina
P.S.: Really glad you made it. It must have felt like hell going through all this, but you're there now. Take care, dear. Hope to see you soon, fi Ghaza Inshallah.

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abu Tozlo is nothing more than a puppet and his little dogs, Erakat and Dahlan will soon be out of jobs again. The only way Fatah will win is by rigging the elections, which they will do with some outside help. Don't be surprised if Abu Tozlo brings in electronic voting machines to make this even easier!

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

US policy in Lebanon and in Palestine: A comparison. The US is opposed to unarmed demonstrations in Lebanon but supports armed demonstrations by Dahlan gangs in Palestine; the US does not deal with the president in Lebanon, and only deals with the president in Palestine; the US says that the Sanyurah government is democratically elected and should be supported, but opposes the democratically elected government in Palestine and calls for its punishment; the US calls for disarming of militias in Lebanon, but arms and finances militias in Palestine; the US is opposed to early elections in Lebanon, but supports early elections in Palestine; the US is opposed to a national unity government in Lebanon and also opposes one in Palestine--the idea of national unity bothers the US it seems; the US calls for Syria to not intervene in Lebanon but wants Syria to intervene in Palestine to support US/Israeli puppets; the US wants to punish assassins in Lebanon, but the US supports Israeli and Dahlan assassinations in Palestine, and the assassins there receive US financial and military support.

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bet crazy george bush the lesser wishes he could fire congress nd call for new elections!!!

until he gets the results which please his hell bent zionazi soul

11:18 PM  
Blogger Martin Cooper said...

Questions for Laila with particular reference to this posting, just so we know where you stand:

1. Apart from whether Abbas has or hasn't the constitutional right to call early elections, would doing so serve the interests of the Palestinian people?

2. Does the Hamas government's refusal to recognize Israel and consider itself bound by previously signed agreements with Israel serve the interests of the Palestinian people?

3. Does the capture and continued holding of Shalit serve the interests of the Palestinian people?

4. Has the firing of rockets into Israel from Gaza since September 2005 served the interests of the Palestinian people?

5. Does Hamas's embrace of Iran as a strategic ally serve the interests of the Palestinian people?

6. Do you believe a two-state solution--recognizing Israel's right to exist as a sovereign Jewish and democratic state alongside a sovereign Palestinian state--serves the interests of the Palestinian people, or do you believe it preferable to struggle for a Palestinian state in all the territory between the Jordan and the Mediterranean?

7. Which is most likely to provide good governance in the best interests of the Palestinian people--a continuing Hamas government, a Fatah government, a unity government, a government of technocrats, or some other solution?

8.Which living Palestinian leaders do you most admire?

Just so we, your readers, have an idea where you stand...

12:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hamas rejects new elections

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/C1FFB25B-0B45-4A94-A5B8-ADFF38B62CF0.htm

7:20 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

test

11:56 AM  
Blogger سامية said...

I couldn't watch him talk for over ten minutes. My blood pressure started rising! So thanks for the insight, Laila... reading it still is easier than hearing it with your own ears.

Sometimes I wonder if Abu Mazen is Palestinian at all! Word has spread in Egypt that he was one of the people who facilitated the import of material to build the apartheid wall from Egypt(I'm ashamed to be Egyptian!)

11:15 AM  

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