25 thoughts on “Abbas Going for Gold – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Can’t help being really frightened for Abu Rachme who has long been a target of IDF brutality. Beaten, arrested, imprisoned himself, he has lost close family members who have been killed by Israeli soldiers. Whenever I have been in Bil’in and other West Bank villages, I have stood in wonderment at the courage of men like Abu Rachme and Mohammed Al-Khatib who come back after every act of violence committed against them to continue their path of non-violence against the occupation and the apartheid wall. I will be praying for all these brave souls who risk their lives every day just because they are Palestinians who stand up non violently against oppression. With IDF, border police and now already armed settlers running around with tear gas and given the green light to attack Palestinians, it seems inevitable there will be violence committed against these men, and most likely more tragic deaths.

  2. “Abbas’ move for full membership indicates his judgment that Obama’s (and by extension, Israel’s) position is becoming increasing untenable”

    Abbas’s move for full membership indicates that he understands that in the present climate of perestroika in the M.E. he had better reinvent himself before he is moved to the museum.

    And what a rabbit he will pull out of his hat …..application for full membership of the U.N.

    Abbas is afraid that any civil unrest in the West Bank, even if it is initially directed against Israel will ultimately endanger him and the P.A. , so if Palestine if admitted to the U.N. it could then, as a member state with a new toolbox of legal options at it’s disposal, challenge Israel and conduct a campaign of lawfare which would be much safer for the P.A. that another intifada. He would thus retain his legitimacy in the eyes of Palestinians without endangering himself.

    Unfortunately both Abbas and Bibi do not have their respective nations best interest at heart.
    Abbas is primarily interested in his own survival and in the continued influx of contributions
    and Bibi is frozen in a time warp from somewhere in his childhood where fulfilling his fathers
    vision of a greater Israel (ארץ ישראל השלמה) was of paramount importance.

    Oh Bibi,what do you want to be when you grow up?

  3. You asked: “Who is ‘some?’” with respect to the NY Times article statement that “Some fear that Mr. Abbas’s move will raise expectations among his people…”

    Among the “some” would be Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. Here he is cited in an earlier AP article on the subject:

    “Fayyad, a political independent who has focused on trying to build a state from the ground up, expressed doubts about the U.N. campaign and warned against raising the expectations of ordinary Palestinians.

    “It is not going to be a dramatic result,” said Fayyad, who is not involved in decision-making on foreign policy, but enjoys broad support in the international community. He said he wanted to downplay expectations for something dramatic to change if it does happen.”

    1. Note the words “enjoys broad support in the international community,” and the corrolary “enjoys no support in the Palestinian community.” So Ethan Bronner, Barack Obama, Bibi Netanyahu, Hillary Clinton & Salam Fayyad think Palestinians will riot. Again, can you show me a single bit of evidence that any of them know anything about how the Palestinian street will react to this? Even Fayyad doesn’t know well or have a political following among Palestinians.

      1. I would like to respectfully dispute your assessment that Fayyad “enjoys no support in the Palestinian community.”

        Fayyad is the most popular choice for Palestinian Prime Minister in all recent surveys and his job performance is evaluated as “good” or “very good” by close to half of those polled in both Gaza and The West Bank.

        1. Fayyad is the most popular choice for Palestinian Prime Minister in all recent surveys

          False. Someone else here made precisely the same false claim several months ago & we had it out then. The choices against whom he competed in this “poll” were equal nonentities. Fayyad is not political, has no political following, & serves at the pleasure of Abbas & Fatah, which in itself has a questionable claim to popular mandate. He’s a rump leader serving a rump, non-elected “government” installed through a failed Fatah coup d’etat.

          Does anyone but you & Bibi Netanyahu & Hillary Clinton care what Fayyad says about the statehood bid? No.

          1. I believe that I was the person who made that claim previously, and it is definitely not a false claim.

            There are three distinct surveys that I provided as evidence – each one of them showed Fayyad as the most popular choice for Prime Minister.

            The fact that you yourself do not accept the validity of the polls for whatever reason is your prerogative. But the statement “Fayyad is the most popular choice for Palestinian Prime Minister in all recent surveys” is demonstrably true.

            Now, as in then, you dismiss the choices in the poll as “nonentities” even going so far as to write “Jamal Who?” with respect to Jamal al-Khudari even though he is the Hamas-backed candidate for PM in a future unity government (and is the chairman of the Popular Committee Against the Siege in Gaza).

            In any event, the last poll that I presented during that discussion (which you said you would take a look at but didn’t return to the discussion with any comment) listed no options whatsoever.

            The poll simply posed the question:

            “Who do you think is the most appropriate Palestinian independent figure to assume the post of PM in the coming national reconciliation government as stipulated in the reconciliation agreement?”

            With no options given, the most popular response to that question was Salam Fayyad.

            The details of that survey can be found at the links provided in our earlier discussion of the subject here on your site in June.

          2. There are three distinct surveys that I provided as evidence

            And once again, the surveys gauged various candidates to which his popularity was compared & his competitors were non-entities. In addition the polls were done by pro-Fatah entities. If you added Marwan Barghouti as a choice he’d get 1% in such a poll. Not to mention that Fayyad has never run in a democratic election. Yr polls did not include any real competition & hence were setups. I really do not like discussing a subject & then having the very same claim brought up again, when it was previously disproven. Fayyad has no support in Gaza and whatever support he has in the W. Bank derives solely fr the fact that he is a hired gun for Fatah. If Abbas dumped him he’d be back to being a nobody. So this subject is done. Don’t bring it up again. Claiming that Fayyad is popular or represents any real political movement or following among Palestinians is a loser.

          3. Certainly Bob Mann argues reasonably in discussing Salam Fayyad, but, intellectually foolish as it may sound, I grew especially suspicious of him when I read that Tom Friedman has written approvingling of him. I suppose that old Euclidean mantra has prevailed: ” Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other.”

          4. “but, intellectually foolish as it may sound, I grew especially suspicious of him when I read that Tom Friedman has written approvingling of him.”

            It’s not unreasonable to be suspicious of someone Friedman likes, but keep in mind that Friedman might be misrepresenting Fayyad. Until recently all I’d ever heard of Fayyad was that people like Friedman (which includes most US politicians and pundits) approve of Fayyad because he’s a lapdog to Israel and the US (not that they put it that way) while Palestinians despise him for the same reason. Lately I’ve heard some people (including an extremely knowledgeable commenter at Mondoweiss) claim that everyone on both sides has Fayyad wrong–that he isn’t the lapdog that Friedman likes and Palestinians hate. But I’m in no position to judge who the real Fayyad is.

          5. Fayyad may be a perfectly competent administrator, and honest as well. There’s no quarrel about that. But the fact is that he serves Fatah’s interests & has no independent base of support. And anyone who is to be a real leader on either side has to be democratically elected, & Fayyad hasn’t been.

            Fayyad opposes the statehood bid at the UN. Another reason for many Palestinians to suspect whose interests he serves. Though Hamas opposes the bid as well presumably for diff. reasons.

          6. Come to think of it, it is only that knowledgeable commenter at Mondoweiss who offers up a different version of Fayyad. But to the extent Fayyad supports the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN, he might not be the lapdog many took him for.

          7. With all due respect, the information you are presenting is simply not accurate.

            You are claiming that: “the surveys gauged various candidates to which his popularity was compared & his competitors were non-entities”

            This is not true. The JMCC survey included a completely open-ended question with no choices provided.

            This was the question:

            “Who do you think is the most appropriate Palestinian independent figure to assume the post of PM in the coming national reconciliation government as stipulated in the reconciliation agreement?”

            No options were given – respondents could name anyone they wanted.

            On this question, Fayyad was the candidate who received the highest percentage of votes – more than 5 times higher than the second place candidate.

            He also received a slightly higher percentage in Gaza than in the West Bank.

            Marwan Barghouthi, whom you mentioned, was chosen by less than 2 percent of those surveyed.

            If you don’t like the JMCC poll, there is another one from the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research with similar findings. I cannot imagine that you think both of these outlets are not trustworthy.

            I really wish I could sit down with you and go over these numbers and these polls. I really do believe there is a chance that you could change your mind on this.

            In any case, this is your blog and you are of course free to close whatever subject you wish, but, please, I implore you to at least look at the JMCC poll or one of the others and give some consideration to these findings.

          8. As always, the questions posed in polls dictate the results. In this question the key phrase is “independent figure.” Marwan Barghouti, hands down the most popular Palestinian political leader, is not an independent figure as he’s associated with Fatah. Which is why only 2% named him. The idea that only 2% of Palestinians would in actuality support him as PM is ludicrous & illustrates the slant of the poll. So yr poll and yr question are, just as I said, a setup. The result is determined by the question. There is no reason there must be an “independent figure” who becomes PM. In fact, it would be far more healthy overall for Palestine for an affilated figure to become PM.

            I don’t wish to go over the poll or its results. In fact, I want this to be the end of this particular discussion.

  4. RE: “So thanks Republicans for doing what you think is a favor for Israel, but which only harms it in the long run.” ~ R.S.

    MY COMMENT: Trust me, Republicans only do favors for themselves. If doing favors for themselves harms Israel in the long run, that’s just collateral damage and of no concern to them.
    A ‘wedge issue’, is a ‘wedge issue’, is a ‘wedge issue’!

  5. Great summary. Thank you.
    What amazes me is that Jews in America trust AIPAC to be able to control the likes of Perry in the long run. I understand they were successful doing that with Bush and maybe even with Perry, if he gets elected. But how much longer can you control the Christian fanatics? Don’t you know that most of these people are the most anti-semitic people in the world? Have they forgotten 2000 years of history? When faced with world isolation while the economy is in a depression, who do you think they are going to blame?

  6. You are off the charts, the US will not VETO the decision, it will simply use its influence on other members of the security council and the Palestinian request will be put on hold, forcing limited negotiation time on both parties.

    The disappointment in the PA street will lead to violence. if you can’t see that you are simply blind.

      1. I think the aptly named Shmegegi (roughly translated an “unforturnate nobody” UPDATE: According to Leo Rosten’s, The Joys of Yiddish, a shmegegge is 1. An unadmirable, petty person, 2. A maladroit, untalented type, 3. A sycophant, a shlepper, a whiner, a drip, or 4. A lot of “hot air”, baloney”, a cockamamy story (Rosten, Leo, Joys of Yiddish, Pocket Books/Washington Square Press, 1968, p. 358) might actually be yr seeing-eye hound. Except I think he lost his eyesight somewhere along the way.

  7. Abbas IS going for the gold which is somewhat better than his original plan of going first for the silver — the General Assembly. US media will treat the assembly as the mob, but because the SC is this small group, in a circle, with the US dominant, a mystique surrounds it. The veto will look all the worse because most of the others will vote and speak the other way.

    Abbas is trying to pull his reputation out of the gutter, after leaked reports of two years ago had him negotiating a bad deal with the Israelis — which thankfully the Israelis were too stupid to take.

    By doing this Abbas deserves to be remembered in a better light than before. When it comes to the Palestinian cause, we can’t ask for perfection. The former PLO has been a disappointment for years. But whatever, it is 2011, and it is the UN.

    Those who insist they know what will happen next are dreaming. It is impossible to predict. Anymore than one could predict that the first intifada would start because a truck ran over some men in the street.

    But I would rather have the vote and have that chance than to just keep doing nothing.

    The loser in all this might be Hamas, who are clinging to another strand. Fatah have not proved to be heroic over the past 15 years, so it is not that I am a Fatah guy. But figuratively speaking, if the Jews in 1947 had thought like Hamas is thinking right now, they would be the ones still living in small camps. In other words, it is time for Palestine to put up a flag on a piece of its land, and work from there, with the full recognition of the rest of the world.

  8. Palestine 194 will be for the Palestinians what the 1917 Balfour Declaration was for Zionist Jews. It takes a while to get a state but strategic thinking mandates you start the wheels rolling sometime. For Israel it was 1917. For Palestine it is today. That’s why Israel is frantic today. It knows what Palestine 194 will lead to. America on the other hand has done well to have managed to put all of this circus successfully into motion for in the long run the Palestinians will be better off than continue to live in this their Israeli-imposed self-serving and never-ending status quo.

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