At least since the Oslo Accords, Fatah has served Israel more than its own people. On August 25, Haaretz highlighted the latest example, headling "PA arrests dozens of Hamas, Islamic Jihad militants in West Bank," saying, a PA source confirmed dozens made, including "high ranking officials in (both) organizations."
On September 6, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said hundreds were made in response to the killings of four West Bank settlers, adding, "The decision to carry out the attack was politically motivated and intended to embarrass the Palestinian Authority."
True or not, those affected included teachers, traders, workers, students, professionals, and imams, unrelated to the incident, Fatah's Preventive Security Services and General Intelligence Services doing Israel's dirty work, while President Mahmoud Abbas collaborates during the latest sham peace talks.
Hamas responded harshly, urging supporters resist arrest by confronting PA police with force, accusing President Mahmoud Abbas of betraying his own people by "collaborating with the Occupation." Its sources also said 750 West Bank Hamas members and leaders were arrested, many tortured, and prevented from seeing their families.
On September 9, detainee relatives issued a joint statement saying Israeli intelligence officers are participating in interrogations - senior officers from Maskobeh, Askalan, Petah Tikwa, and Jalama detention centers, supervising investigations at Al-Khalil, Nablus and Ramallah jails.
The statement also cited torture, saying 32 detainees were hospitalized since Ramadan began because of mistreatment. Further, it said Fatah arrested 920 Palestinians since August 11, most of them since the four killings, Hamas' al-Qassam Brigades claiming full responsibility, calling them:
"normal and legal response(s) to Zionist aggressions on the Palestinian civilians (and) part of the repelling operations against the occupation assaults on the Gaza Strip and West Bank."
On September 9, YNetnews.com headlined, "Hamas: Fatah protecting enemy," saying:
"Hamas threatened the Palestinian Authority after members of the organization were arrested in relation to terror attacks that killed four and injured two in the West Bank."
Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, accused Fatah of "treason," saying:
"This criminal campaign has crossed all red lines and constitutes direct cooperation with the enemy, in the clear light of day." The arrests "prove once again the dangerous position of the 'Fatah authority' as a security agent protecting the enemy, exterminating the resistance, and destroying the Palestinian aim."
The Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq called Fatah's crackdown "sweeping and arbitrary," saying "arrests of political opponents demonstrate that these measures are fueled by political expediency as opposed to genuine security concerns. In fact, this campaign is part of a pattern of oppressive policies adopted by the Palestinian Authority to stifle political dissent and to generate a sense of intimidation within Palestinian society."
On August 25, PA General Intelligence forces suppressed a Ramallah protest against upcoming US-brokered peace talks. According to Khaleda Jarrar, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Ramallah mayoral candidate, PA operatives in civilian dress "attempted to thwart the event from the start, chanting slogans and leading event participants towards the center" of the city. "We aimed to voice our dissent, and the PA decided to enter the conference hall and drag participants out to an unplanned rally."
Serving Israel, not Palestinians, Fatah suppresses dissent, violently or by edict. Al-Haq called the August 25 incident "a further example of the increasing climate of violence and intimidation that is effectively transforming Palestinian society into a police state."
Affiliated with AIPAC, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) is an extremist pro-Israeli front group, co-founded by Dennis Ross, now "Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for the Gulf and Southwest Asia." WINEP's Board of Advisors includes Henry Kissinger, Richard Perle, James Woolsey, George Shultz, and other notorious Israel-firsters like Ross.
On August 25, its distinguished fellow David Makovsky noted "a surge in cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority ever since Hamas ousted security officials and the mainstream Fatah Party from Gaza more than three years ago."
Never mind Hamas' democratic election as Palestine's legitimate government. In June 2007, however, working cooperatively with Israel and Washington, Abbas dissolved the unity government, instigated full blown confrontations when Israel imposed its siege, seizing West Bank coup d'etat authority as enforcer, disdaining his own people, his official role.
After spending five weeks in the region meeting with dozens of Israeli and PA officials, including Abbas, Makovsky noted that joint cooperation "substantially improved," saying "the PA no longer attempts to hide its daily security cooperation with Israel," including "weed(ing) out schoolteachers (and others) who support Hamas radicalism." In other words, anyone voicing dissent.
Mahmoud Abbas - A Treacherous Illegitimate Leader
In an August 31 article, Jeffrey Blankfort called Abbas a "double agent," saying he serves "his Israeli and US masters in plain sight," at least since Oslo when as chief Palestinian negotiator, he "played Neville Chamberlain for Tel Aviv, agreeing to surrender occupied Palestinian land" and end legitimate resistance. As "emergency" PA leader (20 months after his term expired), he's now "Israel's sheriff," suppressing peaceful demonstrations, arresting Hamas members and supporters, serving Israel, not his own people, an illegitimate Quisling head of state.
On June 19, 2003, in the London Review of Books, Edward Said discussed him in an article titled "A Road Map to Where,?" saying:
He first met him in March 1977 at a Cairo National Council meeting where he gave "by far the longest speech." In retrospect, it launched secret PLO-Israeli meetings "that made Oslo possible."
During the PLO's 1971 - 1982 Beirut years, Abbas was in Damascus, later joining Arafat in Tunis, exiled for the next decade. After the 1991 Madrid conference, he, PLO officials, and independent European intellectuals formed teams "to prepare negotiating files on subjects such as water, refugees, demography and boundaries" ahead of secret Oslo meetings, "although to the best of my knowledge, none" of it was used. Other Palestinians were excluded from talks. In the end, no tangible results "influenced the final documents that emerged."
"In Oslo, the Israelis fielded an array of experts supported by maps, documents, statistics, and at least 17 prior drafts of what Palestinians" finally signed. They, however, were allowed only "three PLO men, not one of whom knew English or had a background in international (or any other kind of) law." The outcome was predictable, a one-sided agreement for Israel, Palestinians getting nothing besides annointment as "Israel's sheriff."
In his 1995 memoir, "Through Secret Channels: The Road to Oslo," Abbas took credit as its "architect," though he never left Tunis. In fact, "Arafat was pulling all the strings," arranging his own capitulation. "No wonder then that the Oslo negotiations made the overall situation of the Palestinians a good deal worse."
Thereafter, Abbas became known for his "flexibility" toward Israel, "his subservience to Arafat, and his lack of an organized political base (until made prime minister in 2003, then president in 2005), although he is one of Fatah's founders and a longstanding member and secretary general of its Central Committee."
America and Israel were delighted with his elevation, a man seen as "colorless, moderately corrupt, and without any clear ideas of his own, except that he wants to please the white man," his masters in Washington and Tel Aviv. As a result, his "authenticity is what seems so lacking in the path cut out for" him, a stooge made president in a managed 2005 election.
Israel controlled the process, elevating him by imprisoning leading opposition candidate Marwan Barghouti on bogus murder charges, and obstructing Mustafa Barghouti for "demand(ing) total and complete reform, (ending all) form(s) of corruption, (and) mismanagement, and (working to) consolidate the rule of law."
As a result, Israeli forces arrested him during the campaign, then expelled him from East Jerusalem to prevent his planned campaign speech. He was also excluded from Nablus and Gaza, harassed and intimidated in a process rigged for Abbas, boycotted by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. In a field of seven candidates, Barghouti finished second, far behind his majority. He hasn't disappointed, gets White House photo-op rewards, and his son, a millionaire businessman, admits to "collaborat(ing) with Israel." His father does it tacitly against his own people.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.