by Stephen Lendman
Democracies let people choose. On January 25, 2006, Palestinians overwhelmingly chose Hamas PLC representatives.
They elected them as their legitimate government. Institutionalized Fatah corruption defeated them. Ismail Haniyah is Palestine's rightful prime minister.
Abbas serves illegitimately as Palestine's president. Israel rigged his 2005 election. He was anointed, not elected. His term expired in January 2009. He refuses to call new elections.
He's a longtime Israeli collaborator. He's well compensated for doing so. He betrays his own people in the process. Why they tolerate him they'll have to explain.
In June 2007, he illegitimately appointed Salam Fayyad prime minister. In May 2009, he reappointed him. In January 2006 elections, his Third Way party got 2.4% of the vote.
Palestinians overwhelmingly rejected him. They did so for good reason. Earlier he did economic research for the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank. He's a former IMF and World Bank official.
Until 2001, he was IMF's man in Palestine. His assignment was exploitation, not public service. He's beholden to monied interests. They own him.
He collaborated at the expense of vital Palestinian needs. He did so throughout his tenure. They consistently go begging. Wealth and power alone matter.
In April 2013, he resigned. He remained as interim prime minister. He did so through June 2. Abbas appointed Rami Hamdullah to replace him. He did so lawlessly. Accepting an illegitimate position shows which side Hamdullah's on.
He'll continue approved US/Israeli Abbas/Fayyad policies. Tel Aviv enforcer services are provided. So is neoliberal exploitation. Palestinian resources are stolen. Israeli and private investor interests alone matter. Occupation harshness assures it.
Palestinians lucky to have jobs get poverty or sub-poverty wages. Inequality is force-fed. It's institutionalized. Palestinian Authority officials are willing co-conspirators.
They collaborate with Washington, Israel, Tony Blair as Quartet Middle East envoy for his own self-interest, and predatory investors. They spurn their own people in the process.
Hamdallah is An-Najah National University president. He's been so since 1998. Earlier he was academic vice president for humanities, faculty of arts dean, English department chairman, and lecturer.
Other positions included Palestinian Constitutional Committee and Union of Islamic Universities Steering Committee memberships.
He was Spain-based Mediterranean Universities Group vice president. He was both member and president of the Palestinian-European-American Universities Program of Academic Cooperation.
He's been a Council of the Palestinian Universities member. He was Council of Arab Universities for Scientific Research Steering Committee member. He was Palestinian Scientific Academy vice president.
He chaired the Palestinian Stock Exchange Board.
He was a Central Commission member for 1996 elections. He was secretary-general for the 2005 Central Elections Committee. He oversaw policy. He collaborated with Israel's electoral rigging.
He's well qualified to serve Israeli and US interests. He's their man in Palestine. Occupied harshness works that way. Puppets take orders from bosses. They salute and obey. They're well compensated for doing so. Imperial priorities work that way.
On June 2, Hamdullah issued a short statement. He thanked Abbas for appointing him. He omitted explaining why he accepted what demands rejection.
He pledged to serve Palestinians responsibly. How can he by serving illegitimately? He'll do what he's told or be replaced. His policies will belie his rhetoric.
He represents wealth and power. He'll do so at the expense of his own people. For 46 years, they've been occupied, persecuted, denied, oppressed and exploited. Hamdallah's appointment assures continuity.
Abbas published his own short statement. He pledged reconciliation with Hamas. He did so before. So-called unity talks failed. Colluding with Washington and Israel assured it.
Nothing changed. Collaboration continues. Doing so subverts legitimate Hamas authority. It prevents unity. Israeli/US interests alone matter. Hamdallah's a willing co-conspirator.
His appointment is called short-term. Allegedly it's to prepare for presidential and legislative elections. In April 2011, mutually agreed on Cairo guidelines stipulated holding them within a year.
Over two years later, status quo remains. Abbas spurned what he pledged. In mid-May, he promised new elections in three months. His word isn't his bond.
He takes orders from Tel Aviv and Washington. He does so for special privileges he derives. Expect no change now from earlier. Elections, if and when held, will be rigged like earlier.
Obama and Netanyahu won't allow legitimate ones. Hamdallah willingly goes along. Haaretz said unnamed Palestinian sources close to Abbas believe no "substantial (governance) changes" lie ahead.
Overall control will remain in Tel Aviv/Washington-approved hands. So will ministries mattering most. Less important ones may be handled otherwise.
Occupation harshness won't change. Palestinians may end up worse off than now. Haaretz's same sources call Hamdallah a safe choice. His academic cover conceals subservience. He obediently accepts what demands rejection.
Haaretz's unnamed Israeli sources consider Hamdallah "pragmatic." In other words, he'll obey Israeli and Washington mandates willingly. He'll do so no matter how much it harms his own people.
According to Haaretz, Israeli sources believe his policies will replicate Fayyad's. He'll get Western support for doing so. Mohammad Mustafa's expected to be appointed his deputy.
He heads the so-called Palestine Investment Fund. Israeli and Western investors derive benefits. Ordinary Palestinians are entirely shut out. Crony capitalism works that way. Exploitation defines it.
Haaretz said Abbas will appoint Ziad Abu Omar as second deputy prime minister. He and Mustafa are senior advisors. A Hamdallah critic told Haaretz:
He lacks charisma. He's "considered an academic who will do whatever Abbas demands of him."
"I'm positive Abbas received a green light from the US, and maybe even from Israel, before appointing Hamdallah."
He wouldn't dare appoint key positions without US and Israeli permission. He never forgets who's boss. Israel anointed him president for remembering.
Occupation harshness continues. Nothing ahead looks positive. Palestinians are on own like always. Change depends on them alone. It won't come any other way.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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