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Latest Target For Palestinians' Protest? Their Leader

World  (tags: world, politics, middle-east, news, palestine, government, humanrights, freedoms, 'HUMANRIGHTS!', 'CIVILLIBERTIES!', society )

- 2155 days ago -
Protesters gathered at Kalandia again last week, but their focus wasn't Israeli soldiers: It was Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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Jason S (50)
Thursday July 26, 2012, 6:37 pm

Alexander Werner (53)
Thursday July 26, 2012, 6:45 pm
Finally, Palestinian Arabs are fed up with the crooks that hijacked their desire to leave normal lives!

Hopefully, these are not undercover Islamists, trying to repeat Islamist takeover of Gaza in the West Bank.

Past Member (0)
Friday July 27, 2012, 4:21 am

Stephen Brian (23)
Friday July 27, 2012, 2:46 pm
The Palestinian leadership is horribly flawed and has a lot to answer for, but I don't know if Abbas himself is the problem. I doubt that he is really what Palestinians need, but he does look like a step in the right direction to me. I really, really don't trust these protests:

Apparently, Abbas' government has been doing a very good job on the economy. Between the beginning of his rule and 2008, West Bank GDP per capita more than quintupled. Regarding growth since then the IMF predicts that by 2015, the West Bank's GDP will be 50% higher than it was in 2009. The protesters' narrative says "they have not been able to help the economy".

On top of that, Abbas, I believe, has done at least as much as Arafat did in all of his time, and likely far more, for the development of a Palestinians state. When was the last round of severe violence between Israel and the West Bank? Jordan and the U.S. have helped to train a Palestinian security-force which, if it can be brought anywhere close to Western levels of loyalty to the Palestinian democratic system (as opposed to the ruling party), could potentially prevent warmongers from spoiling peace- and sovereignty-negotiations.

I think we are looking at one of two things, both bad. Either the narrative is dishonest, having been fed to the protesters by one of Abbas' rivals or by "help the economy", the protesters mean "secure more aid" and by "secure a Palestinian state", they mean "engage in terrorism". The trouble with the second case is obvious. The first case comes to the same trouble because the safest position politically among Palestinians is attacking Israel and any new leader would have to secure his power by taking such "safe" positions, setting back progress which has been made. (This is the same dynamic which, I believe, shut down the Israel/Syria peace-negotiations when Syria's current leader took power.)

The instability at the top of Palestinian politics which arises from Palestinians' higher loyalty to political positions than to their democratic system is the problem. It prevents elected leaders from leading rather than following the whims of the political faction most capable of enforcing its will. I hope I'm wrong here, but I worry that this protest may just be a manifestation of the problem, and that Abbas will be overthrown for being too peaceful.

Alexander Werner (53)
Friday July 27, 2012, 3:57 pm
"Abbas will be overthrown for being too peaceful." or he may be overthrown for being insufficiently radical, which is the same thing at the end.

I don't trust those protests either - they resemble the ones played to oust Mubarak, with Internet kids paving the road for Islamists.

. (0)
Saturday July 28, 2012, 9:33 am
The Palestinians want peace, want action, want a stable economy, they want and want. They protest for all of these things at the same time, becoming a collective mob, that the police have to disband which makes then angrier - Egypt all over again.
Abbas is not a bad mad, he is a man of peace, who has brought economic changes.Sadly, the last president to bring peace and growth to his country was Sadat.

Terry V (30)
Saturday July 28, 2012, 11:06 am
noted, thank you
FYI Sorry friends,my profile is down until I get help from care2 support

Stan B (123)
Sunday July 29, 2012, 1:17 am
The Palestinian people don't have much of a choice. Either the Hamas terrorist thugs or the totally corrupt PA.
No wonder they are a prepared to blow themselves up.

Lynn Squance (235)
Tuesday July 31, 2012, 6:14 pm
"People do not have hope anymore," he says. "There is nothing to look forward to. And this is devastating. This is very serious [in] the long run."
A people without hope will turn to violence because seemingly there is nothing else. This is unfortunate because the last thing the Palestinians need is violence, destruction and death.

What will it take to get everybody , Palestinians and Israelis, on the same page? And what will it take to keep other foreign nationals out of the frey?

If Palestine had a visionary and ethical leadership without imbedded corruption, could they negotiate with the Israelis to lift the blockade and embargoes?

Stephen Brian (23)
Thursday August 2, 2012, 12:52 am
Hi Lynn :)

I think it would take a fundamental cultural change on one side or the other to put everyone on the same page. If the change happens on the Israeli side, then it would actually take up the horrible attitude that Palestinians accuse it of holding towards them and act accordingly. Let's hope it happens on the Palestinians side first. As for keeping foreign nationals out of the fray, I don't know if the local powers can really do that effectively: The foreign powers are just too big. The opposition to the presence of transnational and "humanitarian" groups that do so much damage would have to come from the sources of those groups.

Even if the formal leadership of the Palestinians were ethical and not corrupt, I still don't think it would work. The problem is that the underlying political culture is as conducive to "spoiling" and "outbidding" as possible.
They need a fundamental change in how they do politics. Those problems are well-described here:

Honestly, what I think they need is a tiny injection of fascism. It's ugly, but every functional democracy depends upon a fascist foundation not in terms of policy, but in terms of loyalty to the democratic system, the edicts and policies of the government, and any constitution, placing loyalty to them above one's own political positions.
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