Beyond the Cusp

April 10, 2012

Abbas and PLO Facing Difficulties on Three Fronts

Much is made in the news about the constant maneuvering between Mahmoud Abbas representing the Palestinian Authority with Hamas in their political and Gaza leaderships attempting to find sufficient common ground for agreement. The problem is each side insists that they retain authority over their respective areas of influence while attempting to gain inroads on the other side’s areas of control. At stake is who gains controlling leadership not only of the Palestinian Authority but also of the PLO. The latest round of dances had agreements reached between Abbas and the political leadership in Qatar before everything fell apart when the Gaza leadership of Hamas made additional demands when meeting for final signing of the agreements with Mahmoud Abbas and the other leadership from the PLO. The signing fell shattered as the two sides could not harmonize away their differences.

On the other well recognized front there is the moribund Palestinian-Israeli peace process. Mahmoud Abbas keeps setting an ever more impossible series of precondition for Israel to agree on before he will join negotiations that he claims really are being arranged with no preconditions. By this standard Mahmoud Abbas refuses to recognize the Israeli right to exist as a Jewish democratic country or any other items as the negotiations have been set by the Quartet to be free of preconditions. When challenged on how he can claim to not accept any Israeli requests while demanding Israel accept the 1967 borders, suspend all building in the disputed areas, the release of all Palestinian Arab terror and political prisoners from Israeli detention, and other demands that seem to change with the seasons, Abbas simply states that these are not preconditions, they are merely benchmarks which Israel is required to meet before he will agree to hold negotiations on even more demands.

But it may not be either of these challenges that will bring to an end the entire house of cards that is Mahmoud Abass’s little fiefdom. Just west of the Jordan River a storm is brewing just under the radar of the news cycles. With the loud clashes which continue next door in Syria gaining all the headlines and attention, the slowly building troubles for the continued rule of King Hussein in Jordan are hardly noticed. The rough relations between the Hashemite ruler and his mainly Palestinian Arab population has been simmering ever since their uprising led by Yasser Arafat in September 1970, called Black September, after which Yasser Arafat continued on to completely disrupt Lebanon before being exiled to Tunisia. Where the Palestinian Arab discontent being an accepted norm, one might wonder what has changed that makes the current unrest so ominous. The once loyal Bedouin Tribes are also joining in the demonstrations against King Hussein and the slow to nonexistent reforms in governance which have been promised since before the beginning of the Arab Spring of last year and have slowly been escalating since the changes started to sweep the Arab world. Since King Hussein has depended upon his Bedouin manned Army to enforce order and continue his rule, the fact that this arrangement may be coming upon rough times poses a serious challenge to his continued rule. The one comfort the world can take from this particular roiling pot of troubles is that King Hussein is far more likely to abdicate and take up residence in England or some other location in the West rather than take the route of open confrontation and releasing the Jordanian Army upon his subjects. King Hussein actually cares about his people despite his reluctance and seeming inability to give up any of his power over all parts of the country’s governance.

Should Jordan throw off the reign of King Hussein, it would quickly take on the persona which was the original intended reason for the founding of Transjordan, the predecessor to modern day Jordan, of being the Palestinian Arab State. This was the precondition for the founding of Transjordan which was sold to the League of Nations when it was carved out of the British Mandate Lands which had originally been set aside to serve as a homeland for Jews. The British caved to Arab insistence and rejection of such a sizable, actually any, amount of land being given to non-Arabs, and especially to the Jews. It was decided to take the 78% of the British Mandate east of the Jordan River for the Palestinian Arab country leaving the remainder west of the Jordan River for the Jewish state. Should Jordan be released from Hashemite rule and King Hussein and his Queen abdicate their throne, Jordan will once again be a Palestinian Arab land as over three quarters of the population consists of Palestinian Arabs who had migrated to the area from Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and other Arab countries beginning in the middle and late nineteenth century and continuing through the first half of the twentieth century. With Jordan returning to its Palestinian Arab roots it will also become the obvious solution to the Palestinian-Israeli problems. Even should some parts of Judea and Samaria be surrendered from Israeli control, they could be released conditionally on they be ruled by Jordan and the entire Palestinian Authority and the PLO be incorporated into Jordan thus joining the two Palestinian areas into one country rather than having two countries for the same basic population which have identical origins.

The fact that Mahmoud Abbas can look in any direction and see threats to his hold on power and importance, it is no wonder he appears to be thrashing and desperate to force issues to a head before any of those external threats finish closing in and replacing him. Imminent obsolescence often brings out the worst in people and Mahmoud Abbas has had an ever diminishing appearance of acceptable traits to begin with. Life will likely be a healthier and more pleasant once we no longer are berated with Mahmoud Abbas and his ranting and whining about how the world has dealt he and his people a raw deal. Though claiming to be of all Palestinian Arab upbringing, his history is quite interesting and reveals that though Mahmoud Abbas was born in Safed in the Galilee, he and his family fled to Syria during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War where he lived and subsequently graduated from the University of Damascus before going to Egypt where he studied law then later entered graduate studies at the Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow. He is barely more of a true Palestinian Arab than the Egyptian Yasser Arafat. How nice it will be to finally force Abbas to face the election he has gone to great lengths to avoid through innumerable election postponements and have him sent back to obscurity when his leadership is rightfully rejected by the entirety of the Palestinian Arab peoples.

Beyond the Cusp

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