Once again I find myself writing in response to Alan Elsner’s March 13 column in the Chronicle , “For Netanyahu, the time for talk is past—time now for deeds.”
There are many, many reasons for the Prime Minister to be cautious and to move slowly. First and foremost is Abbas himself. Who does he represent? It has been reported there is division in Fatah and former PA Security Chief and Fatah Central Committee member, Mohammed Dahlan, currently in exile in Gaza, is trying to make a play to become president.
The Gatestone Institute reported on March 4, “Palestinians in Ramallah said that the increased tensions in Fatah mean that Abbas is beginning to lose his grip over the faction. The internal squabble in Fatah cast doubts on Abbas’ ability or willingness to sign any peace agreement with Israel.”
Abbas is almost 79 years old and in the 10th year of a 4 year term as president. There is no vice-president. The Financial Times reported on February 28th, “Under Palestinian basic law, if the president were to die or become incapacitated while in office, he would be replaced by the head of the Palestinian Legislative Council until new elections were held. However, the PLC has not met since 2007 and its current head is Abdel Aziz Dweik, a Hamas official.”
Do we want Hamas in Judea, Samara, and Gaza with stockpiles of Iranian weapons? Do we want Abbas to sign a deal and the next president to say Abbas didn’t represent the Palestinian people? I think the answer to both questions is a resounding NO! That is one of the reasons why Netanyahu is pushing so hard to get the P.A. to recognize the “Jewish State of Israel” — even that is only a baby
step in the peace process. As I have said so many times in the past, the ZOA will always be overtly, cautious when it comes to the safety and security of Israel and its citizens.