Yesterday, our group had a 40-minute off-the-record discussion with the very pro-American PA prime minister Salam Fayyad. We also had a much longer discussion with Ziad Abu Amr, a political independent who was foreign minister in the PA’s short-lived national unity government in 2007– and also a close confidante of President Mahmoud Abbas.
Both were extremely gloomy and expressed a strong sense of how they feel the whole of the PA’s very pro-American leadership now feels deeply betrayed by the Obama administration.
Abu Amr said:
Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] has been playing completely by the book. The PA has been killing Palestinians to prove that he is prepared to serve Israel’s security interests. What did he get in return? Only a continuation of setttlements, home demolitions, land expropriations…
If this continues, he will not and should not continue in office.
He noted that Abbas has not yet actually resigned (though we have certainly heard plenty of rumors that that might be under consideration.)
“If Abu Mazen resigns,” he said,
under the Palestinian Basic Law– which I helped to draft back in the 1990s– the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council would take over. That is Aziz Dweik. So let th Americans deal with him.
Dweik, who was recently released from an Israeli prison, is the parliamentarian from the Hamas-affiliated Change and Reform Party who was elected speaker of the PLC after the free and fair PA election of January 2006.
Abu Amr also told us,
Abu Mazen feels betrayed and fooled by the Americans… There is no way the Palestinians can do any more than they have done…
If Abu Mazen resigns under circumstances of crisis, then no-one could replace him– or, would want to…
The problem is, the Americans have abandoned the Road Map. What Hillary Clinton said about the Israeli government having made “unprecedented concessions” was against the Road Map, against Annapolis, and against Oslo.