From counterpunch, "America's Best Political Newsletter" Out of Bounds Magazine

The Washington Farce

Mahmoud Abbas: Double Agent


This coming week we will witness the latest challenge for the man who is arguably the most extraordinary

double agent in the Middle East. What is unusual about Mahmoud Abbas, or Abu Mazen, as he was known

when his fellow Palestinians had yet to take his measure, is that most of what he does for his Israeli and US

masters he does in plain sight.


To which of the two he is most beholden will be determined during his upcoming visit to Washington for the

latest chapter in what has euphemistically been referred to as the “peace process” since it was launched in

the aftermath of the Oslo Agreement.  The odds are it will be Israel. In Oslo, it should be recalled, Abbas, as

the chief Palestinian negotiator, played Neville Chamberlain for Tel Aviv, agreeing to surrender occupied

Palestinian land with a view toward putting a permanent end to Palestinian resistance and, immediately, to

the first Intifada.


If any reader still harbors the illusion that Oslo was anything but a sell-out by the Palestinian leadership, Abba’s

negotiating counterpart, former Israeli military intelligence chief, Shlomo Gazit, put that notion to rest on the

evening of November 17,1993.  When challenged during a speaking engagement at Congregation Beth Shalom

in San Francisco  by an angry questioner who compared the agreement to that signed with Nazi Germany in

Munich in 1938, Gazit calmly replied that while he was reluctant to make such comparisons, “if it’s another

Munich, we’re the Germans and the Palestinians are the Czechs.”.


Since assuming the leadership of the Palestinian Authority with the death of Arafat, Abbas has continued on the

same path, using the US and Jordanian trained PA militia, for example, to suppress demonstrations protesting

Israel’s 2008-2009 bombardment of Gaza, and just last week, to violently quash a protest in Ramallah against his

going to Washington to negotiate with Netanyahu.  He has become what critics of Oslo had predicted would be

Arafat’s role, Israel’s sheriff in the West Bank.


It has not gone unnoticed.


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