Sunday, January 04, 2015

Palestine's Pinochet?

Palestine's Pinochet?

by Stephen Lendman

Mohammad Dahlan may become Palestine's next leader. Its Pinochet if anointed. 

A former Fatah leader/enforcer in Gaza. Once Arafat's national security advisor. 

A ruthless corrupted thug by any standard. Opposite what Palestinians deserve.

On January 3, the Times of Israel headlined "Abbas rival pans PA head, vows to form united opposition."

Calls "failed Palestinian UN Security Council proposal a 'hasty, reckless' disaster."

Expelled from Fatah in 2010. Considered a legitimate contender to replace Abbas. Especially given US/Israeli support.

He claimed Abbas' Security Council resolution "wasn't made with the unified consensus of the Palestinians."

"The proposal was changed a number of times without consultation of the decision makers." 

"This was a decision that constitutes a new disaster for relations with Israel which will bring shame and destruction of the Palestinian issue,” he said.

Israel rigged Abbas' 2005 election. His term expired in January 2009. He remains Palestine's president. Serving illegitimately.

Collaborating with Israel against his own people. Not enough given his Security Council gambit.

Signing the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Asking the ICC to investigate Israeli war crimes charges.

Committed during Operation Protective Edge. Including Israeli crimes against Palestinians since June 13. 

The day after three Israeli youths were killed in the West Bank. Hamas irresponsibly blamed.

Palestine's request filed New Year's day. Through the Dutch embassy. In response, Israel may file charges against Abbas, Hamas and other Palestinian officials. Including in America.

A senior Israeli official saying:

'"We will not only defend ourselves against the Palestinians' actions in regards to the international arena, we will also go on the offensive."

He lied adding:

"(W)hen it comes to war crimes, we have quite a bit of ammunition. In everything concerning war crimes, the butter is smeared all over the heads of (Abbas) and his friends." 

"They chose to go out into the sun, and there will be a price for that."

On Saturday, Israel froze NIS 500 million ($127 million) in Palestinian tax revenues. Funds it collects in its behalf. According to an Israeli official:

"The funds for the month of December were supposed to be transferred on Friday, but it was decided to stop it as part of the response to the Palestinian move."

"Israeli piracy," said a senior Palestinian official. Another called it a "war crime." Saying it'll be the PLO's first ICC complaint.

Tax revenues belong to Palestine. Freezing, denying or otherwise withholding them breaches international law, he said.

Netanyahu plans further moves. Broader and more significant, he indicated. Meetings will be held this week to decide.

Israeli ruling coalition opposition leaders criticized Netanyahu's decision. Saying he "has no other solution to Israel's deteriorating situations in the world."

Palestinians have good reason to fear Mohammad Dahlan replacing Abbas. One Israeli collaborator following another. A ruthless one. A former Fatah leader in Gaza. 

In 2007, he led a failed US/Israeli coup attempt to oust Hamas. Palestine's legitimately elected government.

In the 1990s, he headed Gaza's notorious 20,000-strong Preventive Security Force. Coordinated his activities with Israeli, CIA and Egyptian officials.

Their man in Gaza. One of Palestine's most powerful figures. Nicknamed "Dahlanistan."

Once tried to kill Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh. Throughout his years in power, used violence and intimidation against critics, journalists, and opposition groups. 

Especially Hamas. Arresting its members. Imprisoning them arbitrarily. Torturing them. Some died under suspicious circumstances.

Torture and ill-treatment occurred regularly on his watch. He met often with top Israeli officials. Participated in 2000 Camp David negotiations.

In March and April 2002, was one of an anti-Arafat "Gang of Five." Besieging his Ramallah headquarters. Efforts to remove him failed.

According to Professor Joseph Massad, many Palestinians consider Dahlan "the most corrupt official in the history of the Palestinian national movement (and there are many contenders for that title)."

He "allegedly diverted over 40 percent of taxes levied against the Palestinians to his personal account in what became known as the Karni Crossing Scandal in 1997."

Hamas and Fatah repeatedly accused him of being a US/Israeli/Egyptian/Jordanian intelligence operative.

After Hamas thwarted his 2007 coup attempt, he returned to the PA-controlled West Bank.

Hatched new plots, according to Massad. With his multiple patrons. Against Hamas.

Targeting Abbas. "(W)hose position he begrudged and coveted," said Massad.

US officials pressured Abbas to appoint Dahlan his deputy. So did EU ones on orders from Washington.

"(M)aking it clear that they would like to see him succeed Abbas," said Massad. So far with no success.

He currently lives in the United Arab Emirates. In May, a Palestinian court sentenced him to two years imprisonment.

On corruption charges. Barring him from running for public office. At the time, one of his lawyers, Sevag Torossian, called his trial a "demolition machine." Orchestrated by Abbas.

Whether he can be stopped from taking power remains to be seen. With support from Israel and Washington, things may turn his way.

Their likely strongman choice to rule Palestine. Making it more than ever nightmarish with him in charge.

He's been accused numerous times of hatching assassination plots against US/Israeli targeted Palestinian officials.

In 2005, an Israeli think tank estimated his personal wealth conservatively at about $120 million. According to Massad:

"Once (his) schemes became too obvious to ignore, Abbas stripped him of power and chased him out of the Ramallah Green Zone in 2010." 

"He moved to Mubarak's Egypt and later, following the ouster of Mubarak, to Dubai (and on occasion Europe) where he remained until his more recent resurrection by the heirs of Mubarak who now sit on Egypt's throne."

His power stems from serving multiple patrons. In Israel, America, Egypt, Jordan and elsewhere.

His "ruthless, corrupt power-grubbing" style is perfect for Israel and Washington, said Massad. He'll "do the their bidding obediently" if empowered.

America and Israel "see him as especially willing to sign on to" a US-sponsored deal "without equivocation."

He'll continue business as usual with Egypt's junta. Despotic Gulf monarchies. America. Israel.

Targeting Palestinian resistance. Eliminating opposition to "a US-imposed Palestinian final surrender to Israel," said Massad.

Ending Hamas rule in Gaza. Removing Abbas. Perhaps killing him. The way Israel eliminated Arafat. 

According to Massad, "Obama will terminate (his) services…should he fail to sign the US-sponsored surrender."

Meaning a so-called peace deal with Israel. One way. Favoring its interests. Denying Palestinians all rights.

With Abbas approaching age 80, his days may be numbered. Dahlan is US/Israel's man to succeed him. Ready when called on.

Palestinians have much to fear. Their future "is in danger," said Massad. (T)heir enemies…surround them inside and outside Palestine." 

"The Obama-Israeli-Egyptian-Gulf plans for liquidating their cause and their rights continue afoot."

Operation Protective Edge was Exhibit A. So is daily Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians.

Longstanding popular resistance continues. Ongoing for decades. Don't expect it to quit. Massad struck a positive note saying:

"(Just) like past corrupt Palestinian leaders were unsuccessful in liquidating the rights of the Palestinians and their cause, the Israeli and US betting on the Dahlan horse will only increase the resolve of the Palestinian people and their supporters that Palestinian resistance will only cease after the final liquidation of Israeli state racism and colonialism in all its manifestations throughout historic Palestine."

Let's hope he's right!

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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