Mahmoud abbas 311 187.
(photo credit: AP)
In an attempt to bolster its credibility among Palestinians, the Palestinian
Authority has decided to take advantage of last Friday’s US veto of a UN
Security Council resolution that would have condemned construction in the
settlements, and depict President Mahmoud Abbas as a powerful leader who dared
to say no to the US president.
RELATED:US vetoes UN resolution condemning settlements as illegal
Since Friday, Palestinian officials in
Ramallah have been briefing reporters about the details of a 50-minute phone
conversation between Abbas and US President Barack Obama.
'US warned PA on UN resolution for settlement-freeze'
phone conversation, hours before the Security Council session, Obama tried to
convince Abbas to withdraw the resolution, but to no avail.
This is the
PA leadership’s response to those who accuse Abbas of being a US
Palestinians are now being told that Abbas is a hero for
standing up to the US president.
To show the world that Abbas has the
backing of the Palestinian street, the PA sent hundreds of its supporters,
including civil servants and Fatah activists, to the streets to voice their
support for their president.
The pro-Abbas demonstrations are also
designed to refute allegations made by the Qataribased Al-Jazeera TV network to
the effect that the PA president and his negotiators had betrayed their people
by offering far-reaching concessions to Israel during the peace
Al-Jazeera’s allegations, which are based on leaked documents
detailing the peace talks, have seriously embarrassed the PA leadership and
damaged its credibility among many Palestinians.
Abbas is also using the
standoff with Obama to correct the “mistake” he made when he agreed, under US
pressure, to thwart a motion endorsing the findings of the Goldstone Report into
Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip.
On the other hand, the PA
leadership has decided to use last week’s veto to whip up anti-American
sentiments in the West Bank. Ironically, the anti-US campaign serves the
interests of the PA’s rivals in the Gaza Strip and Tehran.
used unusually harsh words to denounce Obama for instructing the US
representative to the UN to kill the anti-settlement resolution.
Abbas loyalists have condemned Obama as a “Zionist agent” and a “despicable”
In response to claims that Obama threatened to cut off financial aid
to the PA if it did not withdraw the resolution, Abbas’s top aides, including
Prime Minister Salam Fayyad,have told Palestinians that they would rather give up the money than succumb to
The PA, which often bans controversial protests in
the West Bank, sent thousands of Palestinians to the streets to chant slogans
condemning Obama and US policies in the region.
PA officials have also
called for a “day of rage” against the US next Friday. Such days of rage against
the US, or the “Great Satan,” are often organized by Hamas, Iran and
The anti-US demonstrations aim to send a message to Obama that
he needs to compensate Abbas and the PA leadership for being “biased” in favor
The PA leadership is hoping that the anti-US protests will
convince the Obama administration of the need to force Israel to make
concessions in order to “calm” the Palestinian street before things get out of