Analysis: The FM’s assessment of Abbas

What is perhaps most encouraging for Abbas is that the US and most of EU has rejected Liberman’s “incitement” against PA president.

August 24, 2012 02:28
1 minute read.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas

Abbas (R370). (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s verbal attacks against PA President Mahmoud Abbas are probably the best thing that could have happened to the Palestinian leader these days.

The foreign minister’s assessment of Abbas is almost entirely accurate and many Palestinians would even agree that it’s time to elect a new leader. But when the criticism comes from Liberman, this actually plays into Abbas’s hands.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Liberman’s call to replace Abbas came at a time when the Palestinian Authority president is facing growing criticism at home. In recent months, an increased number of Palestinians has been speaking out against failed policies and leadership in several fields.

Abbas’s failure to end the dispute between his Fatah faction and Hamas, implement major financial and administrative reforms and solve the severe financial crisis in the PA, have seriously damaged his credibility.

Moreover, Abbas has recently come under sharp attack for cracking down on journalists, bloggers and political rivals in the West Bank.

Abbas himself has been aware of the growing criticism.

Which is why he recently decided to try and regain some of his credibility by visiting refugee camps and cities and meeting with ordinary Palestinians.

But now Abbas seems to be getting support for his efforts to boost his popularity from none other than Liberman. When Liberman openly campaigns against Abbas, it makes the PA president look good in the eyes of his people.

It would have been worse for Abbas had someone like Liberman heaped praise on him, which would have made him look bad in the eyes of most Palestinians.

Abbas’s aides were quick to take advantage of Liberman’s call, with some even talking about an Israeli “conspiracy” to get rid of their leader simply because he is refusing to make concessions to Israel.

One official said he did not rule out the possibility that in the end Abbas would meet the same fate as his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, who was holed up in his presidential compound in Ramallah by the IDF in 2002.

Yet what is perhaps most encouraging for Abbas is the fact that the US and most EU countries have rejected Liberman’s “incitement” against the PA president.

If anything, Liberman’s campaign against Abbas has for now served the interests of a leader who has already lost much of his credibility among his constituents.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN