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"Abu Mazen's leadership is corrupt, change is needed now" | Israel today

2022-08-19T13:12:29.213Z

Nasser al-Kadwa, the nephew of Yasser Arafat and who sees himself as a candidate to replace Abu Mazen in the leadership of Fatah, is furious with the current leadership in Ramallah. • Malin: "The Palestinian issue needs saving" • And warns against intervention the day after Abu Mazen: "If Israel imposes a person on us for leadership, there will be anarchy"



"We don't have the rule of law. Everyone does as they please, especially the leadership. There is a violation of human rights, and there is a great deal of corruption in the authority. This situation will have to change," Nasr al-Kadwa, Yasser Arafat's nephew, told Israel this week. And who was for 20 years the Palestinian ambassador to the UN and the PA's foreign minister. 

Al-Kadwa has a full stomach for the PA leadership.

Until a year ago, a bright future awaited him in Palestinian politics.

But then, at the height of his prosperity, there was an unplanned turn in the plot: the man, who had accumulated respectable political and political mileage, found himself expelled from the institutions of the Fatah movement in an instant. Despite this, he is marked by the PA as one of the strong opposition figures who challenge Abu Mazen from home.

Abu Mazen against the background of Arafat's portrait (archive), photo: Reuters

About a year and a half ago, the chairman of the Authority announced going to the elections, but a short time later announced their cancellation, claiming that Israel does not allow their existence in East Jerusalem. Between the announcement and the cancellation, Fatah started sewing suits and building lists.

It seemed that Palestinian politics was entering another phase, that something new was beginning.

Senior members of the movement and those in key positions saw this as an extraordinary opportunity to fulfill ambitions and create change in the contemporary Palestinian political system.

Al-Kadwa was one of them.

He then decided to run on a list separate from that of Fatah headed by Abu Mazen, and together with Marwan Barghouti he established a new and independent list. The move was seen as a challenge to the chairman of the PA, an act of subversion aimed at sowing division in the Fatah movement and threatening the Rais. Abu Mazen He did not wait long, and dismissed al-Kadwa from the ranks of the movement on the grounds that he acted "outside of the consensus." Al-Kadwa was stripped of his diplomatic passport, as well as other privileges granted to him by virtue of being a former ambassador and foreign minister.

"alarming deterioration"

Some would say that this was a chronicle known in advance: anyone who gains popularity and dares to deviate a millimeter from the path outlined by Harais may pay a heavy price.

The most prominent of them so far has been Muhammad Dahlan, who was dismissed about a decade ago from Fatah's central committee and exiled abroad. Now he has joined the al-Qadwa list.

The senior is now in the south of France with his wife's family, but promises to return to Ramallah soon and complete the "national tasks" on the way.

One of them is a new political plan he came up with: "The Document for National Salvation".

The goal of the initiative, which was launched recently, is to change the existing political system and carry out a broad and deep reform of the Palestinian institutions.

During the conversation with "Israel this week", Al-Kadwa refrained from naming names, and made sure to call the leadership in Ramallah "the ruling group", but it is clear who is meant.

"The Palestinian system continues to deteriorate alarmingly, and this requires urgent measures," says Al-Kadwa, "The Palestinian issue needs saving. This is the worst situation we have seen since the Nakba. One of the most significant reasons that led to this unprecedented situation is the lack of democracy. The last time we held elections She was in 2005 (for the presidency) and in 2006 (for the Legislative Council). There is no rule of law here and there are no laws."

But al-Kadwa blames not only the leadership in Ramallah.

"The second reason is related to Israel, and the PA leadership's policy regarding Israel. Israel denies the rights of the Palestinians, and at the same time we see that our leadership chooses to cooperate and work together very happily with the Israeli side. We are talking, for example, about approvals for family reunification. This is a shame, because these are things that we deserve. These are our rights, and they are not doing us a favor. This current Palestinian political regime has become dependent on Israel's civil administration, and does nothing for the Palestinian interest. A large part of the people in our security system work for the Israelis. This is no longer what is called security coordination, It's much worse than that."

"The Israelis killed the Oslo Accords, and moved from the idea of ​​'self-rule' for the Palestinians to another idea, in which they want all the land for themselves while denying the existence of the Palestinian people and their right to a state. This is madness. The Israeli mentality needs to change. I am in favor of a political solution, but it must To be based on respecting the national existence of the Palestinians. The idea of ​​two states? I support it in principle within the borders of '67, the Palestinian people have a natural right to their land."

He announced elections and annulled them, photo: Reuters

Unlike other Palestinian officials, who are used to spouting well-worn slogans, al-Kadwa brings something different with him.

He is a person of content, thinking outside the box and long-term vision.

Even before he talks about strategic processes related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to him, the internal situation should be dealt with first.

"We say 'democracy, democracy,' and in the end this group comes and rules over an entire nation without elections. How can we accept this? This disastrous situation must change. I wish this change would happen peacefully, because we care about the peace of the public. But if the Palestinian leadership insists Because of its destructive path, and will continue to violate the rights of its people, people may have to choose a different path. As a member of this nation, I see that there is a great disgust with the existing situation, and also with Israeli policy. The logic of history is clear. The people will eventually succeed in making a broad change."

Anger on the way to explosion

When Al-Kadwa talks about disgust in the Palestinian street, he knows what he's talking about.

In the last three months, the Palestinian cities witnessed daily protests that erupted against the background of a host of internal issues on the socio-economic level.

The cost of living continues to burden many families, who find it difficult to cope with the economic hardship and the difficulties of making a living.

In the last few weeks, Ramallah was swept by what was called "trade union protests".

Everyone who could - joined: the teachers protested the non-updation of their salary and working conditions, along with the pharmacists, doctors, engineers and other groups in the public and private sectors.

Of all the organizations that appeared in Manara Square in Ramallah, the chairman of the Authority was particularly pressured by the demonstrations held by members of the Bar Association, which were joined by legal experts. They claimed that there was no organized legislative system, and opposed a series of laws that were approved with the wave of a pen, according to a decision by Abu Mazen, without passed the usual legislative procedures. 

Demonstrations that were seen a little earlier in Hebron with the participation of merchants and drivers of taxis and public transport were immediately suppressed by the security mechanisms of the Palestinian Authority.

Although the protest appeared under the "cost of living" banner, opponents and opposition activists from the Popular Front and other organizations that did not want Abu Mazen in power quickly joined it.

Added to this are the sediments left after the death of the political activist Nizar Banat, who was killed during a brutal arrest by the Palestinian security forces in the Hebron area last year.

The protest was suppressed by force, but the public neither forgave nor forgot.

The allegations of corruption in the Palestinian Authority, the dissatisfaction with the performance of the Palestinian government, the economic hardships, the general situation in the territories, the developments in the other arenas of conflict - all of these are connected to the security tensions in the territories of Judea and Samaria, and to the public criticism directed at Abu Mazen and his people on the claim that they serve as "agents and partners of Israel".

Against this background, the fear of unrest and a possible uprising against Abu Mazen's rule arises.

"Most likely at some point it will explode in front of Israel and in front of the ruling Palestinian leadership. How, when and in what form - I cannot predict. But there is anger that wants to explode, that's clear. And this is in addition to the security anarchy that exists in Nablus, Jenin and the Palestinian cities. The Palestinian situation is collapsing." , warns al-Qadwa.

There is no escape from ballot boxes

When it comes to the question of "the day after Abu Mazen", Al-Kadwa presents three scenarios.

One of them, he warns, is more dangerous than the others.

"If in Israel they try to impose on the Palestinian people a certain personality, or a group that takes the leadership, it will lead to anarchy. I am afraid that Israel will be pushed in this direction. However, I know that there are other elements in Israel that understand that this will not work. But if this scenario happens and they force someone From above, without elections or pan-Palestinian agreement, it will be painful. The Palestinians will not accept it, it does not make sense for the people to agree, so I think it will lead to problems and instability for a certain period, after which the direction will be to try to go to a national agreement and elections." 

Abu Mazen recently promoted appointments of individuals in Fatah to senior positions. For example, Minister Hussein al-Sheikh was appointed chairman of the PLO's executive committee, a step that increases his chances of capturing the leadership. What do you think of this?

"We are talking about arrangements and preparations, but all of this will fly in the air within 24 hours. I don't want to talk about specific people and name names, but in order for someone to lead the Palestinian people, he needs to have characteristics and skills that qualify him for the position. When you want to bring us someone who does not have the This, this is a trade. There is no escape from ballot boxes: any person who comes to power needs to have legitimacy. These appointments made by Abu Mazen are on the sand. The Palestinian institutions, even the central council of the PLO, have become a mere advisory body.

Our leadership is in a state of paralysis, brain death.

Today we are in a situation where Abu Mazen decides everything."

Do you fear chaos the day after Abu Mazen?

"You keep talking about what will happen the day after, and if there is anarchy, as if today the situation is good, and as if the biggest problem is what we will do if Abu Mazen leaves. But the situation is already tarnished. We need to make a change now, not wait for Abu Mazen to leave." .

Even if he won't admit it, like the other "potential heirs", Al-Kadwa sees himself as a natural candidate for leadership.

The draconian moves that Abu Mazen has taken against him reduce the chances of that, but as far as he is concerned, he continues the journey to "heal" the Palestinian system, and estimates that the support for his ideas and the plan he initiated will continue to grow.

"None of us decides whether he will be in power or not. I am good with my family and my children, but if it is necessary at a certain moment to be called to the flag and take part in the political process, I will do so. If they ask me to be a candidate and there is an agreement on this, I will be there. Will it succeed ? There is no telling. The level of destruction in the Palestinian issue will make it difficult for any leader to come. To fix it will require time and very great efforts."

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Source: israelhayom

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