Israel Resource Review 4th June, 2005


Abbas Regime Delays Elections,
Continues Anti-US Incitement
Dr. Michael Widlanski


Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas announced Saturday the indefinite postponement of the Palestinian legislative elections in what was widely seen as a political maneuver designed to help Abbas's faltering Fatah movement reorganize against the surging extremist Islamic Hamas organization.

The postponement came only one week after Abbas's visit to the United States where he was hailed by the Bush Administration as a moderate political reformer and harbinger of Arab democratization, even as Abbas's state-controlled media have tried to emphasize their own Islamic character. Abbas's announcement came one day after a senior mosque preacher employed by Abbas again attacked the United States for leading "aggression against all Islamic peoples" during a speech broadcast on Palestinian state radio.

"Iran is facing direct American threats because of its nuclear program, and we read in the press how [Israeli] settlers who want to enter Al-Aqsa," declared Sheikh Youssef Abu-Sneina in the radio speech from the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

"How can Muslims live in the Western countries these days, and how can they be attacked solely for being Muslims" asked Sheikh Youssef Abu-Sneina, in a speech broadcast from the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Voice of Palestine Radio. "Our people have realized that there will be no end to it until the rule of Islam returns to the land," declared Abu-Sneina, who is employed by the Palestinian Authority (PA).

During his speech, Abu-Sneina also hammered at the theme that American forces repressed Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as deliberately desecrating Islamic sites and copies of the Quran, Islam's scripture.

This theme has been repeated systematically in the Abbas-controlled Palestinian press for three weeks and in at least half a dozen mosque speeches by Abu-Sneina, Jerusalem Mufti Ikrema Sabry and Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris--all broadcast on television and radio even after the charges of Quran desecration were retracted by Newsweek magazine.

Abbas has tried to channel Islamic fervor in his own direction and not to confront the Hamas movement directly, hoping for a change in fortunes after the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza scheduled for August, one month after the date originally set for Palestinian elections.

It is now expected that the elections will be scheduled to follow the Israeli withdrawal, allowing Abbas to take credit for it. At the same time, the move will allow Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to avoid the appearance of turning Israeli settlements to the hands of Hamas which is pledged to destroy Israel.

"There was no choice but to delay the elections until action is completed by the legislature," declared Dr. Abbas who heads the Fatah movement, the PLO and the Palestinian Authority, explaining that the Palestinian legislature had not completed the election law during weeks of deliberations.

But in an appearance Saturday on Palestinian television, Deputy PA Prime Minister Nabil Sha'ath suggested that there were deeper factors behind the Abbas postponement of the elections.

"There was worry in the Fatah movement about our political program and the entire Palestinian struggle that have been in effect for the past 30 years, and this struggle and this program will continue," asserted Dr. Sha'ath. His reference to the 30-year program of the Fatah appeared to be a reference to the 1974 "Program of Stages" under which the PLO said it would conquer all Israeli-held territory by a sequence of diplomatic and military moves.

[Permission to quote or reprint from article conditional on citing Michael Widlanski or Michael Widlanski Associates.]

Dr. Michael Widlanski is a specialist in Arab politics and communication whose doctorate dealt with the Palestinian broadcast media. He is a former reporter, correspondent and editor, respectively, at The New York Times, The Cox Newspapers-Atlanta Constitution, and The Jerusalem Post.

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Ten US State Department Middle East Policies . . . to Challenge
David Bedein

American citizens often ask what they can do for Israel when they are in touch with their Congressional representatives.

Perhaps the most important thing they can do is to challenge the Ten Principles of The U.S. State Department’s 2005 Middle East agenda, which includes:

  1. The cutting of Israel in half by advocating that the proposed PLO entity be “contiguous” in the words of Secretary Condoleeza Rice from Gaza to Bethlehem.

  2. Ignoring the PLO’s decision not to annul the PLO covenant, which mandates that the PLO continue its state of war against Israel. This covenant continues despite a firm American commitment not to deal with the PLO until it cancels the covenant.

  3. Financing a Palestinian school system that operates the first curriculum since the Third Reich that teaches children to make war against Jews. (Review the Palestinian curriculum at

  4. Allowing PLO leadership to order the murder of Palestinian dissidents. A total of 51 Arabs are currently facing death for the “crime” of cooperating with Israel. The State Department has said it will not intervene to stop this practice.

  5. Vetoing Israel’s right to build homes or synagogues in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. The State Department’s answer as to whether the repair of the Hurva Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter would represent an act of “illegal settlement activity” was “yes.”

  6. Rejecting the idea that Jerusalem is even part of Israel. Most recently, President Bush, on the advice of the State Department, vetoed a bill that would require U.S. documents issued in Jerusalem to list “Jerusalem, Israel,” as their point of origin. Currently all such documents are listed as “Jerusalem,” with no country mentioned. They include U.S. passports and birth certificates issued for American citizens who dwell or were born in the western sector Jerusalem.

  7. Nurturing Muhammad Dahlan, as coordinator of PLO security forces, despite the fact that Dahlan has taken credit for planning the murders of hundreds of Jews (See Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s article in the Wall Street Journal of June 3, 2002, documenting Dahlan’s murder record and calling for his elimination).

  8. Ordering renewal of CIA training for the PLO security forces, despite the fact that these same PLO forces have used the CIA training they received in the 1990’s to murder Jews since the September 2000 inception of organized terror warfare against Israel.

  9. Continuing to fund the “right of return” campaign of the UNRWA Palestinian Arab refugee camps, despite the President’s clear statement on April 14, 2004 that he opposed such policies.

  10. Recognizing Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen (a.k.a. Mahmoud Abbas) as a “moderate” force, even though he has armed and incorporated every terrorist group instead of disarming them and defining the election of Mazen as “democratic,” despite the resignation of 46 members of the PLO’s own election council on the night of the elections.

The role of the Congress to “Advise and Consent” on matters of foreign policy is defined by the U.S. Constitution. It is up to American citizen supporters of Israel to work with the Congress to “advise” the State Department so that they do not “consent” to its Middle East policy agenda.

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