The reaction of the Palestinian Authority (PA), headed by President Mahmoud 'Abbas, to the August 13, 2020 announcement of UAE-Israel normalization was blunt and harsh. The PA accused the UAE of betraying the Palestinians and their cause, as well as Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa, of "aggression towards the Palestinian people," of stabbing the Palestinians and the Arab and Islamic nation in the back with a "poisoned dagger," and of making concessions to Israel for nothing in return.
The PA leaders called the UAE's move unacceptable and an act of deception, and accused the UAE of abandoning the Arab Peace Initiative and capitulating and groveling to the U.S. Calling on the UAE to reverse its "disgraceful decision," they also warned other Arab countries not to follow its example. The condemnation reached its peak at a September 3, 2020 conference of Palestinian faction leaders that included representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad alongside representatives of Fatah and other factions. At the conference, 'Abbas, as well as Mu'in Hamed, leader of Al-Sa'iqa organization, a PLO faction, spoke bluntly and derisively of the Gulf states, calling them "illiterate" and saying that the Palestinians, who are far more educated than they, do not need anyone's help.
The Palestinian leadership's statements provoked much criticism on social media and in the Arab press, especially in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt. Daily newspapers in these three countries have published dozens of articles since the normalization agreement was announced expressing support for the UAE's decision and condemning the Palestinians, especially their "ungrateful" leadership. The writers claimed that this leadership has exploited the Palestinian cause for seven decades to extort more and more funds from the Gulf states. Some even accused Palestinian officials of taking the money for themselves and of deliberately rejecting every peace initiative in order to perpetuate the situation and remain in power. They further claimed that since the world and the global balance of power have changed, slogans like "Palestine from the River to the Sea" are no longer relevant, and also that the Arab countries are entitled to prioritize their own interests.
This report reviews the Palestinian leadership's criticism of the UAE-Israel normalization agreement, as well as some of the press articles reflecting the Arab attack on the Palestinian leadership for its stance.
I. Palestinian Authority, Headed By 'Abbas: The UAE-Israel Agreement Is An Act Of Deception And A Dagger In The Palestinians' Back
PA President 'Abbas: The UAE Betrayed Us; The Claim That The Agreement Stops The Annexation Is A Lie
PA President Mahmoud 'Abbas opened the August 18, 2020 meeting of the Palestinian leadership with the following statements: "First, greetings to our brothers from Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, and Al-Sa'iqa, who are present here today. This demonstrates that [we] Palestinian people stand as one against the conspiracy, regardless of the disagreements among us. In time of trouble, we all stand united and cleave to a single position, opposing anyone who seeks to attack our [national] cause.
"As you know, brothers, from the day that the U.S. announced the Deal of the Century up until this very day, the entire world stood with us and supported our position that the Deal of the Century contradicts international legitimacy, and that it is a unilateral decision. Therefore, they did not accept it... The countries of the world also opposed the so-called annexation [plan], calling it illegitimate and illegal. Furthermore, the entire world said: We favor a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue, based on the international resolutions, [including] the resolutions of the [UN Security] Council and General Assembly, on human rights and on the agreements that have been signed by the relevant parties, and [believe] that the solution must be reached exclusively through negotiations sponsored by the International Quartet [the U.S., the EU, the UN and Russia]. Otherwise no solution is possible. This is the position of the international community to this day.
"Therefore, we are not worried about the nonsense that happens here and there, and especially in recent days, when a trilateral agreement between the UAE, Israel, and the U.S. was announced a few days ago... which was accompanied by some statements about 'freezing the annexation.' They tried to delude the world that the UAE has achieved something great for us [Palestinians] by cancelling the annexation, as if the Palestinian cause was only about the issue of annexation. They ignored the rights of the Palestinian people, the Palestinian state, the two-state vision, and Jerusalem, which has already been annexed. They ignored all this and said: 'We brought you [the suspension of] the annexation, so be happy, oh Palestinians!' This is a deception, and we completely reject this. We consider it a stab in the back of the Palestinian cause. The annexation was not halted [by the agreement], because the entire world opposed the annexation [to begin with]. So what was new [about what you did]?...
"Normalization [of relations with Israel] is an Arab issue, about which there was an agreement among all the Arabs and the Muslims. It has been agreed upon since 2002, in the framework of what was called 'the Arab Peace Initiative,' which says that the Arabs can normalize their relations with Israel only after the Palestinian issue is resolved. So what happened to the Arab Peace Initiative, our Arab brothers, in case you still remember that there is such a thing?
"The entire issue, then, is an openly declared act of deception. If you wanted to take an exclusive decision [to normalize relations with Israel, why not] say so explicitly? [When the UAE] justifies [the agreement] by saying that it scored a victory for the Palestinians with respect to the annexation, that is a deception and a big lie. Despite their [claim], on the same day they said 'we have stopped the annexation,' Netanyahu came and said that there is nothing [in the agreement] about stopping the annexation, [and added]: 'I will annex and apply my sovereignty to all the territories agreed upon.' This means the settlements and [East] Jerusalem. [As a matter of fact,] the annexation of Jerusalem has already been completed, and the Arabs and Muslims have forgotten about it...
"We say that as far as we are concerned, this recently announced [normalization] plan is a stab in the back, and we reject it out of hand. I take this opportunity to emphasize once again what we have said in both open and secret [talks]: Our position on this tripartite agreement applies to any Arab or Islamic country that takes a similar step. For some countries have begun seeking [normalization with Israel], openly or in secret, and have said, using one phrasing or another: What's wrong [with normalization]?... No, no! This is unacceptable and we Palestinians will continue to firmly oppose it, no matter which country does it. You must respect the resolutions you signed and the UN resolutions you to which you agreed.
"Therefore, we say to anyone who wants to talk about the Palestinian cause: You are not entrusted with the Palestinian cause. It is only us, the Palestinians here, who speak on behalf of the Palestinian cause, and sign any resolution in the name of the Palestinian cause. It is true that the Palestinian cause is an Arab and Islamic cause. You [Arabs and Muslims] have to help us and stand by us, not to take our place...."
To view excerpts from this speech by Mahmoud 'Abbas on MEMRI TV, click here or below:
As stated, particularly harsh criticism was voiced by 'Abbas at the September 3, 2020 conference of Palestinian faction leaders. He said: "We hereby stress that we have not empowered anyone [to act on our behalf] and we never will. It is we who speak for our Palestinian cause. If someone [i.e., UAE Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayed] comes and says, 'I have brought you this and that,' or 'I have stopped the annexation' – No! It is our people alone that has stopped the annexation and foiled the Deal of the Century. We will not allow anyone to speak in our name." He added: "It's time to say that we are big boys and can take care of ourselves. We do not need anyone's patronage or protection. We can take care of ourselves and defend our cause and our people. Oh my sisters and brothers, oh those who stand fast in Jerusalem and its environs, oh Palestinians everywhere. There are 13 million of us, over 6 million in historical Palestine and the rest abroad. They are all educated, and there is no illiteracy among us, as exists elsewhere [hinting at the Gulf]. We want to achieve an [independent] state, with Allah's help..."
Even harsher were statements at this conference came from Mu'in Hamed, leader of the Al-Sa'iqa organization, a PLO faction, who said that it was the Palestinians who taught the people of the Gulf how to read and write.
To view Mu'in Hamed's statements on MEMRI TV, click here or below:
Palestinian Leadership: The UAE Must Revoke The Disgraceful And Treasonous Agreement With Israel
The Palestinian leadership, which convened a few hours after the agreement's announcement on August 13, 2020, likewise roundly condemned the agreement and called it an act of betrayal. At the close of the meeting, it issued the following statement:
"The Palestinian leadership declares that it firmly opposes and condemns the sudden tripartite announcement by the U.S., Israel and the UAE on the full normalization of relations between the occupation state and the UAE in return for a false Israeli claim that it would temporarily suspend the annexation of the Palestinian lands... The Palestinian leadership believes that this move is a devastating blow to the Arab Peace Initiative and to the resolutions of Arab and Islamic summits and of the UN. [It constitutes] aggression against the Palestinian people and contempt for its rights and for everything it holds sacred, first and foremost Jerusalem and the [establishment of] an independent Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967 borders.
"The Palestinian leadership opposes the UAE move, regarding it as a betrayal of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and the Palestinian cause and as recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and demands that it immediately withdraw from this shameful decision. [The Palestinian leadership] also opposes the act of barter in which [Israel suspended] the illegal annexation and the UAE, in return, normalized [its relations with Israel] while using the Palestinian cause as a cover for its ambition. The [Palestinian] leadership warns the Arab brothers not to succumb to U.S. pressures and follow the example of the UAE by normalizing relations with the occupation state for nothing at all, at the expense of the Palestinian rights.
"The [Palestinian] leadership stresses that neither the UAE nor anyone else is entitled to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people, and that it will not allow anyone to interfere in the Palestinian issue or make decisions on the Palestinian people's behalf regarding its legitimate rights in its homeland. It also stresses that the PLO is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people..."
Nobody Is Authorized To Speak For The Palestinians Or Take Decisions Regarding Their Rights
In a statement it issued following its meeting on August 18, the Palestinian leadership said: "The Palestinian leadership, headed by Mahmoud 'Abbas, has followed... the various reactions to this announcement, which it regards as a poison dagger in the Palestinian people's back and as an attempt to circumvent the international [resolutions], shatter the Arab Peace Initiative and the resolutions of the Arab and Islamic summits, and disregard the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people...
"We demand that the Arab states lend no support to this violation of the Arab consensus, maintain an honorable stance and avoid being dragged after the U.S. and Israel into normalizing [their relations with Israel] for no reward, while shattering, canceling and destroying the Arab Peace Initiative...
"The State of Palestine, its leadership and its people... call on [the UAE] to withdraw from this historic mistake, which is simply an unearned prize for the occupation government and the administration of President Trump...
"The PLO is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and it alone is authorized to speak on its behalf and represent its national hopes and aspirations. The PLO has never empowered anyone to speak in its name and it never will, nor will it ever allow anyone to interfere in the Palestinian affairs or take decisions about Palestinian rights on the Palestinians' behalf...
"The Palestinian leadership demands that the secretary-general Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation fulfill their responsibility to defend the resolutions of the Arab and Islamic summits, especially the Arab Peace Initiative...
"We urge the UN secretary-general to reject any move that contravenes the UN Charter and the resolutions of the UN Security Council and General Assembly...
"The Palestinian leadership stresses the importance of waging popular resistance and the right of the Palestinian people to defend itself, its soil and its holy places in the broadest possible manner, as one of the means to thwart all these unacceptable plans..."
PLO Executive Committee Secretary Saeb Erekat: The Agreement Demonstrates The UAE's Groveling To Trump And Kushner
PLO Executive Committee secretary Saeb Erekat said on August 16, 2020 in an online press conference: "We reject the claim that the U.S.-sponsored agreement between the UAE and Israel benefits the Palestinian people, for the annexation [plan] had [already] been put on hold more than three weeks before the announcement [of the agreement], and immediately following this announcement Netanyahu declared that [the plan was only] postponed, [not canceled]... We adhere to the international [resolutions], and regard this move by the UAE [as an act of] rewarding Israel for its actions of annexation, killing, demolition of homes and attempts to transform the conflict [with the Palestinians] into a religious one."
Noting that the UAE used to be part of Arab solidarity and used to abide by Arab League resolutions and the Arab consensus, Erekat asked: "Has [the UAE] left the Arab consensus? And what Arab interests or Emirati interests does this announcement [of the agreement] serve?" He added that the announcement recognizes that Jerusalem is under Israeli sovereignty, which is a violation of international law, and added that it is a knife in the back of the Palestinian cause and gives senior U.S. presidential advisor Jared Kushner another chance to pressure us in order to promote the "Deal of the Century." It confirms the UAE's submission and pandering to Kushner and Trump, he further said, and rewards the forces of extremism in an attempt to pressure the Palestinians.
Erekat noted further: "We have demanded that the UAE withdraw from this decision, which does not serve any interest of the Palestinian people. We have also appealed to Arab League Secretary-General [Ahmad Abu Al-Gheit] and told him that [the agreement] violated the League's resolutions, and that if he could not condemn and oppose the actions [of the UAE because it] funds the [Arab] League, then he must resign. We have heard some Arab states welcome the agreement, [and others express] unclear positions. We hope that Bahrain, Oman, and Sudan do not take a similar step [of normalizing relations with Israel] and that Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Algeria demand that the UAE withdraw from this move..."
PLO Executive Committee: We Warn Against Possibility Of Another Arab States Normalizing Relations With Israel
Following an August 27, 2020 meeting of the PLO Executive Committee, committee member Wasel Abu Yousuf said: "The [PLO] Executive Committee warns against the possibility of any additional Arab country normalizing its relations with the Israeli occupation, in an agreement similar to the one signed by the UAE, whose position is like [a knife] in the back of our Palestinian nation. The Executive Committee stresses its opposition to every kind of normalization with the occupation, including the normalization agreement between the UAE and Israel, which it views as the submission of a letter of credence to the American administration and the Israeli occupation and as a treasonous stance on matters pertaining to the [Arab] nation and the Palestinian cause... The Arab position should support the Palestinian position rather than weaken it. [The UAE's] deviation from this position is irregular and constitutes a violation of the Arab Peace Initiative that strengthens the occupation and weakens the Palestinian position..."
Hamas Officials Condemn The Agreement
Criticism of the agreement was also voiced by leaders of Hamas. Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahhar said in an August 16, 2020 show on Qatar's Al-Jazeera that the Palestinians do not want the involvement of the UAE or other "treacherous" Arab regimes in the conflict with Israel. Hamas MP Mushir Al-Masri said at an August 14, 2020 rally in Gaza that by signing a peace deal with Israel, the UAE is committing high treason against Allah, the Prophet Muhammad, and the Muslims.
View their statements on MEMRI TV below:
II. Saudi, Emirati, Egyptian Journalists Condemn Palestinian Leadership: You Have Used The Palestinian Cause To Extort Funds, Failed To Show Gratitude, And Deliberately Missed Many Opportunities
Saudi Writer: The Palestinian Problem Is Defunct, Like The Issue Of Restoring Andalusia To Muslim Rule
In his September 2, 2020 column in the Saudi daily 'Okaz, Hani Al-Zahiri called on the Palestinians to emerge from their coma and to realize that for 60 years their leaders have been maintaining the status quo in the Palestinian cause in order to cash in on it for their own personal profit – and that this is why they have rejected every peace initiative.
Hani Al-Zahiri (Source: Okaz.com.sa)
He wrote: "The situation of our Palestinian brothers is regrettable. For over 60 years, their politicians have cashed in on their cause, and persisted in not reaching an arrangement, in destroying the negotiations, and in opposing every peace initiative, whether proposed by the Israelis or by the other international elements. The Palestinian politician has inflicted this on his cause and his people in order to profit from leaving things as they are, since the way he has chosen for decades was the only way to guarantee that he would remain in the picture and [benefit from the] influx of funds, donations and aid flowing from all directions, particularly from the Arab and Islamic world, into his coffers and his European bank accounts.
"Today, the situation is different, because the peoples who once identified with the Palestinian cause are completely aware of this manipulation and the way it is done. This means the death of the Palestinian cause in the hearts of millions, because this is the natural outcome of six decades of lies and deception and collection of funds on behalf of a crisis whose owners have no interest in resolving.
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"A few days ago came the UAE's bold move – normalization with Israel – to tell the Palestinian political leaders: 'The time has come to deal with yourselves and with those who have been defrauded by you. The time for the games, hypocrisy, and the trading in the distress of the Palestinian people has passed, because the interest of the Arab people in Gaza and the West Bank demands intervention by the sane Arabs in order to negotiate with the Israeli side and act to bring comprehensive peace to the region, far from the gangs that derive political profit.'
"What is clear is that now it is certain that other Arab countries will follow in the footsteps of the UAE – that is, additional fig leaves will fall from the private parts of those who are looting the Palestinian cause, whom history will overlook and hound forever because of the suffering caused to the Palestinians...
"In effect, the matter of the entire Palestinian cause cannot remain pending in the current situation, because it has reached old age, and what comes next is only death. Therefore, it must either be resolved today, or else die, just as the cause of Al-Andalus died, and the wise understand that there is no difference between the two.
"I, as an Arab Muslim, am sorry about the situation of the Palestinian who has been bought and sold by his political leaders, and I wish him all the best and [also wish him] an awakening from his coma and his adoption of [a path] that will serve him and his future well. But I do not think that his cause – whose ownership is contested by its rivals [the Israelis] – is sacred. This is particularly true because several Arab countries' normalization with Israel will allow me and other Muslims to visit and pray at Al-Aqsa mosque, and this is the only thing that concerns me in this matter. [Everything] beyond that is up to the [Palestinians], since this is, in rational language, a 'real estate dispute' of the first degree, and no one should be ashamed to admit it."
Cartoon in UAE daily (Al-Ittihad, UAE, September 13, 2020)
Emirati Businessman Khalaf Al-Habtoor: The Palestinians Are Responsible For Their Tragic Situation
Emirati business magnate Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor said in a September 4, 2020 interview on the Saudi channel Al-Arabiya TV that the Palestinians are responsible for their own tragic situation. He added that the Arab world had supported them with billions of dollars only to see Palestinian movements like Hamas support Iran against the Arab world.
To view some of his statements on MEMRI TV, click here or below:
Saudi Journalist: The Palestinians Extorted Funds From The Gulf States But Failed To Support Them Against Iran – And Therefore Lost The Gulf's Support
Saudi journalist 'Abdallah bin Bjad Al-'Otaibi wrote in a similar vein in his column in the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat:
'Abdallah bin Bjad Al-'Otaibi (source: Twitter.com/Abdullahbjad.com)
"For seven decades, the Palestinians have been completely reliant on the aid from Arab countries, particularly from the rich Arab Gulf, for [all] things concerning their livelihood, their lives, their jobs, their rule, their embassies, and all the details of their lives. [Yet] they have consistently insisted that all their decisions be in their own hands, with no intervention by the countries that support [them] and no thought for the interests of those countries and the challenges that they face. The problem with the erosion of the sacred [Palestinian] cause, and of its transformation into nothing more than a source of extortion, is that the cause may [entirely] lose its sanctity and be abandoned by its supporters. The young Arabs in most Arab countries have begun losing their enthusiasm for the Palestinian [cause], for it has long been exploited by Arab and regional countries and by several Palestinian streams in favor of political matters that have nothing to do with the Palestinian people...
"The Palestinian schism that shattered the Palestinian unity took place with the full support of Iran, Turkey, Qatar, and the political Islam organizations, led by the Muslim Brotherhood [MB] in Egypt and Gaza. It aimed to serve the [MB], not Palestine. Hamas took over Gaza by force of arms, murder, and blood, [that it directed] not against Israel but against the Palestinian people...
"The massive, ongoing Arab aid to the Palestinians was given freely and with no boasting [on the part of the donors], but the exclusive [Palestinian right to] decision-making, the extensive corruption [among the Palestinians], and the aging leadership and its inability to create any breakthrough have left these countries and brother peoples no [choice] but to reexamine their priorities and set [their own] national [interests] above everything else.
"The UAE's position is supported by many Arab countries, primarily by young Arabs who seek a future, development, progress and advancement. This position is supported especially [due to the need] to deal with the dangers posed to the region by Iran and Turkey...
"For many years, in ongoing discussions with Arab intellectuals, this writer and others have attempted to persuade them that the Gulf states have for a long time stood alongside the Arabs in dealing with the Israeli danger, and the time has come for them [the Arabs] to stand alongside the Gulf states in dealing with the Iranian danger. But all this was to no avail, because of the clear persistence in not condemning Iran and its threats – on the contrary, some Palestinian streams allied publicly with Iran against the Gulf states, and other streams kept silent on this matter.
"Ultimately, the UAE and the Gulf states never boasted in any way about any aid they provided for the Palestinian cause, and they never will. But the situation in the region and in the world has been overturned, and has changed a great deal in the past seven decades. Time has dissolved all the slogans, the capabilities, and the past balances [of power], and we [are today living] in the era of the nation state... that seeks first and foremost the interests of itself and its people."
Egyptian Journalist: Those Who Curse The UAE Must Give Up Their Delusions And Face Reality
Egyptian journalist Amina Khairy, a columnist for the UAE daily Al-Bayan, wrote that the slogans the Arabs brandished for years have not advanced them. She condemned the Palestinians and some other Arabs who insist on cultivating delusions while attacking and cursing the Arabs who choose to see reality as it is and to promote their own interests, such as the UAE.
Amina Khairy (source: Mediaaws.almasryalyoum.com)
She wrote: "For decades, and perhaps many centuries, we believed that when an ostrich is confronted by sudden danger it buries its head in the sand... where it feels that it is safe because its eyes cannot see the threat. We have continued to use the phrase 'so-and-so buries his head in the sand to avoid reality' so frequently that burying one's head in the sand has become a way of life [for some people] – even though, it turns out, that the ostrich is innocent of the behavior attributed to it... and does not bury its head in the sand to escape [reality]. So why do we continue to adopt [this behavior]?!
"We [Egyptians] began to take our heads out of the sand 41 years ago. On March 21, 1979, Egypt signed a peace agreement with Israel, devised by President Muhammad Anwar Al-Sadat, who was treasonously assassinated in 1981. At the time, the world was in an uproar, and it still has not calmed down, despite the many years that passed and the many changes they brought. [But] for 41 years, the Palestinian cause – which is of concern to all Arabs – has accrued nothing but further losses and defeats...
"There is a big difference between dreaming of being a millionaire and becoming one. You have the right to take steps in order to become a millionaire, but lying on the sofa waiting to become a millionaire, or for some [existing millionaire] to adopt you and transport you from the ranks of the needy to a life of luxury – well, that is the epitome of delusion. Delusion becomes defamation and lies when you choose to curse and hate others for failing to take notice of you while you continue to lounge on that sofa. Defamation becomes emotional deception when the person reclining [on the sofa] begins to imagine he possesses means and capabilities that do not, in fact, exist.
"Today's reality suggests that the slogans of the past decades have proven to be slogans [and nothing more.] They were not translated into actual capabilities or ownership [over land or property]. Confusing our dreams for reality will only push us to bury our head deeper in the sand. The insistence on cursing anyone who chooses to remove the abaya [traditional Arab robe] of this dream, and to come down to reality while minimizing the damage, is an insistence on a scientifically impossible illusion.
"A few days ago, the UAE announced its agreement with Israel... The strange thing is that some voices criticize and oppose [the agreement] as though they are living on Mars... Establishing relations between countries is not the same as a love [affair], nor is it the same as [handing over] a carte blanche. Political-strategic relations are not a marriage, designed to establish a family, but rather a treaty of mutual interests and balances. This romantic view of politics and this imaginary and false approach to strategy and policy, that are based on a dream masquerading as a vision, is what brought the Arab region to its current situation."
Egyptian Media Figure: The Palestinians Must Acknowledge The Balance Of Power, Realize That 'Palestine From The River To The Sea' Is Gone For Good
In an August 20, 2020 article, Egyptian media figure 'Imad Al-Din Adib called on the Palestinian leadership to stop dreaming about historical Palestine and acknowledge the new reality and balances of power. He wrote:
'Imad Al-Din Adib (source: Al-Watan, Egypt)
"The UAE has successfully reached a breakthrough with Israel, under American auspices, which could be useful for the Palestinian cause. Thus, the [sweeping] rejection [of reaching any agreement with Israel] by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, and the PA is incredibly damaging – not to the UAE, Israel, or the U.S., but to the interests of the patient Palestinian people, who continue to suffer under the cruelty of Israeli occupation...
"To the remaining rational Palestinian decision-makers, I say: The historic Palestine we know – from the river to the sea – cannot be fully restored, in light of the current state of Palestine, which is weak, fragile, and internally divided. [It is divided] geographically (Gaza and the West Bank);... politically (Fatah, the PFLP, the DFLP, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the People's Party); and ideologically (the civil action plan vs. the religious action plan.) Qatar, Iran, and Turkey will never help all these factions, because they have never made any effort to unite them; indeed, they [actively] exacerbated these divisions to serve their own nefarious purposes!
"Any agreement or negotiation is rendered meaningless and invalid if it disregards the current power balance and fails to anticipate future trends. The world of 1947 was different from the world after June 1967, from the world after October 1973, and from the world after the rise of the resistance [i.e. Hizbullah] in Beirut, the world after the Oslo Accords, the assassination of [Israeli prime minister Yitzhak] Rabin, the death of Yasser Arafat by poison, the world after the Arab Spring, and the recent Iranian, Turkish, and Russian conquests in the region. Therefore, the principles of the Arab Peace Initiative, written 6570 days ago... are in need of revived momentum and a political breakthrough in order to salvage it from its stagnation and keep it from flatlining...
"If I were among the Palestinian decision-makers, I would put an end to the condemnation, invective, and insults, the threats of retaliation, the withdrawal of ambassadors, the casting of doubts on intentions, and the accusations of treason – for shame!... The price of this bragging, of these populist internal achievements, is ultimately paid by the people, with their money, their land, their sovereignty, and their blood. This is the issue, and this is our calamity!"
Egyptian Researchers: The Palestinians Are Responsible For Their Own Plight; The UAE Has Nothing To Do With The Palestinian Problem
Other figures in Egypt criticized the Palestinians as well. Dr. Said 'Okasha, an expert in Israel studies at the Al-Ahram Research Center, said in an August 24, 2020 interview on Dubai TV (UAE) that the Palestinians are fully responsible for their current "tragedy" because they have chosen to align themselves with Islamist and pan-Arab movements.
To view his statements on MEMRI TV, click here or below:
Egyptian-American analyst Magdi Khalil said on an August 14, 2020 show on Russia Today TV that the UAE is acting realistically and courageously by developing its relations with Israel, and that this is not a betrayal of the Palestinians because the UAE has nothing to do with the Palestinian cause.
To view his statements on MEMRI TV, click here or below:
Saudi Journalist: The Palestinians, Headed By 'Abbas, Are Ungrateful And Unwise
Following the harsh attack on the Gulf countries by Palestinian President Mahmoud 'Abbas and by the secretary-general of the Al-Sa'iqa organization, who called these countries "illiterate," Saudi journalist Wafa Al-Rashid condemned 'Abbas in her column in the Saudi daily 'Okaz. She wrote: "['Abbas said]: 'There are 13 million of us [Palestinians], and all of us are educated. There is no illiteracy among as, as exists in other places. None, none, none.' He was hinting... at the Bedouins [of the Gulf] who loyally settled in the desert and turned it into a paradise that everyone wants to come to and work in.
"Regarding these [Bedouins] as simple folk who do not understand what he and his people understand, he mumbled: 'From 1948 until today, the Palestinian people has undertaken to elevate the Gulf states. We taught them how to read and write and drive and everything.' These are statements from the sermon of strife, which will not remain unanswered, either by the governments of the Gulf or by the Gulf people.
"These ungrateful and unwise [statements] come from leaders who fan the hostility between their peoples and ours, and then rush over and ask for our support, assistance, and funds. It is an act of denying the truth about who we were in the past and who we are today. History, which is more loyal than [the Palestinian leaders], will not forget Saudi Arabia and its positions on the Palestinian cause. So stop your mumblings and your hints, you creature ['Abbas], for we and the world know the truth about you.
"Let me give you an update on Saudi Arabia and on its great nation of patriotic believers. Did you know that Saudi Arabia and its people, who number 21 million, hold 680 international patents, compared to [only] 41 patents held by the 324 million Arabs of Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco, Sudan and Jordan combined? Did you know that four Saudi universities are listed on the Shanghai Ranking of the world's best universities, but only one university form another Arab country [is listed]? Did you know that young Saudis have won a record number of prestigious awards in physics, chemistry and math, among Arab countries? [They have won] 45 international awards, compared to only 14 awards [won by all the other] Arab [countries], except for the Gulf states. Remember [also] that the Nobel Prize won by Yasser Arafat was awarded to him for making peace with Israel...
"Does Mahmoud 'Abbas know that, despite all the economic, healthcare and political challenges it faces, Saudi Arabia has never stopped its financial aid to the Palestinian government, not even at the height of the crisis caused by the drop in crude oil prices?... [And that] all the [Saudi] contributions [to the PA] between 1994 and 2018 total $800 million?
"How long will you [continue] this boasting and these statements with which you deceive and drug your helpless people? The most significant point is that you are defying [sovereign] states and dictating your positions to them, while you are still living on occupied soil."
Saudi Writer: The Palestinians Have No Right To Criticize The Arab Countries That Seek Normalization With Israel
Saudi columnist Amal 'Abd Al-'Aziz Al-Hazani likewise criticized the Palestinian leadership. She wondered why the PA does not condemn Qatar, which maintains ties with Israel and at the same time supports terror organizations in Gaza and throughout the world, and whose influence on the Palestinian cause has been "negative."
She wrote: "One of the more cheering pieces of news lately was the one about the conference of the Palestinian faction leaders, which was held in Beirut and convened by PA President Mahmoud 'Abbas. This is great news, because the last time they convened during the schism between Gaza and the West Bank, which has been ongoing for 13 years, was nine years ago. Even more heartening was [the fact that] the conference brought the entire spectrum of Palestinian [factions], from the communists to the Islamists, to the table, something we have not seen for a very long time. But the great achievement was the agreement reached by all the conference participants on the need for Palestinian unity and for renewing contact between the rival sides – so much so that Chairman 'Abbas even downplayed the reasons that had led to the schism [between the West Bank and Gaza], calling them meaningless!
"This is an astonishing achievement, which makes us wonder: Why did all the Arab efforts to unite the Palestinians fail, while they themselves have succeeded in achieving this, and what does this mean? What has changed? What caused all these friends to convene so quickly around the same table, and [what caused] all of these faction to pledge that the PLO is the sole representative of the Palestinians, that there can be no [Palestinian state] without Gaza and that Gaza will not be an independent state, and to rally around Mahmoud 'Abbas?
"There has been no change in the suffocating siege on Gaza... Nor has there been any change in [the following issues]: the war waged against Gaza, the moving of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, [Israel's] enterprise of building settlements and annexing Palestinian lands, or, of course, the commitment by the two main sides, Hamas and Fatah, to unite – a commitment they signed in front of the holy mosque in Mecca in 2007. None of these are the reason that brought the Palestinians together and united their ranks. The reason is in fact simpler than all these catastrophes that have threatened the Palestinians' existence: It is the UAE's decision to normalize relations with Israel.
"Has the UAE [indeed] managed to do the impossible and unite the Palestinians? If that is the case, then this is the first fruit of this UAE decision. We at least have one Arab state that still has some influence on the Palestinian decisions!
"But again a question arises: Is the UAE the only Arab country that has established relations with Israel, [thereby justifying] such a decisive Palestinian response? The countries neighboring Israel, like Egypt and Jordan, cannot be compared to any others in terms of the agreements they decided to sign with Israel in order to protect and regain their lands. But what about Morocco and the Sultanate of Oman? What about Qatar, which, by the admission of its former prime minister, Hamad bin Jassim, maintains ties with Israel in order to serve the Palestinian [cause]?
"Qatar has indeed had great influence on the Palestinian issue. But, sadly, it has been negative influence, and the situation created by Qatar realizes the ambitions of the resistance axis, as follows: The armed resistance in Gaza, which includes both Hamas and Islamic Jihad, was sold using Qatari money to buy security for Israel and thereby appease the U.S.... [The latter] will give Qatar credit for this, even though the American security apparatuses are aware of the direct and indirect assistance that the Qatari regime extends to extremist organizations, both Shi'ite and Sunni. Gaza, then, is pleased with the intervention of Qatar, which provides it with money that enters [Gaza] through Israel; the West Bank likewise receives the funds that sustain it, quietly and without having to worry about the Gazans. And Iran regards this situation as the best available option, amid the sanctions that impede its activity, because the important point is that its main goal is achieved, namely widening the Palestinian rift, which means that no negotiations can take place and the two-state solution cannot be realized. All parties are thus ultimately satisfied.
"The UAE normalization [agreement] with Israel has completely changed the balances of power, and the first sign of this was the conference I mentioned [of the Palestinian factions in Beirut]. The need to unite the ranks – in response to the UAE position and out of fear that other Arab countries will join the normalization [initiative] one by one – effectively reflects the [Palestinians'] belief that the Palestinian cause has lost its power in the international arena.
"The UAE demanded that Israel suspend the annexation of the [occupied] territories and allow all Muslims to pray at Al-Aqsa, which is a realization of part of the Arab dream. Yet 'Abbas responded in his speech by saying, 'Thank you, we don't need favors from anyone,' and added: 'We are big boys and can take care of ourselves.' If the Palestinians have suddenly grown up and need no one, and can stop the annexation of the Palestinian lands by themselves, as 'Abbas claimed, then why are they so furious? If they need no one's help, why do the Arab positions vis-à-vis Israel concern them?
"The truth, as everyone knows, is that were it not for the Arab countries – especially the major ones, like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE – Palestine would not have been able to take any political step towards an international recognition of its rights – not just today, but for decades...
"The Palestinians have no right to judge the Arab states' positions on Israel or to control them, for they themselves do not treat these states equally. For the last three years, the members of the [Arab] Quartet – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain – have been boycotting Qatar over its support of terrorism that threatens their national security. Has the West Bank or Gaza taken any stance on this? The [Muslim] Brotherhood movement, supported by Qatar, once threatened the UAE regime. Did the Palestinians take a counter-stance in support [of the UAE regime]? Not to mentions the Palestinian position on the war in Kuwait and Saddam [Hussein's] invasion of it...
"Ultimately, what we want for the Palestinians is that everything they promised themselves at the Beirut conference should come to pass, for we wish them only the best..."
Kuwaiti TV Host: The Palestinians' Reaction To The Normalization Agreement Is A Historic Mistake
Kuwaiti TV host Fajer Alsaeed said on the August 17, 2020 episode of her TV show that the Palestinians are rejecting the benefits the UAE has achieved on their behalf in its deal with Israel, just as they had rejected the treaty that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat had signed with Israel.
To view her statements on MEMRI TV, click here or below:
Saudi MP: The Palestinians Must Understand They Have To Take Care Of Themselves, Not Just Exploit The Arabs And Muslims
Saudi Member of Parliament 'Issa Gheith also responded with fury to statements made at the conference of the Palestinian faction leaders. In an article titled "The Palestinian Suicide," he wrote: "We Arabs are interested in Palestine, not in the Palestinians, just like, as Muslims, we are interested in Jerusalem, and mainly in Al-Aqsa, not in the residents of Jerusalem. It makes no sense to expect the Arabs, and especially the people of the Gulf, to be more Palestinian than the Palestinians themselves, who have sold out their cause and some of whom live inside Israel and are in better shape than the [Palestinian] citizens of Gaza and the West Bank.
"We were saddened by what we heard from the Palestinian president and his fellow [participants] at the conference of the faction leaders, [by] their attack on the Arabs, and [by] their insulting [statements] about the people of the Gulf, especially about Saudi Arabia – which has given Palestine more than its people have given it, whether in terms of precious blood, past oil [revenues], huge sums of money, serious positions, the hosting [of Palestinian workers in Saudi Arabia,] and overall support for seven decades.
"The Palestinians must understand... that today's Arabs and Muslims are different than the past [generations], for the young generation has gained awareness and can no longer be deceived or exploited. The Palestinians have kept their cause exclusively under their own control, traded in it, and missed opportunities one by one, until their rights evaporated. So [now] they must carry out their duty and [act] on their own.
"We, as peoples, will not oppose them as they opposed us during the [Iraqi] occupation of Kuwait in the past and during the Houthi [occupation] of Yemen today. But the [Islamic] shari'a obligates us not to harm our own interests and lose them for the sake of people who want nothing but to harm us and curse us at every opportunity..."
Emirati Research Institute Director: The Palestinian Factions Are The Biggest Obstacle Impeding The Palestinian People
Ahmad Muhammad Al-Shehhi, president of the Julphar Research Institute and director of the Ras Al-Khaima Quran Memorization Center, wrote an article attacking the Palestinian factions, calling them responsible for the disgraceful situation of the Palestinians today: "For many long decades, the Palestinian cause has been deteriorating from day to day and running into dead ends. One of the main factors responsible for this disgraceful situation is the Palestinian factions, who know nothing but division, mutual accusations and quarrels, and the greatest losers in this situation are the Palestinian people and cause. All this time, the rational ones have screamed themselves hoarse trying to get the Palestinian factions to end their schism, sit together around the negotiation table, and prioritize the supreme [Palestinian] interests over their narrow agendas and interests. But to no avail. Nobody heeded their call...
"Today, when these factions [finally] convened [at the conference of faction leaders], the mountain gave birth to a mouse – or rather to a distorted creature, for suddenly all the factions... are directing their poisoned arrows at their Arab brothers, especially at the UAE and the Gulf states, with hasty statements and irresponsible claims. How strange that these factions, who boast that they have the [final] word regarding their cause and that they will allow no one to speak on their behalf or interfere in their affairs, are today doing the opposite in their attack on the UAE: They are interfering in its affairs and attacking its sovereign decisions. More than that, they are inciting the Palestinian communities in the [Gulf] states to harm their interests and interfere in their policies. Is this not a despicable, foolish, and thuggish double standard?!...
"The UAE is one of the greatest donors to UNRWA in the world, and ranks fourth in providing financial aid to the state of Palestine. The UAE has stressed its support for the Palestinian cause and [emphasized] that this is its unshakable position and that an agreement [with Israel] does not change it... But despite these [assurances], the [Palestinian] factions do not understand these facts, and are continuing their policy of distortion, accusations of treason, and taking this agreement out of context.
"My advice to these factions, and the advice of all reasonable people, is to examine [the issue] far from the narrow agendas and cheap bargaining in false slogans. If they cannot do that, they should leave it [i.e. the handling the Palestinian cause] to others, since the Palestinian people and the Arab and Muslim world have had enough of their [invective]. [Think] how many efforts have been made, how much time has been wasted, how much money has been spent, how many meetings have been held and agreements signed, and how many diplomatic and political moves have been taken – while the greatest obstacle to all these was the [Palestinian] factions...
"These factions [even] acknowledged this fact in their wretched conference, and thereby proved that they are [indeed] the greatest threat and obstacle faced by the Palestinian people and cause, and that the time has come to acknowledge this truth!..."
Dubai Deputy Police Chief: Had 'Abbas Been A Worthy Leader, He Would Have Either Solved The Palestinian Problem Or Resigned
In a September 1, 2020 interview, Lieutenant-General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai's deputy chief of police and general security, said that unlike Turkey and Iran, Israel has never threatened the Gulf states. He elaborated that 'Abbas is incapable of making a decision to resolve the Palestinian cause , adding that if he were a "worthy leader" he would have resolved the Palestinian problem or resigned if unsuccessful.
To view these statements on MEMRI TV, click here or below:
 Wafa.ps, August 18, 2020.
 Wafa.ps, September 3, 2020; youtube.com/watch?v=6tYE3UT7TOk&feature=youtu.be&t=656.
 Wafa.ps, August 13, 2020.
 Wafa.ps, August 18, 2020.
 Wafa.ps, August 16, 2020.
 Wafa.ps, August 27, 2020.
 'Okaz (Saudi Arabia), September 2, 2020.
 Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), August 16, 2020.
 Al-Bayan (UAE), August 21, 2020.
 Al-Watan (Egypt), August 20, 2020.
 The statements attributed by Rashid to 'Abbas were actually said by Al-Sa'iqa faction leader Mu'in Hamed in 'Abbas's presence.
 'Okaz (Saudi Arabia), September 7, 2020.
 A reference to the agreement signed by Fatah and Hamas in Mecca on February 8, 2007, in which they agreed to form a national accord government and to end power struggle between them that had been ongoing since 2005.
 A reference to Yasser Arafat's support for Saddam Hussein's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
 Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), September 8, 2020.
 A reference to the boycott imposed in the 1970s by the oil-producing Arab states on Western countries supporting Israel.
 Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), September 7, 2020.
 Al-Bayan (UAE), September 8, 2020.