Abbas and Palestine Spring Are an Oxymoron

Brendan O’Neill doesn’t agree with the Palestine Spring Mahmoud Abbas has declared as part of his statehood push.

After seeing headlines like AP‘s, I tweeted a similar reaction yesterday.

But it’s more telling when the sentiment is made by a self-described Palestinian supporter like O’Neill. He writes at Australia’s ABC News:

Two phenomena seem to be fuelling Abbas’s cynical move. The first is the inability of his movement, Fatah, to assert its moral authority across all the Palestinian territories and to bring Hamas to heel.

The plea for statehood is an attempt to demonstrate the authority of Fatah, to secure from the bigwigs at the United Nations something that Fatah has singularly failed to win amongst the Palestinian people themselves: a stamp of approval saying it is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian cause.

And the second thing is the Arab Spring. Having witnessed the anger of the Arab masses with their ageing, authoritarian, corrupt rulers, Fatah is keen to offset similar disgruntlement amongst the Palestinian people.

The real concept of an Arab Spring is ostensibly about overthrowing old guard leaders with no legitimate mandate to rule. Abbas is simply hijacking the concept of Palestinian Spring before a more genuine Palestinian Spring movement hijacks him.