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The Arab League and regional leaders will forget Arafat's warning at their peril

18 12 4

I miss Yasser Arafat. Like many revolutionary leaders he was flawed but he had guts, determination and a courage that reflected the Palestinians he served so well. When challenged by him, the members of the Arab League were either in awe, fear or a combination of both, which led the Palestine Liberation Organisation to be treated as “the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”

As the anniversary of his death approaches, it has become increasingly obvious that such respect is not commanded by the current Palestinian leader and PLO chair, Mahmoud Abbas. At 85 years old, and having frittered away the goodwill and respect built up by Arafat, he is a pale imitation of his former boss who has led the Palestinian people into a cul-de-sac of despair from which it will be difficult to return. His betrayal of the people he is supposed to serve has come about through a toxic fusion of corruption, incompetence and cowardice. This, I believe, has led to the normalisation deals being agreed between Israel and some members of the Arab League, of which Sudan is the latest, but won’t be the last.

The UAE, Bahrain and the supposedly “transitional” government in Khartoum would never have dared to even consider going down the path of normalisation with Israel if Arafat had still been alive. The Palestinian leadership in Ramallah can’t even summon an emergency meeting of the Arab League or pull together a condemnatory statement about normalisation, so pitiful is the regard in which it is held by other........

© Middle East Monitor

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