Abbas is a subcontractor of Israel to rule the West Bank
Dr. Menachem Klein has just launched his new book that compares Arafat and Abbas.12 September 2019 10:48
A new book by author Dr. Menachem Klein, professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. (Amazon.com)
Dr Menachem Klein, professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, has just launched his new book title Arafat and Abbas: Portaits of Leadership in A State Postponed. In that book, he compares the two leaders.
For Palestinians and international community, it is very interesting to compare Yasir Arafat and Mahmud Abbas in their each role to lead the truggle of Palestinians fro independence. Arafat had a great achievement by signing Oslo Peace Accord with his counterpart Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
But unfortunately, since replaced Arafat, Abbas until recently cant not reach a peace agreement with Israel. Even the situasion can be worse with upcoming peace proposal from the US President Donlad Trump.
"I compare the two leaders from their personalisties to foreign and domestic politics," said Dr. Menachem Klein in an exlcusive interview with Faisal Assegaf from Albalad.co via WhatsApp three days ago.
In the context of their struggle for independence, which one is the best for Palestine, Arafat or Abbas?
No doubt that Arafat paved the way and brought the plo from the margin to the centre of regional and international politics. Abbas failed to break ahead.
Why did Arafat can achieve a breakthrough, Oslo Peace Accord? And why Abbas is still fail to gain a similiar one?
Oslo of course but ahead of it the first intifada and acceptance of dividing Palestine and having a state next to Israel. Abbas is stuck, has no relevant strategy beyond postponing Trump deal, in which he succeeded. In the book I discuss in length his career and experience showing the causes for his limit.
If Abbas leads Palestinians during Arafat period, do you think he can reach a great success like Arafat?
He was in the back seat during Arafat time, and not by mistake. Arafat made it an Abbas preferred. He was pushed to power by the international community when Arafat died.
Otherwise, while Arafat as a leader during this time, do you think he can be fail too like Abbas?
He would have been more active, for the better and for the worse.
But will he get failure too?
I don't know. It is open to different predictions.
If they live in the same period, do you think who should be a leader to achieve the independence of Palestine?
They lived in the same period but could not cooperate, it's a very unlikely scenario that you put in the question. One fact is clear. The public supported Arafat much more than it supports Abbas.
Which one is most preferred by Israel and the US as their partner in the process of negosiation?
Indeed Arafat imposed himself and the case on Israel. He was less accepted than his successor. Today for the US and Israel even Abbas is not good beyond his security collaboration. For Israel he is not a partner but subcontractor to rule the West Bank.
Comparing Arafat and Abbas, do you think who is most corrupted?
Both. It is not a unique phenomenon to Arabs or the third world, also Israeli leadership is not clean, from Netanyahu down to mayors.
According to you, is there any good candidate to replace Abbas and can collaborate with Israel and the US in negotiation process?
All of the competitors that I discuss in the book except Hamas are ready to engage directly on peace along the Arab peace plan but not Israel and the US. Hamas is ready for temporary agreements.
Is there any good candidate to replace Abbas?
There are several, I discuss them in the book
Can you mention?
Marwan Barghouti, Muhammad Dahlan, Jibril Rajoub.
On Israeli side, is there any good candidate to replace Netanyahu?
In politics elsewhere you have to choose between bad and worse not between bad and good, in particular when most politicians are not the best and brightest. In this category we have many.
Do you think Netanyahu will lose the election this time?