LCCC ENGLISH DAILY
Bible Quotation For Today/Made
Alive in Christ
Ephesians 02/01-19: "As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit."
editorials from miscellaneous sources published on November 29-30/14
How to face fears of falling oil prices/Abdulrahman Al-Rashed/Asharq Al Awsat/November 29-30/14
Abbas is Arafat in a suit/Moshe Elad/Ynetnews/November 29-30/14
Lebanese Related News
published on November 29-30/14
FSA asks Lebanon to release 5 detained opposition members
Berri: Chances are High for a Successful Dialogue between al-Mustaqbal and Hizbullah
Al-Manar: Iranian Commander Led Iraq Anti-Jihadist Drive
Residents of Batroun villages decry blackout Report: French Official in Lebanon in Early December to Discuss Presidential Elections
Lebanese Army dismantles bomb in Arsal
Report: FPM Says Constitutional Council Decision Will Not Avert Vacuum
Salam: Officials Must Rise above Disputes, Return to Dialogue and Elect President
French Official in Lebanon in Early December to Discuss Presidential Elections
FPM Says Constitutional Council Decision Will Not Avert Vacuum
Qatari Envoy to Return amid Conflicting Reports on Nusra's Threat to Murder al-Bazzal
FSA asks Lebanon to release 5 detained fighters
Residents of north Lebanon town decry enduring blackout
Man who Transported Female Would-Be Bombers Referred to Judiciary
Maliki Arrives in Beirut for Talks with Officials, Party Leaders
Miscellaneous Reports And News published on
Pope Francis Reflects in Mosque on Symbolic Istanbul Visit
Pope Francis visits iconic religious sites in Istanbul
Netanyahu picks Eizenkot as next IDF chief
New IDF chief: Cool and calculated, will strike hard and fast - but only if he must
Egyptian court drops case against Mubarak over 2011 protester deaths
Tehran Wades into Iraq’s Crisis
Hagia Sophia: object of admiration and contention
Nigeria vows to hunt those behind mosque attacks ISIS sets off suicide bombs on Turkey border Reports of explosion near UK army barracks Palestinian official slams 'racist' Jewish state law Al-Qaeda claims attack on US embassy in Yemen Houthi presence in Sana’a affecting Yemen’s territorial security: Transport Minister
UN: More than 16,000 Ebola cases
Below Jihad Watch Posts For Friday
Pope calls for fighting hunger and poverty as key to stopping jihadists
UAE defends designating Hamas-linked CAIR, MAS as terror groups
Church of England bishop says Qur’an should be read at Charles’ coronation
John Cleese says you can’t make jokes about Muslims: “They’ll kill you”
Nigeria: Islamic jihadists murder at least 64 with guns and bombs at mosque
Nigeria: Islamic jihadists murder 40 with bomb at bus station
Denmark paid unemployment benefits to 28 Muslims waging jihad for Islamic State
UK officials can’t stop battle-hardened jihadis from returning from Islamic State
Belgium: Sunni Muslim tried for deadly arson attack on Shia mosque
Australia: Muslims refuse to stand for judge, say Islam is their only authority
Crisis of a community
Austria: Police raid mosques, arrest 13 for jihad recruitment
Lebanese Army dismantles bomb in
The Daily Star/Nov. 29, 2014/BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army said Saturday that it discovered and dismantled a bomb and an anti-tank landmine on the outskirts of the northeastern town of Arsal. In a statement, the military said a patrol unit driving through the outskirts of the town at 6:30 a.m. spotted the bomb and the landmine as well as remote controls that could have detonated the explosives. The Army cordoned off the area while an explosives expert defused the two devices. The bomb weighed an estimated 20 kilograms, the Army said in the statement, releasing photos of the bomb, the landmine and the wireless devices that could have been used to detonate them. The National News Agency said the bomb was discovered in the Aqaba area in Arsal and was planted on the side of a rugged road that the military often travels through. The Army has been the target of attacks by Islamist militants who have infiltrated the border with Syria, accusing the military of working alongside Hezbollah and tightening the siege on them. Meanwhile, gunmen suspected of belonging to ISIS fired at municipal guards in Arsal late Friday, the NNA said. The agency said a group of gunmen in a black Kia fired at the guards in several places in Arsal. However, a security source in the Bekaa Valley told The Daily Star that the guards were not specifically targeted. The attack came after ISIS threatened the Municipality of Arsal over the use of municipal guards "because they were backed by the Army."
Berri: Chances are High for a
Successful Dialogue between al-Mustaqbal and Hizbullah
Naharnet/Speaker Nabih Berri stated on Saturday that chances are high for dialogue to yield well between al-Mustaqbal movement and Hizbullah, the As Safir daily reported on Saturday. Berri described the dialogue-encouraging stance of al-Mustaqbal movement leader Saad Hariri as “good”, saying: “Hariri's stance reiterates what I announced later on the necessity to keep the agenda of talks away from the issue of the Resistance's arms and the Syrian file, for difficulty of reaching an agreement on those two.”He pointed “the ideas suggested by Hariri regarding the dialogue are realistic mainly what touched on the need to contain sedition, which is exactly what Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah wants. “Besides, the issue of security in the area of Bekaa and reaching an agreement on a consensual president without discussing names of candidates,” are further ideas propsed for discussion. Hariri announced on Thursday that he is seeking a “serious dialogue” with Hizbullah “for the sake of the country,” as he stressed the need to elect a “consensual president.”
Lebanon has been left without a president since May when the term of President Michel Suleiman ended. The parliament has so far failed to elect a successor over divisions between the rival March 8 and March 14 alliances. The Speaker will set the time for the proposed dialogue as soon as he receives an official suggestion on the meeting agenda from al-Mustaqbal and Hizbullah. Berri also suggested to host the first meeting at his Ain el-Tineh residence with a joint sponsorship with MP Walid Jumblat. But he said that he is pushing for the two sides to meet alone and that he is ready to intervene if requested. If a meeting was to take place, it would be between the political aide to Hizbullah secretary general Hussein Khalil, the adviser of al-Mustaqbal movement leader, Nader al-Hariri and MP Jamal al-Jarrah representing head of al-Mustaqbal bloc Fouad Saniora.
Pope Francis Reflects in Mosque on
Symbolic Istanbul Visit
Naharnet /Pope Francis on Friday paused for a moment of contemplation in an Ottoman mosque alongside a top Islamic cleric, as he visited Istanbul on a richly-symbolic trip to the former capital of the Christian Byzantine world. On the second day of his first trip to overwhelmingly Muslim but officially secular Turkey, Francis toured key religious and historical sites in the city once known as Constantinople that was conquered by the Ottoman army in 1453. The visit of the pope is seen as a crucial test of Francis's ability to build bridges between faiths amid the rampage by Islamic State (IS) jihadists in Iraq and Syria and concerns over the persecution of Christian minorities in the Middle East. The centrepiece of his morning tour was a closely-scrutinised visit to the great Sultan Ahmet mosque -- known abroad as the Blue Mosque and one of the great masterpieces of Ottoman architecture. The pope paused for two minutes and clasped his hands in reflection alongside a senior Islamic cleric, a gesture remarkably similar to that of his predecessor Benedict XVI who visited the mosque on the last papal visit to Turkey in 2006. The pope closed his eyes, clasped his hands in front of his chest beneath the cross he wears around his neck and bowed his head, as he stood next to Istanbul Mufti Rahmi Yaran who performed an Islamic prayer known as the dua.
Like Francis, Benedict had turned towards Mecca in what many saw as a stunning gesture of reconciliation between Islam and Christianity. A Vatican spokesperson described Francis' gesture as a "silent adoration", using a term for religious reverence, making clear he did not perform a prayer. He then toured the Hagia Sophia, the great Byzantine church that was turned into a mosque after the conquest of Constantinople but then became a secular museum for all in modern day Turkey. Later in the day the leader of the world's Roman Catholics will celebrate holy mass at the Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Istanbul.
High security, thin crowds -
Amid heavy security, the close contact with crowds that have been such a feature of past trips by the charismatic Francis appears to be absent from the programme here. Amid the usual hordes of media, just a light sprinkling of believers and well-wishers waved at the pope from behind police barriers as his motorcade drove through the historic centre of Istanbul. "I am not Christian but I came here out of curiosity and respect. At a time of so many conflicts around us we all need messages of peace and tolerance," said Selime, 70, a Muslim Turk. Three snipers stood on each of the two front minarets of the Hagia Sophia for the pope's tour. True to his pledges to be a pope who eschews extravagance, the pope was driven in a small Renault Symbol rather than the bulletproof car offered by the presidential palace. The pope will in the evening hold an ecumenical prayer in the Orthodox Church of St. George and a private meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew I, the "first among equals" of the world's estimated 300 million Orthodox believers.
Francis and Bartholomew -- who enjoy warm relations -- will seek to narrow the differences between the two Churches that date back to the great schism of 1054. Bartholomew, who welcomed Francis earlier at Istanbul airport, said ahead of the visit that the trip will be "yet another significant step in our positive relations as sister Churches."
'Rising Islamophobia' -
Turkey's own Christian community is tiny -- just 80,000 in a country of some 75 million Muslims -- but also extremely mixed, consisting of Armenians, Greek Orthodox, Franco-Levantines, Syriac Orthodox and Chaldeans. Of these only the small Franco-Levantine and Chaldean communities regard the pope as the head of their churches. The pope held talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on the first day of his visit on Friday, calling for dialogue between faiths to end the Islamist extremism plaguing the Middle East. "Inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue can make an important contribution... so that there will be an end to all forms of fundamentalism and terrorism," he said. Erdogan -- who welcomed Pope Francis as the first foreign dignitary to his controversial new presidential palace outside Ankara -- for his part issued a strong warning about "seriously and rapidly" rising Islamophobia in the world. Agence France Presse.
Report: French Official in Lebanon in
Early December to Discuss Presidential Elections
Naharnet/A French Foreign Ministry official is scheduled to arrive in Lebanon in early December to discuss the latest developments linked to the presidential elections, reported the daily An Nahar on Saturday. It said that Director of the department of the Middle East and North Africa in the French Foreign Ministry Jean-Francois Giroud is expected to pay a two-day visit to Beirut on December 8 and 9. Sources monitoring the French efforts regarding the presidential elections explained that the official will “turn the talks from foreign efforts to talks focused on foreign and Lebanese efforts.” Giroud is expected to meet with a number of senior Lebanese officials. An Nahar noted that Giroud will arrive in Lebanon a day before Prime Minister Tammam Salam's scheduled visit to Paris. Lebanon has been without a president since May when the term of Michel Suleiman ended. Disputes between the rival March 8 and 14 camps over a compromise candidate have thwarted the polls.
Residents of north Lebanon town decry
The Daily Star/Nov. 29, 2014 /BEIRUT: Residents in a north Lebanon town decried a four-day blackout, asking Electricite Du Liban to restore power in their area. The National News Agency carried the appeal issued by residents of the Batroun outskirts who said that their mountainous villages had been plunged into darkness. They said electricity was most needed these days in light of the harsh winter storms in the country, asking EDL to restore their service. Lebanon suffers from severe power outages across the country especially during the winter season when electricity rationing increases due to higher demand. EDL currently produces 1,600 MW of power through its aging electricity plants, far short of the 2,500 MW needed to meet the regular demand.
FSA asks Lebanon to release 5 detained opposition members
The Daily Star/Nov. 29, 2014/BEIRUT: The Free Syrian Army has asked the Lebanese Army commander to release five of its members who the opposition group said were fleeing ISIS and heading to Tripoli, north Lebanon, Assafir reported Saturday. The daily said it obtained a copy of a letter sent by the FSA to Gen. Jean Kahwagi on Nov. 27, asking the commander to refrain from treating the five men as refugees and hand them over to Syrian authorities or Hezbollah. The FSA said the five belonged to the “Waado Brigades” and were detained on Nov. 16 in Chtaura, east Lebanon, when they were on their way to Tripoli. The group said the men, who they later named in the letter, were fleeing ISIS in Syria.
Report: FPM Says Constitutional
Council Decision Will Not Avert Vacuum
Naharnet/The Free Patriotic Movement of MP Michel Aoun criticized the Constitutional Council's decision to reject its appeal against the extension of parliament's term, saying that the highest judicial authority in Lebanon has failed, reported al-Joumhouria newspaper on Saturday. Sources from the FPM told the daily: “The decision will not avert vacuum at state institutions.”The council had said on Friday that it rejected the Change and Reform bloc's appeal in order to avoid vacuum at constitutional institutions.
“The ministers and lawmakers of the FPM will not resign from their posts,” continued the sources. “There are better and more powerful methods” to confront the Constitutional Council decision, they added. “With all respect to the council, we believe that the highest judicial authority has failed,” they stressed. “All justifications of the council indicated that it will accept the appeal except for its final decision,” noted the FPM sources. “Filling the vacuum lies in holding the parliamentary elections on time and respecting constitutional deadlines,” they stated. The Constitutional Council rejected on Friday an appeal filed by the FPM against the extension of parliament's term. It said that the rejection was aimed at avoiding prolonging vacuum at constitutional institutions. The council remarked that the extension violates the constitution, “but the extraordinary circumstances Lebanon is passing through forced the council to reject the appeal.” Aoun later deemed the decision as wrong. The parliament extended its term earlier this month until June 2017 despite the boycott of the FPM and Kataeb MPs. Two others voted against the law but 95 lawmakers extended their own terms for the second time, giving them a full eight years in power— double their allowed mandate.
Qatari Envoy to Return amid
Conflicting Reports on Nusra's Threat to Murder al-Bazzal
Naharnet/Conflicting reports emerged Friday evening on whether or not al-Nusra Front had backed down from its threat to execute captive soldier Ali al-Bazzal, as the General Security announced that the Qatari mediator will return to Lebanon “in the coming hours.”
“The General Security communicated with the Qatari side, which informed General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim that the Qatari mediator will return again to Lebanon in the coming hours,” state-run National News Agency reported.
“Following contacts and efforts by Maj. Gen. Ibrahim, al-Nusra Front backed down from its threat to behead captive soldier Ali al-Bazzal,” NNA added. For its part NBN television said al-Nusra backed down from its threat “following efforts and indirect contacts by the Lebanese General Security.”But the upbeat reports were dismissed later on Friday by al-Bazzal's wife, who said she was informed by Sheikh Mustafa al-Hujeiri – who has several times mediated with al-Nusra -- that the Qaida-linked group is “determined” to execute her husband. “It has not backed down from the deadline it had given to the government,” the wife added. She was referring to an eight-hour deadline announced by al-Nusra on Friday afternoon. “We have not backed down from the decision to execute the captive soldier and we have not extended the deadline. The equation is clear: freeing a female prisoner in Lebanon in return for halting the execution,” a Nusra source, meanwhile, told Turkey's Anatolia news agency. As the group announced its new threat, the families of the captive troops and policemen took to the street and blocked the vital Saifi road in the capital Beirut. The road was later reopened after the families were told that al-Nusra had decided to reverse its decision. Bazzal is one of around 27 soldiers and police who were taken hostage in August when al-Nusra and the Islamic State group infiltrated the northeastern town of Arsal through the porous Syrian-Lebanese border and engaged in bloody clashes with the army. A few of them have since been released, three were executed, while the rest are still kidnapped.
Al-Nusra had on Thursday threatened to execute Bazzal within 24 hours if the Lebanese government did not start what it called “serious negotiations.”It also called on the Lebanese authorities to release Jumana Hmayyed, who was arrested near Arsal in February while driving a booby-trapped car that entered Lebanon from Syria's Yabrud region.
Al-Manar: Iranian Commander Led Iraq
Naharnet /A Hizbullah affiliated website said Friday that an Iranian elite unit commander led the anti-jihadist counter-attack in Iraq after the Islamic State group made major advances in June. Major General Qassem Suleimani landed in Baghdad on June 10, hours after the IS overran the Iraqi city of Mosul, "leading a group of Lebanese and Iranian military experts", according to the pro-Tehran Al-Manar TV website. It said Suleimani, who heads Iran's elite Quds Force, had together with the Iraqi military and Shiite militias worked out a strategy "to secure Baghdad and its surroundings", when the jihadists appeared unstoppable. "The first order he gave was to secure the road linking Baghdad to Samarra (to the north), and he successfully expelled the IS jihadists who had been occupying sections of this vital artery," it said. "He had a direct role in battles on this road, and has been present in all the major anti-IS battles in the western province of Anbar," according to Al-Manar. It said Suleimani also took part in fighting in "the Kurdish regions of Diyala (in the east), the oil-rich province of Kirkuk and in the recent battle to reclaim Baiji refinery".There was no immediate confirmation of the report from officials in Baghdad. A secretive figure, Suleimani is seldom mentioned in Iranian media. He has cultivated a reputation as one of the most influential security operatives in the Middle East. In 2008, the United States accused him of training Shiite militias waging attacks against Western troops in Iraq. A senior Iranian justice official has also said that Suleimani was present during fighting near Arbil alongside Kurdish forces in early August. Media in Iran regularly report the deaths of Iranian "volunteers" in Syria and Iraq in fighting against jihadists. Iranian authorities claim the combatants are there of their own accord to protect Shiite holy sites. Agence France Presse
How to face fears of falling oil
Abdulrahman Al-Rashed/Asharq Al Awsat
Saturday, 29 Nov, 2014
The price of Brent crude fell below 72 US dollars a barrel yesterday, dragging down the GCC stock markets. Oil experts predicted that the prices would drop below 60 dollars a barrel in the coming months.
It is normal to feel a sudden sense of unease. Everyone in the Gulf will be asking: What will our situation be like when we rely almost exclusively on oil revenues?
I will not be tackling solutions of medium- or long-term nature or any other economic or state-level administrative fixes; what is important now is to deal with the market and people in a civilized manner, rather than leave them in the dark where fear dictates their choices, as we saw happen to the stock market that was severely dented.
Why aren’t officials being transparent and honest? Why aren’t they talking about this issue and about what could happen in the next few days? What does the Saudi government intend to do? Is a serious crisis looming on the horizon due to the drop in oil revenues? What would that mean for the more than 2 million employees and 10 million family members who rely on these revenues, as well as the 10 million on state incomes, which are in fact also based on oil revenues?
What would happen if the oil price drops below 60, 50 or even 30 dollars a barrel?
Why aren’t we hearing what we ought to be hearing, even if it is bad news? We are the ones who will have to cope with the final repercussions of changes in the oil market. Things should be straightforward and transparent. What is the estimated price of oil per barrel next year? This should not be confidential information as the truth will help the government. What are the financial capabilities of the government in light of the deficit of its foreign reserves and savings? These should not be kept a secret. Everybody wants to get their house in order: owners of companies as well as heads of households.
In my opinion, the inherited policy of ambiguity is not justified, because even if it was not harmful in the days of prosperity, it will cause the spread of rumor in times of distress, which, as well as fear, will lead the market to worse performance.
The stock market reactions, despite being overstated, reveal the mental state of people: fear in the light of ambiguity. Over the last few days, the market has been suffering from a rush in oil sales, out of fear that prices drop even further.
In fact, the government’s situation today is perhaps less critical than it was during previous crises: The price of an oil barrel dropped to 12 dollars in 1986. The situation remained dire until the 1990s when it witnessed limited improvement but ended dropping back to the same price in 1998. These were difficult years that were overcome after the unprecedented boom in oil prices. We seem to be on the verge of a new chapter and another waning chart.
Here, we assume that the government will tell the people that a storm is looming on the horizon, explaining its dimensions and solutions. The worst-case scenario would be for the government to lose two-thirds of the budget income. It would still be able to operate thanks to the savings it has accumulated over the past five to ten years. If my estimation is accurate then fears are unjustified.
If the government can finance half of its annual budget from its foreign sovereign wealth funds for the next five years it will have enough time to get its act together and reconsider its avoidable spending policies, without having to modify its support for key commodities, the salaries of its employees or its planned development projects. Nevertheless, it can cut subsidies on barley and dates and gradually raise the price of gasoline. Most importantly, it can improve the situation of the market; the amount of money stacked in banks is massive and is not used for internal investments. The people’s money alone is capable of improving the overall economic situation. But before anything else, we need to insist on openness because we are headed for a situation that may not be as bad as we might think. Perhaps the situation will not require these measures, which would be the product of fear.
Abbas is Arafat in a suit
Moshe Elad/Ynetnews/Published: 11.28.14
Op-ed: The Palestinian president is doing everything to avoid signing an agreement with Israel and has contributed greatly to the Israelis' lack of trust in the Palestinians. So why does the Israeli left remain so loyal to him?
When around the time of Yasser Arafat's death, Mahmoud Abbas emerged as his designated successor, some in Israel rushed to bestow endless titles on him: Moderate, pragmatic, practical, a man of peace, etc. Abbas soon became the Israeli left's darling, and even in the centrist and right-wing parties there were those who said that if a Palestinian leader ever signed an agreement – it would be Abbas.
An entire decade has passed, peace is further than ever, and it seems that in some political circles in Israel, there are those who believe in the man and in his way.
"I don’t like hearing his harsh statements against Israel, but this is Abbas and he is second to none" is the classic comment made by his supporters in Israel. In other words, Abbas can accuse us of genocide, insult us with the harshest words, inaugurate squares and streets named after suicide bombers and murderers, call for an armed struggle against us, and still remain a "man of peace" to some of us.
What makes this 80-year-old leader, who is slowly becoming an "Arafat in a suit" and who continues to be an address for peace despite his support of war, so likeable?
The majority of the Palestinian public despises Abbas because he is a corrupt leader, not just publicly but also personally. Mohammed Dahlan filed a complaint against him with the International Criminal Court in The Hague for stealing $1 billion from the Palestinian Authority coffers. There are serious claims in the Palestinian Authority about governmental corruption, benefits given to his family members, concessions granted to associates who thrived during his era, and even rape incidents involving senior PA officials, which were silenced by Abbas. Abbas has dismissed all the speculation that during his talks with former prime minister Ehud Olmert and then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni he allegedly waived the refugees' return to Palestine. "That will never happen," he reiterated. "Every refugee has the right to return to the house he was deported from," Abbas stressed. He has also shaken off all the rumors that he allegedly agreed to have Jerusalem divided, leave some of the settlements in the West Bank and accept a compromise on the borders. Even when he was presented with copies of WikiLeaks news leaks, he continued to deny it, claiming that the idea was raised but that he would never agree to it.
Abbas' attitude towards Hamas is an example of the political zigzag that characterizes him. First, he establishes a unity government with Hamas and calls the hostile terrorist organization "our sister," and months later he spies on it, badmouths it to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and threatens to wage a war against it.
First he unites the "Palestinian ranks" with Hamas, and immediately afterwards he strengthens his coordination with Israel against the organization and instructs his assistant, General Majed Faraj, to hit it hard.
Abbas is seen by the Israeli public as an opportunist, as a professional survivor and spineless leader. He accuses Israel of genocide while collaborating with the "murderers" in the tightest security cooperation. He attacks the settlements and the settlers, but enjoys the fact that the IDF, which defends them in the West Bank, provides him and the PA with security services at the same time. Without these services, he and the PA echelon would have already fled abroad for fear of Hamas.
More and more, it seems that Abbas has set such a high bar of demands for an agreement in order to prevent any Israeli leader from "being tempted," God forbid, because then he, Abbas, would be forced to sign the worst thing possible – a compromise over the Land of Israel. In other words, he will divide Palestine, which in the Palestinian heritage is an act comparable to serious, unforgivable treason. The Palestinians' two great leaders, Haj Amin al-Husseini and Yasser Arafat, refused to sign on such a compromise, thereby ruling that any deviation in this case is eternally forbidden. A survey published in September 2000 showed that 70% of the Israeli public supported former prime minister Ehud Barak's peace plan, which was presented to Arafat and to then-US president Bill Clinton at Camp David. This support rate has sharply diminished since then. It's true that there was a murderous intifada in the meantime and a disengagement that only led to rocket fire on southern Israel. But Abbas has contributed quite a lot to the Israeli public's lack of trust in the Palestinian public. Does the Israeli left, which remains loyal to Abbas, know something the average Israeli doesn’t know?
**Dr. Moshe Elad is a lecturer at the Western Galilee Academic College.