Fatah Slams Obama. Where Does Abbas Stand?
As the adage says, if you're a friend to everyone, you're a friend to no one. This seemed to be confirmed Monday when Fatah, the moderate Palestinian political party that controls the West Bank, distributed a memo saying that its support for President Obama "evaporated" after he bent to pressure from the Zionist lobby. But since Obama also drew Israeli criticism in June for opposing Israel's construction of settlements in Palestinian territories in a Cairo speech, the Fatah statement comes as a surprise. The dominance of the hard-line American Israel lobby has receded in recent years and President Obama is widely seen as more supportive of the Palestinian Authority than his predecessors. So why the ire?
Upon closer examination, Fatah's statement says more about Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' political capital than it does about Obama's leadership. As the AP writes, it is unclear whether Abbas was even involved with the memo:
The memo comes at a time of turmoil within Fatah after Abbas quickly reversed a decision to suspend efforts to bring Israel before a U.N. war crimes tribunal in connection with the Gaza war.
The document, dated Oct. 12, was issued by Fatah's Office of Mobilization and Organization. The office is headed by the party's No. 2, Mohammed Ghneim.
It was not immediately clear whether the document reflects Abbas' views or whether it was leaked to pressure Obama to bear down harder on Israel. Abbas' aides had no comment and Ghneim could not immediately be reached for comment.