Sept. 21, 2018
- The Palestinian Leadership Does Not Understand the U.S. President – Abdulrahman al-Rashed
The Palestinian leadership does not understand the character of President Donald Trump. Since the beginning of his presidential term, one of Trump’s acquaintances warned: Try to understand how to disagree with him, otherwise he will throw you under the bus! This is what happened to Mahmoud Abbas, whose friends are now rushing to get him from under the bus.
Among the mistakes committed by the Palestinian leadership is that it tried a confrontation and forgot that the American government has huge influence on Palestinian activity as it’s the largest funder of the Palestinian refugees and their organization UNRWA, contributing a quarter of a billion dollars each year.
When delegates dispatched by President Trump went to the Palestinian territories to explain their ideas, the Palestinian leadership refused to receive them. The leadership was angry because the American government had executed an old decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The opposite should have happened; the Palestinians should have met the American delegation. Sitting down and talking would have been the right approach.
One of the major mistakes is believing that Palestine is a pivotal cause which Arabs and Muslims will not give up on. Truth is they have given up on it a long time ago, as each state is preoccupied with its causes. This is the truth, which the dreamers in the Arab world must realize.
- The writer is former general manager of Al Arabiya and a former editor-in-chief of Asharq al-Awsat. (Al-Arabiya)