In the above interview conducted by Russia Today Arabic in January 2012, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas says the following in relation to a questions asking, "Do you think current events in the Arab world could strengthen your position in the peace talks and help to resolve the Palestinian issue internationally?"
This is a very important question, as the zionist state is imperialism's main presence and bridgehead into the region, and as this is the case the freedom struggle in the region has always had its focus and primary objective for the liberation of Palestine. This is no longer the case. Due to the demise of pro-people and progressive revolutionary movements and politics in general, the Arab scene has been taken over by chauvunist Sunni forces allied to their big brother - usa imperialism foremostly, and the rest of the imperialist world, especially the eu in secondary position.
This is Abbas' response the the question: "There is still no clear position common to all Arab countries. Yes, there are revolutionary changes taking place, but it will take time to figure out what results they have brought about. The countries we want to work with in order to strengthen our position still need time to get back on their feet and build their states under the new conditions. However, the general Arab stance on the Palestinian issue has not changed. The people who lead these revolutions are the same people who supported the Palestinians in their pursuit of independence, and these people have not changed. What has changed is their attitude towards their leaders and their governments, but that is their internal matter and we don’t get involved. The Arab stance on the Palestinian issue has remained the same."
A typically diplomatic answer from Abbas. However, while Abbas seems to be playing up the fact that many of the political forces coming to power or in the ascdendance in the region (albeit on the wings of nato), talked a good deal about Palestine in the previous years, but now they have some more power that this has not translated into anything which is strategically or in real politic helping the Palestinian freedom struggle.
Many people who claim to support the Palestinians would deride Abbas and the current Palestinian Authority leadership, but Abbas is making a very important if obvious point, but obvious points are not always recognised by partisans of the Arab Spring. The Arab Spring has not only not done anything for Palestine, and seeks to do nothing in reality for Palestine apart from some hollow bombastic slogans, speeches and conferences, but has actually served the imperialist and zionist cause in the region by helping their big brothers to clean up the old enemies of the zionist state and the west: Libya, Syria, attempts on Algeria and Lebanese Hizbullah and of course the big prize in the region: Iran.
To those who would like to rubbish anything that comes out of the mouth of Abbas, its important to remember that the Palestinian Authority and PLO may yet historically prove to be the lesser of two problems when compared to Hamas. Whereas the PA/PLO have generally kept out of interfering in the affairs of their Arab neighbours while the pro-empire Arab Spring has gone on, Hamas on the other hand have been a lot more open about their political views by championing the counterrevolutionary changes in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria. One hopes that Hamas prove everyone wrong and return to the struggle against imperialism and zionism, but all indicators point in the direction that Hamas is content in supporting the agenda of the west and its junior partners in the region.
Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm