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Abbas lambasted in Palestinian op-ed

Op-ed by PA Parliament Member Dr. Abd Al-Hamid Al-Aileh

Headline: "Our President – A Role-Model For Us – truth or hypocrisy?"

"Before it was published, I heard about the booklet called Our President – a Role-Model For Us - before it was published, I heard that it praises the acts of heroism of Palestinian Authority President [Mahmoud Abbas] and his life of struggle. And the booklet has become a reality after the [PA] Ministry of Education published it and held an official ceremony yesterday, Thursday [May 9, 2019] – in the presence of [PA] Minister of Education [Marwan Awratani], a number of Fatah Central Committee members, [PLO] Executive Committee members, and a number of district governors – in order to announce the publication of this book. The president took it upon himself to publish this booklet at length, at the expense of the PA, and he is distributing it for free to all sectors of the Palestinian people, and it is being taught in the schools so they will get to know their leader and what he has done for them, his financial national accomplishments!

And it must be noted here that we have become accustomed to reading books about the leaders after they have passed away, and this is in order to remind [us] what this or that leader did, especially the younger generation who did not live at the time of that leader.

So what will we say to a leader whose acts of heroism are written while his people are witnesses, living in his time, and experiencing his rule? My question to the minister of education is: Does the curriculum really need such a booklet this much?  Would it not have been more fitting for your booklet to be about Martyrs and symbols who actually gave their lives for the homeland?

Would it not have been fair and just for this booklet to have been about [former PLO Chairman and PA] President Martyr Yasser Arafat? Or has your appointment a few days ago to the position of minister caused you to prefer loyalty to the president? And have you looked and seen the state of political, social, and financial ruin the PA has reached? Have you noticed what is happening in the southern districts of the Gaza Strip? Have you heard about the cut in the salaries of hundreds of public employees?

I would wish that the minister of education would take time to study the public opinion in the Palestinian and Arab street, in the social media and Twitter, and be impressed by their amount and content, so that he would understand that he made a mistake when he ignored leaders who gave their lives as Martyrs on the altar of freedom and the homeland. I feel obligated to quote a number of opinions and positions on the subject, and there are many of them.

Among them is someone who said that imposing this book on our students is a crime, because it contradicts Mahmoud Abbas' words: 'I do not support returning to Safed’ – and it is the city where he was born – ‘except as a tourist.' …This means renouncing the right of return, which the UN has ratified as a right of the Palestinian refugees.

And one of the tweeters on Twitter directed a message to Mahmoud Abbas, and said to him: 'It is ironic that the flattery has reached such a low point.' … And then he said to President Abbas: 'You haven't left history to the great figures of the Palestinian people? After all, your entire path is a series of failures.' And another [internet] surfer responded ironically and suggested a questionnaire titled A Test on the Book Our President – A Role-Model For Us:

  1. 'What is the wisdom in considering the security coordination with Israel "sanctified, sanctified, sanctified?"
  2. Explain the following things:
  1. Why did President Abbas decisively say that he "lives under the boots of the occupation?!!"
  2. Fully punctuate the sentence: "You are relinquishing Safed, the city where you were born."
  3. At what opportunity did Mahmoud Abbas say: "What does Jerusalem have to do with us?!!"
  4. On what channel did Mahmoud Abbas say: "Our main task in the [PA] Security Forces is to protect the security of the State of Israel?"'

If I were in your place, Your Honor the President, I would ban the publication of this book, at least until the two parts of the homeland are reunited, until unity returns to the Fatah Movement, until the return of the full salaries that were exploited, and until the siege is lifted from Gaza.

The last question is: Will this booklet continue to be approved by the Ministry of Education and Culture also after Mahmoud Abbas has passed away? You will give the answer to this."

Yasser Arafat

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