Archive for December 4, 2017

Supreme Court permits full enforcement of Trump travel ban

December 4, 2017

Supreme Court permits full enforcement of Trump travel ban, Fox News, December 4, 2017

(Details should be published soon. — DM)

The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will permit the full enforcement of President Trump’s controversial travel ban.

Trump Pulls United States Out of UN Immigration Deal

December 4, 2017

Trump Pulls United States Out of UN Immigration Deal, Washington Free Beacon, December 4, 2017

President Donald Trump and US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley / Getty Images

The GCM would also try to “strengthen the global governance of migration,” specifically by adding the International Organization for Migration to the U.N.’s purview.

All of this, Haley contended, is incompatible with preserving the United States’s sovereignty, and its ability to set its own immigration policy.

“The global approach in the New York Declaration is simply not compatible with U.S. sovereignty,” Haley said.

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The United States will no longer participate in the U.N.-organized Global Compact on Migration (GCM), the U.S. Mission to the U.N. informed the secretary-general on Sunday.

That decision was informed by concerns about threats to the United States’s sovereignty, with administration officials citing the need for the country to define its own immigration policy independent of the mandates of the United Nations.

“America is proud of our immigrant heritage and our long-standing moral leadership in providing support to migrant and refugee populations across the globe. No country has done more than the United States, and our generosity will continue,” said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

“But our decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone. We will decide how best to control our borders and who will be allowed to enter our country,” Haley said.

The announcement reverses the Obama administration decision to sign on to the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which aims at setting up the GCM by 2018.

The New York Declaration includes a number of commitments for signatories that create expanded expectations for immigrants. These include education for children with “a few months” of arrival, as well as working towards an end of detention for children to determine their immigration status.

The GCM would also try to “strengthen the global governance of migration,” specifically by adding the International Organization for Migration to the U.N.’s purview.

All of this, Haley contended, is incompatible with preserving the United States’s sovereignty, and its ability to set its own immigration policy.

“The global approach in the New York Declaration is simply not compatible with U.S. sovereignty,” Haley said.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson concurred with Haley’s analysis in a separate statement, writing that the New York Declaration, “contains a number of policy goals that are inconsistent with U.S. law and policy.”

“While we will continue to engage on a number of fronts at the United Nations, in this case, we simply cannot in good faith support a process that could undermine the sovereign right of the United States to enforce our immigration laws and secure our borders,” Tillerson said.

“The United States supports international cooperation on migration issues, but it is the primary responsibility of sovereign states to help ensure that migration is safe, orderly, and legal,” he said.

Miroslav Lajčák, the president of the U.N. General Assembly, expressed his regret at the U.S. departure in a statement of his own.

“The role of the United States in this process is critical as it has historically and generously welcomed people from all across the globe and remains home to the largest number of international migrants in the world. As such, it has the experience and expertise to help ensure that this process leads to a successful outcome,” he said.

Andrew Arthur, resident fellow in law and policy at the Center for Immigration Studies, disagreed, saying U.S. immigration policy should be determined by elected officials, not an unelected group of bureaucrats from the U.N.

“The idea that we had unelected officials negotiating some sort of global migration compact is problematic. With respect to refugees and the movement of peoples, the United States needs to play a strong role, we always have. We accept more refugees for permanent resettlement than any other country on the face of the earth,” Arthur said.

“There’s plainly a huge role for the United States to play, as relates to migration. But as relates to migration to the United States, the fact remains that that is an issue for Congress and for the American people to decide, not for unaccountable bureaucrats in Turtle Bay,” he said.

Turkey warns US of ‘major catastrophe’ if Trump moves embassy

December 4, 2017

Turkey warns US of ‘major catastrophe’ if Trump moves embassy, Israel National News, David Rosenberg, December 4, 2017

(Please see also, Report: US Quietly Taking Major Steps Toward Moving Israeli Embassy. Contrary to this article, Humor | Turkey pardoned by Trump had multiple contacts with Russian officials, the pardoned critter was the Islamic Turkish Republic of Erdogan. The U.S. Embassy in The Republic of Erdogan is scheduled to be moved within a year to The Peoples’ Republic of California.– DM)

President Erdogan reasserts authority in TurkeyFlash90

The Turkish government has warned the US that it could spark a “major catastrophe” if President Trump follows through on his 2016 campaign promise to relocate the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

The warning was made Monday during a press conference held by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag.

During the televised statement, Bozdag warned the US against either relocating its embassy or even recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, claiming that any change in the status quo could cause a “catastrophe”.

“If the status of Jerusalem is changed and another step is taken… that would be a major catastrophe.”

“It would completely destroy the fragile peace process in the region, and lead to new conflicts, new disputes and new unrest.”

Bozdag also claimed that any moves to change the status quo vis-à-vis Jerusalem, including mere recognition of the city as Israel’s capital, would benefit “neither Israel … nor the
region.”

“It would not benefit anything. Rather than open new doors, it would drag the region into a new disaster.”

Inside sources have claimed to American and Israeli media outlets over the past two weeks that the president is poised to either relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem in the near future, or at least announce that the US is recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

Under the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, the president is obliged to move the embassy to Israel’s capital city, or sign a six-month waiver deferring the move on security grounds. Every president since Bill Clinton has signed the waiver every six months. President Trump signed the waiver once since coming into office, but according to at least some reports, is hesitant to renew the deferral.

The previous waiver expires on Monday, forcing the president to either renew the waiver immediately, or approve the relocation of the US embassy.

 

 

Why is Canada Cutting Checks to Suspected Terrorists?

December 4, 2017

Why is Canada Cutting Checks to Suspected Terrorists? Investigative Project on Terrorism, Scott Newark, December 4, 2017

The fall of ISIS on the battlefield means a likelihood of both returning Canadian jihadis and Canadian jihadis arrested and detained abroad. Accordingly, Canada needs a comprehensive strategy of options for international interactions where Canadians are detained abroad on terrorism investigations or charges.

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It began in 2007 after a lengthy, expensive and mostly closed-door inquiry the led to a $10.5 million payoff to Maher Arar. Arar was a joint Canadian-Syrian citizen under pre-9/11 investigation by the RCMP and others regarding his activities and associations related to Islamist terrorism.

Despite being aware of the investigation, Arar left Canada in 2002 for extended international travel and was detained when he flew into New York. He then was transferred by U.S. officials to Syria. He subsequently claimed he was tortured because of information provided by Canadian officials.

Canadians learned last month that their government awarded $31.25 million to three of Arar’s associates who were also under RCMP and U.S. terrorism investigations – Abdullak Almalki, Abou el Maati and Muayyed Nurredin – to settle their civil lawsuit. Like Arar, the essence of their complaint was alleged misconduct or inaction by Canadian authorities after they had chosen to travel abroad and were detained and interrogated by Syrian, and in El Maati’s case, Egyptian authorities. Also like Arar, they claimed to have been tortured, and alleged their mistreatment was aided by inappropriate information sharing by Canadian officials with their foreign counterparts. A subsequent mostly-closed door judicial inquiry found instances of their Charter rights being violated by the actions or inactions of Canadian officials.

In July, the Canadian government announced it settled a civil suit brought by convicted Islamist terrorist Omar Khadr. His claim appears to have been based on Canadian officials interviewing him twice in 2002 while at Guantanamo Bay after having been captured following a deadly firefight in Afghanistan. Khadr also complained that Canadian officials provided copies of his interviews to U.S. officials even though it is now clear that the U.S. had already recorded the conversations.

In all three of these cases, the Canadian government provided no clear factual rationale as to why it chose to settle the cases behind closed doors. There has also been no explanation as to whether the Canadian security officials had a factual justification for their actions. In fact, both judicial inquiries expressly chose not to examine the conduct of the terror suspects involved and whether it may explain their overseas detention and interrogation. Also, none of the individuals were subjected to cross-examination, which is not exactly the best way to achieve a properly informed outcome.

Given this, it’s not surprising that more “victims” are emerging. Djamel Ameziane, an Algerian resident who was a bogus refugee claimant linked to would-be Millennium bomber Ahmad Ressam, was removed from Canada in 2000. He was captured by U.S. forces in Pakistan after 9/11 and held in Guantanamo Bay, where he became friends with Omar Khadr. His complaint against Canada was that, like Khadr, he was interviewed by Canadian officials twice. By remarkable coincidence, Ameziane has filed a civil lawsuit against Canada from Algeria where he now safely resides, and he is represented by one of Omar Khadr’s lawyers. I wonder if Omar got a finder’s fee?

Late last month, CBC News reported that former Calgary residents Yacine Meziane and Abderrahmane Ghanem have publicly complained that CSIS ripped up their lives by providing Middle Eastern officials with information about their undisputed association with several young men who left Canada to join ISIS in Syria. Both were detained and interrogated and are now back in Canada airing their complaints.

Add to that the case of Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, the 19-year-old Canadian awaiting sentencing for a foiled terrorist plot in New York City. He too has just retained one of Omar Khadr’s lawyers. Are civil suits against Canada for damages on the horizon in these cases?

Add to this the current reality of the UK resident, with dual UK and Canadian citizenship, “Jihad Jack” (Letts) and the three Canadian young women who have been captured and detained in Syria and Iraq following the collapse of ISIS, where local officials allege they were supporting the terrorist group. There already are calls for Canadian intervention and thus it is necessary to ask what the appropriate and required actions by Canadian officials are in these cases and what will, no doubt, be others that will follow.

Canada urgently needs an effective strategy to clarify how its national security enforcement and intelligence officials deal with foreign governments relating to Canadians, or persons linked to Canada, who are involved in terrorism related investigations. This will be no easy task because the scope of activities involved ranges from information sharing to travel alerts to foreign post arrest involvement and intervention. Further, as the nature of the terrorist threat evolves, so do the necessary counter terrorism actions, including interactions with foreign governments and agencies, for which there is no single model.

The above noted court and inquiry and closed-door government civil settlements/payoffs where Charter violations and civil liability have been admitted also demonstrate the need for a modernized strategy to avoid the after the fact, politicized approach currently in place.

These various decisions and actions have created a maze of potentially conflicting ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ for our national security, intelligence and diplomatic officials. The federal government’s repeated refusal to fight the lawsuits and instead throw its officials under the bus is also dangerous, as it can create a risk aversion culture within these organizations for people who are literally on the front lines of protecting Canadian national security.

So, what’s needed?

First, there needs to be express statutory authorization for defined interactions and information sharing by designated Canadian officials on terrorism cases with international entities. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale appeared to recognize this need during his recent testimony before committee, which is encouraging.

Second, there should be a statutory approval process in advance, including restrictions and required reporting after the fact. This is a function that specially designated federal court justices could perform. A recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling in a case involving warrantless seizure of internet data confirms that advanced judicial authorization can convert what would otherwise be a Charter breach into a Charter compliant activity. This model needs to be followed.

Targeted amendments to Bill C-59, which is currently before Parliament, could be the vehicle for this result to be achieved.

The fall of ISIS on the battlefield means a likelihood of both returning Canadian jihadis and Canadian jihadis arrested and detained abroad. Accordingly, Canada needs a comprehensive strategy of options for international interactions where Canadians are detained abroad on terrorism investigations or charges. This should include:

· Expanding the use of post-conviction transfers back to Canada under the International Transfer of Offenders Act (used in Omar Khadr case) to allow the imposed sentence to be served in Canada and subject to Canadian law;

· Expanding the possibility of extraditing more people back to Canada for prosecution pursuant to the Extradition Act while concurrently ensuring that admissible evidence for prosecution in Canada can be obtained;

· Establishing a process for Canadians detained abroad to access specially approved Canadian legal counsel to protect detainee’s rights and ensure that statements given to support repatriation are admissible in case resolution on return is achieved; and

· Promoting repatriation of detainees by foreign governments without criminal prosecution in appropriate cases, upon agreement to enter into s. 810.011 supervision orders on return to Canada.

These are complex issues that require an operationally informed proactive strategy that will be effective and Charter compliant. While this won’t be easy, the current government needs to make it a priority because the problems are not going away. And cutting checks is not the answer.

Scott Newark is a former Alberta Crown Prosecutor who has also served as Executive Officer of the Canadian Police Association, Vice Chair of the Ontario Office for Victims of Crime, Director of Operations for Investigative Project on Terrorism and as a Security Policy Advisor to the governments of Ontario and Canada. He is currently an Adjunct Professor in the TRSS Program in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University

Trump’s Right — the FBI Is in Tatters

December 4, 2017

Trump’s Right — the FBI Is in Tatters, PJ MediaRoger L Simon, December 3, 2017

In a series of heavily criticized tweets (aren’t they always) Trump is asserting that the FBI’s reputation is in tatters.  Of course, he’s right.  This isn’t justice as it’s supposed to be, not even faintly. It’s Kafka meets Orwell in the Deep State.

Robert Mueller may not realize it, but the conclusion of his investigation, whatever it is, will never be accepted by a huge percentage of the public. As the French say, Mentir est honteux.  Lying is shameful.  Mike Flynn may have lied, but so, undoubtedly, has the FBI, multiple times, more than Flynn could ever dream of doing or be capable of doing.  And they’re the ones we’re supposed to trust in the end.

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What’re we supposed think when it’s revealed the man running the Hillary Clinton email server investigation (Peter Strzok) was a married Hillary supporter conducting an adulterous affair with a government lawyer, while dissing Donald Trump in his clandestine billet-doux text messages?

(Was he auditioning for Harvey Weinstein’s next movie, assuming Weinstein is ever allowed to make a movie again or even would make one that in any way besmirched his good friend Hillary?)

As an FBI agent, Strzok’s use of text messaging for such an enterprise was nothing short of moronic in this digital age, but nevertheless he was not fired but simply and quietly sent to FBI  “Siberia” last summer, his activities only miraculously coming to public attention last week.

Why the secrecy? Many reasons, probably yet to be determined, but it comes down to this: the FBI, like the Mafia, practices omertà.

They have a code of silence as Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, who spends his life trying to pry information from our supposedly premier law enforcement agency, can tell you.  Ditto, now, the House Intelligence Committee, whose chairman Devin Nunes, as Byron York reports for the Washington Examiner, is apoplectic.

Word of the messages and the affair were news to Nunes, even though the committee had issued a subpoena that covered information about Strzok’s demotion more than three months ago. The committee’s broadly worded subpoena for information related to the so-called Trump dossier went to the FBI and DOJ on Aug. 24. In follow-up conversations on the scope of the subpoena, committee staff told the FBI and DOJ that it included information on the circumstances of Strzok’s reassignment.

On Oct. 11, Nunes met with deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein. In that meeting, Nunes specifically discussed the committee’s request for information about Strzok.

In an Oct. 31 committee staff meeting with the FBI, bureau officials refused a request for information about Strzok.

On Nov. 20, the committee again requested an interview with Strzok. (Three days earlier, on November 17, Strzok met with the Senate Intelligence Committee.)

On Nov. 29, Nunes again spoke to Rosenstein, and again discussed Strzok.

On Dec. 1, the committee again requested to speak with Strzok.

Obviously nothing has been forthcoming until now.  But speaking of FBI stonewalling, there’s this new revelation from Fitton, concerning the “happenstance” meeting between Bill Clinton and then AG Loretta Lynch at the Phoenix airport.  The “accidental” encounter supposedly resulted in some chit-chat about grandchildren, but only a few days later then FBI director Comey announced he wouldn’t recommend prosecution of Hillary Clinton:

Because of the revelation in our other lawsuit, the FBI – without our knowledge—”reopened” our [July 7, 2016] FOIA request. The agency supposedly found about 30 pages of information, which it needed six weeks to review. The FBI finally gave them to us late Thursday.

Now we know why the FBI played shell games. The documents show that FBI officials were concerned solely about the leaking of details of the tarmac meeting. None of the documents show top agency officials cared one whit about the propriety of the meeting itself, but only about who blew the whistle on the covert tête-à-tête.

In one email, an FBI official writes “we need to find that guy.” And in another we learn that the Phoenix FBI office was contacted “in an attempt to stem any further damage.” An FBI official working on Lynch’s security detail even goes so far as to suggest non-disclosure agreements to keep the full facts from coming forth.

No wonder the FBI didn’t turn these documents over until we caught it red-handed, hiding and lying about them.

Simply put, the FBI appears to be fully complicit in a cover-up that attempted to influence a presidential election for a favored candidate – Hillary Clinton. And the truth was trampled on a Phoenix tarmac.

Sense a pattern here, Watson?

The FBI seems suddenly concerned with leakers when it affects them. Well, that’s only a part of the story — but a significant part.  Like most bureaucratic organizations, whether in law enforcement or not, as they grow self-preservation increasingly becomes the dominant motivation.  In the case of the FBI, it’s self-preservation leavened with a significant dollop of political bias, conscious and unconscious.

In the case of Strzok, the bias was clearly a bit too conscious for his own good, but who could doubt, given the dramatis personae of Mueller’s investigation, that many of his cohorts share the same views but have the horse sense to leave them out of their text messages.? (Apropos Strzok, it’s interesting he wasn’t fired.  Was it because they feared he would go rogue?)

In a series of heavily criticized tweets (aren’t they always) Trump is asserting that the FBI’s reputation is in tatters.  Of course, he’s right.  This isn’t justice as it’s supposed to be, not even faintly. It’s Kafka meets Orwell in the Deep State.

Robert Mueller may not realize it, but the conclusion of his investigation, whatever it is, will never be accepted by a huge percentage of the public. As the French say, Mentir est honteux.  Lying is shameful.  Mike Flynn may have lied, but so, undoubtedly, has the FBI, multiple times, more than Flynn could ever dream of doing or be capable of doing.  And they’re the ones we’re supposed to trust in the end.

Netanyahu: “Iran will go down for the count|”

December 4, 2017

 

 

 

Palestinians: More Missed Opportunities

December 4, 2017

Palestinians: More Missed Opportunities, Gatestone InstituteBassam Tawil, December 4, 2017

Abbas is a failed leader who has missed opportunity after opportunity to shepherd his people toward a better and dignified life. While his words may sound good to some Israelis and many in the international community, we are left with the burning question: Exactly who does he represent and on behalf of whom is he exactly talking? The answer is that Abbas is a single-strategy demagogue whose one goal is to hold onto the power to sell mirages to the world until his last breath.

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The PFLP, like Hamas and other Palestinian groups, makes no secret of its goal to “liberate Palestine, from the (Jordan) River to the (Mediterranean) Sea.” All should be commended for their honesty. If anyone has any doubts, their plan means the total destruction of Israel. Thus, as chairman of the PLO, Mahmoud Abbas cannot say that he represents the entire organization. He has no leverage with the PFLP, DFLP and the remaining terror groups operating under the umbrella of his PLO.

And now we come to the million dollar question: Does Abbas really represent all of Fatah? The answer is simple and clear: No. Over the past few decades, Fatah has witnessed sharp divisions and disputes, resulting in a number of splinter groups that broke away and are now openly challenging Abbas’s leadership and policies.

While Abbas is making noises about a peace process, his own Fatah faction is inciting violence and calling for the destruction of Israel. While Abbas is talking about his interest in achieving a two-state solution, his partners in the PLO, including the PFLP and DFLP, are openly calling for the destruction of Israel and advocating an armed struggle. While Abbas is claiming that he is the legitimate president of the Palestinians, many Palestinians, including senior officials in his Fatah faction, are legitimately stating he has no mandate from his people to sign any agreement with Israel.

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas continues to mouth his “desire” to achieve peace with Israel on the basis of a two-state solution. Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction and PLO partners, however, evidently have a different agenda: to wage war on Israel until the “liberation of all of Palestine.”

In a speech delivered on his behalf by Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian envoy to the United Nations, on November 30, Abbas repeated his commitment to a two-state solution based on international law and the 1967 “borders.”

Abbas called on the UN “to force Israel to recognize the State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders as the basis for a two-state solution, and to agree on a demarcation of borders in line with the resolutions of the international community.”

Abbas’s claim to a commitment to the “two-state solution” is a staple of his talks to the international community. It is just not clear who Abbas represents when he talks about the Palestinians’ commitment to a “two-state solution.”

In addition to his title as president of the Palestinian Authority, Abbas also holds the jobs of chairman of the PLO and Fatah, his ruling faction in the West Bank. Do Abbas’s statements regarding peace with Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel represent any of three these bodies? Hardly.

Abbas’s four-year term in office (as president of the Palestinian Authority) expired in January 2009. Since then, he is widely considered by Palestinians as an illegitimate president who does not have the authority to sign any peace agreement with Israel on behalf of a majority of his people. Many Palestinians will legitimately reject any agreement he signs with Israel on the grounds that the 82-year-old Abbas, who is now in his 12th year of his four-year term in office, is not a lawful leader.

Against this backdrop of zero confidence, any agreement Abbas signs with Israel would not be worth the paper it is written on.

Besides, the Palestinian Authority that he heads has no jurisdiction over the two million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip or millions of Palestinians residing in Arab countries and elsewhere around the world. At the very most, the PA would be able to implement such an agreement only on those parts it controls in the West Bank.

That is concerning to the PA, a self-ruled body that was established in accordance with the 1993 Oslo Accords signed between Israel and the PLO.

As for the PLO, of which Abbas is chairman, it is worth noting that it is an umbrella organization made up of various Palestinian factions. With the exception of Fatah, the largest faction (also headed by Abbas), the remaining groups are emphatically opposed to a peace process with Israel. Even worse, the other PLO groups continue to advocate an armed struggle against Israel.

Take, for example, the Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a famous PLO terror group that does not believe in Israel’s right to exist and continues to engage in terrorism. The PFLP never misses an opportunity to state its support for violence and rejection of any peace agreement with Israel.

Here is what the PFLP thinks about efforts to achieve peace between the Palestinians and Israel:

“The PFLP confirms its categorical rejection of all international and Arab projects and ‘solutions’ that attempt to undermine the rights of Palestinian refugees and principally, their right of return, in the interest of proposals consistent with the Zionist vision if this fundamental issue.”

The PFLP, like Hamas and other Palestinian groups, makes no secret of its goal to “liberate Palestine, from the (Jordan) River to the (Mediterranean) Sea.” All should be commended for their honesty. If anyone has any doubts, their plan means the total destruction of Israel.

Another PLO terror group, the Leninist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), for example, is equally dangerous and rejects any peaceful settlement with Israel. This is what the group had to say in a recent statementmarking the 69th anniversary of the “Nakba” (the “catastrophe,” a reference to the establishment of Israel in 1948):

“Let’s make the 69th anniversary of the Nakba a year to liberate our cause from the Oslo compromising ties, a year of national salvation and mobilization of our national forces against the Zionist project on every single inch of Palestine land.”

Some may argue that both the PFLP and DFLP are relatively small groups within the PLO, and that their words are insignificant. However, it is the actions of the terror groups, not only the rhetoric, that matters. With a long history of terrorism against Israel, the PFLP and DFLP will never accept any peace agreement with Israel. How can they accept any agreement when they are already calling for the abrogation of the Oslo Accords?

The PFLP and DFLP are not the only PLO terror groups opposed to any peaceful settlement with Israel. Among the other PLO terror groups are: The Palestinian People’s Party, the Palestine Liberation Front, the Arab Liberation Front and the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front. Their shared ideology: rejection of Israel’s right to exist and commitment to terrorism as a way of “liberating all of Palestine.”

Thus, as chairman of the PLO, Abbas cannot say that he represents the entire organization. He has no leverage with the PFLP, DFLP and the remaining terror groups operating under the umbrella of his PLO. These terror groups would never — ever — sign on to a peace agreement between Abbas and Israel.

That leaves us with Abbas’s dominant Fatah faction. And now we come to the million dollar question: Does Abbas really represent all of Fatah? The answer is simple and clear: No.

Over the past few decades, Fatah has witnessed sharp divisions and disputes, resulting in a number of splinter groups that broke away and are now openly challenging Abbas’s leadership and policies.

Does Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas really represent all of his Fatah faction? No. Over the past few decades, Fatah has witnessed sharp divisions and disputes, resulting in a number of splinter groups that broke away and are now openly challenging Abbas’s leadership and policies. Pictured: Abbas (center) meets with the Central Committee of the Fatah movement July 13, 2014 in Ramallah. (Photo by Thaer Ghanaim/PPO via Getty Images)

Tensions within Fatah have intensified markedly in recent years, especially with the revolt spearheaded by Abbas’s arch-rival, Mohammed Dahlan. Dahlan, a former Fatah official and security commander ousted by Abbas, is currently based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and enjoys the backing of many Palestinian cadres, especially in the Gaza Strip. Dahlan and his supporters are working hard to remove Abbas from power with the help of the UAE and some Arab countries.

Moreover, Abbas’s two-state solution remarks and his avowals of opposition to terrorism also fail to reflect the views of some of Fatah’s top officials and media. A report presented by Palestinian Media Watch to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East details Fatah’s ongoing incitement and glorification of terror against Israel.

The divisions within Fatah are not limited to the political echelon only; they also extend to the faction’s various armed groups. This means that Abbas also does not represent all the armed groups of the faction that he is supposed to be heading under Fatah.

Here, for example, is what one of Fatah’s armed groups, Aqsa Martyrs Brigades — Battalion of Martyr Nidal Al-Amoudi thinks about Abbas’s two-state solution and peace with Israel: “We promise our people to pursue the path of armed struggle and the pure rifle until the liberation of all Palestine and its holy sites.” That statement by Abbas’s terror group was issued in the Gaza Strip on December 2. The occasion: Launching a “training” camp for Fatah terrorists named after Yasser Arafat.

Let us get things clear: While Abbas is making noises about a peace process, his own Fatah faction is inciting violence and calling for the destruction of Israel. While Abbas is talking about his interest in achieving a two-state solution, his partners in the PLO, including the PFLP and DFLP, are openly calling for the destruction of Israel and advocating an armed struggle. While Abbas is claiming that he is the legitimate president of the Palestinians, many Palestinians, including senior officials in his Fatah faction, are legitimately stating he has no mandate from his people to sign any agreement with Israel.

Abbas is a failed leader who has missed opportunity after opportunity to shepherd his people toward a better and dignified life. While his words may sound good to some Israelis and many in the international community, we are left with the burning question: Exactly who does he represent and on behalf of whom is he exactly talking? The answer is that Abbas is a single-strategy demagogue whose one goal is to hold onto the power to sell mirages to the world until his last breath.

Bassam Tawil is a Muslim based in the Middle East.