Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas visit to South Africa has been met with scepticism from some Palestinian activists, with one lobby group calling it nothing more than a “PR exercise”. Abbas is holding bilateral discussions with President Jacob Zuma and the counterparts are expected to discuss initiatives aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestine stand-off. The meeting comes just six months after a historic visit by a Hamas delegation, led by Khaled Meshal, in which the ANC strengthened its solidarity with the resistance movement.
On Wednesday, the Media Review Network (MRN) said it was “deeply disturbed” that Zuma was meeting Abbas, whose term of office ended in 2009. The MRN’s Ibrahim Vawda called his presidency is “illegitimate”, saying he is widely perceived in Palestinian circles as a puppet of the American-Israeli axis.
“The PA led by Abbas has played a pivotal role in extending and entrenching the colonization of Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Abbas is also complicit with the Apartheid Zionist regime and Egypt in enforcing the collective punishment and strangulation of the illegal siege on Gaza,” the MRN said in a statement.
“It is the diabolical role played by the PA in the illusory ‘peace process’ that allowed the continued oppression of the Palestinians. The Zionist entity Israel has no intention of ever allowing for the emergence of a Palestinian State, or of establishing a two-state solution.”
Vawda said the visit provides an opportunity for President Zuma and the SA government to showcase a SA solution of a single non-racist state based on equality and justice.
“This visit raises a few critical questions: Is Abbas able to initiate any unilateral discussions with President Zuma in defiance of the Apartheid State of Israel? Can he act independently of the Zionist regime’s political and fiscal control? Given the constraints and restrictions within which he and his cronies operate, is it possible that he will veto his pay cheque?”
The MRN has urged the South African government to be mindful of Abbas’s role in affecting the continued colonization and occupation of Palestine.
“The Zuma administration must not relinquish its commitment to Hamas, nor to bow to any pressure from Abbas or any other external influences.” VOC