The headline on a New York Times story sounded innocent enough: Palestinians Criticize Abbas for Public Fatah Feud at Delicate Time Diplomatically.
This is not an innocent story. It is a Times hasbara presentation that pretends to be "about" criticism by Palestinians of their president for starting a "feud" with Muhammad Dahlan.
Here are key paragraphs in the Times story:
"Some of Mr. Abbas's current difficulties are of his own making. Palestinians say they are baffled by Mr. Abbas's decision to open up another front within his own Fatah movement by beginning a nasty, public campaign against a onetime ally who Mr. Abbas now sees as a rival, Muhammad Dahlan, a former Gaza strongman and Fatah security chief.
"In the two weeks since Mr. Abbas's opening salvo against Mr. Dahlan, who is living abroad, the Arabic media has been filled with unproved accusations by Mr. Abbas about the long-ago killings of prominent Palestinians, and by both men about collaboration with Israel and financial corruption.- Advertisement -
"Mr. Abbas even implied that Mr. Dahlan might have had a hand in the mysterious death of Yasir Arafat, the father of the Palestinian cause, in 2004. For the most part, the two camps have not offered detailed responses to all the accusations."
It makes more sense, based on what is in the story, to conclude that the Times is informing its readers that when the peace talks fail, as they most certainly will, the blame will fall on the "inept" leadership of President Abbas.
The story further carries the hidden message that just maybe Israel, and the Times, want President Abbas replaced by Muhammed Dahlan.
They figure it is time for a leader friendly to the Israel/U.S. imperium to take command of the Palestinian Authority.
Abbas tried hard, but he just did not turn out to be the loyal strongman the imperium wanted.
Isabel Kershner, who wrote the Times story, describes Abbas' political fight with Dahlan as a "feud" inside Fatah, a feud the Times would have its readers believe is unwise because it comes during a "delicate time" in the peace negotiations.
Kershner, painting Abbas with pejorative language, sees the "feud" as "a nasty, public campaign against a one-time ally who Mr. Abbas now sees as a rival."
Abbas now sees Dahlan "as a rival"?
Dahlan has been a rival since at least 2003. The picture above was taken in 2003. It shows Abbas at left, Arafat, arm raised, in the middle, and Dahlan at right, greeting the public.
Who is Muhammed Dahlan?
In 2008, David Rose wrote an article in the April issue of Vanity Fair, entitled The Gaza Bombshell.