Top Aide to Mahmoud Abbas Slams Him With Profanities
The Washington Post reports on trouble in Narnia, with recordings released of a top aide of Mahmoud Abbas showing he is not happy that Abbas is in the 100th year of his 4-year presidency.
A top aide to President Mahmoud Abbas was heard in newly released recordings on Tuesday cursing the Palestinian leader and insulting other members of the Palestinian leadership.
The purported remarks by Hussein al-Sheikh, a senior official who is seen as a potential successor to the 87-year-old Abbas, gave a glimpse of the bitter infighting inside the Palestinian leadership as several hopefuls try to position themselves for the post-Abbas era.
The embattled leader has not designated a successor, and last year he called off what would have been the first Palestinian parliamentary elections in 15 years.
The recordings were released by a news website run by the militant Hamas group, the bitter rival of Abbas’ Fatah party.
Hamas ousted pro-Abbas forces and took over the Gaza Strip in 2007, leaving him confined to the Israeli-occupied West Bank. It was not known when the recordings were made, who made them or how Hamas obtained them.
The exact context of the conversations also wasn’t clear. But al-Sheikh is repeatedly heard complaining about Abbas and denigrating other potential contenders for the presidency.
The killjoys of the Washington Post leave out the juicy stuff (I guess they are too busy thinking up ways to blame the Jews). Here it is for those who understand Arabic:
And here it is for the rest of us:
A top adviser to Mahmoud Abbas was heard insulting the Palestinian Authority president as “the son of 66 whores” and accusing him of stoking a chaotic succession battle, in leaked tapes published Tuesday, laying bare angry fissures within the ruling Fatah party.
“The succession is at the heart of everything,” al-Sheikh is heard saying at one point during what was believed to have been a conversation from several years ago.
Abbas “is complicit in the anarchy and has an interest in maintaining it for his own survival,” he added, expressing frustration over the lack of consultation on the process. “It pains me to say these things, but this process is completely different from after the death of Yasser Arafat.”
Abbas is the “son of 66 whores, he comes and gives his decisions without explanations,” he is heard saying. “He is not right in the head if he thinks we can do the right thing without explaining his intentions.”
A former minister in charge of liaising with Israeli authorities, al-Sheikh was appointed earlier this year to replace the late Saeb Erekat as head of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee and as point person on diplomatic negotiations. The promotion was seen boosting his chances to eventually succeed Abbas as head of the Fatah party, though several others are also vying for the job.
The aging Abbas, whose presidential term officially ended in 2009, has clung to power through successive health scares and serially canceled elections, and has never named a successor, though in the recording, al-Sheikh says Abbas has begun favoring Mahmoud Aloul, a former governor of Nablus.
In another leaked recording, al-Sheikh talks trash about other officials seen as contenders for the top spot, including spy chief Majed Faraj, whom he criticized for contacts with officials in Gaza.
“F-ck him in the ass,” he is heard saying.
(For the record, the Times of Israel spelled out that last sentence in full, which I do not seem to recall ever seeing before in a serious news outlet)
By the way, I have no idea why he went with the “son of 66 whores.” He was one off that being delightfully ambiguous.
Update: Hussein al-Sheikh is acting like all is fine between him and the son of 66 whores: