In Israeli Occupied Palestine, there is so much talk these days about “legitimacy” in Arabic this word means “ Share'ia” having replaced the word occupation as the most spoken word among all PA officials. No one talks of the Israeli Occupation!
Of course if one is to take a look at legitimacy, there are very few people and organizations that have any sense of legal and political legitimacy. Even if we accept Oslo as an agreement concluded by persons and institutions with questionable legitimacy (Arafat and the PLO have no legitimacy whatsoever to represent the Palestinian people) then there are one person and one organization we will accept as legitimate. Mahmoud Abbas, as the head of the Palestinian Authority since he won legitimate and open election and the Palestinian people did vote for him and no one can deny him that legitimacy.
The other organization or entity that has equal legitimacy deriving its source from the people is the Palestinian Legislative Council with a Hamas majority and a Fatah minority together with some minor groups and few other individuals.
If we are to accept Abbas legitimacy then we must also accept Hamas as legitimate organization having won the election, with the people voting in the elections, which every observer confirmed, was a fair and open one.
What happened in Gaza was not a revolution or a military take over as many within the PLO or Fatah claim. What happened in Gaza is that Hamas got fed up with a number of key Fatah leaders who had a monopoly on security and who operated the Palestinian Authority security organizations as their own militias. Hamas “tanfethiah” is no more and no less different than Fatah Preventive Security. Both are run and operated by warlords. Fatah, resisting the urgent needs to give up power and authority over security organizations delayed the deal for a unity government for over 6 months, and even when a unity government was formed, Fatah warlord where not about to give up their power and authority over such organization at a time when Gaza was experiencing the worst case of lawlessness and breakdown of law and order. Fatah warlords where not concerns with public order as much as they were concerned with the protection racket and racketeering they were operating in Gaza, fleecing every one. That is why the minister of the interior in the unity government resigned within a short time.
It is so interesting that when Abbas was the prime minister, the US and Israel and many other Arab countries where supporting his demands to have control and authority over all security organizations at a time Arafat was trying to preserve his dictatorial power and preserve his power base for corruptions and incompetence.
It is so ironic that when Abbas became the president, he insisted on and like Arafat before insisted on keeping control over all security organizations, and did not wish to cede such power to the new prime minister. Simply put, security organizations are the source of power and source of corruptions and intimidations and the one who control these security organizations in the man in charge, they represent the only source of power under occupation.
In dismissing the elected government and no one can deny Abbas right to do so, and in announcing the emergency government, Abbas did not draw on legitimacy given to him by the people, instead he drew his claimed legitimacy from a group and from an organization that have no legitimacy whatsoever. Abbas ignoring the power people invested in him and went to the executive committee of the PLO, a bunch of have been and parasites, and got them to vote on dismissing the elected government and announcing the emergency government.
One could not understand why did Abbas go to an organization that ceased to exist and has no presence except on paper, and has only bunch of old hands from the days of Arafat and whose contributions to the cause of liberation is total negligible and who with Arafat formed “Ali Baba and the 40 thieves”?
No Palestinian ever voted for the PLO, and no Palestinian ever voted for the executive committee of the PLO. How can bunch of guys like that have any legitimacy to vote on removing a government that was voted in and elected by the people? My issue here is not with Abbas having the rights and power to select or dismiss the prime minister, he have every right to do so. My issue here is with the executive committee of the PLO that has no legitimacy whatsoever to represent any one or vote on any issue that impact the Palestinian people. They may have the right to vote on distributing the spoils of Oslo and the stolen money but they do not have the rights to speak for the Palestinian people. The executive committee does not represent anyone but itself.
Furthermore, no one appointed Fatah as the guardian of the people and the protector of its interest. Fatah represent its members, most of whom are on the payroll and employees of the authority with more than $118 million in monthly expense. Only Fatah elected officials who were voted in by the people have any legitimacy, all other Fatah organizations do not have any legitimacy.
That is also true of Hamas and all of its security organizations. The people when they voted Hamas in they did not vote for all of its armed organizations. The people voted for certain individuals and did not vote for Hamas security organizations or its service organizations or its militias.
Let us keep legitimacy in perspectives. Only Abbas and those elected members of parliament whether Hamas or Fatah have any legitimacy, all groups or organizations have no legitimacy whatsoever.
By the way, Dr. Mustafa Bargouthi is a thousand if not a million times much better than Dr. Riyad Malki as minister of information. Dr. Faiad did not do such a good job and missed the mark on the portfolio of ministry of information. I think that Dr. Mustafa Bargouthi should be the people choice for a minister of information and the Palestinian envoy to the world.