By Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank
Ahmed Qurei', the leading Palestinian Authority (PA) negotiator, is behaving very much like Alice in Wonderland. Last week, he warned for the umpteenth time that the “Palestinian leadership” would switch to the “one-state solution” if Israel continued to obstruct the two-state solution.
Speaking before Fatah delegates in Ramallah, Qurei’ reiterated the mantra that the PA would never settle for anything less than a viable state on all the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967, with “al-Quds al Sharif” or “Noble Jerusalem” as its capital.
Qurei’ and some other PA leaders have been voicing similar warnings for years. These leaders, however, seem to utterly lack the will and inclination to abandon the defunct Oslo process. The reasons for that apparently have more to do with personal and partisan expediency and less with true Palestinian national considerations.
This is why Qurei’s remarks shouldn’t be taken seriously. After all, the very survival of the PA depends, almost completely, on its subservience to Israel.
In recent months, this ignominious subservience assumed more brazen manifestations, including joint raids of Palestinian homes, businesses, charities and educational institutions. Today, PA security cadets are taught that the enemy is Hamas, not Israel.
PA leaders, including the American-favored Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayad, might think that “working with Israel “ in the West Bank would eventually convince the Zionist regime to withdraw from the occupied territory and allow PA “forces” to assume full security responsibility and maintain law and order.!!!
Well, it is because of this strikingly ignorant and shockingly morbid thinking that the PA has effectively become the biggest obstacle impeding the Palestinian struggle for freedom from the Nazi-like Israeli occupation.
Israel, after all, has always viewed the PA as a quisling entity. This is the reason the terrorist state has allowed and continues to allow the US and some Arab states, which are at America’s beck and call, to supply military equipment to the Ramallah regime. Does anyone in his or her right mind think that Israel would allow the transfer of military gear to the PA if it had the slightest doubt that these weapons would be used against Israel one day?
There is no doubt that Israel has effectively killed the two-state solution, thanks to the intensive proliferation of Jewish-only settlements, Jewish-only roads and Jewish-only facilities throughout the West Bank. One doesn’t have to be a great expert in the Zionist enterprise to appreciate reality.
Actually, the matter goes far beyond merely “impeding” the realization of the two-state solution. We all know, Israelis and Palestinians alike as well as well-informed people around the world that no prospective Zionist government would ever agree to dismantle all these huge settlements dotting the map of the West Bank from Dahiriya in the south to Jenin in the north and from Jerusalem in the west to Jericho in the east.
We also know that East Jerusalem, the contemplated capital of the contemplated Palestinian entity has been reduced to a small ghetto surrounded by Jewish-only colonies such as Ma’ali Adomim, Pisgat Ze’ev, Har Homma Efrata, and Gush Itzion, just to mention a few.
So why did PA leaders refuse to open their eyes and deal with reality all these years? Were they drunk? Were they asleep? Were they mesmerized by the false luster of authority, an authority whose borders end with the nearest Israeli tank or armored vehicle which is only a few meters away ? Or perhaps they were busy self-congratulating themselves on having been granted empty but grand-sounding titles such “minister of this or minister of that!!” when in fact the lowest-ranking Israeli soldier would stop and humiliate them at the nearest roadblock in full view of Palestinian travelers?
The truth of the matter is that the PA and its leaders lack the ability to challenge Israel. Israel represents the lifeline of their political and especially financial survival.
Without Israel, and especially without this pathetic peace process which has the smell of conspiracy, PA leaders and officials wouldn’t be riding ostentatiously in brand new limousines and having chummy chats with the likes of Tony Blair who privately tells his European and American interlocutors that all that Palestinians need to shut their mouths up is some brand new cars, grand titles, bloated salaries and invitations to Paris, London and Washington where they can have memorial photo-ops with western leaders for self-gratification, this is while their own people are savaged by Nazi-like Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers all over the West Bank.
Needless to say, Israel will never ever take PA warnings and threats seriously, as long as the PA prefers the legitimacy that comes from Israeli and American acceptance more than that which comes from the Palestinian people’s acceptance.
More to the point, Israel will never show the slightest respect for an authority that doesn’t hesitate to break its own laws, by arresting, torturing and even killing Palestinians in order appease Israel.
This is why Israel and probably the rest of the world as well have not paid much attention to Qurei’s warnings..
Indeed, in order for any warning to be meaningful, it would have to be genuine, and those issuing it would have to be willing and ready to act on it when challenged.
But, unfortunately, the PA neither behaves nor thinks in this way. This is simply not its character. It is an entity whose leaders would protest an Israeli decision to build more settlements in on stolen Palestinian land by traveling to West Jerusalem the next morning to exchange ostensibly cordial kisses with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the very person who took that decision to build more settlements.
Is this the way to gain the respect of our enemy? Is this the way to convince the world that we are serious about wanting to extricate our usurped land and arrogated rights from the cruel hands of Zionism?
Moreover, how many times are we supposed to let the murderous liars of Washington bamboozle us in matters pertaining to our very national survival?
How many more “peace conferences” and “peace initiatives” must we watch come and go before we realize that Israel doesn’t want peace and that the United States, Israel’s ultimate guardian ally, is unwilling and probably unable to pressure Israel to give up the spoils of the 1967 war?
Indeed, the fact that we continue to walk rather blindly and gullibly in the American path may well have convinced the Americans and the rest of the world that we are really fools who would go for anything?
Are we fools? Are we stupid? Otherwise, why do we continue to hold seemingly endless talks with Israel despite our deep convictions that Israel doesn’t want peace? Why have we failed to demand a total stoppage of Jewish settlement expansion as a precondition for the continuation of the so-called “peace talks”? We do have a huge army of “advisors” and “experts” and “consultants” who receive hefty salaries at the expense of hundreds of thousands of impoverished Palestinians who can hardly make ends meet. Can’t these people offer the PA leadership a decent advice with regard to this game of make believe, otherwise known as “peace talks.”
Does a peace-loving state build hundreds of settlements on stolen land? Does a peace- loving state behave like Israel has been behaving, both in Gaza and the West Bank?
Why do we continue to deceive and cheat our people by stating after every meeting with Israeli war criminals, such Olmert and Barak, that “the talks were positive and constructive?
Today, Seri Nuseiba, one of the most dovish PLO operatives in east Jerusalem, told the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz that the two-states solution was becoming unrealistic and virtually impossible, in light of facts on the ground.
So, why is the PA refusing to see reality on the ground as it is? Or are we, Palestinians, supposed to continue to give this discredited leadership the benefit of the doubt until Israel destroys the last vestige of our national immunity in the face of Zionism?