Comment by Khalid Amayreh in occupied East Jerusal
On Tuesday, 28 August, the American-backed Palestinian Authority (PA) regime in Ramallah decided to close down as many as 103 charities in the West Bank.
The bulk of these modest societies are active in assisting the most impoverished sectors of the Palestinian people with money and food stuff to help them survive repressive Israeli measures such as prolonged curfews, blockades and imposed unemployment.
The charities also extend a helping hand to poor families whose breadwinners have been killed or are imprisoned by the Israeli occupiers in connection with the resistance or political opposition to the occupation.
Despite vociferous denials from Ramallah, the draconian measure is widely believed to be a message of compliance with instructions to that effect from Washington which has been incessantly calling for dismantling these charities and similar institutions in order to weaken Hamas and undermine its popularity.
It is really lamentable to see the PA regime strive to outmatch the Israeli occupation army in repressing the Palestinian populace.
In fact, the Israeli army itself, which controls every town, village, hamlet and refugee camp in the West Bank, has actually refrained from taking such a sweeping measure. Hence, one would wonder if the mass closure of these charities is primarily intended to demonstrate to the Israeli occupiers that the Ramallah government can “do the job” rather superbly on Israel’s behalf.
It is really difficult to imagine any constructive purpose in this stupid and harsh feat which caused even the Israelis to raise their eyebrows.
After all these charities enhance the welfare of many poor people who otherwise would form a large army of beggars in the streets and alleys of occupied Palestine.
So, does the unelected Fayad government want these people to become an easy prey for the Shin Beth which would feed them or give them a few shekels in exchange for recruiting them as informers, agents, fifth columnists and traitors acting against the interests of their own people?
Well, wouldn’t that be the ultimate outcome of such a callous act? Otherwise, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert wouldn’t have publicly thanked, rather wholeheartedly, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas for the closures when the two met in West Jerusalem on 28 August.
The paragons of mendacity in Ramallah have been at loss trying to justify the measure. They claimed that these charities didn’t have valid licenses and that their heads didn’t submit regular reports detailing their finances?
Well, did Suha Arafat submit a detailed report about the present state of her finances? Did Muhamed Rashid? Did Nabil Amr? Did Jamil and Jamal Tarifi? Indeed, Did Muhammad Dhalan submit a detailed report on his finances?
These questions are for misters Abbas and Fayad to answer now, not tomorrow, and without any evasion or prevarication.
Besides, what laws these corrupt ignoramuses are talking about? What the hell are they talking about? Are they so blind that they can’t see the Israeli occupation tanks and jeeps deployed outside their own bedrooms? Do they really think they have a sovereign state?
So tell us Mr. Fayad, are we supposed to get permission from the Nazi-like Israeli regime to be able to feed a starving child in Hebron or a starving widow in Nablus?
Do we have to ask for an Israeli permission to buy a school kit for a small boy in Dura whose father is languishing for years at the Kitziot concentration camp in the heart of Negev desert, without charge or trial? Do we have to obtain an Israeli permission for helping an orphaned bride have a dignified wedding because her family is too poor to pay for the expenses?
Needless to say, a government that torments its own people, knowingly and deliberately on behalf of its enemy is a treacherous government par excellence.
During the Second World War, the Nazis created the so-called “Jewish councils” or Judenrate, to carry out Nazi policies and decrees concerning Jewish communities. The Judenrate thought that they were helping persecuted Jews survive the plight of systematic Nazi persecution. However, as days passed, it became crystal clear that the Judenrate were being used by the Nazis as a mere tool for effecting the genocidal goals of the Third Reich.
Similarly, the PA government may delude itself into thinking that it is serving the national interests of the Palestinian people by pleasing and appeasing Israel and its guardian-ally, the United States.
However, it should be clear to every Palestinian that the role being played, so faithfully and even enthusiastically, by the Ramallah regime only serves the ultimate Zionist strategy of weakening and starving the Palestinian people in order to break their collective will to survive Israel’s genocidal designs.
My God, when will these stupid ignoramuses wake up from their slumber?