Comment by Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank
I really don’t understand why these brilliant Palestinian “negotiators” are still commuting between Ramallah and West Jerusalem for “peace talks” that even little kids in the streets of the smallest refugee camp in Gaza realize will lead nowhere.
Indeed, the vast majority of Palestinians are fed up with this despicable peace process under whose rubric Israel has is murdering our children, stealing our land, demolishing our homes and narrowing our horizons.
On Wednesday, 12 March, an Israeli death squad murdered in cold blood four Palestinians in Bethlehem, a city where the PA claims to have “authority.” The four Palestinians thought that the purported ceasefire in the Gaza Strip also applied to the West Bank, and that the PA had reached a tacit understanding with Israel according to which their lives would be spared. The four poor victims obviously didn’t know that the credibility of PA assurances were as valid as its claims of “authority” and “sovereignty” in the shadow of the Israeli occupation army.
The latest bloodletting in Jesus’ native town came only a few days after the pornographic carnage in the Gaza Strip in which more than 120 Palestinians, mostly innocent civilians, were mercilessly killed and hundreds others maimed by the American-supplied Israeli death machine.
Reacting to hideous crimes, Mahmoud Abbas, the Chairman of the PA, suspended the talks for ten hours, mostly for the sake of public consumption, before Condoleezza Rice hastened to bully him to “behave.”
Similarly, Abbas’s aides and advisors babbled a few sound-bites about “Israeli crimes and aggression” before they too reverted to their default mode.
Well, Mr. Abbas, I am afraid I have bad news for you. Your partner, Ehud Olmert, a man who lies as often as he breathes, doesn’t want peace and is not taking you and your entire Palestinian Authority seriously.
This week, Olmert decided to build at 1400 settler units in Arab East Jerusalem, the capital of the contemplated Palestinian state, as the PLO mantra keeps telling us.
In addition, Israel has confiscated (confiscation is euphemism for stealing) large swaths of privately-owned Arab land in the Jordan Valley and the Southern West Bank in broad daylight. And in both cases, the wanton killing of Palestinians and the equally wanton theft of Palestinian land, Israel claims that this done for the sake of peace and in order to “strengthen” “moderate” Palestinians?
This is nothing less than scandalous. Our leaders and ostentatious negotiators are being treated by Israel as imbeciles and stupid ignoramuses who talk too much and protest loudly, but at the end of the day, they exchange the usual kisses with their people’s grave-diggers and assure them that the talks would continue as usual irrespective of what Israel is doing or may do.
In other words, you keep the killing and land-theft, and we keep the talking!
Israeli leaders and Israelis in general have long come to understand that PA leaders are never serious about challenging Israel to stop settlement expansion despite their public pronouncements to the contrary. Thus PA officials may sound angry and upset and may use furious language to show their exasperation with Israel’s misdeeds. But Israel knows that these flamboyant careerists don’t really mean what they say.
This week, veteran Israeli journalist Amira Hass explained why Israel will continue to treat the PA leadership with the disdain and contempt it deserves:
“The PA’s condemnations (of Israeli settlement expansion) prove how ridiculous and impotent they truly are. They signal to both Israel and the Palestinians that it does not matter how many new settler units will be erected, a Palestinian partner will always take his place at the ‘peace process’ show.”
A few weeks ago, a prominent Palestinian journalist asked Abbas during a private meeting what alternatives he was considering if the entire peace process collapsed as a result of Israeli intransigence and American inability or unwillingness to pressure the Jewish state to end its occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
According to the journalist, Abbas, who had no answer, described the questions as “frustrating, embarrassing and confusing.”
Well, if Abbas and his PA (the Palestinian Judenrate) have no answer, then the Palestinian people do have one. Dissolve this impotent entity, abandon the moribund two-state solution, stop acting as a sub-contractor for the Israeli occupation, re-establish Palestinian national unity and stop being at George Bush’s and Condoleezza Rice’s beck and call.
And above all, let us prepare ourselves for the long and bitter struggle for a democratic and civil state in all of Palestine-Israel where all citizens, regardless of religion and race, may live in peace and equality.
This is the real and honest alternative to this game of make believe whereby Israel is killing us and liquidating our enduring cause in the name of a promiscuous peace process that we all know is based on mendacity, deception and malice.