Another Palestinian Carrot
Dr Elias Akleh
As expected by a majority the
hailed Annapolis Conference did not produce any positive results. On
the contrary it took the Palestinian cause back to 1993 Oslo period
when the PLO and the Israeli government initially agreed to negotiate.
Palestinian negotiating team is the same team, who negotiated the miserably
failed Oslo agreement and the many barren negotiating meetings that
followed. These negotiators had not learned from their experience that
Israel had always sabotaged peace talks with their unreasonable demands
and reservations, and had never followed any agreement. The team had
lost the trust of their people long time ago and was booted out of the
Palestinian Authority after the Palestinians elected Hamas to represent
them through a free democratic election. This team went to Annapolis
without getting the approval or the authority of Palestinian Legislative
Council to negotiate and to make final decisions on behalf of the Palestinians.
Abbas had ignored the demands of all Palestinian factions, including
many in Fatah, not to go to Annapolis. He does not represent the Palestinians
majority but Fatah’s ruling elite; a small group who had hijacked
Fatah movement, ignored the rest of Palestinian factions, and turned
their backs on their own people to serve the Israeli/American interests
in order to keep their power position and to keep receiving more bribes
into their own pockets. Many Palestinians, including those in Diaspora
in European countries, and their Arab brothers had demonstrated against
Annapolis into the streets of their cities in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon,
Syria and occupied Palestine, even in Abbas’ base city Ramallah,
where his security forces had met the demonstrators with live bullets
and brutal force. Although insisting that Fatah, and nobody else, is
the sole representative of the Palestinian people, Abbas is so detached
from his people to the point of ignoring, in his speech at Annapolis,
to mention their suffering under the Israeli occupation to the point
of starvation, while Israeli Olmert talked about the suffering of the
Israelis under what he called “Palestinian terror” (Palestinian
legitimate right to resist Israeli occupation), as if the Palestinian
tanks and helicopters are bombarding the Israeli cities.
states went to Annapolis because the American administration had, once
again, dangled the carrot of the Palestinian State in front of their
eyes. The Arab governments had never whole-heartedly supported the Palestinian
cause. With all the money many of them have, some of the Arab leaders
are considered among the wealthiest in the world, they have dropped
only negligible morsels to the Palestinians. All what they care about
is to save their own skin from the Israeli expansionist scheme. They
are willing to sacrifice the Palestinians in the hope that the American
administration might “contain” Israel within parts of Palestine
or even within the whole Palestine. Their 2002 Peace Initiative “land
for peace” to Israel gives up the Palestinian refugees’
right of return to their homes, and legalizes Israeli occupation of
78% of Palestine. By attending Annapolis side by side with Abbas &
Company (the so-called Arab moderates) they are sending a rejection
message to Hamas and its likes (the so-called Arab Muslim extremists).
Finally the Arab leaders understand that the American administration
is cooking an extreme Sikes-Picot like partition plans for the Middle
East, and want to appease this administration for fear of having a similar
fate like Iraq.
the only party to profit from Annapolis. The corrupt and weak Israeli
Prime Minister Olmert needed Annapolis to improve his political status.
To attend Annapolis the Israelis demanded Palestinians to recognize
and to acknowledge the “Jewishness” of the Israeli State,
and demanded all Arab countries not to interfere with the Israeli/Palestinian
negotiations or giving Palestinian team any council. Recognizing the
Jewishness of Israeli state, an ultimate racist ideology, would be a
precursor for the Israelis to transfer the Israeli Arabs out of Israel.
Israelis want to Isolate Palestinians away from the rest of the Arab
world so that they, the strong occupiers, can impose their conditions
on the weak occupied Palestinians.
and Jordanian leaders as examples Israeli Prime minister Olmert took
the opportunity to “invite” the rest of the Arab leaders
to similarly quit boycotting Israel and to establish normal economic
and political relationships with Israel, of course on Israel’s
conditions otherwise it would have accepted the Arab Peace Initiative
that would establish these relationships.
Israeli gain in Annapolis is its success of transforming the Israeli/Palestinian
problem from Israeli occupation and Palestinian refugees’ problem
to the issue of establishing a Palestinian state. Thus marginalizing
the Palestinian refugees and legalizing the Israeli occupation.
does not want peace and security to its people otherwise it would have
accepted the Arab Peace Initiative that would have guaranteed peace
and security to the Israelis. Peace would put an end to the Israeli
expansion and ends its role as a Sparta-like mercenary state.
American administrations had pledged unconditional financial, military,
and political support to the state of Israel despite its criminal record
and violations of international laws and human rights. All the president
candidates rush to AIPAC’s podium to vehemently declare her or
his commitment to Israel. American administrations had ignored and marginalized
the Palestinians. The administrations had never been a fair and neutral
broker to Israeli/Palestinian peace negotiations as they claimed themselves
to be. President George Bush does not even know the correct name of
the Palestinian President; he called him Muhammad rather than Mahmoud
As a typical
biased broker Bush urged the Palestinians to adopt the Road Map, with
the many Israeli nullifying reservations, by disarming Palestinian militias
(freedom fighters) but did not urge the Israelis to dismantle the hundreds
of military check points within the occupied West Bank, freeze the illegal
colonies, and stop the imprisoning apartheid wall. He stressed the American
commitment to the security of Israel as a national homeland for the
Jews, but did not utter one word about the security of Palestinians,
who are subjected to starvation and are murdered daily by Israeli army
and by Israeli settlers. He claimed he supports a two-state solution
when he knows very well that a Palestinian state could not be viable
if it is riddled with illegal Israeli colonies and Israeli-only roads.
No, Bush, like the rest of the presidents, does not care about the Palestinians.
They remember Palestine only to wave its resolution as a carrot to the
Arab leaders to lead them towards meeting the American foreign policy
in the region. This carrot was waved by then President Bush, the father,
to the Arab leaders during the first Gulf War against Iraq late 1990
so they open their countries to be used as American military bases to
attack Iraq. The result was the ill fated Oslo Accord that officially
ended Palestinian military resistance and installed a weak Palestinian
Authority under the watchful eyes and the mercy of the Israeli army
and donor countries.
In 2003 when
Bush, the son, wanted to invade Iraq he was advised to use the Palestinian
carrot again to neutralize and pacify any Arab objection as well as
using their countries as a launching pad for the invasion. So Bush,
for the first time and after two years in his presidency, remembered
the Palestinians and declared his support to the two-state solution.
Yet later on he supported Israeli Prime Minister Sharon’s terror
campaign against all major Palestinian cities and his usurpation of
more Palestinian land to build more illegal Israeli colonies, and called
him a man of peace. Meanwhile the Palestinians lost more of their land
and their leader, Yasser Arafat, was poisoned.
later Bush, again, remembered the Palestinian carrot and has used it
in Annapolis to convince the Arab leaders to accept the American plans
for the “New Middle East” including accepting Israel and
supporting the plans of his administration to secure Iraq and to attack
Iran, reminding them that refusal will lead their countries into long
wars with Iraqi devastation as an example.
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