Israel vs Palestine; them and us

10 05 2011

As Israel celebrate its 63rd anniversary, I could not help but compare the Zionist Israeli leadership to that of the Palestinian leadership past (Hajj Amin Husaini, Ahmed Shukairi and Yasser Arafat) and present (Abbas & Company) and what each achieved for their people in over 100 years of conflict?  While one celebrate a nation, strong as ever (Peres) the other is wondering how to meet the current payroll? While one celebrates a nation with an army and institutions, the other promises the people a “virtual” state with none of the prerequisites of a modern nation state. While one talks of expanding and solidifying the Jewish Occupation, the other talks of reviving the PLO and restructuring the Palestine National Congress as if any one gives a damn about the PLO or its PNC.

Of course there are no comparisons between a leader like David Ben-Gurion and someone like Yasser Arafat.  One dedicated his life to creating a nation out of remnant of people from over 120 countries, and succeeded in having a state with “state and governing institutions” on day one. While the other dedicated his life to political manipulation, lies, fraud, corrupting every thing around him and failing “his” people at every turn, never achieved liberation, ending the occupation, let al achieving let alone return of refugees. At best he returned to Palestine as a servant of the Jewish Occupation ending his life as hostage to his masters.

David Ben-Gurion and the Zionist leaders were able to create a state out of terrorism, armed struggle and powerful and manipulative international politics in the service of Israel, and never had to apologize for any thing, not the forced exile of 700,000 Palestinians, not the destruction of 500 villages, not the continued land theft for an ever expanding settlements, not the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from East Jerusalem, not the Apartheid Wall, not the many wars on Gaza and Lebanon.

Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian leadership on the other hand, not only failed to liberate and return the refugees, and never built “state institutions” always putting loyalty to the leadership ahead of any loyalty to country and cause.  After 29 years (64-93) of claimed “liberation” Arafat ended up apologizing for all these years of ‘liberation” and defining then as acts of terrorism and violence (letter to Rabin) and after 47 years of the PLO, there is nothing to show for, not liberation, not return of refugees, not state or institution building, nothing but lies and deceptions, and a management and security contract with the Israeli Occupation.

David Ben-Gurion did not waste time, he worked on building state institutions while he was engaged in “wars of independence” and when he declared the State of Israel it had all the necessary institutions to operate and function as a state.  Ben-Gurion did not invite his family and friends and associates to loot the country as Yasser Arafat did. And he did not invite Jewish business leadership and grant them “monopolies” over state resources as Arafat did, and he did not close his eyes on corrupt officials and associates as they went on to rob, fleece and abuse the system and build racketeering mafias out of “security services” or the military. David Ben-Gurion did not corrupt the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency as Arafat did corrupting and bankrupting the PLO and the PNC, overlooking the billions stolen and remains unaccounted for. Ben-Gurion transformed the Israeli Aircraft Industry to a leader in arms and technology while Arafat transformed SAMED to canning “homous” and ‘embroidery factories” and then all disappeared under the management of his ally Ahmed Qurai.

 

There is no way to compare the Israeli leadership with that of the Palestinian. I am not aware of any Israeli leader who became multi-millionaire while serving the nation and the people while in public office as official. Not aware of any Israeli leaders who helped them selves to the national treasury take out tens of millions and send it to their wives in Paris or London or New York. Not aware of any Israeli leader who deposited donations and financial aids destined to the state or people and deposit these in his own private bank account, without any control or accountability.

Not aware of any Israeli leader in charge of “investment” were hundreds of millions lost or stolen and disappeared and never called for full accounting. Not aware of any Israeli leader or officials who made a fortune out of misfortune of the people. Not aware of any Israeli leaders whose family members were given contracts worth tens of millions simply because they are “family” members. Not aware of any Israeli leaders whose private company was given contracts worth hundreds of millions without any competitive and open bidding.

We know the late Yitzhak Rabin was forced to resign as Israeli prime minister because his wife kept a bank account in Washington worth couple of thousand dollars after her husband left office as Israeli ambassador. We also know the son of Ariel Sharon went to jail because he used his father’s connection to benefit himself and family.

Yasser Arafat was not forced to resign and never was questioned because he sent his wife millions of dollars from the people’s treasury? Was Mahmoud Abbas ever called to explain the financial deal he negotiated with Suha after her husband’s death, and did Israel negotiate a financial deal with the widows of Ben-Gurion or Rabin, and never negotiated a financial settlement with any widow of a leader who died or killed while on official assignment?

Why there was never an inquiry or accounting of the billions that went through Arafat private account and what happened to the accounts in Paris and in Geneva? And why no questioned Arafat as he did he collected “tax dollars” depositing it into his private accounts?  Did any one ever open an inquiry to find out how members of the family (sons, cousins, wives, in-laws) of the leadership were able to build financial empires? And why no one wonder or raise question as heads of security services became multi-millionaires in no time? Did any one ever demand an accounting of why selected “Palestinian Oligarchy” were given special treatment and helped themselves to key sectors of the economy to loot? Questions that no members of the PNC or the Executive Committee raise certainly anyone in the leadership care to answer.

What we know is that the Palestinian leadership never bothered to operate a transparent accountable system and the PLO was and continues to operate as “private” closed corporation for the benefit of very few selected and self appointed members of the Executive Committee.

We never knew the hows and the why’s of the operation of the PLO and the Palestine National Congress. We know one thing for sure, the leadership decided on the numbers, it decided who will become a member, mainly representative of “fasael” or “resistance” or “dakakeen” and the rest were “notables” and Arafat loyalists, appointed and selected by Arafat to manipulate the entire PLO and PNC to serve his private narcissist purpose.

Never understood what is the role or function of the PNC if not as the “people representative body” to select and elect the executive leadership?  To make policies and discuss and decide on all issues that relates to the people and nation of Palestine. And represent the interests of the people first and foremost and to hold the leadership accountable for all failures and use and misuse of public funds.

If we are to believe the lies of the leadership we need to question why there was never any investigation of any of the leadership failures in Jordan, in Lebanon, in Tunis, in Ramallah, in Oslo/ Why there was never an investigation of the missing or unaccounted for funds/ or why there was never an investigation into the murders committed in Tal-Zaater or Sabra and Shatilla? Or the “exile” from Kuwait?

Why there was never an open hearing or investigations of the many failed “military” operations that costs millions of dollars and cost the lives of thousands? Why there was never an inquiry or court martial of the “military” leadership that ran away from the battle field in Lebanon, abandoning troops, escaping to join the Chairman, and later promoted to generals and field marshals under Oslo? Why there was never an investigation of the circumstances that allowed the head of the Preventive Security to abandon his headquarters leaving his men and prisoners behind to meet certain death as Israeli bombed Preventive Security Forces.

Why did the PNC failed to take up the fight between Hamas and Fatah that ended with the routing of Fatah out of Gaza? Why did the PNC failed to take up the issue of negotiated deal between Dahlan and Mofaz, that allowed Israel to implement its total siege of Gaza? Why did the PNC failed to take up the issue of absence of or lack of “institutions” all these years?  And why the leadership began to work on this only two years ago? Why the PNC failed to take up the issue of Oslo and its failings and why after 20 years, there are no “professional” non-partisan security forces?

Perhaps Mr. Mahmoud Abbas his many “special advisors” or members of the Executive Committee like Dr. Hanan Ashrawi or independent like Dr. Mustapha Bargouthi can answer all the whys. Perhaps they can tell us why we need to rebuild and restructure a totally failed, missing, disappeared or ceased to exist PLO? And why after all these years of Oslo there is an urgent need to give the PLO and PNC a priority.

Most important to the people is how a leadership like the present one that negotiated Oslo and continued to negotiate with Israel for the last 20 years can be trusted to negotiate a better deal than it negotiated in Oslo, and a better deal it offered to Israel as the Palestine Papers disclosed. The answer is obvious, it could not be trusted, and it lacks the integrity, the professionalism and the competency to achieve end of Occupation, East Jerusalem as nation capital, return of refugees and vacating of over 500,000 well armed Israeli trespassers and land thieves. And the lies continue.

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