Mahmoud Abbas at the UN. It is a “Fart” not “Bombshell.

30 09 2015

Mahmoud Abbas, whose terms as President of the Palestinian Authority expired few years ago, the Chairman of the PLO, President of Fatah spoke at the UN, denounced Israel for its failings to honor the terms of Oslo Accord, warning the PA will no longer honor its obligations under Oslo. Wow what a bombshell!

Well, his statement at best was a “fart” and not the bombshell that he and his cronies been talking about and promising for the last few weeks.

Arafat, Abbas and the PLO Executive Committee knew well that Oslo was not about liberation, nor about Jerusalem certainly not about the rights of refugees to return home. It was a commercial, administrative and security agreement between Israel as a state and the PLO as an organization.

Arafat, Abbas and the PLO leadership desperate to save their “ass” after supporting Saddam invasion of Kuwait, needed drastic measures to replenish the tens of billions looted during their tenures and the consistent failings of its policies. To keep the PLO relevant decided to open “secrete” channels with Israel.

Yitzhak Rabin was desperate to save his “ass” with front pages and headline news of brave young Palestinians facing heavily armed Israeli soldiers with tanks, heavy armored vehicles. The First Intifada must come to an end and Rabin knew Arafat was desperate too.

Arafat and Rabin interests, each for his own purpose met in Oslo where Arafat, Abbas and the PLO snuffed and ended the First Intifada and the PLO secured for itself a management and security contract that will keep the leadership and their bank accounts alive and well, and Rabin got rid of his nightmare.

As the main contractor for the Israeli Occupation, the PLO took it upon itself to take over All of the Israeli financial obligations as manager and administrator of the Occupied Territories and Israel succeeded in having the PLO through its security forces to act as an “auxiliary” unit for the IDF, providing support for the IDF and protection for the criminal Israeli Settlers. Over the course of 23 years, the PLO was able to save Israel over $55-60 billions.

Meanwhile, Israel taking full advantage of the lopsided Oslo Accord, continued with its ever expanding settlement policies providing financial incentive to Israelis to move and settle in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, continued with its systematic expulsion of tens of thousands of Palestinians resident of Jerusalem, and solidifying its hold and chock on what remained of Palestine, building it Apartheid Wall.

Gaza which Israel evacuated because of high security expense it provided for the 5,000 land thieves, decided to continue with its punishment of Gaza, with constant systematic destruction of Gaza in several wars and keeping the siege and blockade of Gaza.

Mahmoud Abbas threat of not honoring the terms and conditions of Oslo Accord is little too late. Israel has been violating the terms of Oslo since day one, yet Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas continued honoring their own side of the bargain. There were too many financial incentives for the PLO to do otherwise.

Mahmoud Abbas been threatening to do this for a long time. But he and his cronies know better. Mahmoud Abbas, the PLO and Fatah could never give up Oslo with all of its personal and financial benefits to the Palestinian leadership. Even if Abbas decided to opt out of Oslo there are many of the PLO leaders waiting in the wings to take over and continue in the service of Israel, no different from the Vichy government of France in the service of the German Occupation.

Mahmoud Abbas is only maneuvering to go back to the negotiating table (peace process) to save face, knowing the US and Israel will move ahead to open direct or indirect negotiations, without ever giving up settlement buildings or lifting all 550 security check points. Abbas was able to hoist the flag at the UN but is unable to lift one single security checkpoint.

If Mahmoud Abbas was serious about his “bomshell” he would have brought with him and submitted formal letters from the PLO abrogating its contractual and security obligations to Israel under Oslo, submit the same to Israel, to the US, Russia and the UN. He knows better no body takes him seriously, not Israel not the US certainly not the Palestinians.


Disband the PLO-NOW

9 09 2015

By Sami Jamil Jadallah on September 9, 2015
Israel's separation barrier

Israel’s separation barrier

Five years after the creation of the Palestine Liberation Organization by the Arab League, Yasser Arafat took over the organization and turned it from a “liberation organization” to a “closed criminal enterprise”, serving the leadership and failing the Palestinian people at every turn.
Yasser Arafat

The late Yasser Arafat

Instead of liberation, Yasser Arafat and his cohorts returned to Occupied Palestine to manage the Israeli Occupation.

The world had no choice after years of neglect and total disregard for the Palestinian people’s right of freedom and independence, but recognize the Palestinian people as a national entity — short of recognizing their right to return from exile or for their own free and independent state in Palestine.

It was not the Palestinian people who voted for the PLO as their “sole legitimate representative”, but the 1974 Arab Summit in Rabat that gave the PLO such international legitimacy. This came about after a bloody mini war in which armed Palestinian factions challenged the sovereignty of King Hussein over Jordan.

Soon after this recognition by Arab heads of states, most of whom lacked legitimacy, Arafat traveled to the UN to give his famous speech, with the UN following suit by giving the PLO “observer” status as “representative of the Palestinian people”.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a press conference on the Palestinian parliamentary elections in Ramallah, January 2006.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a press conference on the Palestinian parliamentary elections in Ramallah, January 2006.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at a press conference in Ramallah, 2006.

It was not until November 30, 2012, when the UN General Assembly voted to recognize Palestine as a “state”. However full sovereignty was left to Israel to give the Palestinians such states in accordance with the agreement negotiated and signed by both Arafat and Abbas. Palestine is an “observer state”, lacking votes or flag.

Full sovereignty and full rights must be voted on in the UN Security Council where the US can exercise its veto. The vote by the UN General Assembly recognizing the “state of Palestine” did not change anything on the ground, nor the disenfranchised status of millions of Palestinians in exile, waiting to return.

Israel continues to occupy the “territories”, exercising full military, demographic and economic powers. Even after the Oslo Accord, Israel has shown no interest in giving up what remained of historic Palestine.

After twenty years, hundreds of thousands killed, tens of billions looted and stolen, Oslo was the best that Arafat, Abbas and the PLO could deliver to the Palestinian people. This amounts to a perpetual occupation.

The PLO killed; snuffed the First Intifada; failed the Second; killed the Two State solution; killed the One State solution; and succeeded in having a perpetual contract to manage the Israeli Occupation. This is not so great an achievement for a “liberation” organization.

Oslo as negotiated, was a management and service contract between the PLO and Israel, whereby the PLO took over managing the civil affairs of the people and worse yet, pays for it; while Israel retained total control over the land, the people and the water. Oslo was a betrayal of the people and the Palestinian cause — an act of treason.

Under the terms and conditions negotiated in Oslo, Israel retained total security control over the entire Occupied Territories with the Palestinian Security Forces, acting as an auxiliary force to the Israeli IDF and Shin Bet. The AP Security Forces could not protect a chick or a tree, let alone a life, as we have seen many times.

Arafat and Abbas committed to the safety and security of Israeli citizens armed and unarmed to the tune of $1.4 billion annually, far exceeding the joint budgets of education, health, transportation, social services and infrastructure.
Construction of the wall

Construction of the wall

The Oslo Accord was a financial windfall for both Israel and the PLO/Fatah leadership. Israel was able to save at least $2 billion a year, the cost of running the territories. Israel made good use of the saving, granting each illegal settler $28,000 in annual subsidies.

On the other hand, all those who failed at liberation came back with Arafat and Abbas to manage the Israeli Occupation, and taking full advantage of the culture of corruption, nepotism, personal loyalties, and ineptness that characterizes the tenure of Arafat and his successor, Abbas.

Many senior and mid-level political and security operatives became multi-millionaires, benefiting from business opportunities, kick-backs, racketeering, or other illicit activities.

Within a few years, they became rich, owning properties in the Occupied territories, in Cairo, Amman, and the UAE among many places — living the lifestyle that no sitting Israeli official dare afford. Many became owners of NGOs, getting tens of millions in funding to produce papers talking about the Occupation, but falling short of doing something to end the Occupation. Oslo became a business for many inside and outside of Palestine.

Keep in mind that Oslo created a legal entity, the Palestinian Authority, (PA) that “separated” the people under the Israeli Occupation from the refugees and in the Diaspora. As such, the PLO became a name only, with no legal or basic function other than giving Israel legitimacy, and with Abbas having total control over all budgets and finance — the basis of his power and legitimacy.

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The Palestine National Council
President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas, center, celebrates with members of his delegation and other supporters at the UN General Session

President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas, center, celebrates with members of his delegation and other supporters at the UN General Session

President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas, center, celebrates with members of his delegation and other supporters at the UN General Session

Which brings us to the recent calls by Mahmoud Abbas to convene the Palestine National Council (PNC), supposedly, the Palestinian Parliament representing Palestinians under Occupation and those in the Diaspora.

It is clear Abbas’ intention is to consolidate his absolute control, get rid of challenges, and pass the reins of corruption and incompetence to one of his cohorts.

It should be noted here that the PNC was never an elected body, and all of its members are selected by the Chairman of the PLO, the Executive Committee and Central Committee of the PLO; and the appointments are in accordance with a quota system designed to give Fatah the majority of seats.

The PNC’s significance was in the fact that, as a so-called “parliament”, it was never debated or voted on in Oslo. Even the PLO Central Committee never debated about Oslo, nor ratified Oslo. The 18 members of the PLO Executive Committee ratified Oslo after the fact.

The PNC has no power, real or imagined — it acts as a rubber stamp with no value or importance, a shameless “Parliament”. It abdicated all of its responsibility to the people whom it is supposed to represent.

Arafat, the fraud and manipulative con artist, made sure that he controlled all so-called “institutions” designed to perpetuate his control and that of his successors, and limited real changes that might have put the people in charge. He, like Abbas, made sure there is distance between the leadership and the people when it comes to real issues and decisions that affect the people and liberation; thus it is the PLO Executive Committee that approves everything. The Executive Committee is appointed, and never voted on by the people.

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IDF attack on Gaza 2014

Hence in the entire history of the PNC, there was never any real debate on, let alone sanctions against, the many disastrous decisions made by Arafat, Abbas, and the PLO Executive Committee in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, nor in Kuwait, where tens of thousands lost their lives, and where tens of billions of dollars were lost.

There was never a debate over Oslo and all of its failings, then and now. In fact the PNC did not meet for over 20 years. The PNC is nothing but a shameful sham.

Keep in mind, the Palestinian body that received Bill Clinton in Gaza (1996) — passing by show of hands nullifying the Palestinian National Charter, giving recognition to Israel and denying the right to resistance and self-defense — was hardly representative of the PNC, but rather a bunch of “personalities” herded in as straw men for a tragic show orchestrated by Arafat and Abbas.
Abbas estate

Abbas estate

Both Arafat and Abbas, treated the the people of Palestine with neglect and contempt, and made sure Israel recognized the PLO as “representative of the Palestinian people”, but never recognized the State of Palestine. The PLO gave Israel full and unconditional recognition over all of Palestine with Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, with no right of return for the refugees.

A full recognition for a fist full of dollars. The Palestinian people deserve this contempt for their silence and for their failure to force a change of a leadership that had sold out.

Arafat and Abbas structured these “Palestinian Institutions” in such a way, making it difficult for any changes to come from the people directly or indirectly, and making it even more difficult for any accountability or changes of the “leadership” by the people except the members of the mafia family, the Executive Committee. Even this Executive Committee for the most part has no say so.

More important, Arafat and Abbas made sure that any group trying to find an alternative to the PLO will face a wall of legal challenges by the PLO, Israel and the US, all of whom are quite satisfied with the present situation in Occupied Palestine and with the PLO leadership and as the manager.

Arafat and Abbas secured life perpetuity for the PLO when Israel recognized the PLO, thus denying any group of Palestinians (outside of the PLO structure) the right to sit at the table as a replacement or as an independent party.

Abbas and Netanyahu at the White House

A Failing Grade

Abbas and Netanyahu at the White House

Many beneficiaries of the PLO and the PA will argue that Arafat, Abbas and the PLO leadership did great things for the Palestinian people by gaining international recognition, with many countries recognizing the State of Palestine.

However, the real achievement is not in New York or London or Paris; the real achievement is on the ground — and here Arafat, Abbas and the entire PLO leadership and Executive Committee a get a big F.

Since Oslo, more than 600,000 settlers moved to the Occupied Territories; more than 450 miles of Apartheid Wall were erected; more than 800,000 olive and fruit trees were burned or uprooted by the Israeli Army and the armed criminal settlers.

More than 7,000 Palestinians were killed and murdered; more than 17,000 homes and structures were demolished; and more than 11,000 existing demolition orders are awaiting execution. More than 400,000 Palestinians were arrested and jailed, with thousands remaining in jail without trial. Gaza was totally destroyed three times and remains under total siege, with 80,000 Palestinians exiled from Jerusalem.
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Palestinian checkpoint to pass on the way to work

More shameful and disgusting is the way the PLO leadership benefits from the 3,000 or so Israeli-issued VIP passes that allows senior PLO and Fatah officials to zip through the more than 550 security checkpoints, while millions of people, young and old, have to wait hours, if not days, to pass through humiliating metal gates like cattle just to get home or visit neighbors or attend their fields or get to a hospital.

Yes, the PLO leadership achieved great things for itself; benefiting from corruption and nepotism, benefiting from business projects funded by the “international community”, in which key personalities receive shares and kickbacks without paying a dollar; benefiting from land deals as a result of inside information on zone changes and largesse bestowed by Mahmoud Abbas, who rewards loyalty and incompetency.

Oslo allowed for the creation of the Palestine Legislative Council (PLC) representing a people under Occupation; financing and budget is left to the Chairman of the PLO, who exercises full and unchecked control over all funding with no accountability or transparency.

Abbas refused to allow the elected PLC even to formally convene, making sure all decisions are passed through the Executive Committee, which votes as he demands.

I can only laugh when defenders of the PLO talk about “institutions” that must be preserved and protected, and about international gains achieved. In the end, the Palestine Liberation Organization was never a “liberation” organization, but a racketeering mafia that failed at liberation and succeeded in managing the Israeli Occupation by paying for it and stealing from it. Did the hundreds of thousands who died appreciate the way things turned out?

Notwithstanding all the legal, political challenges and difficulties, the Palestinian people, at least those in exile or Diaspora, must organize into a “legal entity” that can, over time, secure the legitimacy from the very people it supposes to represent. It must do this through membership and direct votes and challenge a corrupt and failed PLO, then take the challenge to Israel to gain either freedom and independence, or one state for all of its citizens.

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Kravitz protest


Egypt Unfit to Lead

3 07 2013

Any one who thinks Egypt is ready to lead the Arab world has to think twice. The coming hours will show once again that Egypt political leadership whether Muslim Brothers or “secular nationalists” are unfit to lead and manage a country in transition.

The late Gamal Abdul Nasser was the closet thing to come to an Arab leader. He was charismatic, mesmerizing in his speeches, uniting Arabs from the Atlantic to the Gulf with his vision of Pan Arabism. A vision and practice that proved a total disaster.

Despite Nasser’s rhetoric of promoting revolutionary changes in the Arab world and the transformation of the country’s rural society, he failed to address the urgent needs of the Egyptian people for freedom and liberty and true comprehensive political reforms that empower the people and not only the “effendi” and military officers. Instead, he transformed Egypt from a corrupt monarchy with ruling elites to a military dictatorship and police state. Nasser rule brought an end to intellectual discussions and debates on liberal democracies and visions of a new state. And that debate never took off again during Sadat or Mubarak regimes.

Nasser failure to transform the political, economic and social systems in Egypt into a working model for other Arab countries to follow paved the way for other Arab dictatorships to take hold across the Arab world. Although Nasser rhetoric certainly contributed to the toppling of longstanding regimes in Libya, Iraq, Yemen, and even Syria, the new leaders that replaced them also transformed these countries into military dictatorships and police states.

Nasser institutionalized the role of the military and empowerment of the one party state (Arab Socialist Union). Nasser, much like his successors, never allowed for the emergence of political and intellectual diversity in Egypt for fear that such leadership may form a danger and a challenge to their leadership. Nasser was reliant on a group of military officers who were ill trained and unqualified to manage the significant problems of failing transportation, housing, health services, food production and distribution, standards of living, and poverty challenges that Egypt was facing and continue to face some 60 years later.

Nasser did initiate the industrialization of Egypt, a process started with Mohammed Ali (1769-1849) the Albanian who ruled and started the dynasty Nasser ended. Mohammed Ali was truly the father of modern day Egypt. Nasser’s political, industrial, even agrarian policies followed the Soviet model, which failed to uplift and improve the quality of life for citizen. The failure of these policies can still be seen today.

For example, Nasser’s rural reforms earned him the good will of millions of Egyptians who were “chattels” on the land. He ended “”Iqta,” the leasing of large tracks of land to the political and economic elite at the expense of Egypt’s rural poor, in place since the Mamluk Dynasty (1250-1517). Despite promises of greater prosperity for the country’s rural poor, his rural and agricultural reforms were ill conceived and badly implemented, resulting in the inability of rural farmers to sustain their needs from the small farms they gained under such land reforms. Rural Egypt became landscape of his regime’s failures in agrarian reforms.

Having failed to transform Egypt to a modern viable democracy marked by free elections, the establishment of diverse political parties, free assembly, free speech and independent judiciary, Nasser gave way for Anwar Sadat to become an absolute ruler. Sadat jailed thousands, and enabled the country’s elite to loot the country under his open policy of “Infitah” or “open door economic policy” that improvished millions of professionals and the middle class that had their hopes lifted from Nasser egalitarian educational reform.

Hosni Mubarak continued the trend of widening the income gap in Egypt and allowed his wife and sons to organize the looting of the country. Millions of Egyptians were impoverished, while the small elite became richer. Political reforms were stalled, and the rigging of elections was the standard and an accepted part of the political landscape. An independent judiciary was nowhere to be seen, corruption was everywhere, and the jailing and arresting of the opposition – mainly from the Muslim Brotherhood – became standard in Mubarak’s Egypt.

After 30 years of oppressive rule and years of mass disenfranchisement by successive Egyptian regimes, a revolution of anger and resentment fueled the people’s courage to face the Mubarak regime’s brutal oppression on the streets.

Contrary to the many revolutions (Russia, France, US, Czechoslovakia among others) that were lead by intellectuals and free thinkers, The Egyptian Uprising was lead by young energetic committed people and mostly secularist Egyptians who wanted a fair share in the country’s political life, free from oppression and corruption. Neither the Muslim Brotherhood nor the present Salvation Front leadership (exception Ayman Nour) was present in the front lines facing Mubarak police and thugs.

Only when it became clear Mubarak regime had no chance did the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood and the leaders of Salvation Front join the revolution. The thousands who died in the protests did not die for the Brotherhood or for Amr Musa or Hamdeen Sbahi. They died for Egypt.

The result of the police state institutionalized by Nasser is what we see today. Egypt never had credible political leadership with a vision for the future; a future based on social justice, fair, just and independent judicial system, equal opportunities for a quality life, free from the degrading poverty majority of Egyptians endured for centuries.

The Egyptian elites remain, with even the country’s intellectual and artistic elites lacking any connection to the millions of Egyptians living in absolute poverty and daily humiliation standing before breadline’s vegetable and meat stands. They enjoyed their private clubs, shopping sprees in Milan and Paris, being driven around Cairo in limousines, Mercedes Bens and MBWs, with a lack of awareness of the tens of millions who had to endure assault, robbery and crowded buses. They have to wait in the breadlines to get a few loafs of “paper bread.” Egypt has not changed much since Nasser further entrenched the hold that the country’s elite had on resources and political power.

Dr. Morsi and his Brothers failed to understand that his election has nothing to do with an “Islamic State” or a “Sharia.” It has every thing to do with addressing the urgent need for social justice, delivery of food to the table, improvement in public service, collection of garbage, and the delivery of health services. Morsi election’s has nothing to do with “Halal or Haram,” and it certainly had nothing to do with “Heaven and Hell” or with the “Believers and Infidels.” It was about a demand for the basic needs of the people oppressed for decades to be met.

Rather than build partnership and consensus, particularly among the young who borne the costs of the revolution, Dr. Morsi relied on his Brothers to divide the nation into believers and non-believers. And this is where he failed miserably. Rather than rely on the streets and the millions who voted for him, most of who were not Brothers, Dr. Morsi remained hostage to the “Murshid” and the powerful few within the Brothers. Dr. Morsi’s failing is what may cost him the presidency.

The Muslim Brotherhood failed to come up with a workable vision of the kind of state they want. Leaders of the Salvation Front failed to take a stand on the former regime and exonerated many of the same people who were responsible for the death and injury of thousands of Egyptians under the previous regime. The Salvation Front failure to distance itself, if not demand judicial justice for those who were killed and those who fleeced the country shows that the Salvation Front has no moral let alone political standing to lead the country. The failings of the Brothers in Egypt, will make it so difficult for them to rebuild any credibility to rule anywhere in the Arab world.

The issues facing the Arab world, especially the Arab Spring countries, are not ideological in nature. They are political issues that have to do with rights of citizenship, bread, jobs, health care, decent education, vocational training, equal opportunities, delivery of basic services such as clean water, electricity and treatment of sewage and above all, freedom from arbitrary arrests and kangaroo courts.

It is a shame that the same Egypt that gave the Arab world great intellectual giants such as Taha Hussain, Abbas Mahmoud al-Aggad, Ahmed Lutfi al-Sayyid, Ahmed Amin, Salama Musa, Taufiq al-Hakim and Ali Abdallah Raziq has failed to realize its potential. The Egypt of the 21st century is no different from the Egypt of 20th or the 19th century. It is a shame for Egypt that the Brothers proved to be unfit to rule and the liberal “secularists” too cowardly to speak out and argue their case of an open democracy, with separation of religion from the state.

In the popular revolution that toppled Mubarak’s regime, Egyptian intellectuals and thinkers and artists were almost nowhere to be seen, with the exception of few the likes of Alaa al Aswany, Nawal el Sadawi. No one tried to give such a revolution a vision or trade mark that could transform it from a popular uprising to institutional building. No matter what happens next in Egypt, it is simply unfit to lead the Arab world.


Nakba and Palestinian Failings

13 05 2013

Every year at this time, the Palestinians remember the “Nakba” or catastrophe and mourn their failings, while Israel celebrates its independence and success as regional and world power. No one can doubt the power and influence Israel and the world Zionism play in shaping domestic and international policies of major world capital such as Washington, London, Paris, Moscow, Berlin, Prague, Budapest, New Delhi, even Peking.

A power and influence that put the Palestinians and behind them the 380 million Arabs at a disadvantage, however that should not be an excuses for the failings and incompetence of Palestinian leadership past Hajj Amin Hussaini, Yasser Arafat and now Mahmoud Abbas and Khalid Mishal.

One can understand and appreciate the power Israel and its Fifth Column play within the United States of America with power and influence over every aspect of life emerging as clear and present danger to the domestic and international security of the country.

While Israel leadership always had a focused mission of total and unconditional commitment to the safety, security, existence and expansion of Israel by all means including blackmailing, false flags terrorists attacks and penetrating the inner circles of the highest level of national security of Western democracies, the Palestinian leadership past and present continued to be bogged down with its own self serving and perpetuation and have lost focus on Palestine, on the Rights of Return and Jerusalem long long time ago.

Too bad for the Palestinians under the continued Jewish Occupation and in the Diaspora. The Palestinian leadership certainly of the PLO have proved over time that it is incompetent to lead, unfit to manage, too corrupt to have any credibility and simply if not an agent of the Israeli Occupation at least manager of the Jewish Occupation, a criminal mafia at best.

While the British Mandate was meeting its mission of helping and facilitating the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine and was doing all it can through arrests, executions and suppressions of civil demonstration, the Palestinian leadership of the time was simply inept and hardly knew what was going on and with no vision or focused credible policies for resisting both the British Mandate and the emerging powerful Jewish terrorists groups.

No one can deny the sacrifice of the many who took up arms, who died and who were executed and imprisoned resisting both the Mandate, and the ever increasing Jewish Occupation, the Palestinians leadership like the present one was more concerned with perpetuating its powers and influence rather than meeting the challenge coming from Europe and the US. Simply the Palestinian leadership and the population of the time were no match to the Zionist leadership and the well educated and well trained Jewish immigrants with focused mission to set a Jewish state no matter what are the costs or consequences for the Palestinians.

The late Yasser Arafat was no match for Ben Gurion, not in vision or dedication to the cause, While the latter made good use of close inner circles of smart professional people to help him build a new state, securing financial, military, political and technical support for the new emerging state, Arafat on the other hand gathered around him a bunch of misfit, unfit, incompetent, corrupt, a mafia of self serving cadre of followers committed and loyal to his leadership and securing their private privileges that Arafat was master at dispensing using blackmail to make sure every one is in line and never challenge his leadership. The Palestine National Congress was nothing but a shameful body and a disgrace failing the Palestinians as the leadership of Arafat and his cronies.

That is why after so many years of same leadership, and with hundreds of thousands of dead and martyrs and tens of billions disappeared, wasted, looted and remain unaccounted for, Yasser Arafat and the PLO having failed at every thing (liberation and establishing a state) he and his failed corrupt and incompetent entourage came back to manage the Jewish Occupation as a way to save a failed leadership.

While Israeli leaders travel the world succeeding in suppressing complaint about continued expansion of Jewish settlements, expropriations of land for the Apartheid Wall and Jewish Roads only, and an ever expansions of so called security checkpoints, and constant violations of international law, Palestinian leadership is traveling the world earning traveling miles, enjoying the finest in hotel and dinning, without ever achieving any material change for the people under the Jewish Occupation, with a very speedy rate to disfranchise and ethnically cleansing Arab Palestinians from Jerusalem. Land swap, not the return of the refugees, not Jerusalem is the agenda for continued negotiations.

While the Israeli and Jewish leadership looks after its own around the world, discovering even inventing lost tribes, seeking and enticing such lost tribes to immigrate to Israel, the Palestinian leadership of Arafat and Abbas totally abandoned, gave up any credible efforts to look after and serve Diaspora Palestinians. As we have seen in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Kuwait, in Syria among other countries.

While the Jewish Agency was looking after Jewish communities around the world, the Palestine Liberation Organization as the claimed “representatives of the Palestinian people” overlooked even disregarded the needs of all Palestinians in the Diaspora, specially those under attacks in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.

The Jewish Agency working together with international Zionist organizations like the American Jewish Congress organized and sought and succeeded in total recovery of Jewish properties in Europe, the PLO did not bother to organize an alliance of international organizations to document or build a data base and filing the necessary legal challenges and proceedings to recover All Palestinian properties confiscated by the newly arriving Jewish immigrants. In fact it stands in the way of such efforts because it seeks compensations to go its own coffer to dispense with it as it chooses with majority of recovered funds ending up in private bank accounts.

Now that the Palestinian leadership claimed a one time success of having Palestine recognized as an observer state at the UN, it promised in exchange for sitting down with the Israelis to negotiate and give away what is left of Palestine, it will not file any international legal charges against Israel for its criminal actions of the wars on Gaza, the building of the Apartheid Wall, the continued confiscations and expansions of Jewish settlements on stolen Palestinians lands, the policies of administrative arrests without trial or evidence that saw more than 700,000 Palestinians guests of Israeli jails. I guess to the Palestinian leadership there is a price for its continued existence and that price is Palestine and its people. If the past is a guide to the future I doubt if Palestinians will ever take charge of their own destiny and throw this failed leadership out once and for all, and give themselves an even chance.


Palestine; Fist full of dollars

2 05 2013

The meeting that took place in Nablus on Sunday the 4th of November 2012 between Palestinian Oligarchs and officials from the office of Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli investors and businessmen, mainly those heavily invested in Jewish Settlements, was not out of the blue. It set the pace for Secretary John Kerry of “economic initiative” in lieu of ending the Jewish Occupation.

Contrary to public claims, the Palestinian leadership past (Arafat) and present (Abbas) was never interested in liberation, let alone ending the Jewish Occupation. Oslo and subsequent actions since then can only confirm this. It is all about business and the windfall the continued Jewish Occupations brings to the Palestinian leadership, leaders and cadre of “Fasa’el” and of course to the Palestinian Oligarchs.

The Palestinian leadership never put in place a popular plan (civil disobedience and popular civil uprising) that will help bring about the end of the longest occupation in modern history. Rather the Palestinian leadership is working hard to perpetuate its existence even if more and more land is taken over for Jewish settlements and security areas.

While the likes of Dr. Mohmoud Ishtayeh, Fatah leader in Nablus denounce such meeting with the likes of Rami Levy, the owner of the largest supermarkets in Jewish Settlements, his boss Mahmoud Abbas dispatch his top economic aid to attend such meeting, a meeting that also saw the attendance of Amr Mousa of Egypt and Abdesalam Almajali the former Jordanian foreign minister and Robert Serry the UN coordinator.

The meeting that took place in the home of Palestinian billionaire Munib Almasri was dubbed” breaking the freeze”, with the idea of creating a” coalition of Arab and Israeli ‘Notables’ working together to move forward the Arab Peace process.

Last April 25, 2013 Secretary of State John Kerry announced such plans after receiving the green light from Bibi Netanyahu. The “economic initiatives” is to induce big international corporations to invest in projects in the “occupied territories” in infrastructures, high technology and transportation in addition to telecommunications.

Not so sure how this plan will work when Israel have over 550 different security check points almost every few kilometers where Palestinians are horded like Texas cattle’s as they are processed through metal revolving gates and where many women died while waiting to go to a clinic on the other side and where Palestinians have to wait hours if not days to pass through.

Israel not only hinder Palestinians access to their homes and farms it does not allow a G3 applications and signs pointing this issue went up during President Barack Obama brief visit to Ramallah.

When Arafat and the PLO leadership came back to Ramallah to manage the Jewish Occupation, Arafat unlike drunken Yeltsin, a sober Arafat gave the Palestinian Oligarchs the run on all key economies and went further by giving certain security officials a monopoly on certain energy sectors resulting in the milking of hundreds of millions of dollars from poor consumers. Arafat corrupted the entire economy of the Occupied Territories.

More troubling is the lack of any credible plans by the Palestinians leadership to disengage from the Israeli economy. Dr. Nabil Sha’ath who negotiated the Paris Agreement did not do such a good job perpetuating the overwhelming control of Israel of all economic aspects in the Occupied Territories.

Over the years and since Oslo and with a lack of both a political let alone economic plans, the Palestinian leadership and authority made the rich richer and the poor much much poorer.

The biggest beneficiary of the budget goes to the Palestinian Security forces (35%) much more than the combined budget for health, education, transportation and social services. Keep in mind that such security forces could not and dare not protect Palestinian villages from the daily attacks by armed Jewish settler terrorists. Who come as they wish vandalize mosques and churches, destroy farms, uproot century old olive trees and poisoning water well, all under the closed eyes of the Palestinian security forces established to protect the Occupation and the Ramallah regime.

Prior to the Second Intifada, Israel became the largest single employer of Palestinian labors and the Palestinian leadership was only too happy for being the largest and key labor suppliers of unskilled labor to Israel and never thought of an alternative plans.

The Palestinian leadership failed at every thing it set out to do. It failed at liberation, it failed at ending the occupation, failed at building governing institutions, failed at disengaging Palestinian economy from the Israeli economy, failed at ending the continued expansion of Jewish settlements, failed at bringing down the Apartheid Wall (though it had a court ruling), failed at creating a transparent and clean government with corruption, “connections and nepotism” and fleecing of citizens at the different key agency continue to be the rule.

The only beneficiaries of such “breaking the freeze” or “economic initiatives” are the Palestinian Oligarchs who already have chocking hold on key economies while hundreds of thousands of people remain below poverty lines and with hundreds of thousand remain hostage to the monthly salary and the monthly mortgage and consumers loans.

Not so sure what would be the economic benefits to the people when Coca-Cola commits to investing a billion dollars and who but the owners of the franchise are the beneficiaries.

Already the Arab League is behind such an “economic initiatives” and recently gave Israel added incentives allowing the trade off of prime Palestinian territories in exchange for toxic waste dump. With this present leadership there is no hope forever ending the Jewish Occupation.

The leadership, its allies in the business community and in the NGO networks are the prime beneficiaries of the continued Jewish Occupation and the “economic initiative” is an added reward to a Palestinian leadership that failed at every thing.

More troubling is the commitment made with the approval of the Palestinian leadership that “Palestine” will never file legal charges against Israel for past, present and future crimes.


Arab Democracy; Now or Never.

3 02 2013

It seems the tens of millions the United States injected in Egypt to promote democracy went down the drain, with most of the beneficiaries of such funding are now undermining the first free presidential election in over 7,000 years. Unless Arabs; left and right, Islamists and Secularists, nationalists and independents accept the principals of “democracy” of one person one vote, free and transparent elections, citizens not government funded parties, accountability and transparency, there is no hope for democracy in the Arab world.

If the world and the Arabs think the “Arabs” are ready for democracy they better have a second look and a second thought. What is happening in Egypt now is nothing short of deliberate undermining of the fledging and infant democracy in Egypt with the opposition (National Salvation Front) and the trio of (Hamdeen Sabahi, Amr Moussa, Mohamed ElBaradei) determined to drive President Morsi out of office and bring a quick end to democracy in Egypt.

Of course President Morsi and the Muslims Brothers also share the blame for the anarchy and the collapsing of the Egyptian state having failed to understand the priorities of the Egyptian people and the priorities of those who faced Mubarak’s bullets to bring down his dictatorship. The priorities are not of rebuilding state institutions but addressing the pressing needs of a failing economy, poverty, hungers, broken down if existing infrastructures, high unemployment, personal dignity, civil and human rights abuses standards at police stations, security agencies and the courts. A new constitution was the last thing on the mind of Egyptians and this is where Morsi lacking political acumen and smarts failed and failed miserably.

The opposition, “sore losers” taking advantage of Morsi failings, lack of political experience and shortcomings not only are determine to make his presidency short one, but are active in enticing and promoting violence and anarchy in the streets of Cairo and other cities to make up for what they lack in wide popular support. Together with Mubarak “fuloul” they are working hard to have a second revolution to replace and undermine the first revolution.

President Morsi and the Muslim Brothers ignoring the “pulse” of the Egyptian streets for jobs and dignity and recognizing the “State” institutions are for the most part untouched and unaffected by the “revolutions” wrongly were determined to remaking the “state institutions” in their own image, a task that will take decades and not months or years and once again, it was not the priorities of the revolution. The fear of the Brothers complete take over of “state institutions” even if not the objective is a serious threats that Egyptians are not willing to substitute one party state with another one even if this party is the Muslim Brothers.

However Egypt is not the first country to experience undermining of a fledgling democracy and free elections. The Palestinians leadership of the PLO and Fatah were the first ones to undermine and abrogate free elections, the first and perhaps the last free elections in the Arab world.

In 2006 the Palestinians under Israeli Occupation went to the poles in the first ever-free election held in the Arab world, an election that all international observers testified to its transparency. Hamas won that election defeating long time decadent and corrupt Fatah and the PLO.

The Palestinian established leadership of the PLO and Fatah did not accept the result of the elections and decided to conspire with Israel, Jordan, Egypt and the US to undermine such transparent election, actions that lead to the bloody routing of Fatah out of Gaza and the take over of Gaza by Hamas and a division that had dire consequences if not criminal consequences for the leadership starting with the Israeli siege of Gaza and subsequent Israeli attacks on Gaza and the murders of thousands of people and the repeated destruction of Gaza.

However Palestine and Egypt are but few examples of the failings of Arab democracy. In Iraq the American invasions and the end of Saddam dictatorship did not bring democracy to Iraq but brought anarchy and sectarianism. Many thanks goes to the American legal experts who helped draft the Iraqi constitution that, rather than bring about transparent and accountable democracy and government established and entrenched evil “ sectarianism” as we see today with Almalki’s government and the start of the disintegration of the Iraqi state as we know it thus achieving the objective of the American Zionist Neocons behind the war.

Tunisia and Libya are not doing any better. In Tunisia the post revolution government so far failed to address pressing issues that lead to the uprising with priorities to economic and regional development, employments and improvements of the daily lives of people. The “Salafis” who were not in the front lines of the revolutions are now bent on transforming the civil state to a “theocratic state” in their own image and the “secularists” thus far failing to have a vision of the new state one that can accommodate “Islamists” and “secularists” or make a dent in the failing Tunisian economy and regional development.

Libya continues to suffer from armed “anarchy” with national government under constant threats from armed militias that having fought Qadafi dictatorship are now pushing to establish their own anarchist’s dictatorship. Very few in Libya are willing to put aside their weapon and spend badly needed time and talents to rebuilding state institutions, a process that needs the good will and support of all Libyans.

The recent elections in Jordan were nothing but a rerun and repeat of past elections with no real and material changes that truly and practically addresses key failings of the state, specially corruption, failing and inefficient state institutions and keeping Jordan as an international welfare state.

Perhaps Hilary Clinton is right when she stated “lack of experience” of emerging political leaders as a shortcoming. However perhaps Lt. Col. James Lacey is more accurate in describing the status in the Arab world with his prediction of the collapse of “Arab Civilizations”. This prediction came in his published article “ The Impending Collapse of Arab Civilization” in the Naval Institute: Proceedings. Concluding that it is the Arabs that are failing not Islam as predicted by Bernard Lewis and Samuel P. Huntington.

It is so ironic that the Arab world with so much natural resources, many internationally renowned thinkers and intellectuals is unable to bring about a civil change in dictatorial governments rather than bloody revolutions and uprisings. It is also unable to bring about real and material reforms in existing governments that are badly in need of reforms before the streets goes bloody.


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