What the Palestinians Want
The Palestinians want the US to endorse all their demands and force Israel to give them everything. Palestinians are reminded almost every day that the US, which has been providing them with billions of dollars, is a foe rather than a friend, although no one seems to ask how come a foe is so generous. US aid should be conditioned not only on transparency and accountability, but also on an end to the campaign of hatred and incitement, as officially agreed in the Oslo accords, but never implemented.
No matter how much the US tries to help the Palestinians, it will always be viewed by many of them as an enemy.
Last week, President Barack Obama gave $147 million to the Palestinians. A few days later, Palestinians demonstrated in Ramallah against the US and boycotted a ceremony held by the US Consulate-General.
The protesters carried placards which read: "USAID go out!" and "We reject aid from those who deny our people the right to self-determination."
USAID is the leading provider of bilateral development assistance to the Palestinians. This agency has given the Palestinians more than $3.5 billion since 1994 for programs in the areas of democracy and governance, education, health, humanitarian assistance, private enterprise and water resources and infrastructure.
The demonstration in Ramallah was held outside a hotel where US officials organized a ceremony marking World Press Freedom Day.
Palestinian Authority policemen were deployed outside the hotel to prevent angry demonstrators from disrupting the ceremony.
The protesters chanted slogans denouncing US "bias" in favor of Israel. They accused the US of "covering up" for Israeli "war crimes" and using blocking efforts against the Palestinian leadership to seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state.
More than 20 Palestinian professional unions and other organizations announced a boycott of the US-sponsored event for the same reason.
Many Palestinian journalists who were invited to cover the event also decided to stay away. Their representatives accused the US of supporting Israel and working toward "normalizing" relations between Israelis and Palestinians.
In a similar show of hostility, US diplomats who visited Ramallah several months ago had shoes thrown at their vehicles.
As far as most Palestinians are concerned, the "friend of my enemy is my enemy." Palestinians hate the US because of its continued support for Israel. The Palestinians want the US to endorse all their demands and force Israel to give them everything.
As one of the leaders of the demonstrators explained, "The US will remain our enemy for as long as it does not fully support the Palestinians."
US threats to veto Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's statehood bid at the UN have only intensified anti-US sentiments among the Palestinians.
The Americans can pour billions of dollars on the Palestinians every year, but that won't change their hearts and minds, especially toward the US. The same applies to the rest of the Arab world, where the masses continue to strongly detest the US.
The $147 million that Obama released to the Palestinians will probably help pay salaries of civil servants and improve infrastructure in Palestinian cities and villages, but the aid will surely not change the Palestinians' attitudes toward the US.
The anti-US sentiments are the direct result of incitement by the Palestinian Authority and other Palestinians against the US. Palestinians are reminded almost every day that the US, which has been providing them with billions of dollars, as a foe rather than friend, although no one seems to ask how come a foe is so generous.
US aid should be conditioned not only on transparency and accountability in the Palestinian Authority, but also on an end to the campaign of hatred and incitement, as officially agreed in the Oslo Accords, but never implemented.
Reader comments on this item
|US $'s to the PA??????? [43 words]||whirlwinder||May 10, 2012 18:02|
|Who are the Palestinians? [324 words]||Ranchman||May 7, 2012 11:50|
|Clarity in the Extreme [260 words]||frumious falafel||May 6, 2012 23:11|
|Celebrating Press Freedom in the PA? Get real. [76 words]||Abbu Shuki||May 4, 2012 19:49|
Comment on this item
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Soeren Kern
"There is no territory more occupied than the body of a Palestinian woman, or a strip... severed by the violent imposition of the superstitions of Allah and the followers of Mohammed. We had better not even mention the situation of Palestinian homosexuals. This selective outrage by top progressives when it involves Israel is indeed anti-Semitism." — Alberto Moyano, Spanish newspaper editor.
"It is possible legitimately to criticize Israel. But it smells fishy when all of the blame is attributed to Israel, without even mentioning the small detail that a terrorist and jihadist group that rules Gaza has infringed on every conceivable humanitarian principle, by using civilians as human shields, and launching missiles from apartment blocks, while their leaders are living comfortable in Qatar, guests of a sheik." — Ángel Mas, Spanish analyst.
There has been virtually no public outcry whatsoever in Spain over the deaths of more than 160,000 people during three years of fighting in Syria; the decimation of ancient Christian communities at the hands of Islamists in Iraq; the kidnapping of 300 girls by Islamists in Nigeria; or the downing of a civilian passenger plane in Ukraine.
"The most anti-Semitic people are supposedly the most educated and well-informed." — Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs report on anti-Semitism in Spain.
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Khaled Abu Toameh
There is growing concern in Ramallah, Cairo, Riyadh and Dubai that the U.S. Administration is working to prevent the collapse of Hamas.
"The Americans mistakenly think that moderate political Islam, which is represented by the Muslim Brotherhood, will be able to combat radical Islam. The Americans are trying to bring the Muslim Brotherhood back to the region." — Palestinian official, Ramallah.
The Iranians, with whom the U.S. is now negotiating on nuclear weapons -- amid fears in the Middle East that the U.S. will capitulate to Tehran's demands if it has not effectively capitulated to them already -- have now joined Qatar and Turkey in opposing any attempt to confiscate Hamas's weapons.
The Paris conference was actually a spit in the face to the anti-Hamas forces in the Arab world. By failing to invite the Palestinian Authority to the conference, Kerry indicated that he does not see any role for Abbas and his loyalists in a post-Hamas Gaza Strip.