Ramallah vs. the "Peace Process"
Translations of this item:
Abbas may be conducting peace talks with Israel, but at the same time he is also backing campaigns that promote boycotts and hatred of Israel. What Secretary Kerry and the U.S. need to understand is that Abbas has failed to prepare his people for the possibility of peace.
If Mahmoud Abbas does not have the power or courage to allow an Israel-based clothing shop to open branch near his residence in Ramallah, how will he ever be able to make peace with Israel?
This is the question some Palestinian businessmen have been asking during the past few days in light of an organized campaign to prevent the Fox clothing chain from opening a store in the city.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's strenuous efforts to resume peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority led two Israeli Arab businessmen to take the initiative and open the first Fox store in the West Bank.
After investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in renovations and the training of employees, the two businessmen soon found themselves at the center of a protest organized by "Anti-normalization" activists and journalists.
Opening soon in Ramallah? A Fox clothing store in Israel. (Source: Tzvia/Wikimedia Commons)
Facing daily threats, the two entrepreneurs decided to call off the project, which would have provided jobs to nearly 150 Palestinians.
Although the Palestinian Authority gave permission to the two businessmen to open the Ramallah Fox branch, it was yet unable to do anything to protect them against the threats, including calls for fire-bombing the store.
The opening of a clothing store in Ramallah may be a minor issue, especially compared with the major and explosive issues facing Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.
But this incident, in which a clothing shop is forced -- under threats -- to withdraw plans to open branch in a Palestinian city, is an indication of what awaits Abbas if and when he dares to reach any agreement with Israel.
The same "anti-normalization" movement that Abbas supports will be the first to turn against him if he strikes a deal with Israel.
Although Fox clothes are immensely popular among young Palestinian men and women, the fashion retailer did not have a branch in the West Bank or Gaza Strip.
While many Palestinian merchants have been quietly selling Fox clothes in several Palestinian cities, they are particularly afraid of the strong "anti-normalization" movement that prohibits any form of contact with Israelis.
Ironically, this movement is fully supported by the same Palestinian Authority and Fatah leaders whose leaders do not hesitate to conduct public meetings with Israelis, in addition to security coordination with the Israel Defense Forces in the West Bank.
Just this week, senior Fatah officials were invited to the Knesset for talks with Israeli colleagues about peace and coexistence; and earlier, Fatah leaders in Ramallah hosted scores of Israeli politicians, including members of the Likud and Shas parties, to an event organized by the joint Israeli-Palestinian Geneva Initiative group.
The campaign against the opening of a Fox store in Ramallah also coincided with the launching of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in Washington.
While Palestinian activists were busy threatening the owners of the clothing store, their representatives, Saeb Erekat and Mohamed Shtayyeh, were sitting with Israeli minister Tzipi Livni in Washington and talking about ways of achieving peace and coexistence between the two sides.
What Kerry and the U.S. Administration need to understand is that Abbas has failed to prepare his people for the possibility of peace with Israel. Abbas may be conducting peace talks with Israel, but at the same time he is also backing campaigns that promote boycotts and hatred of Israel. It is important to talk peace. But it is even more important to educate people about peace -- something that neither Yasser Arafat nor his successor Abbas has done for the past two decades.
Reader comments on this item
|Boycott of peace by Abbas [59 words]||Rami de Lieme||Aug 4, 2013 18:11|
|The fight for normalization [195 words]||Linda Cedarbaum||Aug 2, 2013 08:14|
|Since when is Mahmoud Abbas making peace with Israel? [69 words]||Bart Benschop||Aug 2, 2013 05:42|
|Fox in Ramallah [28 words]||Ralph||Aug 2, 2013 05:34|
|An Independent Palestine Will Need Israel [84 words]||Tim Upham||Aug 1, 2013 15:21|
|What's new? [76 words]||LDR||Aug 1, 2013 14:01|
|This Administration doesn't care about peace with Israel [88 words]||Solomon2||Aug 1, 2013 13:05|
|Islam will not allow coexistence. [76 words]||Hass||Aug 1, 2013 08:08|
Comment on this item
by Guy Millière
Belgian security services have estimated that the number of European jihadists in Syria may be over 4000.
European leaders have directed their nastiest comments against the Jewish state, none of them has asked why Palestinian organizations in Gaza put their stockpiles of weapons in hospitals, homes, schools and mosques, or their command and control centers at the bottom of large apartment buildings or underneath hospitals. None of them has even said that Hamas is a terrorist organization despite its genocidal charter.
The majority of them are wedded to the idea of redistribution. Their policies are anti-growth, do not afford people any economic opportunity, and are what caused these economic crises in Europe in the first place. The United States seems to be following these thoroughly failed policies as well.
"Europe could not stay the same with a different population in it." — Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe.
by Raymond Ibrahim
"I abducted your girls. I will sell them on the market, by Allah... There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell." — Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram.
Hillary Clinton repeatedly refused to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization.
In Malaysia -- regularly portrayed in the West as a moderate Muslim nation -- any attempt to promote religions other than Islam is illegal.
"The reason they want to kill me is very clear -- it is because of being a convert to Christianity." — Hassan Muwanguzi, Uganda.
by Dexter Van Zile
Rev. Hanna Massad does not mention that perhaps Hamas actually wants the blockade to end so it can bring in more weapons and cement to build attack-tunnels so it can "finish the job."
Hamas does not just admit to using human shields, it brags about using human shields. Why does Massad have to inject an air of uncertainty about Hamas's use of human shields when no such uncertainty exists?
The problem is that any self-respecting journalist would confront Massad with a follow-up question about Hamas's ideology and violence, but not the folks at Christianity Today.
by Burak Bekdil
In Turkey however, the protests were not peaceful. They included smashing a sculpture than was neither Jewish nor Israeli.
It was the usual "We-Muslims-can-kill each other-but-Jews-cannot" hysteria.
If Turkish crowds were protesting against Israel in a political dispute, why Koranic slogans? Why were they protesting in Arabic rather than their native language? Do Turks chant German slogans to protest nuclear energy?
by Burak Bekdil
So in the EU-candidate Turkey, a pianist should be punished for his re-tweets, but a pop-singer should be congratulated for her first-class racist hate-speech. This is contagious.
No reporter present at Mr. Ihsanoglu's campaign launch speech thought about asking him if his commitment to the "Palestinian cause" included any affirmation of the Hamas Charter, in particular a section that says, "…The stones and trees will say, 'O Muslims, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'"
Turkey is also the country where a few years earlier, a group of school teachers (yes, school teachers!) gathered in a demonstration to commemorate Hitler.