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 Soeren Kern
"In the Quran it is not allowed for you to feel sorry for non-Muslims. I don't feel sorry for him." — Anjem Choudary.
"Eventually the whole world will be governed by Shari'ah & Muslims will have authority over China Russia USA etc This is the promise of Allah." — Anjem Choudary.
"Under the Koran the sale of alcohol is prohibited and if one were to also drink alcohol, that would be 40 lashes." — Anjem Choudary.
"We [Muslims] take the Jizya, which is ours anyway. The normal situation is to take money from the kuffar [non-Muslim]. They give us the money. You work, give us the money, Allahu Akhbar. We take the money." — Anjem Choudary.
by Steven J. Rosen
The U.S. State Department has chosen to act as UNRWA's patron and the protector of its mission, perpetuating and expanding the refugee issue as a source of conflict against Israel.
Apparently more Israeli houses hurt peace, but multiplying the number of refugees is fine.
by Mina Ahadi, Nazanin AfshinJam, Shabnam Assadollahi and Shadi Paveh
Reyhaneh Jabbari has been transferred to Rajai-Shahr Prison to be hanged — while the world parties at the UN and gets ready to permit Iran nuclear capability.
by Salim Mansur
Broadly speaking, the struggle within Islam is between Muslims who embrace the values of the modern world in terms of freedom, individual rights, gender equality and democracy on the one side, and Muslims opposing these values and insisting on a Sharia-based legal system on the other. Any Muslim who even questions this version of Islam they refer to as a heretic or, worse, an apostate to be killed.
For Muslims who embrace modernity, Islam is a matter of personal belief, not a political system.
A reformed Islam -- greatly desired and sought after by swelling numbers of Muslims -- cannot succeed without the support of non-Muslims.
by Guy Millière
Many Europeans who would laugh at the idea of negotiating with ISIS or al-Qaeda say that Israel should negotiate with Hamas.
Almost nobody sees that the invention of the "Palestinian people" has transformed millions of Arabs into a genocidal weapon to be used against the Israelis, and even, as in Europe recently, the Jews. Transforming people into a genocidal weapon is a barbaric act.
Israel was urged to find ways to coexist peacefully with people who did not want to co-exist with it. Terrorism against Israel fast became acceptable: a "good" terrorism.
Hamas's stated aim is the destruction of Israel. Its stated way to achieve this aim is terror attacks, called "armed struggle" by Hamas leaders. To this day the Palestinian Authority has not ceased praising and promoting terrorism.
If hatred of Israel is increasing in the U.S., it is largely confined to academics and other extreme radical circles, many of which are funding or receiving funding from Soviet-style agitprop organizations. Journalists are recruited to disseminate descriptions of "facts" as if they were real facts. Pseudo-historians rewrote the history of the Middle East. The falsified version of history replaced history.