Palestinians: We Do Not Trust The Americans
"We want the Americans to be involved in the peace process. But the U.S. should focus its pressure on the Israelis and not on us. We want the Americans to force Israel to accept the two-state solution and dismantle all the illegal settlements." — Senior aide to Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas
The Palestinians' biggest fear is that the U.S. will try to impose a solution. That is why Abbas and his top aides have begun moves in the international community to persuade as many countries as possible to get involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, especially the European Union, United Nations and Russia. The last time the Americans tried to extract concessions from the Palestinians, within a few weeks the Palestinians launched the Second Intifada against Israel; Abbas has already threatened as much.
As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry embarks on a fresh mission to prevent the collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the Palestinian Authority [PA] appears to be doing its utmost to internationalize the conflict with Israel.
The Palestinians want other international parties, especially the European Union, United Nations and Russia, to play a major role in the current U.S.-sponsored peace talks.
They perceive these parties as being more sympathetic to, and supportive of, the Palestinians.
The PA's biggest fear is that Washington will try to impose a solution that would certainly fail to win the backing of most Palestinians and Arabs.
Unconfirmed reports recently suggested that Kerry was considering the possibility of forcing his own deal on the Israelis and Palestinians as early as next year.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sits with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman, Jordan, on June 28, 2013. (Image source: U.S. State Department)
A forced solution, Palestinians warn, would also severely undermine the credibility of the PA leadership, whose leaders would be accused by many Palestinians and Arabs of capitulating to American pressure and threats.
The PA has come to learn that U.S. threats to cut off financial aid are not to be taken seriously. The U.S. administration has previously issued similar threats, but never carried them out. The last threat came before the PA unilaterally applied for the status of non-member observer state in the United Nations.
The PA also keeps warning the Americans that financial aid cuts would lead to the collapse of the "moderate" Palestinian camp and pave the way for a Hamas takeover of the West Bank.
Kerry and his team are evidently unaware of the fact that neither Abbas, whose term of office expired several years ago, nor any other Palestinian leader is authorized to make real concessions to Israel.
The last time the Americans tried to extract concessions from a Palestinian leader was in the year 2000, when President Bill Clinton dragged Yasser Arafat to Camp David and exerted heavy pressure on him to accept Ehud Barak's offer to hand over to the Palestinians most of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
The result of the U.S. pressure was that Arafat ran away and within a few weeks Palestinians launched the Second Intifada against Israel; Abbas, in Arabic, has already threatened as much.
Today, the PA is already facing growing criticism for agreeing to return to the negotiating table unconditionally three months ago. Palestinian leaders have justified their decision by arguing that Kerry forced them to drop their pre-conditions and resume the peace talks with Israel.
"We want the Americans to be involved in the peace process," said a senior aide to PA President Mahmoud Abbas. "But the U.S. should focus its pressure on the Israelis and not on us. We want the Americans to force Israel to accept the two-state solution and dismantle all the illegal settlements."
Palestinian Authority officials say they are now convinced that the U.S. administration has no intention to force Israel to comply with all the demands of the Palestinian negotiators, including a full withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines. That is why Abbas and his top aides have begun moves in the international community to persuade as many countries as possible to get involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
And that is why the Palestinians have recently been directing their criticism not only against Israel, but also against the U.S. administration.
PA leaders say they have lost their confidence in the U.S. administration's ability to serve as an honest broker in the negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel.
Hours before Kerry was scheduled to meet with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, several Palestinian officials and groups issued statements denouncing U.S. "bias" in favor of Israel.
The Palestinians also called for holding protests during Kerry's visit to Bethlehem to express their opposition to U.S. policies in the region, particularly regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In fact, anti-U.S. protests have become a common occurrence in the West Bank each time a U.S. official arrives to meet with Palestinians.
The Palestinian Authority's strategy now is to prove to the world that Israel is not interested in peace and the U.S. cannot be trusted with brokering a comprehensive and just solution.
The Palestinians are willing for now to pursue the talks with Israel to avoid being held responsible for the failure of the peace process.
They want to show the world that it is Israel that should be blamed for the collapse of the talks because of its refusal to comply with all the Palestinian demands. Moreover, the Palestinians are hoping, through the continued dialogue with the U.S. administration, to show the world that the Americans cannot do anything to bring about peace -- a step which they hope would pave the way for the involvement of other parties in the conflict.
Reader comments on this item
|Let us hope that the feelings are mutual [185 words]||Bart Benschop||Nov 7, 2013 22:56|
|Palestinians: do not trust Americans [90 words]||A.T. Halmay||Nov 6, 2013 10:34|
|Is a Resolution Possible? [104 words]||Wayne Fowler||Nov 6, 2013 09:28|
Comment on this item
by Khaled Abu Toameh
"Armed robbery in broad daylight." — Palestinians, after Hamas "seized" $750,000 from Gaza bank.
Fatah accused Hamas of "squandering" $700 million of financial aid earmarked for the Palestinian victims of war. Fatah wants to ensure that the millions of dollars intended for the Gaza Strip will pass through its hands and not end up in Hamas's bank accounts. Relying on Fatah in this regard is like asking a cat to guard the milk.
The head of the Palestinian Authority's Anti-Corruption Commission revealed that his group has retrieved $70 million of public funds fund embezzled by Palestinian officials. Arab and Western donors need to make sure that their money does not end up (once again) in the wrong hands. Without a proper mechanism of accountability and transparency, hundreds of millions of dollars are likely to find their way into the bank accounts of both Hamas and Fatah leaders.
by Mudar Zahran
"If Hamas does not like you for any reason all they have to do now is say you are a Mossad agent and kill you." — A., a Fatah member in Gaza.
"Hamas wanted us butchered so it could win the media war against Israel showing our dead children on TV and then get money from Qatar." — T., former Hamas Ministry officer.
"They would fire rockets and then run away quickly, leaving us to face Israeli bombs for what they did." — D., Gazan journalist.
"Hamas imposed a curfew: anyone walking out in the street was shot. That way people had to stay in their homes, even if they were about to get bombed. Hamas held the whole Gazan population as a human shield." — K., graduate student
"The Israeli army allows supplies to come in and Hamas steals them. It seems even the Israelis care for us more than Hamas." — E., first-aid volunteer.
"We are under Hamas occupation, and if you ask most of us, we would rather be under Israeli occupation… We miss the days when we were able to work inside Israel and make good money. We miss the security and calm Israel provided when it was here." — S., graduate of an American university, former Hamas sympathizer.
by Ben Cohen
Now, with the Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate having captured key oil wells in the Middle East this year, foreign oil has become an even more lethal financial weapon-of-choice for those seeking to destroy democracy and further escalate the War on Terror.
That President Barack Obama failed even to mention oil as a critical factor in the war against IS during his speech to the nation on September 10, is an omission both revealing and dangerous in terms of how his administration wants to depict the stakes involved in this latest confrontation with the jihadis.
by Lawrence A. Franklin
One Pakistani recruiter of child suicide bombers describes these children as "tools provided by God."
Another Muslim cleric in a madrassa [Islamic boys' school] describes child suicide bombers as "a gift from Allah that we have an unlimited number willing to be sacrificed to teach Americans a lesson."
Using children as suicide bombers will stop when... they stop "condoning the killing of innocents."
by Denis MacEoin
"No religion condones the killing of innocents." — U.S. President Barack Obama, September 10, 2014.
"Islam is a religion of peace." — U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, September 13, 2014.
"There is a place for violence in Islam. There is a place for jihad in Islam." — U.K. Imam Anjem Choudary, CBN News, April 5, 2010.
Regrettably it is impossible to re-interpret the Qur'an in a "moderate" manner. The most famous modern interpretation by Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966), the Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, leads the reader again and again into political territory, where jihad is at the root of action.
If they deviated from the true faith -- as we are seeing in the Islamic State today -- "backsliders," like pagans, were to be fought until they either accepted Islam or were killed.
In India alone, between 60 and 80 million Hindus may have been put to death by Muslim armies between the years 1000-1525.