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Only Palestinians Can Change Their Reality

The Palestinians are captives who are convinced they could not manage without their donating captors

By Amira Hass

August 25, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - Let’s start from the end: Even if the Palestinians had a single, united, respected leadership that had a reputation for integrity, and even if its members excelled intellectually, were committed to their people and strategically capable, it would have been difficult for it to challenge the dispossessive/acquisitive enterprise that Israel keeps strengthening and enhancing. Difficult, but possible.

There is no single leadership, however, but several, and they are squabbling with each other even when they are from the same party (Fatah), organization (PLO) or institutional umbrella (two governments). It’s not because of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but because of a system and modus operandi, of which he is one of the creators and products at the same time.

The Palestinian public’s attitude toward the leadership is characterized by suspicion, disdain and contempt, along with fear. The milder accusations directed at the leadership in Ramallah speak of a lack of organization, inefficiency and laziness. The more serious accusations are of corruption and clinging to power for personal and sectarian motives. Similar accusations are somewhat less bluntly leveled at the Gazan government and at NGOs.

For many it’s clear that the Oslo framework, which expired in 1999, was a trap. The countries donating to the Palestinians continue to uphold it for fear of an even greater humanitarian disaster and loss of control, and because they are boundlessly loyal to Israel. The donations have decreased but remain a trap. They require obedience and maintenance of “calm,” or permit only low-intensity rage. But the Palestinians are captives who are convinced they could not manage without their donating captors.

The head spins and the heart aches, because facing them is a sophisticated, wicked, effective enemy who has no borders.

Visually, the image of an octopus might be appropriate, but there are two problems with using it to depict the Israeli regime. One is that it recalls anti-Semitic caricatures, but that’s the problem of a regime that imitates caricatures. The second is that Israel sends out far more than eight tentacles as it cooks up a mix of several traditions of domination – military occupation, colonialism (the removal of a people from its homeland to settle others there instead) and apartheid (since the expulsion wasn’t totally successful, there followed separation based on inequality). It should be clear that this refers to the situation on both sides of the Green Line. Israel was given a chance to change in 1993. It chose to miss it.

A better image would be that of a computer that spews out commands in every direction. Once programmed, it doesn’t stop. It sends official armed gangs to burst into people’s houses as they sleep and to confiscate money and property; destruction squads to crush kindergartens, homes and wells; and unofficial armed gangs to boot out shepherds and farmers. It also employs land thieves – the clerks, planners, architects and building contractors – who make sure that the Palestinians suffocate in their built-up areas. The space is all for Jews, says the supreme command. The computer also issues intellectual commands: Ignore everything by indulging in the depths of Jewish heritage. Nullify everything as unimportant through pride in our nation, which produces Nobel laureates. Declaim our suffering and heroism in Auschwitz.

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Against the efficient and complex Israeli apparatuses stand the Palestinians with a host of competing leaders, conflicting strategies, uncoordinated government ministries, information that isn’t public knowledge and is not accurate, the tiresome duplication of institutions whose work overlaps, the empty slogans and despair. One expression of this despair is the declaration that Israel is the strong one, therefore change can and must come only from Israel. But no; Israelis have no interest in changing the situation. We benefit from it. The initial change can and must come from the Palestinians themselves, in their own home.

Amira Hass is the Haaretz correspondent for the Occupied Territories.

Born in Jerusalem in 1956, Hass joined Haaretz in 1989, and has been in her current position since 1993. As the correspondent for the territories, she spent three years living in Gaza, which served of the basis for her widely acclaimed book, "Drinking the Sea at Gaza." She has lived in the West Bank city of Ramallah since 1997.

Hass is also the author of two other books, both of which are compilations of her articles.

This article was first published by Haaretz -

Palestinians in Ramallah Protest Visit of White House Delegation

By i24NEWS


Many Palestinians in Ramallah protested on Thursday afternoon against the arrival of a White House delegation to Israel on Thursday that is on a visit to further advance a peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

According to a Tweet published by the new Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation known as “Kan,” the demonstrators accused both President Donald Trump along with his son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner of being a “Zionist dog.” Kushner, along with Trump’s Israel adviser Jason Greenblatt are a part of the visiting delegation.

PA officials recently, have shown growing frustrations with the Trump administration’s handling of the peace process and in particular with its refusal to explicitly call for a two state solution.

Omar al-Ghoul, a Palestinian political analyst, said there was little optimism from the Palestinian leadership.

"The level of optimism from the Palestinian leadership and people towards the Trump administration is zero," a Palestinian political analyst, Omar al-Ghoul told AFP.

Just yesterday, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert reiterated the Trump administration’s continued opposition towards calling for a two-state solution, arguing that doing so would show bias.

This article was first published by i24NEWS -




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