Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

What the Palestinians have to face (2002 - )

Demands are made upon the Palestinian Authority at a time when the entire Palestinian zone has been devastated by the Israeli army. Somehow it is absurd to make such demands when there is no morality left on either side. The will to protect one’s own security no matter the human and moral costs, but for the sake of keeping all eyes shut about the illegal settlements, is but the one side of the sad story: Israel with no meaningful internal criticism left to salvage the loss of a moral foundation of its state. On the other hand, the Palestinians having no real economic prospects, seem to relate the will to die in the case of suicide bombers to what is left in the power struggle with Israel having the military over capacity. They say there is no equilibrium possible since Israel is that much more superior. As one commentator puts it, it is a pity for Palestinians are known to be entrepreneurs and who could have made the region more stable, economically and socially speaking, if given a chance.

How to recover from the incursion

The Palestinian side faces huge deficits and an explosive mixture of acute depression matched by fanatic fury. At the same time, they are coming under huge pressure to reform the Palestinian Authority. This goes with the need to reconstruct many infra-structural footings of their future state, including Ministry of Education, water and sewage system, housing, etc.

New forms of Fanaticism

There are already serious signs on the Palestinian side of not wishing to draw any constructive lessons out of this incursion, but on the contrary match now this new and extensive show of force by Israeli with means that will target now even more soldiers and settlers. This leads to the predictable confrontation between the two sides and to even an uglier turn of events than what the region has witnessed already.

Destruction of Economic Life

Besides of feeling once again to have their lives violated beyond any imagination, the Palestinians face a demolished economy. Mary Robinson is quoted by the Sueddeutsche, 25.4.2002 as wishing to point out the catastrophic consequences of the incursion by the Israeli army upon the economic life in the West Jordan land and in the Gaze strip. It has practically broken down. Infrastructure has been destroyed almost completely and in many cases by intention. This has the consequence that many Palestinians have lost their jobs and sources of income. The curfews affect up to 600 000 Palestinians alone in the West Jordan land strip.

Education for Peace and not Hate

If Israelis had contested that the Arabic world and in particular the Palestinian education system had been based on a hate campaign directed against Israel and Jewish people, then the incursion has silenced many pro-Jewish people on the Arabic side. At the same time, the reliance on security teams that collaborate with Mossad and CIA proved to be a bobby-trap of its own.

Destruction of Collective Memory

No one will know the outcome of the arrests, or what evaluation Israel will reach after having seized so many documents. But the way it was done, both deliberate and arbitrary, may serve well the point of obscuring from the public what the Israeli army was searching for in particular.

Arafat and the Palestinian Authority

The proof brought against Arafat for having financed the brigade responsible for some of the suicide bombing – research and claims as to who did the suicide bombing come to a figure of about 1/3 of all suicide attacks – may be a way to justify the heavily handed military incursion.

But comments by those who have seen the degree of destruction, and the kind of havoc it created especially amongst middle class Palestinians, is said to show quite another hand writing on the wall. It is believed that Sharon wanted to throw the Palestinian efforts to create an independent state so far back, that Israel will not have to fear the immediate creation of such a legitimate threat to its existence.

Precisely because Israel always departs from this belief to be threatened, things are made much more difficult.

Israelis quote the Palestinian propaganda that they wish to drive the Israel state into the sea.

Analysis of the different fractions amongst the Palestinians make a distinction between them according to the different attitudes they hold towards the state of Israel as major criterion.

For instance, the movement Hamas is said to want Israel as a state to stop existing. This differs from a more secular approach as carried forth by Arafat and his followers who do recognize the existence of the Israeli state despite its bloody beginning and who want the same rights for the Palestinians.

In one discussion about state terrorism, it was cited that curious enough the attacks were directed more against Arafat and the Palestinian authority, and not so much against Hamas, as if to say quite other motives guided the Israeli army when planning these incursions. As if they need the continual proof of being under threat to legitimise their forms of occupation and suppression of the Palestinian people, it suggests that the forms of deception are endless in a way of not only weapons, but of words, arguments and counter accusations. All are linked to historical reasons for being there in the first place but it entails no vision on how to accomadte the needs of the others, including the need to be respected in his or her interpretation as to what is held as being both holy and sacroscant.

Opinions about Arafat


“Those who suffer most from Arafat are the Palestinians. He has taken them
from war to war with every host country instead of building a home for their own. It is said that each people gets the leader they deserve, no-one
deserved Arafat, terrorist, manipulator and killer of peace.”

B.G. 6.April 2002

This opinion is being expressed by a person following Judaism; brought up in Mexico, now living in California, but with close ties to Israel, her opinion features one strong tendency, namely to put the entire blame of events in the Middle East upon the Arabic side, more specifically upon the Palestinians and directly upon the shoulders of Arafat. It goes even so far to blame them for Israelis having no other option but to vote for Sharon although known to be a hard-liner.

That opinion reflects also that by March 2002 a majority of people living in Israel and outside became convinced of that Arafat is a man no longer to be trusted.

Since the election of Sharon as prime minister of Israel they follow, therefore, the line taken by Sharon who does not wish to deal with Arafat under any circumstances. Yet while a collective belief can be something like a public opinion being expressed and reinforced in several ways, it is quite another if at official level this position takes on a hold in terms of who is being recognized or not as the responsible spokesperson for the Palestinian people.


How responsible is Arafat for terrorism against Israel’s people?

Information received from pro Israeli followers of events contains following references and evidences meant to prove Arafat is responsible for financing those brigades or terrorist organisations that train and send people to the Israeli side in order to commit suicide by igniting bombs and thereby taking other civilians with them.

There has been some differentiation in target areas and targets: occupied zones or not, soldiers and settlers as compared to citizens living on Israel’s territory defined as state, including Jerusalem. While at the very end innocent lives killed are innocent lives, these differentiations made some sense in March, but no longer in April. Now other references and clarifications are needed, if they are to stand up to the standards of the newly set-up International Court.

Possible proof and assertion:

”Arafat’s Book-Keeping Department Yields Bill Linking Him to Suicides"

2 April:

This piece of correspondence was discovered by Israeli troops who went through the files in Yasser Arafat’s personal accounting department in Ramallah. It is an itemized bill signed by the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades – Palestine, and dated September 16, 2001, exactly five days after the September 11 suicide attacks in the United States.

The document is a routine request for Arafat to approve the daily outlay for the arming of suicides with explosives and ammo, their memorial ceremonies and funeral posters.
It is part of the body of evidence Israeli troops gleaned at Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah and demonstrates that Arafat supervised every last detail of the Palestinian suicide offensive.

Translation into English:
1. Cost of posters for Martyrs of the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades: Azam
Mazhar, Osama Juabra, Shadi Afouri, Yasser Badawi, Ahad Fares (inserted
by hand: NIS2,000).
2.  Cost of printed notices, invitations and mourners’ tents (inserted
by hand: NIS1,250.
3.  Cost of attaching personal photos of these martyrs to wooden panels,
plus those of Tabeth Tabeth and Mahmoud al Jamil (inserted by hand:
4.  Cost of memorial ceremonies for martyrs.  Memorial ceremonies held
for Martyr Azam, Martyr Osama (inserted by hand: NIS6,000)
5.  Cost of electrical goods and miscellaneous chemical substances (for
manufacturing explosives and bombs – the largest item.  (One prepared
explosive device – NIS700 at least) We need 5-9 devices per week for the
squads in the different regions (inserted by hand: NIS x 4 = NIS20,000 per month)
6.  Cost of bullets (cost of Kalashnikov ammo is NIS –8 per bullet; M-16
bullets cost NIS2-2.5 each) We need bullets supplied on a daily basis.
7.  Note: Available are 3,000 Kalashnikov bullets @ NIS2 each. We need a sum of money at once to buy them (inserted by hand: NIS22,500 for
Kalashnikov bullets – NIS60,000 for M-16 bullets)
In conclusion, glory and pride to those who support our brave resistance
against the occupation. Revolution until victory.”

Responsible for information:
Alan D. Cohen
The Legacy Advisory Group
18321 Ventura Blvd.
Suite 660
Tarzana, Ca, 91356
Ph. 818-344-2298
Fax 818-344-3288”

People expressing their opinion about Arafat either condemn him out rightly or else they believe he has no control.

For instance, someone participating in the ‘Moderated Discussion on the Middle East’ as organized by the New York Times states 7.14 pm April 13, 2002 “that’s my point…I am not sure Arafat (or any single person) is in a position to control all the suicide bombers, I think there’s probably more than one or two independent groups who see Arafat as not having that authority to order a cessation while IDF forces are attacking and who decide for themselves when and where to attack. I think the more they see the IDF forces moving in, the more justified they feel in their bombings – not less. This is an escalation in which neither side is exhibiting much forethought. I’m not trying to excuse Arafat for any involvement in the bombings that he may have had (and I don’t have the evidence that some here say points to this). I just don’t see enough reason to believe he is fully in control there.”

That puts Arafat exactly in the position Sharon wants him to be in: a person not wanted or close to being effectively without power, but still good enough to be blamed for all what is happening in the Middle East.


^ Top

« Jerusalem | The moral issue of taking sides without taking sides »