Thursday, October 8, 2009

What the Palestinians need

In an interview with 'Democracy Now', Rashid Khalidi uses a wonderfully pertinent little analogy to dismiss the possibility of any meaningful negotiations taking place when it is all too obvious that Israel has absolutely no intention of cutting back on the expansion of their illegal settlements. He says, "how can you talk about dividing the pie, while you continue to eat it up." Of course, I am sure that Mr Khalidi, although he doesn't actually say it, knows that the Zionist state has absolutely no intention of dividing the pie and with Mahmoud Abbas actually backing the postponement of a Human Rights Council vote on the Goldstone investigation into Israel’s assault on Gaza, they might still have their ideal "negotiating partner".

This is a man who might just give them all of Palestine in return for Al Watabiya being allowed to launch as the second cell phone provider, Jawal being the only provider at the moment, in the Occupied Territories; Abbas's sons are major shareholders in Al Watabiya, which is attempting to get the necessary permits from Israel to launch. It would seem then that that and some "subtle" pressure from the "honest" broker, "Uncle Sam" are sufficient to get Abbas to betray the dead and injured of Gaza.

Of course, Palestinian leadership, or lack of it, has always been a problem and, I might add, some serious de-mystifying of Arafat is also required; here was a man who, at Oslo in 1993, never got around to talking about Jerusalem and was quite happy to fly into his "capital", the "Bantustan" of Ramallah. Furthermore, he did so, with Israeli checkpoints everywhere, with the settlements being reinforced and extended and with the wall and the roads, that now effectively keep the Palestinians in their "iron cage", already being built. This wasn't only a case of power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, but rather a serious case of a once upon a time freedom fighter having gone rather soft around the middle and really quite soft in the head, and now we have Abbas who just wants to give his sons a little helping hand at a time when they need a little bit of Israeli goodwill to launch their business venture.

It is all quite absurd. War crimes were committed in Gaza and they should be investigated. However, there are also even greater issues at stake here. What the Palestinians need are leaders who will be referring to UN Resolutions 194 and 242 and not a leader who appears to be more interested in promoting his family's business interests than he does in fighting for his people.

No comments: