TERRIBLE AGREEMENT AHEAD
MER - Washington - 31 August:
Another terrible "agreement" is what Yasser Arafat is
bringing to the increasingly demoralized and destitute Palestinian people he controls by
intimidation, corruption, and force; not rules. This latest and worst of a series of
"agreements" since Oslo increases the role of the CIA in Palestinian affairs,
and even agrees to the Americans providing funding for the "by-pass" roads which
more than anything else validate the neo-apartheid realities Arafat has been used to
legitimize, settlements included.
An extremist elderly Rabbi settler was killed a few days ago in the
small enclave of Israelis planted in the heart of Hebron. The Israeli military placed a
seige on Hebron. And the Israeli President and Prime Minister came to visit, announcing
even more settlers to come with even more Israeli army soldiers and guns.
This was all foreseeable back in January 1997 when after months of
anguish and delay the "Hebron Agreement" was imposed. Now, after even more
months of growing deceipt and violence, the "13 Percent" agreement is about to
go forward. And it is even more forseeable now that this latest agreement will be even
worse than those that have been forced upon the Palestinian people in the past. More
violence, maybe much more violence, lies ahead as a result.
SITUATION IN HEBRON TODAY :
COMPLIMENTS OF ARAFAT & COMPANY
MER - WASHINGTON - 15 March
The violence in Hebron, so reminiscent of the Intifada of old, is
rageing again. The ancient city of Hebron has been partitioned, the Palestinians of course
getting screwed once again. But this time the complicity is abit different. Sure enough...
it's the Israelis, and their American benefactors, that bear the
primary responsibility. But now the Palestinians themselves, so terribly represented by
Yasser Arafat and friends, are deeply complicitous in their own occupation and misery.
Indeed, Arafat and his "Authority" are essentially contracted sub-occupiers. The
"police-state" they have brought to occupied Palestine serves Israeli and
American interests far far more than it does that of the Palestinian people.
All this was foreseeable back when the recent agreements were being
signed. The following MER Editorial was published at the time of the Hebron agreement in
January 1997 that created today's conditions:
MER EDITORIAL - HEBRON PARTITIONED:
ISRAELI OCCUPATION OF HEBRON NOW "LEGITIMIZED"
It didn't take long. The morning after the "agreement" on
Hebron the WASHINGTON POST maps show the "Jewish Area" of Hebron clearly marked
and delineated. In the name of "peace" and "withdrawal" Yasser Arafat
has agreed to legitimize the concept of settlements not only on Palestinian land occupied
in 1967 but right in the very heart of Palestinian communities. (The reality of course is
that Arafat has been forced into this most recent agreement having totally capitulated in
the past to the U.S. and Israel which now supply all his money, guns, and protection --
hence Edward Said's actual use of the term "collaborator" to describe Arafat).
It's a made for TV "peace" of course. The political
leaders say "boo" ..and the press jumps and parrots their every word, largely
oblivious to reality. In this particular case the new deal is so fragile and so
duplicitous that both Arafat and Netanyahu were mostly silent in front of the cameras,
letting Dennis Ross for the Americans proclaim the great accomplishment and tell everyone
how tired he is.
In the "fine details" one finds that there will be far
more Israeli army troops in Hebron than Palestinian "police" -- not to mention
that all of Hebron will be encircled by Israeli-manned machine-guns and tanks. And oh, on
the map, one finds (imagine that!) that the Ibrahimi Mosque and Tomb of the Patriarch, as
well as most of the Arab market that is the life-blood of Hebron, fall in the Israeli
zone. There are even going to be separate sides of Shohada Street for Jews and
Palestinians! Godfather Abraham surely must be uncontrollably weeping over what has
happened to his household.
Indeed, the restrictions on the Palestinian "police" are
quite amazing and altogether unprecedented. As summarized by the New York Times the
morning after the post-midnight deal, the "agreement authorizes the Palestinians up
to 400 policemen, equipped with 20 vehicles and armed with 200 pistols and 100 files 'for
the protection' of police stations... The riles will be locked in the police stations [far
from the Jewish areas - ed], and only special units of police will be allowed to take
rifles out of the stations, and only after notifying the Israelis. There will be two such
special units of 16 men each.].
It was fitting indeed that it was King Hussein of Jordan who
delighted in turning the last few screws in this latest chapter of Palestinian demise. His
Hashemite forebearers began collaborating big time with the Israelies back in the 1940s so
as to undermine Palestinian nationalism and promote joint Hashemite/Zionist dominance of
Furthermore, of course, this is really not a new agreement at all --
its just that they have to celebrate something rather than admit the realities of the
predicament they have created in the past generation. This agreement was already
celebrated at Oslo, then in Washington, then in Cairo, and then in Washington again. And
then those past agreements were nullified and a new even more contentious and disingenuous
one substituted in its place. Its vital it seems -- indeed its in the American national
interest no doubt -- for public opinion to be somewhat mollified by another round of
applause for the politicians who are so desperately attempting to keep their fingers poked
in the political dike which is constantly threatening to unleash its torrent of pent-up
despair and hatred.
The realities are that this path of the moment is neither leading to
a just peace nor to a lasting agreement. Netanyahu knows as much...and knows as well that
he now can soon get away with reacting brutally to the violence surely ahead, twisting the
last ounces of hope from the Palestinian consciousness.
The actual realities of this moment are that what is in effect the
partition of Hebron is another step on the road to a Mid-East Apartheid which is providing
the seeds for considerable violence to come and may even be leading to a Mid-East nuclear
conflagration in the lifetimeof those who today sign such duplicitous and self-serving
deals of the moment.
For additional information please see the brilliant article about
the violence to be expected in 1997 by David Hirst and the courageous comment about Hebron
by Palestinian analyst Qais Saleh at: