Number 2 to Arafat all these years, Abu Mazen now has the somewhat laughable title under the circumstances of 'Palestinian Prime Minister'. He's in the job quite obviously because the Israelis and the Americans want him to be. All the talk last year about 'Palestinian elections' has evaporated, Arafat himself is essentially under house arrest in Ramallah, the top PA officials don't dare even attempt to speak at a Palestinian university or refugee camp, and through a combination of bribes, payoffs, and inducements, the PA itself has more and more become but an appendage of the Israeli occupation. Furthermore, of course all the talk about an independent 'Palestinian State' is just that -- talk, talk, talk that lacks any serous reality. All the Israelis want to do is buy more time, create more settlements, confiscate more Palestinian lands, and prepare for 'expulsion' to be implimented should they feel they can get away with it. As for the Americans, it's impossible to believe anything said in public about the Middle East, and most especially about anything relating to the Palestinians. It's very obvious the Americans play the 'Good Cop' role for the Israelis, whom they are in bed with more than ever. Just why senior persons in the PA continue helping the Israelis and Americans essentially repeatedly to fuck their own people, that's a subject still shrouded in super secret deals, payoffs, threats, and personal enrichment schemes.
Road map put off until after Iraq war
By Aluf Benn Ha'aretz 23 March 2003
The United States has reached a secret understanding with Palestinian prime
minister-designate Mahmoud Abbas, better known as Abu Mazen, to put off the
formal presentation of the "road map" until the new Palestinian cabinet is
sworn in and possibly until after the war in Iraq.
In the last few days, Washington has issued vague and contradictory
statements regarding the timing and presentation of the road map, which
outlines steps to end the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, its.
President George Bush announced nine days ago that the U.S. expects a
"contribution to this document" from Israel and the Palestinians "which
would promote real peace. We will encourage them to discuss the road map
with each other."
Washington sources assume that Abu Mazen wants to replace Palestinian
Interior Minister Hani Al-Hassan and Justice Minister Ahmed Durmah, both
supporters of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.
Abu Mazen is expected to keep Nabil Sha'ath, Yasser Abed Rabbo and Saeb
Erekat of the old regime, in the new cabinet. The U.S. believes that the
important portfolios are Interior, which controls the security branches, and
the treasury. Salem Fayyad who is expected to remain finance minister.
The Americans also expect Abu Mazen to include in the cabinet Jibril Rajoub
and Mohammed Dahlan,the former heads of preventive security in the West Bank
and Gaza respectively.
A senior Jerusalem source said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon reached an
agreement with the White House enabling Israel to present its comments and
reservations to the road map. The Americans expect Israel's reservations to
be "constructive" and conducive to the plan's implementation.
The source said Israel accepts this position. "We will insist on the
essential issues," he said. The last draft of Israel's comments, completed
on February 24, grades the proposed amendments according to priorities. It
was agreed, for instance, that there is no point on insisting on erasing the
word "independent" in reference to the Palestinian state, at the stage when
it still has temporary borders.
After last month's publication in Haaretz that Israel had proposed more than
100 amendments, many international bodies, led by British Prime Minister
Tony Blair, exerted heavy pressure on the U.S. to publish the document as is
and not to accept further comments and amendments.