Thursday, January 10, 2008

A 'helping' hand

Israel's way of supporting its negotiating partner leaves something to be desired

By Khaled Amayreh
Al-Ahram Weekly

"......The incursion embarrassed the PA, portraying it in the eyes of Palestinians, especially Nablus's inhabitants, as helpless and even irrelevant. "What kind of government is it whose soldiers and policemen hasten to enter their holes when the occupation army comes to rape the city," asked Maher Kanan, a Nablus businessman. "And they claim that they have authority and sovereignty here."......

A prominent Palestinian intellectual described the current state of affair between Israel and the PA in the following words: "They meet, they exchange kisses and nice words, while Israeli bulldozers are busy pulverising what is left of Jerusalem," said Abdul-Sattar Qassem, professor of political science at An-Najah National University in Nablus.

The Weekly asked Qassem why he thought the PA was not protesting against Israel's settlement expansion more strongly. His answer was that, "the PA has already received the price for its silence [an allusion to the $7 billion pledged during last month's Paris Donor Conference]. So there is a kind of a tacit agreement between the two sides (Israel and the PA) according to which Israel would have carte blanche in terms of killing Palestinians and expanding settlements and the PA would protest against Israeli acts and behaviour for public consumption."......"

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