Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Obama and Bush, Two Sides of Same Coin

By Hasan Afif El-Hasan
Palestine Chronicle

".....The Palestinians should prepare for the grim reality of Obama’s foreign policy and stop counting on the US to help them achieve their national aspirations. It is most likely that Obama’s foreign policy team will reactivate the peace talks that were launched by President George W. Bush. The Palestinians should reject the resumption of the Annapolis process and demand from the international community to reaffirm the Palestinians’ rights as stated in the UN Resolutions 242,338 and 194. More open-ended moribund bilateral negotiations with the Israelis above and beyond the fifteen years since the signing of Oslo agreements with no effective intervention is a time for more land grabbing, settlements expansion and giving legitimacy to the occupation. The Palestinians must focus on reconciling their differences and unite around one national policy.

Under the current PA leadership, rejecting the so-called peace talks, reconciling the differences with Hamas and unity under one policy is a fantasy, not because it is the right thing to do, but because it is in conflict with the PA existence. The legitimacy of Abbas regime depends on the continuation of the talks regardless of the outcome; and Abbas seems very comfortable with his title as the president of a Bantustans even if it is completely controlled by Israel. Abbas has forged strong personal ties with the Israeli leadership and sympathized public ally with Israel for rejecting the Palestinian refugees’ right of return, but Abbas never brought down a roadblock or checkpoint that Israel operates in his power base, the West Bank. The US and Israel that lead an international regime of sanctions and embargo against the Palestinian people in Gaza and provides generous support to Abbas government will not approve reconciliation with Hamas. And the present PA leaders can’t say “no” to their paymaster!"

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