Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hamas declares EU to lift PA siege


"European states have signaled to the Hamas government that they intend to lift the economic embargo on the Palestinian Authority once a national unity government is established, according to Ahmed Yusef, political adviser to Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

"The European states have promised to reconsider their stance regarding the boycott of the Palestinian government. Following the war in Lebanon there is greater understanding in Europe that they must present a more balanced stance regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict," Yusef said in an interview with Haaretz yesterday.

"Recognition and other political issues will be part of the negotiations Abbas will hold. We have granted him full legitimacy to negotiate on behalf of the entire Palestinian people. If he can achieve a diplomatic solution, his plan will be presented before the Palestinian institutions, such as the government and the parliament, and they will need to authorize his proposal. The Arab initiative and the previous UN resolutions will be part of the government's future political agenda."

On the question of relinquishing violence, Yusef said that if Israel ceases its military operations, the Palestinians would also agree to a cease-fire.

He explained that the national unity government would be set up so that the boycott would be lifted, contacts with the EU and Arab world would be renewed, and pressure on Israel to alter its policies would increase.

"We will put forth a broad political program that will result in greater European support for the Palestinians, and that will create more diplomatic pressure on Israel, in the hope that this will soon end Israeli occupation. A new diplomatic initiative is needed to bring about change and a solution through peaceful means. The initiative must include greater European, international and Arab involvement than the failed initiatives of the past."

"The new government is not a Hamas government but one of the entire Palestinian people. All the issues are open for discussion from out point of view, and Abbas can meet Israeli politicians from our point of view," Yusef said.

Responding to the press conference held yesterday by Noam Shalit, father of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, Yusef said the Palestinians hoped a deal would be concluded soon."



This Ahmed Yusef who is devising the strategy for Ismail Haniyeh is a Palestinian American public relations consultant. The fact that he is playing an important role in marketing Haniyeh and the new and improved Hamas is telling me a lot. It is very reminiscent of the advisors to Arafat who used to offer similar advice and who succeeded in bringing Fatah in the American orbit. Arafat's advisors also had delusions about the role an "independent" Europe can play to "pressure" Israel and help set up a "Palestinian state." Another delusion of those advisors was the possibility of securing a "neutral" America.

It is amazing that after all the catastrophes and failures affecting the Palestinians, including the Oslo agreements and the resulting puppet PA, Hamas is listening to the same canard and is now following the same policies.

As if, since the days of Arafat, there has been no occupation and destruction of Iraq by the US, with varying degrees of support from Europe (especially Britain). As if there has been no reawakening of France's colonial interests. As if the US/Israel/EU/UN have not all taken part in attacking and destroying Lebanon. As if thousands of combat-ready troops from France, Germany, Italy and other European countries are not in effect establishing a bridgehead in Lebanon and providing security for Israel. As if none of that has transpired.

There we go again with the same failed advice; the same failed policies; the same failed "peace initiatives"; the same begging of the US, the UN and the EU; in short the same delusions, but under a new management and a new "national unity government."

The great Palestinian people are truly stubborn and steadfast in refusing to learn! But let me not spoil the fun and the excitement of "national unity;" the Palestinians will get to eat again. Onward on the same trail blazed by Arafat leading straight ahead over a cliff.

Tony Sayegh

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