Saturday, July 7, 2007

Can Palestinians Trust Oslo Architects?

There is good reason for the Palestinians to ask the following question: Are the architects of Oslo trying to sell the national cause for sheqalims and dollars?

By Dr. Hasan Afif El-Hasan
Special to

"Is the architect of Oslo trying to get the Palestinians another deal? Abbas and his comrades sold Oslo to the Palestinians for slogans, and today they are selling their unholy alliance with Israel for a few Israeli sheqalims and some dollars. They surrendered what was left of Palestine in Oslo, and today they are selling the Palestinian cause all together. The Oslo story has to be retold everyday because its architects who betrayed the Palestinians in Oslo are at it again. They are collaborating with no other than the Israeli butchers against a common enemy, the Palestinian resistance.....

....To insure that Israel would accept only the Oslo negotiations, Arafat asked the Washington team to stand firm in demanding the inclusion of Jerusalem in the interim agreement while instructing the Oslo negotiators to accept Israel’s demand to exclude it.

Joseph Masaad argued in Al-Ahram Weekly that the framers of the Oslo agreement created a process that serves Israel’s expansionist policies and empowered privileged Palestinians whose personal fortunes were tied to it. Thus even after the Oslo process proved to be a disaster to the Palestinian people, and the Israelis used it to achieve what it was intended for, the Palestinian Authority elites continue to cling to it as a sacred institution because they are its only Palestinian beneficiaries......

Mazin Qumsiyeh concluded that the recognition given by Israel to Arafat, rather than the new Palestinian leadership, was used as the price to “extract concessions on key issues”. To get the best deal, the Israelis chose to negotiate with the PLO leaders, who were eager to return to Palestine and establish themselves in what the Israelis call the “disputed territory”, rather than with the inside Palestinians who insisted on a commitment to unconditional end of occupation and “immediate and substantive withdrawal of the Israeli army from the West Bank”.....

....Until the permanent agreement is reached, the Israeli government retains sole responsibility for foreign affairs, defense and borders, and most important, the agreement does not restrain Israeli settlement activities. To seal the fate of their people, the Oslo architects agreed on behalf of the Palestinians to give Israel the right to collect and control their taxes, thus giving Israel, their oppressor, the power of the purse, the Palestinian purse.

There is good reason for the Palestinians to ask one more question. Are the architects of Oslo trying to sell the national cause for sheqalims and dollars? There is a popular Arab proverb that says: “the believer will not be bitten from the same burrow twice”.

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