Saturday, October 27, 2007
Contributed by Lucia
This great piece by Professor Joseph Massad was originally published on December 25, 2003. It is even more meaningful and relevant today, and that is one of the hallmarks of great analysis.
"One of the most important changes that the Oslo process brought about was the de facto transformation, indeed the ultimate corruption, of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, from a liberation movement representing the entire Palestinian people, into a vassal regime called the Palestinian Authority (PA), representing only one third of the Palestinian people. What is quite insidious in this process is how the PA, conscious of this transformation, continues to speak of the "Palestinian people", which had been reduced through the Oslo Accords to those West Bank and Gaza Palestinians it now represents. Diaspora Palestinians are simply referred to, in accordance with US and Israeli parlance, as "refugees", and Israeli Palestinians are referred to by Israeli diktat as "Israeli Arabs". In doing so, not only has the scope of the Palestinian leadership and its representative status of the whole Palestinian people (achieved in international fora in 1974 after a strenuous struggle) been substantially reduced, but the Palestinian people themselves were diminished demographically by the PA's appropriation of the designation "Palestinian people" to refer to a mere third of Palestinians......"