Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘Time for Outrage’ Category

Palestinians Living in limbo: New category in Israel “No thing”

The thousands of undocumented Palestinians in Gaza living in limbo

Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza can’t work, travel, or get health care.

Between the Israeli-controlled population registry and the Fatah-Hamas rivalry, they see little hope for any kind of stable future.

By Amjad Yaghni, a journalist from Gaza

Wafaa Abu Hajjaj has been active in the media industry in Gaza for the past eight years, working as a correspondent for various local and regional television news outlets.

But she has also been deprived of dozens of job opportunities abroad because she doesn’t have a Palestinian identification card. Without it, she can’t be officially employed or access government services.

Abu Hajjaj appealed to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to obtain residency and a passport in 2015, but to no avail. Her 70-year-old father, Abdel Mun’em Abu Hajjaj, suffers from heart disease; he too has been denied access to medical treatment, both in and outside Gaza, for the same reason.

Abu Hajjaj and her father are among thousands of undocumented Palestinians in Gaza.

Israel withdrew its military and civilian presence from the Strip in 2005, but one of the countless ways it still exercises immense control over the lives of Gazans is through its control over the Palestinian population registry.

Many simple types of changes to the registry, including changing the address or place of one’s residence, still require the Israeli army’s approval.

Under the Oslo Accords, which created the Palestinian Authority, only Israel can has the power to authorize the entry of anyone, including Palestinians, into the occupied territories.

Likewise, only Israel has the authority to give residency status for spouses and children of Palestinians, including those living abroad, through a family unification process.

Gaza journalist Wafaa Abu Hjajj. 'For 12 years I’ve been carrying a temporary ID that amounts to nothing.' (Mohamed Al Hajjar)

Gaza journalist Wafaa Abu Hjajj. ‘For 12 years I’ve been carrying a temporary ID that amounts to nothing.’ (Mohamed Al Hajjar)

Also under Oslo, Israel and the Palestinians negotiated the return of 600,000 Palestinians from the diaspora to the occupied territories, according to Saleh al-Zeq, the director of the General Authority for Civil Affairs (GACA) in Gaza. Israel agreed to approve family unification in 5 batches, but since the Second Intifada in 2000, it stopped processing all Palestinian applications for visitor permits and family unification.

When Hamas took over Gaza in June 2007, Israel severed all ties with the Palestinian authorities there, and soon after imposed a blockade on the coastal enclave.

By then, it had already processed four of the groups that were approved under Oslo talks, but the final batch of 4,645 people is still pending to this day, according to al-Zeq.

“When the ministry reviewed our applications for identity cards, I was informed that, since Hamas took over Gaza, family reunions were no longer possible.

For 12 years I’ve been carrying a temporary ID that amounts to nothing,” said Abu Hajjaj. “My ill father can’t travel either. He was supposed to be transferred to the West Bank for treatment, but when the doctor realized he doesn’t have a proper Palestinian ID card or travel documents, he cancelled the transfer,” she added.

Abu Hajjaj and her family arrived to Gaza in 1998. (Forced transfer)

Her father, a Palestinian refugee, received temporary travel papers from Egypt and worked as a teacher in Saudi Arabia. He would go back to Egypt every four years to renew his work and travel authorization, but when he eventually returned to Gaza, he became a resident without status and could no longer travel.

Abu Hajjaj describes this predicament as a double siege: that of the Israeli government, and that of the Palestinian identification process.

Rola Abu Obeid and her brother Mohammed. (Mohamed Al Hajjar)

Rola Abu Obeid and her brother Mohammed. (Mohamed Al Hajjar)

The Abu Obaid family sought to return to Gaza after escaping the war in Iraq. Their Palestinian grandfather, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), had emigrated to Baghdad a few years before the 1967 war broke.

But decades later, three months into the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the family fled to the Ruwaished Refugee Camp in eastern Jordan. The family of seven spent a year in the camp, but could not obtain a permit to enter and live in Jordan, since the government’s policy at that time only allowed entry for Palestinians who were married to Jordanian nationals.

They then tried their luck in Egypt. The Rafah crossing between Egypt in Gaza had been closed for an extended period, until Palestinian militants blasted a hole in the barrier, allowing them to cross into the Strip.

The family arrived in Gaza in 2006, hoping to rebuild their lives there. More than a decade after their return, they still haven’t been able to register as Palestinian residents.

Rola Abu Obeid, 22, is in her third year of English literature studies at Al-Azhar University in Gaza. “Whenever I present my temporary ID card, people point out that I am not from here and question my Palestinian-ness,” she said. “I don’t feel Palestinian because people treat me as if I am not.”

Three years ago, Rola, who maintains a high GPA and is fluent in English, received a scholarship from a university in London. When she learned that she could not accept the scholarship without a Palestinian ID in hand, her father tried to pressure the scholarship directors, but to no avail.

Last September, she was denied participation at the 2018 World Youth Conference in Egypt for the same reason.

Without official residency status, members of the Abu Obeid family are unlikely to find lawful employment. They can’t be treated in public hospitals, relying instead on private clinics for health services, which can get very expensive.

Haitham Mohammad Hussein Abu Hani, 35 years old, entered Gaza in 2008 after Hamas militants destroyed parts of the fence once again to circumvent the Israeli blockade.

With former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s approval, tens of thousands of Palestinians crossed into Sinai to stock up on fuel and shop for food, while Palestinians in Egypt who had not been granted visitation permits or family unification took the opportunity to return to Gaza.

Abu Hani was born in Egypt to a Palestinian father who fled there after the 1967 war.

With the signing of the Oslo Accords, Abu Hani, who was 12 at the time, sought to return to Gaza, where his two brothers served in the PA security forces. His family unification request was denied on the grounds that he was too young. In 1998, he applied again but didn’t hear back.

Abu Hani, like the Hajjaj family, carries Egyptian travel papers, which have expired since his return to Gaza.

Despite being married to a woman with Palestinian residency, he hasn’t been able to obtain a Palestinian ID card or passport through her. Meanwhile, he cannot apply for jobs and his financial situation is only getting worse.

“I can’t travel or study abroad, I can’t go on Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) or even visit my mother in Egypt,” he said. “Now I am truly living in a prison. Even if Rafah crossing were to open for days, I wouldn’t be allowed to go through.”

Haitham Mohammad Hussein Abu Hani and his two daughters. 'I can’t travel or study abroad, I can’t go on Hajj or even visit my mother in Egypt.' (Mohamed Al Hajjar)

Haitham Mohammad Hussein Abu Hani and his two daughters. ‘I can’t travel or study abroad, I can’t go on Hajj or even visit my mother in Egypt.’ (Mohamed Al Hajjar)

Abu Hani has pushed for the Palestinian Ministry of Civil Affairs to review his case several times, but he keeps getting the same response: Israel is responsible for the delays.

Hussein al-Sheikh, the Palestinian minister of civil affairs, has brought up the issue more than once with the Israeli government, according to Abdel Rahim Lubad, the head of public relations of GACA in Gaza. Israel has consistently used security considerations as an excuse to deny these requests, he said.

What more, Palestinians who, like Abu Hani and the Abu Obaid family, returned to Gaza through the Rafah crossing without an Israeli-approved visitor permit fall under a separate category, according to Mohammad Makadma, the spokesperson for GACA in Gaza. This group can’t be issued Palestinian identification cards because their residency is subject to final status peace negotiations with Israel, said Makadma.

But Gazans are not only at the mercy of the Israeli Civil Administration. Since only the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority can issue IDs and make additions to the population registry, it uses the process to pressure and punish its political rival, Hamas, which rules over Gaza.

“People look at me as if I am foreign, and the authorities governing Gaza and the West Bank don’t treat us as Palestinians who have rights,” said Rola Abu Obaid’s brother, Mohammed. “I believe it is their responsibility to pressure the Israeli government to issue IDs for us. I dream of traveling, but after witnessing the obstacles my sister had to face, I lost hope.”

A spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the Israeli military body responsible for administering the Israeli occupation and which controls Palestinians’ movement in and out of Gaza, sent the following response: “According to the [Oslo] interim agreement, the Palestinian Authority was authorized to manage the Palestinian population registry, while Israel merely holds a copy of the registry. On some affairs, changes may warrant an agreement from the Israeli side, and on other issues, sending a message suffices.”

 

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This coercion system that produces “egalitarian” brainless human machines

Militarism is a deadly system and the army is a diabolic machine designed and refined through time immemorial to squelch the individuality of the recruits and soldiers once they enter the system.

There is no need to describe the process of forming soldiers because countless movies have shown the humiliating and brutal states of going through a working day during the preliminary phases of indoctrination.

First, the recruits enter in regular columns in a vast court and in their civil clothing: the dresses show disparities in an unequal society. Then the recruits are given a unique uniform to provide the illusion of fraternity and equality and then they are ordered to chant in cadence while marching in order to prevent any kind of internal thinking.

The core objective in the design of this system is to eliminate thinking by constant chores, fatigue, sleeplessness. The collective passion of hating the drill sergeant is meant to secure unity among the recruits.

An evident objective target that is behaving as a total ignorant and cursing non-stop; a drill sergeant who transformed your individual freedom and sense of dignity into a nightmare of nothingness.

The drill sergeant is obeying to a higher ranked officer, who in turn is obeying to another superior and so on to higher grades.

The higher your education the meaner the tasks and the lower your comprehension compared to the variety of stupid animals you are labeled with.

Once your hate is complete for the drill sergeant and the lower officers then you are trained to transfer your negative emotion to a complete love of your intelligent superior officer; an officer that acts as if he is attentive to your plights, who listens to your lucubration and who praises your accomplishments and education and efforts.

For the Captain the recruits and soldiers are thus ready to die because they love their new found idol and hero.

The officers in the military would argue that no society in history managed to survive without strong, solid and enduring soldiers organized to hunt large beasts, and defend the tribe from predators or enemies and to aid during catastrophic events.

Note 1: The same system is applied to forming terrorist groups at the sold of colonial powers to divide and fomented civil wars in militarily weaker nations

Note 2: I yet have to witness a “normal” retired officer: They are mostly fucked-up.

 

What can Saudi Kingdom be good at? Nothing but evil activities

If you are or were:

A revolutionary, a nationalist, for an “Arab” self autonomous state, a Muslim Sunni, a Muslim Shia, A Muslim Brotherhood, of any religious sect but Wahhabi, Defender of Al Aqsa in Jerusalem, a peace activist in crimes  against humanity, Security and order among the “Arabic” States, a Freedom lover and for liberty in opinions and expressions, if against the colonial powers subjugation and seek independence… Saudi Kingdom is Against you.

If You wallow in slave-hood, you are welcomed.

Even this status of Slave will Not guarantee you entrance in this extremist and terrorist Kingdom

إذا كنت ثوري فالسعودية تتآمر على فنزويلا وكوريا الشمالية.

واذا كنت سني فالسعودية قتلت صدام.

واذا كنت شيعي فالسعودية قتلت نمر النمر.
وان كنت قومي فالسعودية حاربت عبد الناصر.

واذا كنت أخواني فالسعودية دعمت الانقلاب علي مرسي.

وان كنت مع العروبة فالسعودية تخاذلت على ليبيا واثارة الفتنة في سوريا ووارتكبت جرائم حرب في اليمن وعمت بلاد العروبة فساداً

ولو قلبك عالأقصى فالسعودية باعت فلسطين

أما لو أنت تحب الاسلام فالسعودية تحالفت مع أميركا واسرائيل ضد المسلمين

ولو بتخاف على اسلامك فالسعودية شوهت صورة الإسلام

واذا كنت من أحد المذاهب فالسعودية عملت مذهب لوحدها (الوهابية) وما تعترف بمذهبك

وإذا كنت تكره الإرهاب فالسعودية صنعت القاعدة وداعش

وإن كنت عربي فآل سعود يهودماسونيين

وإن قلبك على المسلمين فالسعودية تخلت عن المسلمين الأفغان والبورميين والصوماليين…

وإن كان يهمك الأمن العربي فالسعودية أدخلت قواعد أمريكية إلى أرض الحرمين

واذا انت مع الجامعة العربية فالسعودية جعلتها عبرية

وان كنت تبحث عن الحرية بدعم من السعودية ففاقد الشيء لا يعطيه

وإن كنت تريد التحرر من الاستعمار ستحاربك السعودية مثل ما تحارب المقاومة الفلسطينية.

وإن رضيت العبودية فمرحبا بك في السعودية
هذه تذكرة للمخدوعين بالسعودية من العالم والعرب والمسلمين.

It turned out: we wash and clean with waste water

A block of streets in 7ay al Salaam in Da7iyat (a suburb of Beirut) experienced a catastrophic period: The water smelt and tasted “bad”. The tests found excrement in this running water. The people could Not wash cloths, dishes or even clean themselves.

The municipality “decided” to investigate the cause and to find options:

  1. Was it the public water coming from Ain Delbi that feed Beirut and al Maten?
  2. Was it the water of any specific well that private water providers deliver?
  3. What else? Any organization wanting to disturb this block by re-routing sewage water as a test for its evil plans?

So far, I have no answer: I didn’t follow on the news.

These are the recriminations of the people on the state of affairs in our pseudo-State of Lebanon

احدى الاخوات سكان الضاحيه الجنوبيه لبيروت
كتبت قصتها
فقالت :

من فترة 3 اشهر لاحظت انو فيه شي غلط بنوعية المي يلي عم نستخدمها، وهالشي بيعود لسببين، الاول طعمتها وريحتها والتاني انو اغراض المطبخ كانت عم تصدي بطريقة غريبة، مع العلم انو المياه عنا عادة حلوة مش مالحة!


اعتقدت انو المشكلة من عنا بالبناية، فاتصلت بالناطور وسألته، وكان متلي مش عارف السبب.. قلي هيدي مياه عين الدلبة عم تجي “مدقة”، بس مش عارف ليه ريحتها يلي متل المجرور!


سألت اصحابي والجيران وكانوا كلهم عم يعانوا من نفس الموضوع بس كمان مش فاهمين شو السبب..
وبحكم شغلي وعلاقاتي، سألت الناس المعنيين وكان ديما الجواب نفسه، ما منعرف وما فيه سبب، وبعضهم قلي انت عم تتوهم!
المهم، صرت من وقتها استعمل مياه الشرب لغسل الاكل، بس الجلي والتحميم والتغسيل شو منعمل فيهن؟ ما بعرف!


اليوم انعرف السبب، وطلعت المي يلي عم نتحمم فيها نحنا واهلنا وولادنا واصحابنا واحبابنا غير صالحة للاستخدام، لا بل بتحتوي على كميات هائلة من “البراز”!


شو يعني؟
يعني عم نتحم بالوسخ ……
نتوضا بالوسخ…….
نجلي بالوسخ….
نغسل اكلنا بالوسخ……..
نغسل تيابنا بالوسخ……..
نطهر بيتنا بالوسخ………
لك عم ناكل ونشرب وسخ !!!
ليش؟


لانو نحنا منستاهل!
ايه خرجنا..
لانو انتخبنا هيك بلديات وهيك نواب..
لانو لحقنا هيك احزاب وحركات وتيارات وسياسيين..
لانو رضيانين بعيشة الذل والقرف..
لانو مندفع كهربا مرتين وسادينو..
لانو مندفع مي 3 مرات وبتطلع مجرور..


لان لوثولنا الانهار والبحر وكسروا جبالنا وحرقولنا الشجر ونحنا ساكتين..
لان عملولنا جبال ومحارق زبالة نتنشقها كل يوم وكل ساعة لتعودنا عريحتها..
لانو اقساط مدارسنا وجامعاتنا من الاغلى بالعالم وما منتحرك..
لان اسعار الاكل بالمطاعم اضعاف مضاعفة ونحنا منروح مناكل ومنسهر بدل ما نقاطع!
لان السرطان فتك فينا وقال حمّلنا اسرائيل كل المسؤولية!


لان نحنا شعب مقسّم سياسيا وطائفيا ومذهبيا وحزبيا..
لان نحنا منخاف من بعض ومنكره بعض ومنقتل بعض كرمال الزعيم!
لان منعتبر حالنا ارقى واذكى وافهم شعوب المنطقة ومنلحق الفاسدين والحرامية..
لان عم نشوف الناس صارت عم تاكل بعضها وتسرق لتعيش ونحنا مغمضين عيونا..


لان اذا حدا طالب بحقوقنا وطلعت صرخته منرجمو ومنقاتلو ومننهش بلحمه ومنشيطنو!!
لان ساكتين عن كل هالوضع الخرا ومتمسحين وما منتحرك!
وبكرا بيطلع شي شيخ فهيم بيقلنا صلاتكم مزبوطة لان منكم عارفين انو المياه نجسة!
واذا سألناه طب بخصوص الخرا بالمي؟!


منصير نحنا عملاء وفاسدين!
لك اييييه منستاهل..
لانو نحنا شعب خرا!

Slowly but surely: USA/Zionism determined genocide strategy

Actually, this plan has blatantly accelerated under Trump administration.

The plan for prolonged wars has been discussed in Israel by USA general and secret service agency officers in 2013.

The Fourth generation war tactics is to exhaust and degrade a society in the duration in order for him to give up the struggle and confrontation.

The purpose is to give the image of a failed State system in the view of the citizens.

Weapons is to be distributed to all local parties and militias and it is Not a moral dilemma for elderly and kids to die in these prolonged and protracted internal destabilizing civil wars.

Gaza is witnessing this slow but sure annihilation through famine, lack of potable water, lack of basic medicine, destruction of schools, hospitals power grids…

Iraq and Syria experienced this prolonged war for years, and Yemen is undergoing the same process of slow genocide that will extend for generations after the cease fire is declared.

Somalia, Afghanistan and Libya are striking examples of State disintegration.

 محاضرة تكشف ما يحصل لبلادنا اليوم و من وراءه .. بعنوان
* ” لغز إبادتنا البطيء؟ “*
محمد الحسيني*

في المحاضرة التي القاها البروفسور ماكس مانوارينج خبير الاستراتيجية العسكرية في معهد الدراسات التابع لكلية الحرب الأمريكية، ومكان المحاضرة اسرائيل في 13 آب، أوغست، 2013، لضباط كبار في حلف الناتو وتم تسريب المحاضرة سراً يكشف بوضوح كل الغاز الخراب الحاصل في المنطقة منذ سنوات، وهو ايضاً خبير” الجيل الرابع من الحرب“،

وبتعبيره الواضح ان اسلوب الحروب التقليدية صار قديماً، والجديد هو الجيل الرابع من الحرب، وحرفياً والنص له:
“ليس الهدف تحطيم المؤسسة العسكرية لإحدى الأمم، أو تدمير قدرتها العسكرية، بل الهدف هو: الإنهاك ــــ التآكل البطيء ــــ لكن بثبات،
والهدف هو ارغام العدو على الرضوخ لارادتك”.

ويضيف حرفياً:
“الهدف زعزعة الاستقرار وهذه الزعزعة ينفذها مواطنون من الدولة العدو لخلق الدولة الفاشلة”.

” ما يهدد فكرة سيادة الدولة العدو، يقول، هو التحكم باقليم خارج سيطرة الدولة تتحكم به مجموعات غير خاضعة للدولة، محاربة وعنيفة وشريرة، حرفياً، وهنا نستطيع التحكم، وهذه العملية تنفذ بخطوات ببطء وهدوء وباستخدام مواطني دولة العدو، فسوف يستيقظ عدوك ميتاً”.

هذه المحاضرة التي قيل إنها أخطر محاضرة في التاريخ الحديث توضح كل ما جرى من حروب وصراعات مسلحة أهلية ومن قوى محلية شريرة ومحاربة وعنيفة.

بلا شك لا يمكن أن يتم ذلك من “اشرار وعنيفين” من دون خلق”مفهوم القضية” وتوظيف الدين لهذا الهدف أكبر محفز لتحقيقه، لتحمل مشاق حرب طويلة وتحمل الموت، مع الوعد الآخروي بفردوس هديته الكبرى حفلة جنس مع حوريات وعشاء فوري مع النبي، والاتباع البهائم ينفذون أهدافاً لا يعرفون عنها شيئاً.

أكثر ما يلفت الانتباه في هذه المحاضرة المسجلة في شريط فيديو انقل منه حرفيا هي عبارة: “الإنهاك، والتآكل البطيء”.

ولكن لماذا لا يتم الانهيار السريع بدل التآكل الهادئ والبطيء؟
هذا هو الجزء الأخطر في محاضرة خبير الجيل الرابع من الحرب، أي حروب الوكالة التي ينفذها بتعبيره “مواطنون محليون” بدعم عسكري وسياسي أمريكي.

التآكل البطيء يعني خراب متدرج للمدن، وتحويل الناس الى قطعان هائمة، وشل قدرة البلد العدو على تلبية الحاجات الاساسية، بل تحويل نقص هذه الحاجات الى وجه آخر من وجوه الحرب، وهو عمل مدروس ومنظم بدقة.

البروفسور وهو ليس خبير الجيل الرابع للحرب فحسب، بل ضابط مخابرات سابق، لا يلقي المحاضرة في روضة أطفال ولا في مركز ثقافي، بل لجنرالات كبار في حلف الناتو، لا تظهر وجوههم في التسجيل، وفي عبارة لافتة في المحاضرة يقول بوقاحة مبطنة مخاطباً الجنرالات:

في مثل هذا النوع من الحروب قد تشاهدون اطفالا قتلى او كبار السن،
لكن علينا المضي مباشرة نحو الهدف”، بمعنى لا تتركوا المشاعر أمام هذه المشاهد تحول دون” الهدف”.

وهذا هو الاسلوب المطبق في العراق وسوريا واليمن، وفي ليبيا، وغدا لا ندري أين، ومرة أخرى السؤال: لماذا “الانهاك والتآكل البطيء، بدل اسقاط النظام مرة واحدة؟”.

علينا فحص اللغة الماكرة والمراوغة هنا وبصورة خاصة” الانهاك ـــ التآكل البطيء” وهي الأخطر وقد تم تطبيق ذلك حرفياً من قبل مواطني” الدولة العدو”، وهو تعبير التفافي عن المنظمات الارهابية.

“الانهاك ــــالتآكل البطيء ـــ سيطرة على اقليم، التحكم، استيقاظ العدو ميتاً”.

استراتيجية الانهاك تعني نقل الحرب من جبهة الى أخرى،.

من أرض الى أخرى، استنزاف كل قدرات الدولة العدو على مراحل، وجعل ” الدولة العدو” تقاتل على جبهات عدة محاصرة بضباع محليين من كل الجهات، وتسخين جبهة وتهدئة أخرى، اي ادارة الازمة وليس حلها.

لكي لا يتم انهيار الدولة السريع، لأن الانهيار السريع يبقي على كثير من مقومات ومؤسسات الدولة والمجتمع، وأفضل الطرق هو التآكل البطيء، بهدوء وثبات وعبر سنوات من محاربين “محليين شرسين وشريرين” كما يقول هو،

بصرف النظر عن وقوع ضحايا أبرياء لأن الهدف وهو السيطرة وتقويض الدولة والمجتمع أهم من كل شيء،

أي محو الدولة والمجتمع عبر عملية طويلة. هذا المخطط الذي يعترفون به ويدرّسونه، مطبق وممارس منذ سنوات، لكن عبر طرف ملتوية ومموهة، ومغطاة بشعارات صاخبة من حقوق الانسان والديمقراطية، وهي لا تشمل حسب المحاضر الاطفال والشيوخ والمدنيين العزل الذين سيقتلون، لأن الهدف، السيطرة، هو الأهم.

هل عرفنا الآن لماذا القتل المتدرج، والبطيء، والهادئ، واسلوب ادارة الازمة بدل حلها، ولماذا لا يقتلوننا مرة واحدة؟

لكي تبدو الابادة فعلاً محلياً وصراعاً مسلحاً بين عقائد صلبة ونظم حكم، يتم توزيع السلاح على كل اطرافها، لكي يستيقظ العدو، أي نحن والسلطة والمجتمع، موتى.

الاستراتيجية مستمرة، ومعلنة وممارسة، وأكبر من يغطي عليها ويبحث عن أسباب لهذا المحو المنظم، هو نحن مرة بتجريم التاريخ، ومرة أخرى الدين وثالثة ثقافة العنف المتوارثة في الجينات، لخلق عقدة الشعور بالدونية، بل ذهبت كاتبة وروائية عراقية الى القول ان شعر المفاخرة العربي والفروسية هو سبب هذه الحروب.

من حق ماكس مانوارينج وقادة الجيل الرابع من الحرب، حروب الوكالة، أن يشربوا الويسكي ضاحكين لأننا نقتل ببطء ونتآكل بهدوء وثبات، دولة وسلطة مع كل قيم المجتمع، دون أن نعرف وجوه القتلة،
وهي أكثر وضوحاً من وجوه القتلى.

🙋‍♂ا نشرها للتوعية بما هو حاصل لتعلم من هو العدو الحقيقي للامه

Plan D? Zionism devised that plan in 1935 to cleanse the Palestinians from their lands and villages

Plan D or beginning of “war of conquest”.

Zionism had many plans to be executed as the political climate and timing were appropriate. In the 100 years since the implantation of first colonies in Palestine, many plans have been carried out to occupy all of Palestine for the only the Jews, coming from all corners of the world.

With respect to Haifa, IIan Pappé writes:

From the morning after the UN Partition Resolution was adopted in November 1947, the 75,000 Palestinians in the city were subjected to a campaign of terror jointly instigated by the Irgun and the Hagana.

As they had only arrived in recent decades, the Jewish settlers had built their houses higher up the mountain. Thus, they lived topographically above the Arab neighbourhoods and could easily shell and snipe at them. They had started doing this frequently since early December.

They used other methods of intimidation as well: the Jewish troops rolled barrels full of explosives, and huge steel balls, down into the Arab residential areas, and poured oil mixed with fuel down the roads, which they then ignited.

The moment panic-stricken Palestinian residents came running out of their homes to try to extinguish these rivers of fire, they were sprayed with machine-gun fire.

In areas where the two communities still interacted, the Hagana brought cars to Palestinian garages to be repaired, loaded with explosives and detonating devices, and so wreaked death and chaos.

Prominent Israeli historian Ilan Pappé notes that, in Israel’s Plan Dalet (also known simply as Plan D), “veteran Zionist leaders” created “a plan for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.” They dispatched military orders in March 1948, Pappé explains:

“The orders came with a detailed description of the methods to be employed to forcibly evict the people: large-scale intimidation; laying siege to and bombarding villages and population centres; setting fire to homes, properties and goods; expulsion; demolition; and, finally, planting mines among the rubble to prevent any of the expelled inhabitants from returning.”

Plan D “spelled it out clearly and unambiguously: the Palestinians had to go,” writes Pappé.

“The aim of the plan was in fact the destruction of both the rural and urban areas of Palestine,” he adds, and it “contain[ed] a repertoire of cleansing methods that one by one fit the means the U.N. describes in its definition of ethnic cleansing.”

Morris is correct that Plan D did not explicitly call for “expelling as many Arabs as possible from the territory of the future Jewish state”, as Blatman suggests. But neither did it order that “neutral or friendly villages should be left untouched”, as Morris contends.

Under Plan D, brigade commanders were to use their own discretion in mounting operations against “enemy population centers”—meaning Palestinian towns and villages—by choosing between the following options:

—Destruction of villages (setting fire to, blowing up, and planting mines in the debris), especially those population centers which are difficult to control continuously.

—Mounting combing and control operations according to the following guidelines: encirclement of the village and conducting a search inside it. In the event of resistance, the armed force must be wiped out and the population must be expelled outside the borders of the state.[66]

Thus, while Plan D allowed for Arab inhabitants to remain as long as they did not resist the takeover of their villages by the Zionist forces, it did not order Haganah commanders to permit them to stay under such circumstances—as Morris falsely suggests in the second of his responses in Haaretz.

Nor is Morris incognizant of the critical distinction. In 1948, he explicitly notes that “brigade commanders were given the option” of destroying Arab villages (emphasis added)—which would obviously necessitate expelling their inhabitants—regardless of whether any of the villagers offered any resistance.

“The commanders were given discretion whether to evict the inhabitants of villages and urban neighborhoodssitting on vital access roads”, Morris writes (emphasis added). “The plan gave the brigades carte blanche to conquer the Arab villages and, in effect, to decide on each village’s fate—destruction and expulsion or occupation. The plan explicitly called for the destruction of resisting Arab villages and the expulsion of their inhabitants” (emphasis added).[67]

As Ilan Pappé expounds, “Villages were to be expelled in their entirety either because they were located in strategic spots or because they were expected to put up some sort of resistance. These orders were issued when it was clear that occupation would always provoke some resistance and that therefore no village would be immune, either because of its location or because it would not allow itself to be occupied.”[68]

By these means, by the time the war ended, the Zionist forces had expelled the inhabitants of and destroyed 531 villages and emptied eleven urban neighborhoods of their Arab residents.[69]

Pappé further notes how the facts on the ground at the time challenge Morris’s characterization of the Zionist’s operations as having been “defensive” prior to the implementation of Plan D:

The reality of the situation could not have been more different: the overall military, political and economic balance between the two communities was such that not only were the majority of Jews in no danger at all, but in addition, between the beginning of December 1947 and the end of March 1948, their army had been able to complete the first stage of the cleansing of Palestine, even before the master plan had been put into effect. If there were a turning point in April, it was the shift from sporadic attacks and counter-attacks on the Palestinian civilian population towards the systematic mega-operation of ethnic cleansing that now followed.[70]

In Haaretz, Morris adds that in the larger urban areas with mixed populations, under Plan D, the orders were for the Arabs “to be transferred to the Arab centers of those cities, like Haifa, not expelled from the country.” Morris also writes that the Zionists “left Arabs in place in Haifa”, and he cites it as an example of a place where Arabs “were ordered or encouraged by their leaders to flee”—as opposed to them being expelled by the Zionist forces.

But the details Morris provides in 1948 of what happened in Haifa tell an altogether different story.

By the end of March 1948, most of the wealthy and middle-class families had fled Haifa. Far from ordering this evacuation, the Arab leadership had blasted those who fled as “cowards” and tried to prevent them from leaving.[71]

Among the reasons for the flight were terrorist attacks by the Irgun that had sowed panic in Haifa and other cities. On the morning of December 30, 1947, for example, the Irgun threw “three bombs from a passing van into a crowd of casual Arab laborers at a bus stop outside the Haifa Oil Refinery, killing eleven and wounding dozens.”[72] (Ilan Pappé notes that “Throwing bombs into Arab crowds was the specialty of the Irgun, who had already done so before 1947.”[73]

And as Morris points out, Arab militias took note of the methods of the Irgun and Lehi and eventually started copying them: “The Arabs had noted the devastating effects of a few well-placed Jewish bombs in Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Haifa . . . .”[74]) Arab laborers inside the plant responded by turning against their Jewish coworkers, killing thirty-nine and wounding fifty (several Arab employees did try to protect their Jewish co-workers).[75]

The Haganah retaliated by targeted a nearby village that was home to many of the refinery workers. The orders were to spare the women and children, but to kill the men. “The raiders moved from house to house, pulling out men and executing them. Sometimes they threw grenades into houses and sprayed the interiors with automatic fire. There were several dozen dead, including some women and children.”

Ben-Gurion defended the attack by saying it was “impossible” to “discriminate” under the circumstances. “We’re at war. . . . There is an injustice in this, but otherwise we will not be able to hold out.”[76]

Marking “the start of the implementation of Plan D”, writes Morris, was Operation Nahshon in April 1948.[77] By this time, tens of thousands of Haifa’s seventy thousand Arabs had already fled.[78] The Haganah had been planning an operation in Haifa since mid-month, and when the British withdrew their troops from positions between Arab and Jewish neighborhoods on April 21, it provided the Haganah with the opportunity to put it into effect.[79]

The Haganah fired mortars indiscriminately into the lower city, and by noon “smoke rose above gutted buildings and mangled bodies littered the streets and alleyways.” The mortar and machine gun fire “precipitated mass flight toward the British-held port area”, where Arab civilians trampled each other to get to boats, many of which were capsized in the mad rush.[80]

The British high commissioner, Sir Alan Cunningham, described the Haganah’s tactics: “Recent Jewish military successes (if indeed operations based on the mortaring of terrified women and children can be classed as such) have aroused extravagant reactions in the Jewish press and among the Jews themselves a spirit of arrogance which blinds them to future difficulties. . . . Jewish broadcasts both in content and in manner of delivery, are remarkably like those of Nazi Germany.”[81]

It was under these circumstances that the local Arab leaders sought to negotiate a truce, and in a British-mediated meeting in the afternoon on April 22, the Jewish forces proposed a surrender agreement that “assured the Arab population a future ‘as equal and free citizens of Haifa.’”[82] But the Arab notables, after taking some time to consult before reconvening, informed that they were in no position to sign the truce since they had no control over the Arab combatants in Haifa and that the population was intent on evacuating. Jewish and British officials at the meeting tried to persuade them to sign the agreement, to no avail. In the days that followed, nearly all of Haifa’s remaining inhabitants fled, with only about 5,000 remaining.

While in his Haaretz article, Morris attributed this flight solely to orders from the Arab leadership to leave the city, in 1948, he notes that other factors included psychological trauma from the violence—especially the Haganah’s

 

While in his Haaretz article, Morris attributed this flight solely to orders from the Arab leadership to leave the city, in 1948, he notes that other factors included psychological trauma from the violence—especially the Haganah’s mortaring of the lower city—and despair at the thought of living now as a minority under a people who had just inflicted that collective punishment upon them.

Furthermore, “The Jewish authorities almost immediately grasped that a city without a large (and actively or potentially hostile) Arab minority would be better for the emergent Jewish state, militarily and politically. Moreover, in the days after 22 April, Haganah units systematically swept the conquered neighborhoods for arms and irregulars; they often handled the population roughly; families were evicted temporarily from their homes; young males were arrested, some beaten. The Haganah troops broke into Arab shops and storage facilities and confiscated cars and food stocks. Looting was rife.”[83]

This, then, is the situation Morris is describing when he disingenuously writes in Haaretz that the Zionist forces “left Arabs in place in Haifa” and that Arabs fled Haifa because they were “ordered or encouraged by their leaders”.

We can also compare Morris’s account of how the village of Lifta came to be emptied of its Arab inhabitants with Ilan Pappé’s. 1984 contains only one mention of Lifta, a single sentence in which Morris characterizes it as another example of how Arabs fled upon the orders of their leadership: “For example, already on 3–4 December 1947 the inhabitants of Lifta, a village on the western edge of Jerusalem, were ordered to send away their women and children (partly in order to make room for incoming militiamen).”[84]

Pappé tells a remarkably different story, describing Lifta, with its population of 2,500, as “one of the very first to be ethnically cleansed”:

Social life in Lifta revolved around a small shipping centre, which included a club and two coffee houses. It attracted Jerusalemites as well, as no doubt it would today were it still there. One of the coffee houses was the target of the Hagana when it attacked on 28 December 1947. Armed with machine guns the Jews sprayed the coffee house, while members of the Stern Gang stopped a bus nearby and began firing into it randomly. This was the first Stern Gang operation in rural Palestine; prior to the attack, the gang had issued pamphlets to its activists: ‘Destroy Arab neighbourhoods and punish Arab villages.’

The involvement of the Stern Gang in the attack on Lifta may have been outside the overall scheme of the Hagana in Jerusalem, according to the Consultancy [i.e., Ben-Gurion and his close advisors], but once it had occurred it was incorporated into the plan. In a pattern that would repeat itself, creating faits accomplis became part of the overall strategy.

The Hagana High Command at first condemned the Stern Gang attack at the end of December, but when they realized that the assault had caused the villagers to flee, they ordered another operation against the same village on 11 January in order to complete the expulsion. The Hagana blew up most of the houses in the village and drove out all the people who were still there.[85]

The lesson learned was also applied in Jerusalem. On February 7, 1948, Ben-Gurion went to see Lifta for himself and that evening reported to a council of the Mapai party in Jerusalem:

When I come now to Jerusalem, I feel I am in a Jewish (Ivrit) city. This is a feeling I only had in Tel-Aviv or in an agricultural farm. It is true that not all of Jerusalem is Jewish, but it has in it already a huge Jewish bloc: when you enter the city through Lifta and Romema, through Mahaneh Yehuda, King George Street and Mea Shearim—there are no Arabs. One hundred percent Jews.

Ever since Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans—the city was not as Jewish as it is now. In many Arab neighbourhoods in the West you do not see even one Arab. I do not suppose it will change. And what happened in Jerusalem and in Haifa—can happen in large parts of the country. If we persist it is quite possible that in the next six or eight months there will be considerable changes in the country, very considerable, and to our advantage. There will certainly be considerable changes in the demographic composition of the country.[86]

Note that all of this happened well before explicit orders were given to destroy villages and expel their inhabitants if anyone resisted occupation by the Zionist forces. From mid-March onward, in Morris’s own words, “In line with Plan D, Arab villages were henceforward to be leveled to prevent their reinvestment by Arab forces; the implication was that their inhabitants were to be expelled and prevented from returning.”[87] The Haganah “embarked on a campaign of clearing areas of Arab inhabitants and militia forces and conquering and leveling villages”.[88] Plan D implemented a

“new policy, of permanently occupying and/or razing villages and of clearing whole areas of Arabs”.[89]

Morris’s contention that what happened wasn’t ethnic cleansing because most Palestinians fled, as opposed to being expelled by the Zionist forces, becomes a moot distinction in light of how, for example, a massacre that occurred in the Arab village of Deir Yassin in April was “amplified through radio broadcasts . . . to encourage a mass Arab exodus from the Jewish state-to-be.”[90]

David Ben-Gurion (center) with Yitzhak Rabin and Yigal Allon during the 1948 war (Israel Defense Forces/CC BY-NC 2.0)

David Ben-Gurion (center) with Yitzhak Rabin and Yigal Allon during the 1948 war (Israel Defense Forces/CC BY-NC 2.0)

In the Galilee, “the Arab inhabitants of the towns of Beit Shean (Beisan) and Safad had to be ‘harassed’ into flight”, according to a planned series of operations conceived in April (“in line with Plan D”, Morris notes). In charge of these operations was the commander of the Palmach, Yigal Allon.[91]

On May 1, two villages north of Safad were captured. Several dozen male prisoners were executed, and the Palmach “proceeded to blow up the two villages as Safad’s Arabs looked on. The bulk of the Third Battalion then moved into the town’s Jewish Quarter and mortared the Arab quarters”, prompting many of Safad’s Arab inhabitants to flee.[92]

After five days, the Arabs sought a truce, which Allon rejected. Even some of the local Jews “sought to negotiate a surrender and demanded that the Haganah leave town. But the Haganah commanders were unbending” and continued pounding Safad with mortars and its arsenal of 3-inch Davidka munitions.

The first of the Davidka bombs, according to Arab sources cited by a Haganah intelligence document, killed 13 Arabs, mostly children, which triggered a panic and further flight. This, of course, was precisely what was “intended by the Palmah commanders when unleashing the mortars against the Arab neighborhoods”—which, “literally overnight, turned into a ‘ghost town’”. In the weeks that followed, “the few remaining Arabs, most of them old and infirm or Christians, were expelled to Lebanon or transferred to Haifa.”[93]

Yigal Allon summed up the purpose of the Palmach’s operations: “We regarded it as imperative to cleanse the interior of the Galilee and create Jewish territorial continuity in the whole of Upper Galilee.” He boasted of how he devised a plan to rid the Galilee of tens of thousands of Arabs without having to actually use force to drive them out. His strategy, which “worked wonderfully”, was to plant rumors that additional reinforcements had arrived “and were about to clean out the villages of the Hula [Valley]”.

 

How Israel bypassed the signed Oslo Accord as if it didn’t ever existed?

By Jonathan Cook September 13, 2018

There will be no anniversary celebrations this week to mark the signing of the Oslo Accords in Washington 25 years ago. It is a silver jubilee for which there will be no street parties, no commemorative mugs, no specially minted coins.

Oslo never died. It is still doing today exactly what it was set up to do

Diana Buttu, Palestinian lawyer and former Palestinian Authority PA adviser

Palestinians have all but ignored the landmark anniversary, while Israel’s commemoration has amounted to little more than a handful of doleful articles in the Israeli press about what went wrong.

The most significant event has been a documentary, The Oslo Diaries, aired on Israeli TV and scheduled for broadcast in the US this week. It charts the events surrounding the creation of the peace accords, signed by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in Washington on 13 September 1993 (And Clinton?).

The euphoria generated by the Norwegian-initiated peace process a quarter of a century ago now seems wildly misplaced to most observers. The promised, phased withdrawals by Israel from the occupied Palestinian territories got stuck at an early stage.

And the powers of the Palestinian Authority, a Palestinian government-in-waiting that came out of Oslo, never rose above managing healthcare and collecting garbage in densely populated Palestinian areas, while coordinating with Israel on security matters.

All the current efforts to draw lessons from these developments have reached the same conclusion: that Oslo was a missed opportunity for peace, that the accords were never properly implemented, and that the negotiations were killed off by Palestinian and Israeli extremists (Mostly Israel since Arafat was in total control of the Palestinian Liberation Organization).

Occupation reorganised

But analysts Middle East Eye has spoken to take a very different view.

“It is wrong to think of Oslo being derailed, or trying to identify the moment the Oslo process died,” says Diana Buttu, a Palestinian lawyer and former adviser to the Palestinian Authority. “Oslo never died. It is still doing today exactly what it was set up to do.”

Michel Warschawski, an Israeli peace activist who developed strong ties with Palestinian leaders in the Oslo years, concurred.

“I , and pretty much everyone else I knew at that time , was taken in by the hype that the occupation was about to end. But in reality, Oslo was about re-organising the occupation, not ending it. It created a new division of labour.

Palestine, Israel and the Oslo Accords: What you need to know

“Rabin didn’t care much about whether the Palestinians got some indicators of sovereignty – a flag and maybe even a seat at the United Nations.

“But Israel was determined to continue controlling the borders, the Palestinians’ resources, the Palestinian economy. Oslo changed the division of labour by sub-contracting the hard part of Israel’s security to the Palestinians themselves.”

The accords were signed in the immediate aftermath of several years of a Palestinian uprising in the occupied territories – the First Intifada – that had proved costly to Israel, both in terms of casualties and treasure.

(Actually, that was the second intifada. the first one occurred in 1935 during the British mandated period and lasted 3 years. England had to dispatch 100,000 troops to quell this mass civil disobedience. The Palestinians wanted municipal elections and England refused them this right on account that the Jews were minority, about 20%)

Under Oslo, Palestinian security forces patrolled the streets of Palestinian cities, overseen by and in close coordination with the Israeli military. The tab, meanwhile, was picked up by Europe and Washington.

In an interview with the Haaretz newspaper last week, Joel Singer, the Israeli government lawyer who helped to draft the accords, conceded as much. Rabin, he said, “thought it would enhance [Israeli] security to have the Palestinians as the ones fighting Hamas”.

That way, as Rabin once observed, the occupation would no longer be accountable to the “bleeding hearts” of the Israeli supreme court and Israel’s active human rights community.

Less than statehood

The widespread assumption that Oslo would lead to a Palestinian state was also mistaken, Buttu says.

She notes that nowhere in the accords was there mention of the occupation, a Palestinian state, or freedom for the Palestinians. And no action was specified against Israel’s illegal settlements – the chief obstacle to Palestinian statehood.

Instead, the stated goal of the Oslo process was implementation of two outstanding United Nations resolutions – 242 and 338. The first concerned the withdrawal of the Israeli army from “territories” occupied in the 1967 war, while the second urged negotiations leading to a “just and durable peace”.

“I spoke to both Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas [his successor as Palestinian president] about this,” said Buttu. “Their view was that clearer language, on Palestinian statehood and independence, would never have got past Rabin’s coalition.

“So Arafat treated resolutions 242 and 338 as code words. The Palestinian leadership referred to Oslo as a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’. Their approach was beyond naïve; it was reckless. They behaved like amateurs.”

Asad Ghanem, a politics professor at Haifa University and expert on Palestinian nationalism, said the Palestinian leadership was aware from the outset that Israel was not offering real statehood.

“In his memoirs, Ahmed Qurei [one of the key architects of Oslo on the Palestinian side] admitted his shock when he started meetings with the Israeli team,” says Ghanem.

“Uri Savir [Israel’s chief negotiator] said outright that Israel did not favour a Palestinian state, and that something less was being offered. The Israelis’ attitude was ‘Take it or leave it’.

Sympathy with settlers

All the analysts agreed that a lack of good faith on Israel’s part was starkly evident from the start, especially over the issue of the settlements.

Noticeably, rather than halt or reverse the expansion of the settlements during the supposed five-year transition period, Oslo allowed the settler population to grow at a dramatically accelerated rate.

The near-doubling of settler numbers in the West Bank and Gaza to 200,000 by the late 1990s was explained by Alan Baker, a legal adviser to Israel’s foreign ministry after 1996 and a settler himself, in an interview in 2003.

Most of the settlements were portrayed to the Israeli public as Israeli “blocs”, outside the control of the newly created PA.

With the signing of the accords, Baker said, “we are no longer an occupying power, but we are instead present in the territories with their [the Palestinians’] consent and subject to the outcome of negotiations.”

Recent interviews with settler leaders by Haaretz hint too at the ideological sympathy between Rabin’s supposedly leftist government and the settler movement.

Settlers demonstrate in November 1993 against Oslo (AFP)

Israel Harel, who then headed the Yesha Council, the settlers’ governing body, described Rabin as “very accessible”. He pointed out that Zeev Hever, another settler leader, sat with Israeli military planners as they created an “Oslo map”, carving up the West Bank into various areas of control.

Referring to settlements that most had assumed would be dismantled under the accords, Harel noted: “When [Hever] was accused [by other settlers] of cooperating, he would say he saved us from disaster. They [the Israeli army] marked areas that could have isolated settlements and made them disappear.”

Israel’s Oslo lawyer, Joel Singer, confirmed the Israeli leadership’s reluctance to address the issue of the settlements.

“We fought with the Palestinians, on Rabin and [Shimon] Peres’ orders, against a [settlement] freeze,” he told Haaretz. “It was a serious mistake to permit the settlements to continue to race ahead.”

Rabin’s refusal to act

Neve Gordon, a politics professor at Ben Gurion University in Israel’s south, says the critical test of Rabin’s will to tackle the settlements came less than a year into the Oslo process. It was then that Baruch Goldstein, a settler, killed and wounded more than 150 Palestinians at worship in the Palestinian city of Hebron.

“That gave Rabin the chance to remove the 400 extremist settlers who were embedded in the centre of Hebron,” Gordon told MEE. “But he didn’t act. He let them stay.”

Palestinians carry the bodies of dead worshippers killed by Baruch Goldstein in Hebron (AFP)

The lack of response from Israel fuelled a campaign of Hamas “revenge” suicide bombings that in turn were used by Israel to justify a refusal to withdraw from more of the occupied territories.

Warschawski says Rabin could have dismantled the settlements if he had acted quickly. “The settlers were in disarray in the early stages of Oslo, but he didn’t move against them.”

After Rabin’s assassination in late 1995, his successor Shimon Peres, also widely identified as an architect of the Oslo process, changed tactics, according to Warschawski. “Peres preferred to emphasise internal reconciliation [between Israelis], rather than reconciliation with the Palestinians. After that, the religious narrative of the extremist settlers came to dominate.”

That would lead a few months later to the electoral triumph of the right under Benjamin Netanyahu.

The demographic differential

Although Netanyahu campaigned vociferously against the Oslo Accords, they proved perfect for his kind of rejectionist politics, says Gordon.

Under cover of vague promises about Palestinian statehood, “Israel was able to bolster the settlement project,” in Gordon’s view. “The statistics show that, when there are negotiations, the demographic growth of the settler population in the West Bank increases. The settlements get rapidly bigger. And when there is an intifada, they slow down.

“So Oslo was ideal for Israel’s colonial project.”

It was not only that, under the pressure of Oslo, religious settlers ran to “grab the hilltops”, as a famous army general and later prime minister, Ariel Sharon, put it. Gordon pointed to a strategy by the government of recruiting a new type of settler during the initial Oslo years.

In the early 1990s, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Sharon and others had tried to locate Russian-speaking new immigrants in large settlements like Ariel, in the central West Bank. “The problem was that many of the Russians had only one child,” says Gordon.

Israel was able to bolster the settlement project… Oslo was ideal for Israel’s colonial project

– Neve Gordon, politics professor at Ben Gurion University

So instead, Israel began moving the ultra-Orthodox into the occupied territories. These fundamentalist religious Jews, Israel’s poorest community, typically have seven or eight children. They were desperate for housing solutions, noted Gordon, and the government readily provided incentives to lure them into two new ultra-Orthodox settlements, Modiin Ilit and Beitar Illit.

“After that, Israel didn’t need to recruit lots of new settlers,” Gordon says. “It just needed to buy time with the Oslo process and the settler population would grow of its own accord.

“The ultra-Orthodox became Israel’s chief demographic weapon. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers have on average two more children than Palestinians – that demographic differential has an enormous impact over time.”

Palestinian dependency

Buttu pointed to another indicator of how Israel never intended the Oslo Accords to lead to a Palestinian state. Shortly before Oslo, from 1991 onwards, Israel introduced much more severe restrictions on movement, including an increasingly sophisticated permit system.

“Movement from Gaza to the West Bank became possible only in essential cases,” she says. “It stopped being a right.”

That process, Ghanem noted, has been entrenched over the past quarter century, and ultimately led to a complete physical and ideological separation between Gaza and the West Bank, now ruled respectively by Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah.

Gordon observed that Oslo’s economic arrangements, governed by the 1995 Paris Protocol, stripped the Palestinians of financial autonomy too.

“The Palestinians did not get their own currency, they had to use the Israeli shekel. And a customs union made the Palestinians a dependent market for Israeli goods and empowered Israel to collect import duties on behalf of the PA. Refusing to transfer that money was a stick Israel has regularly wielded against the Palestinians.”

According to the analysts, those Palestinian leaders like Arafat who were allowed by the Oslo process to return from exile in Tunisia – sometimes referred to as the “outsiders” – were completely ignorant of the situation on the ground.

On 12 September 1993, Yasser Arafat leaves Tunis for Oslo signing ceremony in Washington, DC (AFP)

Gordon, who was at that time head of Israel’s branch of Physicians for Human Rights, recalled meeting young Palestinian-Americans and Canadians in Cairo to discuss the coming health arrangements the PA would be responsible for.

“They were bright and well-educated, but they were clueless about what was happening on the ground. They had no idea what demands to make of Israel,” he says.

“Israel, on the other hand, had experts who knew the situation intimately.”

Warschawski has similar recollections. He took a senior Palestinian recently arrived from Tunis on a tour of the settlements. The official sat in his car in stunned silence for the whole journey.

“They knew the numbers but they had no idea how deeply entrenched the settlements were, how integrated they were into Israeli society,” he says. “It was then that they started to understand the logic of the settlements for the first time, and appreciate what Israel’s real intentions were.”

Lured into a trap

Warschawski noted that the only person in his circle who rejected the hype around the Oslo Accords from the very beginning was Matti Peled, a general turned peace activist who knew Rabin well.

“When we met for discussions about the Oslo Accords, Matti laughed at us. He said there would be no Oslo, there would be no process that would lead to peace.”

They couldn’t move forward towards statehood because Israel blocked their way. But equally, they couldn’t back away from the peace process either

– Asad Ghanem, politics professor at Haifa University

Ghanem says the Palestinian leadership eventually realised that they had been lured into a trap.

“They couldn’t move forward towards statehood, because Israel blocked their way,” he says. “But equally, they couldn’t back away from the peace process either. They didn’t dare dismantle the PA, and so Israel came to control Palestinian politics.

“If Abbas leaves, someone else will take over the PA and its role will continue.”

Why did the Palestinian leadership enter the Oslo process without taking greater precautions?

According to Buttu, Arafat had reasons to feel insecure about being outside Palestine, along with other PLO leaders living in exile in Tunisia, in ways that he hoped Oslo would solve.

“He wanted a foot back in Palestine,” she says. “He felt very threatened by the ‘inside’ leadership, even though they were loyal to him. The First Intifada had shown they could lead an uprising and mobilise the people without him.

“He also craved international recognition and legitimacy.”

Trench warfare

According to Gordon, Arafat believed he would eventually be able to win concessions from Israel.

“He viewed it as trench warfare. Once he was in historic Palestine, he would move forward trench by trench.”

Warschawski noted that Arafat and other Palestinian leaders had told him they believed they would have significant leverage over Israel.

“Their view was that Israel would end the occupation in exchange for normalisation with the Arab world. Arafat saw himself as the bridge that would provide the recognition Israel wanted. His attitude was that Rabin would have to kiss his hand in return for such an important achievement.

“He was wrong.”

Yasser Arafat and Yitzahk Rabin shake hands for the first time at the Oslo signing ceremony on 13 September 1993 (AFP)

Gordon pointed to the early Oslo discourse about an economic dividend, in which it was assumed that peace would open up trade for Israel with the Arab world while turning Gaza into the Singapore of the Middle East.

The “peace dividend”, however, was challenged by an equally appealing “war dividend”.

“Even before 9/11, Israel’s expertise in the realms of security and technology proved profitable. Israel realised there was lots of money to be made in fighting terror.”

In fact, Israel managed to take advantage of both the peace and war dividends.

Thanks to Oslo, Israel became normalised in the region, while paradoxically the Palestinians found themselves transformed into the foreign object

– Diana Buttu, Palestinian lawyer and former PA adviser

Buttu noted that more than 30 countries, including Morocco and Oman, developed diplomatic or economic relations with Israel as a result of the Oslo Accords. The Arab states relented on their boycott and anti-normalisation policies, and major foreign corporations no longer feared being penalised by the Arab world for trading with Israel.

“Israel’s peace treaty with Jordan [in 1994] could never have happened without Oslo,” she says.

“Instead of clear denunciations of the occupation, the Palestinians were saddled with the language of negotiations and compromises for peace.

“The Palestinians became a charity case, seeking handouts from the Arab world so that the PA could help with the maintenance of the occupation rather than leading the resistance.

“Thanks to Oslo, Israel became normalised in the region, while paradoxically the Palestinians found themselves transformed into the foreign object.”

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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