Zvi Schuldiner: Palestine Tomorrow

Unless the occupation ends, no hope of peace in sight, no matter who’s sitting at the Moqata

Thanks once again to Claudio of Al-Awda Italia for forwarding this article (an excerpt of which can be found in its original Italian in il manifesto, although Claudio has forwarded a much longer article). I think it’s worth it to read in English, and I have searched like mad to find a copy of it someplace, but not being able to, I’ve translated salient portions of the article by Zvi Schuldiner.

Palestine Tomorrow

The election of Abu Mazen doesn’t mean that the peace negotiations are immanent. The political writers who think that the process has changed are committing a fundamental error: the death of president Arafat really does open up a new chapter in the history of the region, but it is important to clarify that the problem of peace is not related to the errors or the politics of Arafat.

The essential problem was, and will be the problem of Israeli military occupation.

In a certain sense, the Palestinian elections take us away from the heart of the problem and make us forget what the essential elements of the problem are. Terrorism, criminal and condemnable, or the declarations of Arafat, intelligent, mistaken or stupid, were nothing more than the inevitable and necessary result of the occupation.

In the past years the occupation has become ever more cruel and violent. It has not been the Israelis alone who have paid the price of terrorism, but also the thousands of Palestinians who have been killed have paid the price of Israeli State terrorism.

The occupation hasn’t only meant death, invalidity, thousands of injured: the occupation means the systematic destruction of Palestinian society, of its political institutions, of its economy, the elimination of the weak “public order forces” that despite its 60 thousand officers, was nothing more than a pure economic value.

The occupation means razed fields, enormous unemployment, hunger and misery, destroyed homes and a gigantic Wall of Hate that in the name of the War on Terrorism, feeds yet more hate and a spirit of vendetta in the hearts of three million Palestinians who are crowded into the enormous prisons of the occupation.

Will Abu Mazen perhaps lead the Palestinian people without taking into account some claims that are basic, essential, elementary to a people under occupation? In the immediate future, it is foreseeable that the new Palestinian leader will concentrate himself on some of the natural objectives of a period of transition. The liberation of the prisoners and a probable withdrawal of Israel to the confines of the beginning of this second Intifada, those would be the immediate objectives. But the problem remains: a true peace passes only through the withdrawal to the borders of 1967.

The Israeli government that will swear in in the coming hours, will play the round of a unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. To the demagogy of a “man of peace” like Sharon we will today unite the deceitful rhetoric of a Peres who will continue to be illuded by his own words and by the vicinity to power.

This will be part of a serious conflict in Israeli society, it will have a positive symbolic effect if it actually will bring about the evacuation of the Israeli settlers, but it is far from being a peace program. Worse still: if the clashes that the extreme right of Israel become reinforced, this will put an end to a real peace process for many years to come.

We are dealing with two new governments, the international presence in the Middle East is today stronger than ever, although all of this risks being a jolly festival in which the essential parametres of the conflict are forgotten, as well as the necessity to reach a negotiated peace that will before all else put an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory since 1967.

Dr. Zvi Schuldiner is head of the Department of Policy and Public Administration at Sapir Academic College in the Negev (Israel)

The Italian Al-Awda list is one of the best discussion groups of Pro-Palestinian activists that I’ve ever come across. Makes me glad I speak the language and proud to be in contact with such very good people. I want to share one of yesterday’s comments from forum member Claudio which I’ve translated into English.

“I’m almost filled with terror to find myself trying to critically evaluate the election of Mazen…. Schuldiner has comforted me: Abu Mazen has the same probabilities of success as Arafat did, because the problems themselves are the same (rather: they have only worsened in the course of time) and it doesn’t depend upn the will of this, that or the other Palestinian leader but on the American and Zionist strategies of the New Middle East and Greater Israel.

The much tauted exchange for security with the accords for a cease fire did not move the problem of problems ahead even one millimetre: the OCCUPATION that Israel has and the maintenance of these territories with Nazi methods (destruction, incarceration, nerve gas, targetted assassinations, killings in the refugee camps, raids and searches, the Wall of hate….)

There will be the legislative elections and the new Palestinian government: if Dahlan becomes the responsible for the reformed security services we are back where we were: a lot of talk and a much stronger control by the CIA and the Mossad over the Palestinian police force…..(meanwhile: Ramallah, 11 January – the councellor for National Security of the president of the Palestinian National Authority Jibril Rajoub has given his resignation. Rajoub was called to assume the post of Yasser Arafat. It is unclear of his resignation is an attempt to offer the newly elected Abu Mazen the opportunity to restructure the security services or if it is a polemic gesture.)

Al Jazeera revealed that Rajoub met Mohammed Dahlan, former responsible for internal security of the Abu Mazen government on 11 January. The two have never had idyllic relations. The meeting was meant to serve to repair any misunderstanding. In the meantime, the National Security Council, now overseen by the prime minister Ahmed Qurei, has prepared a reform project that in the next few dys will reunite into three organisms the numerous sectors of the Palestinian services: it is a reform that has been solicited by both the Palestinians as well as on an international level during the era of Arafat.

Meanwhile there is a government crisis in Israel: the executive has been saved by the Parliament, but outside there are 20,000 settlers on the war path against the plans of withdrawal from Gaza…


2 responses to “Zvi Schuldiner: Palestine Tomorrow

  1. This guy is a fool. The Pals want all of Israel.

    Poll: 59% of Palestinians support continuation of terror after state is created
    Oct. 22, 2003 | By JANINE ZACHARIA

    Fifty-nine percent of Palestinians believe that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad should continue their armed struggle against Israel even if Israel leaves all of the West Bank and Gaza, including East Jerusalem, and a Palestinian state is created, a new survey shows.

    Similarly, 80 percent of Palestinians say that, under those circumstances, the Palestinians should not give up the “right of return.”

    The poll of Palestinians, Israeli Jews, and Israeli Arabs was released in Washington on Wednesday by Itamar Marcus, founder of Palestinian Media Watch and written by pollster Frank Luntz. It was conducted by two polling firms, the Public Opinion Research of Israel and The Palestinian Center for Public Opinion.

    The poll also examined Israeli and Palestinian attitudes towards the US and towards terrorism.

    Nintey-six percent of Israeli Jews say the people who piloted the planes on September 11 were terrorists, while 37 percent of Palestinians share that view.

    Slightly more than one in four – 26 percent – of Palestinians believe Israelis planned the 9-11 attacks.

    Forty-two percent of Palestinians and 61 percent of Israeli-Arabs stated that they support the people who are attacking Americans in Iraq. Zero percent of Israeli Jews said they did.

    Marcus said he believes such opinions are “not coming from a vacuum” and that the survey demonstrates a “connection between Palestinian media and education and Palestinian beliefs and opinions.”

    During the Iraq war, Palestinian Authority-sponsored television glorified the killing of American soldiers, a theme that has continued until now in various media, Marcus said.

    Article 2.
    Poll: Most Palestinians support terror attacks [60%]
    Jerusalem Newswire ^ | September 3, 2003

    (jnewswire.com) – A public survey conducted by the Office of Palestinian Information last week shows a solid majority of Palestinian Arabs support terrorist attacks against Israeli Jews. Nearly all of those polled said they absolutely oppose the detention of terrorists belonging to groups such as Hamas and the Palestine Islamic Jihad by PA forces. The poll

    The poll was conducted among a random sampling of 1,102 Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza from August 21-28, and was reported in the Hebrew edition of the leftist Israeli daily newspaper Ha’aretz Wednesday.

    Some 60.2 percent of respondents said they supported ongoing terrorist attacks against Israel, and 56 percent felt such attacks serve Palestinian “national interests.”

    An overwhelming 88.8 percent opposed curbing terrorism by detaining those Palestinians responsible for the violence. Nearly 80 percent were against the PA’s recent decision to freeze contacts with Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Ha’aretz correspondent Arnon Regular noted the poll was part of a normal program used by Palestinian decision makers.

    Was Washington wrong?

    The results of the poll appear to strongly contradict Washington’s commonly expressed “belief” that the Palestinian public opposes terror and would support Palestinian compliance with a reasonable peace plan, the IMRA news agency noted. US President George W. Bush has on several occasions referred to the Palestinian killers of Jewish men, women and children as an outcast few who do not represent the majority of “peace-loving” Palestinians.

  2. Meir Kahane.

    The U.S should no longer support Israel, when…

    Sharon suspends all elections and plans a decade of unquestioned rule.

    All Israeli television and newspapers are censored by the Likud party.

    Israeli hit teams enter the West Bank with the precise intention of targeting and blowing up Arab women and children.

    Israeli children are apprehended with bombs under their shirts on their way to the West Bank to murder Palestinian families.

    Israeli crowds rush into the street to dip their hands into the blood of their dead and march en masse chanting mass murder to the Palestinians.

    Rabbis give public sermons in which they characterize Palestinians as the children of pigs and monkeys.

    Rabbis tell Israelis when you kill Arab civilians you will be rewarded with 72 virgins.

    Israeli school textbooks state that Arabs engage in blood sacrifice and ritual murders.

    Mainstream Israeli politicians, without public rebuke, call for the destruction of Palestinians on the West Bank and the end to Arab society there.

    Likud party members routinely lynch and execute their opponents without trial.

    Jewish fundamentalists execute with impunity women found guilty of adultery on grounds that they are impugning the “honor” of the family.

    Israeli mobs with impunity tear apart Palestinian policemen held in detention.

    Israeli television broadcasts—to the tune of patriotic music—the last taped messages of Jewish suicide bombers who have slaughtered dozens of Arabs.
    Jewish marchers parade in the streets with their children dressed up as suicide bombers, replete with plastic suicide-bombing vests.

    Steven Spielberg post $25,000 dollars for every Palestinian blown up by Israeli murderers.

    Israeli militants murder a Jew by accident and then apologize on grounds that they though he was an Arab—to the silence of Israeli society.

    Jews enter Arab villages in Israel to machine gun women and children.

    Israeli public figures routinely threaten the United States with terror attacks.

    Jewish assassins murder American diplomats and are given de facto sanctuary by Israeli society.

    Israeli citizens celebrate news that 3,000 Americans have been murdered.

    Israeli citizens express support for Iraqis dragging burned American bodies through the streets and hanging them from bridges.

    Israelis citizens scream God is great, after hearing that Israeli terrorists chopped the head off a Palestinian.

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