The meeting that took place in Nablus on Sunday the 4th of November 2012 between Palestinian Oligarchs and officials from the office of Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli investors and businessmen, mainly those heavily invested in Jewish Settlements, was not out of the blue. It set the pace for Secretary John Kerry of “economic initiative” in lieu of ending the Jewish Occupation.
Contrary to public claims, the Palestinian leadership past (Arafat) and present (Abbas) was never interested in liberation, let alone ending the Jewish Occupation. Oslo and subsequent actions since then can only confirm this. It is all about business and the windfall the continued Jewish Occupations brings to the Palestinian leadership, leaders and cadre of “Fasa’el” and of course to the Palestinian Oligarchs.
The Palestinian leadership never put in place a popular plan (civil disobedience and popular civil uprising) that will help bring about the end of the longest occupation in modern history. Rather the Palestinian leadership is working hard to perpetuate its existence even if more and more land is taken over for Jewish settlements and security areas.
While the likes of Dr. Mohmoud Ishtayeh, Fatah leader in Nablus denounce such meeting with the likes of Rami Levy, the owner of the largest supermarkets in Jewish Settlements, his boss Mahmoud Abbas dispatch his top economic aid to attend such meeting, a meeting that also saw the attendance of Amr Mousa of Egypt and Abdesalam Almajali the former Jordanian foreign minister and Robert Serry the UN coordinator.
The meeting that took place in the home of Palestinian billionaire Munib Almasri was dubbed” breaking the freeze”, with the idea of creating a” coalition of Arab and Israeli ‘Notables’ working together to move forward the Arab Peace process.
Last April 25, 2013 Secretary of State John Kerry announced such plans after receiving the green light from Bibi Netanyahu. The “economic initiatives” is to induce big international corporations to invest in projects in the “occupied territories” in infrastructures, high technology and transportation in addition to telecommunications.
Not so sure how this plan will work when Israel have over 550 different security check points almost every few kilometers where Palestinians are horded like Texas cattle’s as they are processed through metal revolving gates and where many women died while waiting to go to a clinic on the other side and where Palestinians have to wait hours if not days to pass through.
Israel not only hinder Palestinians access to their homes and farms it does not allow a G3 applications and signs pointing this issue went up during President Barack Obama brief visit to Ramallah.
When Arafat and the PLO leadership came back to Ramallah to manage the Jewish Occupation, Arafat unlike drunken Yeltsin, a sober Arafat gave the Palestinian Oligarchs the run on all key economies and went further by giving certain security officials a monopoly on certain energy sectors resulting in the milking of hundreds of millions of dollars from poor consumers. Arafat corrupted the entire economy of the Occupied Territories.
More troubling is the lack of any credible plans by the Palestinians leadership to disengage from the Israeli economy. Dr. Nabil Sha’ath who negotiated the Paris Agreement did not do such a good job perpetuating the overwhelming control of Israel of all economic aspects in the Occupied Territories.
Over the years and since Oslo and with a lack of both a political let alone economic plans, the Palestinian leadership and authority made the rich richer and the poor much much poorer.
The biggest beneficiary of the budget goes to the Palestinian Security forces (35%) much more than the combined budget for health, education, transportation and social services. Keep in mind that such security forces could not and dare not protect Palestinian villages from the daily attacks by armed Jewish settler terrorists. Who come as they wish vandalize mosques and churches, destroy farms, uproot century old olive trees and poisoning water well, all under the closed eyes of the Palestinian security forces established to protect the Occupation and the Ramallah regime.
Prior to the Second Intifada, Israel became the largest single employer of Palestinian labors and the Palestinian leadership was only too happy for being the largest and key labor suppliers of unskilled labor to Israel and never thought of an alternative plans.
The Palestinian leadership failed at every thing it set out to do. It failed at liberation, it failed at ending the occupation, failed at building governing institutions, failed at disengaging Palestinian economy from the Israeli economy, failed at ending the continued expansion of Jewish settlements, failed at bringing down the Apartheid Wall (though it had a court ruling), failed at creating a transparent and clean government with corruption, “connections and nepotism” and fleecing of citizens at the different key agency continue to be the rule.
The only beneficiaries of such “breaking the freeze” or “economic initiatives” are the Palestinian Oligarchs who already have chocking hold on key economies while hundreds of thousands of people remain below poverty lines and with hundreds of thousand remain hostage to the monthly salary and the monthly mortgage and consumers loans.
Not so sure what would be the economic benefits to the people when Coca-Cola commits to investing a billion dollars and who but the owners of the franchise are the beneficiaries.
Already the Arab League is behind such an “economic initiatives” and recently gave Israel added incentives allowing the trade off of prime Palestinian territories in exchange for toxic waste dump. With this present leadership there is no hope forever ending the Jewish Occupation.
The leadership, its allies in the business community and in the NGO networks are the prime beneficiaries of the continued Jewish Occupation and the “economic initiative” is an added reward to a Palestinian leadership that failed at every thing.
More troubling is the commitment made with the approval of the Palestinian leadership that “Palestine” will never file legal charges against Israel for past, present and future crimes.
Sami, a Palestinian-American and a US Army Veteran (66-68), recipient of the “soldier of the month award and leadership award from the 6th Army NCO Academy, is an international legal and business consultant with over 40 years of international experience, in construction, hospitality services, conservation, and defense, in the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa. Sami is a holder of BA, MPA in Public and Environmental Affairs, Jurist Doctor from Indiana University. While at IU he was elected class president, student government president and chairman of the Indiana Students Association,
Active in peace movement as a co-author of the pre-amble for the One State for All of its people and voluntary service program SalamNation. A frequent contributor on national and international affairs. He resides in the United States.