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Saturday, December 27, 2014

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Palestinian indifference to Palestinian suffering

Tags: Editorial
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Like a string of three shining pearls held up against the sun, three discrete reports last week from Palestinian sources cast new revelations, if not actual new light, on the way their leaders treat their own people and truth.

• Each for different reasons, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have spurned requests from the United Nations to take in some of the Palestinians fleeing for their lives from Syria.  

Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader of Gaza, justified his refusal on ideology: he wants his suffering brethren to resettle in Israel. The PA explained its shrug of the indifferent shoulder on the basis of funds: it cannot afford to receive them.

• Yasser Arafat’s widow, Suha, told Dubai TV that her husband had indeed planned the second intifadah all along. The Palestine Liberation Organization leader would not agree to the pleas and entreaties of U.S. president Bill Clinton and Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak to finally, peacefully, end the conflict. As Suha disclosed, her much venerated husband viewed negotiation and compromise as “betray[ing] the Palestinian cause.”

• The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics published figures stating that by the year 2020, there will be more Arabs than Jews in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinian figures may or may not be accurate. But they are the proverbial red herring: the only figures that count are the number of Jews in the State of Israel.

Israel has already separated from Gaza. The majority of Israelis wish to separate from the West Bank, too. They know it is the moral and pragmatically correct solution for truly ensuring the safety, security and Jewish majority of the Jewish state. But they seek a means of doing so that very distinctly does not follow the Gaza withdrawal precedent. That means separation, that is, a two-state solution, must be negotiated. However, the PA refuses to negotiate.

Over the past four years, the PA has demanded the right to dictate the terms under which negotiations must begin. And it has cleverly manipulated world opinion into providing diplomatic cover for its own refusal to sit at the table with Israel. 

Thus it is especially disingenuous and exceptionally cloying to read former PA official Hanan Ashrawi say: “If the situation [the demographic trends according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics] carries on this way, at the end we’ll be a majority, but we’re giving the Israelis a chance to understand the Palestinians could have their own democratic country that would neighbour Israel.” Her statement is entirely hollow. It is aimed at a fawning foreign media and diplomatic corps. It is her very own PA of Mahmoud Abbas (and Arafat before him) that has refused from the first to give birth through peaceful means of a democratic country. Indeed it even refuses today to provide safe harbour for the wretched Palestinians trying to flee Syria.

Palestinian leaders continue to ill serve their people.

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