Sunday, September 19, 2010

Three Palestinian Leaders Back Out Of Peace Partner Videos

You can imagine how they feel about the peace talks.

I've been thinking about my last post, If Europe Is So Eager To Support Peace Groups In Israel, Why Does It Support Incitement In The West Bank?

There really is a huge discrepancy between the nature of the funding for 'peace initiatives' by third party groups in Israel and the West Bank. The fact that--as noted in the Wall Street Journal article about Funding Palestinian Incitement--European funding goes toward activities that discourage reconciliation with Israel and increase hatred, brings up the question:

Is Europe is focused only on creating a second Palestinian state without consideration for the repercussions or maintenance--or is the EU merely as corrupt and incompetent as the Palestinian Authority it insists on aiding.
Not much choice there.

The latest Geneva Initiative highlights the same problem--USAID funds videos of Palestinian leaders with the message: "I am your partner. Are you my partner?"

Some of those Palestinian "partners" have already begun to back out:

Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat didn't want to give the impression he was apologizing:
"Unfortunately, my statements were changed... as if I were apologizing to the Israeli nation. This is the opposite to what I said,” Erekat declared. “I was speaking as a negotiator and I mean that as Palestinian and Israeli negotiators we had been unable to come up with a solution after many years.

"I never intended to say sorry to the Israeli nation; they are the ones who should be sorry for what they have done to Palestinians and the practices that have humiliated our nation. Palestinians are the nation who deserve an apology."
And Erekat is not alone:
Already faced with widespread criticism from Arabs for even agreeing to talk with Israel, PA leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad asked the Geneva Initiative to remove their pictures from the campaign promotion.
The group behind this initiative has a website which features excerpts of media reaction to the program--it includes an excerpt from Time's recent article by Karl Vick:
Gadi Baltiansky, of the pro-peace Geneva Initiative that made the videos, argues that the moderate Palestinians in them will not be around much longer.
I'll bet even he didn't know how right he was.

What is interesting is that while there is word that, "USAID is also funding a parallel campaign aimed at a Palestinian audience"--there is no indication that there currently is any parallel campaign going on in the West Bank.

If Abbas is such a moderate, where is his base? Where are the pro-peace groups in the West Bank?

For that matter, does 'peace' mean the same thing in the Arab world that it does everywhere else--or are the Arabs thinking along the lines of a hudna, as Jon Schiller describes in Internet View Of The Arabic World:
In January 2004, senior Hamas leader Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi offered a 10-year hudna in return for complete withdrawal from all territories captured in the Six Day War, and the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. Rantissi said the hudna was limited to ten years and represented a decision by the movement because it was "difficult to liberate all our land at this stage; the hudna would however not signal a recognition of the state of Israel."
The US and Europe can walk away from the mess they are so eager to foist upon the region.
Not everyone is so lucky.

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