Under Sharon’s conditions the Palestinian people do not want their leader Yasser Arafat to attend the Arab Summit

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Bassam Abu-Sharif is a special advisor to President Arafat.

by

Bassam Abu-Sharif

Palestinians and Israelis alike have no doubt that Sharon’s military campaign to subdue the Palestinian people has failed. The commentaries and articles being published in the right wing and center newspapers, which will indicate the clear conclusion of the Israeli military campaign � failure, are merely a reflection of the increase of this feeling among the Israeli public.

Palestinians and Israelis alike have no doubt that Sharon’s military campaign to subdue the Palestinian people has failed. The commentaries and articles being published in the right wing and center newspapers, which will indicate the clear conclusion of the Israeli military campaign � failure, are merely a reflection of the increase of this feeling among the Israeli public.

 

The increased activities of those opposing the military campaign and demanding a withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, is yet another proof of this growing feeling in the Israeli street that elected Sharon as Prime Minister.

The increased activities of those opposing the military campaign and demanding a withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, is yet another proof of this growing feeling in the Israeli street that elected Sharon as Prime Minister.

 

The steadfastness of the Palestinian people, who have paid and are paying still a heavy price with the blood of their children and their institutions, is the main factor that has made failure the destiny of Sharon’s barbaric and destructive campaign in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. These sacrifices prompted the international community to express outrage at Sharon’s military campaign and the abuse that the Israeli occupation forces continues to carry out against the Palestinian people. This is what prompted the American administration to push General Zinni into the region once again to save Sharon on the one hand, and to soften its embarrassment before Arab regimes, that have close political and mutual interest ties with Washington, on the other.

The steadfastness of the Palestinian people, who have paid and are paying still a heavy price with the blood of their children and their institutions, is the main factor that has made failure the destiny of Sharon’s barbaric and destructive campaign in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. These sacrifices prompted the international community to express outrage at Sharon’s military campaign and the abuse that the Israeli occupation forces continues to carry out against the Palestinian people. This is what prompted the American administration to push General Zinni into the region once again to save Sharon on the one hand, and to soften its embarrassment before Arab regimes, that have close political and mutual interest ties with Washington, on the other.

 

This steadfastness prompted the European Union countries to issue the Lisbon declaration that defined the official European stand, supporting the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the lands occupied by Israel in 1967.

This steadfastness prompted the European Union countries to issue the Lisbon declaration that defined the official European stand, supporting the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the lands occupied by Israel in 1967.

 

The steadfastness of the Palestinian people also prompted the Security Council to pass a historic resolution, for the first time since 1967, for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, without the U.S. using its right to Veto.

The steadfastness of the Palestinian people also prompted the Security Council to pass a historic resolution, for the first time since 1967, for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, without the U.S. using its right to Veto.

 

In this atmosphere, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney arrived in Israel. Sharon received him in a manner above and beyond that demanded by protocol. He did this in an attempt to give the Israelis the impression that he still had full American sponsorship and enjoyed absolute American support. This of course is not true by all objective standards.

In this atmosphere, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney arrived in Israel. Sharon received him in a manner above and beyond that demanded by protocol. He did this in an attempt to give the Israelis the impression that he still had full American sponsorship and enjoyed absolute American support. This of course is not true by all objective standards.

 

The United States firmly requested of Israel to withdraw its troops immediately and completely from Palestinian Authority controlled areas that Israel had reoccupied during the past three weeks. The U.S. also insisted on the immediate implementation of the Tenet plan, without wasting effort on the seven-day rule that Sharon was using to continue in his military campaign and to not abide by the cease-fire.

The United States firmly requested of Israel to withdraw its troops immediately and completely from Palestinian Authority controlled areas that Israel had reoccupied during the past three weeks. The U.S. also insisted on the immediate implementation of the Tenet plan, without wasting effort on the seven-day rule that Sharon was using to continue in his military campaign and to not abide by the cease-fire.

 

The American administration also defined an unequivocal stand regarding Yasser Arafat. It rejects Sharon’s request that Arafat be considered a terrorist, and that the U.S. should boycott him, take away his legitimacy and not negotiate with him, but negotiate instead with other Palestinian leaders.

The American administration also defined an unequivocal stand regarding Yasser Arafat. It rejects Sharon’s request that Arafat be considered a terrorist, and that the U.S. should boycott him, take away his legitimacy and not negotiate with him, but negotiate instead with other Palestinian leaders.

 

Dick Cheney’s announcement that he would meet with Arafat came to confirm the American administration’s refusal to boycott President Yasser Arafat as Sharon wishes.

Dick Cheney’s announcement that he would meet with Arafat came to confirm the American administration’s refusal to boycott President Yasser Arafat as Sharon wishes.

 

It is essential that we point out here that this evaluation does not mean that Sharon will abide by the cease-fire, or that the occupation army is not capable of reoccupying the West Bank and Gaza Strip once again or inflicting more losses upon the Palestinians and their properties. The Palestinians did not wage war against Israel, so you cannot say that they won or were defeated. They defended themselves to the death and paid a heavy price to thwart Sharon’s attack and his war against them, their towns, villages and camps.

It is essential that we point out here that this evaluation does not mean that Sharon will abide by the cease-fire, or that the occupation army is not capable of reoccupying the West Bank and Gaza Strip once again or inflicting more losses upon the Palestinians and their properties. The Palestinians did not wage war against Israel, so you cannot say that they won or were defeated. They defended themselves to the death and paid a heavy price to thwart Sharon’s attack and his war against them, their towns, villages and camps.

 

The real question in this context is what did Sharon achieve from his barbaric military campaign, and not what has the Intifada achieved. It is from this that Sharon’s announcements, during the joint press conference with U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, came � his announcement of his conditions for the implementation of the Tenet plan, and for allowing Yasser Arafat to travel to attend the Arab summit in Beirut, and his conditions for allowing his return.

The real question in this context is what did Sharon achieve from his barbaric military campaign, and not what has the Intifada achieved. It is from this that Sharon’s announcements, during the joint press conference with U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, came � his announcement of his conditions for the implementation of the Tenet plan, and for allowing Yasser Arafat to travel to attend the Arab summit in Beirut, and his conditions for allowing his return.

 

Sharon declared, before Cheney, that he would propose the American ideas that were presented to him to his ministerial cabinet for them to make a decision regarding them. By this announcement Sharon wanted to make his government coalition think that he is not submitting to American pressure, and that the government coalition is the decision-maker, and not Washington.

Sharon declared, before Cheney, that he would propose the American ideas that were presented to him to his ministerial cabinet for them to make a decision regarding them. By this announcement Sharon wanted to make his government coalition think that he is not submitting to American pressure, and that the government coalition is the decision-maker, and not Washington.

 

Sharon wanted to make the Israelis think that he did not fail by announcing the conditions that he defined for allowing Yasser Arafat to attend the summit and return. He tied allowing Arafat to attend with the implementation of the Tenet plan, and allowing him to return with the absence of major military operations and that Yasser Arafat’s speech at the summit be one free of incitement against Israel.

Sharon wanted to make the Israelis think that he did not fail by announcing the conditions that he defined for allowing Yasser Arafat to attend the summit and return. He tied allowing Arafat to attend with the implementation of the Tenet plan, and allowing him to return with the absence of major military operations and that Yasser Arafat’s speech at the summit be one free of incitement against Israel.

 

Statements that are insolent and insulting, not only to the Palestinians but to the Arab summit as well. It is belittling all the Arabs and Palestinians who thwarted his military campaign. Sharon’s attempt to deceive the Israelis using insults directed at the Palestinians and Arabs can be easily and clearly exposed.

Statements that are insolent and insulting, not only to the Palestinians but to the Arab summit as well. It is belittling all the Arabs and Palestinians who thwarted his military campaign. Sharon’s attempt to deceive the Israelis using insults directed at the Palestinians and Arabs can be easily and clearly exposed.

 

The Palestinians want to implement the Tenet plan and Mitchell recommendations, and want a timetable to be drawn up for these negotiations that will end the occupation in order to establish the Palestinian state on Palestinian soil with East Jerusalem as its capital. The Intifada is not a goal in its own right; it is an act of self-defense against a barbaric military campaign being waged by the occupation forces against the Palestinian people. The goal is ending the occupation and establishing the state.

The Palestinians want to implement the Tenet plan and Mitchell recommendations, and want a timetable to be drawn up for these negotiations that will end the occupation in order to establish the Palestinian state on Palestinian soil with East Jerusalem as its capital. The Intifada is not a goal in its own right; it is an act of self-defense against a barbaric military campaign being waged by the occupation forces against the Palestinian people. The goal is ending the occupation and establishing the state.

 

If matters move in the direction of negotiations in which the U.S. uses its influence to implement its vision of a solution in the Middle East, then this is good and this is what is needed. The Palestinian people’s choice is peace, and putting an end to the bloodshed is a humanitarian and political necessity.

If matters move in the direction of negotiations in which the U.S. uses its influence to implement its vision of a solution in the Middle East, then this is good and this is what is needed. The Palestinian people’s choice is peace, and putting an end to the bloodshed is a humanitarian and political necessity.

 

Thus, a cease-fire and the implementation of the Tenet plan and Mitchell recommendations is the first practical step in responding to Sharon and his plans � while keeping a finger on the trigger, as the Palestinian people’s experience with Sharon does not allow for the smallest amount of trust.

Thus, a cease-fire and the implementation of the Tenet plan and Mitchell recommendations is the first practical step in responding to Sharon and his plans � while keeping a finger on the trigger, as the Palestinian people’s experience with Sharon does not allow for the smallest amount of trust.

 

As for the next step, it is for President Yasser Arafat to not go to the Arab summit. Sharon’s conditions are rejected and the Palestinian people cannot allow for them to be accepted, or even not to be rejected.

As for the next step, it is for President Yasser Arafat to not go to the Arab summit. Sharon’s conditions are rejected and the Palestinian people cannot allow for them to be accepted, or even not to be rejected.

 

Sharon undoubtedly lacks intelligence and knowledge when he makes such conditions. He thinks that he is weakening Yasser Arafat by preventing him from attending the Arab summit. Sharon said, before the Likud on 2-3-2002, that he would not allow Arafat to attend the Arab summit to appear as the battling hero. Sharon undoubtedly does not know, and does not possess enough intelligence to realize, that not allowing Yasser Arafat to go would make Arafat an even stronger and more influential leader, more than if he had attended the summit.

Sharon undoubtedly lacks intelligence and knowledge when he makes such conditions. He thinks that he is weakening Yasser Arafat by preventing him from attending the Arab summit. Sharon said, before the Likud on 2-3-2002, that he would not allow Arafat to attend the Arab summit to appear as the battling hero. Sharon undoubtedly does not know, and does not possess enough intelligence to realize, that not allowing Yasser Arafat to go would make Arafat an even stronger and more influential leader, more than if he had attended the summit.

 

As for his second condition, which is to control Yasser Arafat’s speech so he may allow him to return, this is a condition that could only come from a person like Sharon, who is controlled by delusions of grandeur. By doing this he has insulted all the Arab leaders. He knows, or if he doesn’t then this is even worse, that Yasser Arafat cannot accept any dictates regarding his political speech � a speech whose content will not change.

As for his second condition, which is to control Yasser Arafat’s speech so he may allow him to return, this is a condition that could only come from a person like Sharon, who is controlled by delusions of grandeur. By doing this he has insulted all the Arab leaders. He knows, or if he doesn’t then this is even worse, that Yasser Arafat cannot accept any dictates regarding his political speech � a speech whose content will not change.

 

It is the same speech he made before President Clinton in the presence of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the same speech he made at Sharm Sheikh and the same speech he used to address the Palestinian people to announce a cease-fire, that continued for three weeks on the Palestinian side and Sharon did not, or did not want to, commit to. Therefore he will not change his speech. He is for peace because it is the Palestinian people’s strategic choice, and is against the Israeli occupation and the barbaric Israeli military campaign against the Palestinian people.

It is the same speech he made before President Clinton in the presence of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the same speech he made at Sharm Sheikh and the same speech he used to address the Palestinian people to announce a cease-fire, that continued for three weeks on the Palestinian side and Sharon did not, or did not want to, commit to. Therefore he will not change his speech. He is for peace because it is the Palestinian people’s strategic choice, and is against the Israeli occupation and the barbaric Israeli military campaign against the Palestinian people.

 

The end of the occupation and the departure of the occupiers is a demand he will not relinquish. Exposing the mass crimes Sharon and the Israeli army’s officers committed is both his duty and right. Mobilizing the Arab, regional and international powers against the Israeli practices and occupation is a duty that must be carried out in order to put an end to the abuse, siege and occupation.

The end of the occupation and the departure of the occupiers is a demand he will not relinquish. Exposing the mass crimes Sharon and the Israeli army’s officers committed is both his duty and right. Mobilizing the Arab, regional and international powers against the Israeli practices and occupation is a duty that must be carried out in order to put an end to the abuse, siege and occupation.

 

It is essential that the American administration understand that Sharon’s stands, which he announced before U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, do not only provoke the Arabs and anger them against Sharon alone, but against the United States, which assumes direct responsibility for Sharon’s stands or their consequences because of its support for Sharon throughout the past long months � a blind support.

It is essential that the American administration understand that Sharon’s stands, which he announced before U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, do not only provoke the Arabs and anger them against Sharon alone, but against the United States, which assumes direct responsibility for Sharon’s stands or their consequences because of its support for Sharon throughout the past long months � a blind support.

 

Comprehending this fact requires reaching logical conclusions that separate Sharon’s stands from those of the American administration. This will lead to separating the consequences of Sharon’s stands against Israel from those against the U.S.

Comprehending this fact requires reaching logical conclusions that separate Sharon’s stands from those of the American administration. This will lead to separating the consequences of Sharon’s stands against Israel from those against the U.S.

 

What is logical here is for the American administration to adopt more firm stands regarding the delusions of grandeur that shape Sharon’s stands.

What is logical here is for the American administration to adopt more firm stands regarding the delusions of grandeur that shape Sharon’s stands.

Bassam Abu-Sharif is a special advisor to President Arafat.

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