Archive for July, 2000

Jul 30 2000

Look inward instead of pointing fingers

Published by under Articles,Palestinian politics

No sooner had the Camp David talks broken up, than the finger pointing began. President Bill Clinton tried to be diplomatic by consciously praising Ehud Barak. The Israelis were more direct in putting the blame of the failure of the talks on the Palestinians. The Americans and Israelis tried to blame the Palestinians for the failure of the talks even though President Yasser Arafat was the more reluctant party to go to Camp David because he knew very well the fact that whatever the Israelis would offer would be much less than what the Palestinians could live with.  Continue Reading »

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Jul 29 2000

Hey, why not visit Gaza?

Published by under Articles,Palestinian politics

If you have still not made up your mind where to spend your vacation this summer, here is an innovative suggestion: Gaza. All you have to do is hold your nose (both literally and figuratively) as you cross the Erez checkpoint, connecting Gaza with most of the outside world, and within minutes you can be bathing in one of the nicest beaches on the Mediterranean.  Continue Reading »

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Jul 27 2000

Statehood and Jerusalem

Published by under Articles,Palestinian politics

For more than a year, my brother Jonathan and I have had a running disagreement over the viability of declaring a Palestinian state. He has repeatedly rejected the importance of declaring a Palestinian state under the current circumstances.

“A Palestinian state is an Israeli goal these days,” he would say to me and to anyone else who would listen. The kind of state that the Israelis are willing to allow us to have will do more to serve their purpose, by creating a buffer zone between them and the rest of the Arab world, and to announce once and for all that the conflict is over.

“They want to give us the symbolism of the state without the substance,” he would say. Continue Reading »

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Jul 20 2000

More than creative solutions

Published by under Articles,Palestinian politics

In the midst of hard negotiations about peace in the Middle East, an important factor is often ignored. The human factor.

For example, take the issue of Jerusalem. Negotiators are debating a host of creative ideas on the future of Jerusalem to bridge the gap between Palestinians and Israelis, but little attention is being given to the human tragedy that might result if 200,000 Palestinian suddenly find themselves cut off from their families, their jobs, and their homes.

Thirty-three years of Israeli occupation have made a number of changes to Jerusalem’s landscape, but the one change that Israel has failed to make is to cut off Palestinians in Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank and Gaza.  Continue Reading »

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Jul 13 2000

The right of return

Published by under Articles,Palestinian politics

Newsprint and airwaves are filled with suggestions that the two issues that might make or break the Camp David summit are Jerusalem and the refugees.

While President Arafat is sure to defend the Palestinian position that Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state, I do not believe that he will be able to sign any agreement on Jerusalem without having a much bigger Arab and Islamic coalition behind him. In effect any agreement on Jerusalem will need the direct or indirect approval of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Countries.  Continue Reading »

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Jul 06 2000

Rule of the thugs

Published by under Articles

It is 12:30 p.m. on Friday, June 30 in Ramallah. Raji Saqr, an armed 29 year old from the nearby Amari refugee camp, enters the Duqmaq Butchery and asks for the owner. An elderly client sitting on a stool says that the owner went to pray in a nearby mosque. Who is around, the armed man asks? The old man informs him that only the owner’s daughter Ahlam is inside.

Raji goes behind the counter, fires a few rounds in the air, and then fires two bullets from close range into Ahlam’s chest.

The death of Ahlam Duqmaq turns the twin cities of Ramallah and Al Bireh and the nearby Al Amari refugee camp upside down. For the next three days a strike is observed, daily protests demand the death penalty for the killer, and youths ransack stores and advertising signs on roads.  Continue Reading »

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