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Israel and Palestine Authority: It is like having to make ablution with soured milk

Occupied Palestine (3 September 2014): When my late father, who passed away in 2002, didn't like a particular situation, he would compare it with having to make ablution with soured milk. The figurative analogy was meant to illustrate a nightmarish experience that one always wishes to avoid.

The reason I invoked this anecdote is the shockingly stupid behavior of the Palestinian Authority (PA) under both its late leader Yasser Arafat and the current one Mahmoud Abbas.

Israeli negotiators are almost satanically smart. They are the Crème de la Crème of Western deception, fascism, racism and nefariousness.

I remember that when a frustrated Arafat demanded that Judeo-Nazi Israeli leaders carry out previous commitments made under American-brokered agreements, he was often met with endless procrastination, stonewalling and utter rejection.

Consecutive Israeli leaders, including Isaac Rabin, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon and this criminal thug, Binyamin Netanyahu, would simply tell Arafat to "forget it."

They would cite the strong opposition to the implementation of agreements with the Palestinians, such as withdrawal from some areas in the West Bank, by extreme right-wing and ultra-religious parties both in government and the Knesset.

Israeli leaders would ask Arafat to "moderate" his demands, arguing that the Israeli government itself would fall and new elections would have to take place if the Palestinian leader insisted that Israel make the demanded "concessions."

Likewise, successive U.S. governments, always at Israel's beck and call, would effectively adopt the Israeli view even without asking any question. American administration officials and envoys, people like George Shultz, Condoleezza Rice, even Bill Clinton, would tell Arafat that Israel was a democratic state and that any Israeli government would have to accommodate the opposition.

With this manifestly spurious argument, Arafat and other Arab leaders, from Egypt's Mubarak to King Fahed of Saudi Arabia would just shut up.

I still don't know for sure why the PA leadership didn't use the same logic with the Israelis and their American guardian-allies. Arafat and his aides could have always argued that "we, too, have our own opposition, and we have to accommodate them, otherwise we would be betraying our political system."

The PLO leadership did have some smart people who could really outsmart their Israeli counterparts. And, of course, there was always a surplus of ignoramuses and hangers-on who didn't know the difference between a watermelon and a squash. Unfortunately, however, the driver's seat belonged to the ignoramuses who surpassed their more capable colleagues, especially in playing the sycophancy game vis-à-vis Arafat, who we all know held all the reigns, took all the decisions and controlled all the money.

I remember that when the Oslo Accords were officially signed on 13 September, 1993, an Israeli TV correspondent named Yuni Ben Menachem, interviewed PLO ambassador to Tunis, Hakam Balawi. Ben Menachem asked the PLO official how the soon-to-be formed Palestinian Authority would deal with the Islamist opposition to the Oslo Agreement. Without mincing words, and without patting an eyelash, Balawi said: we would crush them to smithereens.

Needless to say, it is this type of mindset that brought one disaster after another on the Palestinian people and their enduring just cause.

Balawi could have simply said something like this: "we would deal with our opposition the same way you will deal with yours." Had he said that, he would have given the Israelis a different impression. But Balawi, like most PLO officials, then and now, was more interested in pleasing and appeasing the Israelis, even at the expense of his own people and their paramount national interest.

Sadly, Balawi's remarks were not a slip of the tongue. He was expressing mainstream thinking permeating through the PLO.

He wasn’t at all a single spoiled apple in a fruit box. He was representing a widespread phenomenon within Fatah and the PLO. It is really lamentable to say that this sorry phenomenon continues to define PLO political performance, especially with regard to Israel.

It is really sad that the PLO continues to be Israel's laughingstock.

The PLO did recognize Israel more than 20 years ago, even without a reciprocal Israeli recognition of a putative Palestinian state.

The PLO had agreed to suppress, torment and torture its own citizens as part of a scandalous security coordination regime with Israel, which effectively reduced the PA apparatus to a Palestinian Judenrat.

In return, Israel decapitated the two-state solution prospects by confiscating the bulk of the West Bank and by planting Jewish colonies all over the very small piece of land in which the PA says will establish its contemplated but increasingly precarious state.

And now, in the aftermath of the Israeli holocaust in Gaza, which more or less destroyed the coastal enclave and left tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians murdered and maimed, the venomous Judeo-Nazi snake is telling PA leader Mahmoud Abbas that if only he declares Hamas a terrorist organization, the envisaged Palestinian state will be just around the corner.

When will the PLO leadership learn the lesson, namely that Zionist Jews are habitual and pathological liars who can never be trusted? Doesn't the bankrupt leadership learn from its numerous mistakes? Is it irredeemably ignorant and stupid?

Khalid Amayreh is a veteran Palestinian journalist and commentator living in occupied Palestine.

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