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DATE 2005-01-01

HANGOUT

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Key: Value:

Key: Value:

MESSAGE
DATE 2005-01-12
FROM From: "Inker, Evan"
SUBJECT RE: [hangout] More wonderful BS from Columbia University

Slow News Day perhaps....

But with a name like Rashid Khalidi you just have to know its going to be
Anti-Semitic

Regards,

Evan M. Inker (New York) x. 4615



-----Original Message-----
From: Ruben Safir [mailto:ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2005 3:27 PM
To: hangout-at-nylxs.com
Subject: [hangout] More wonderful BS from Columbia University



Why does the Financial Times Print such obviously bias bullshit This is the
same author under investigation at Columbia for harrasing Jewish students.

Ruben



News in-depth A
Palestinian map out of history's dead ends By Rashid Khalidi
Published: January 11 2005 02:00 | Last updated: January 11 2005 02:00


It was only thanks to strong Palestinian desire for democracy, their good
organisation and the presence of 800 foreign observers that any kind of
Palestinian elections were possible.


ADVERTISEMENT






The very idea of "elections" implies the ability to move about freely and
vote in a peaceful atmosphere. These conditions did not apply in Sunday's
election for the presidency of the Palestinian Authority, won by Mahmoud
Abbas, popularly known as Abu Mazen. Throughout the West Bank, Gaza Strip
and East Jerusalem, the iron grip of the Israeli military occupation is in
its 38th year. Normal elections are impossible in circumstances where
Israeli military permission is necessary simply to travel from town to town.
In the recent first phase of Palestinian municipal elections, several
candidates were arrested while some presidential candidates were roughed up
or detained by Israeli troops.

There is little reason to believe that the election for the presidency of
the Palestinian Authority (or the ongoing municipal and planned legislative
elections) will substantially change the existence of 3.6m Palestinians in
the occupied territories. This includes Israel's continued occupation of
East Jerusalem and most of the West Bank; its continued control over the
Gaza Strip (to be exercised from without if Israel withdraws) and the
relentless expansion of illegal West Bank settlements and the vast network
of fortifications, walls and bypass roads that hem in the shrinking islands
of land left to the Palestinians. All the signs are that Abu Mazen will be
free to negotiate with Ariel Sharon's government some terms of Israel's
continued external control of Gaza Strip and its occupation and settlement
of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. However, control, occupation and
settlement per se are non-negotiable. In other words, we are not on the
brink of peace, nor of Palestinian statehood in any meaningful sense.

The electoral process will, however, have a positive impact, though one
largely restricted to Palestinian internal affairs. It has already opened a
debate among Palestinians about their national goals and strategies. This
debate has been frozen for more than 15 years, first as the Palestinian
Liberation Organisation led the Palestinians into the dead end of Oslo, and
thereafter as the violence of the Israeli defence forces and attacks by
militant Palestinian factions led to the dead end of the second intifada.

Elections will furthermore begin the overdue process of renewing Palestinian
leadership, replacing the older generation of PLO former exiles who dominate
Palestinian politics with younger West Bank and Gaza-based leaders. It may
bring Hamas and other militant groups into the political system, possibly to
share power, reducing their incentive for armed action - although resistance
in some form will continue as long as occupation remains. Finally, the
Palestinians may be able to further the sorely needed establishment of a
rule of law, accountability and stable government that Oslo and the old PLO
leadership failed to produce. It is impossible to create sovereign
institutions under occupation. But institutions can be created, vulnerable
though they may be to the same destruction by Israel that has taken place
since 2000. And while the occupation can be blamed for many things, it
cannot be blamed for Palestinian corruption, cronyism and other ills
introduced by the PLO.

These potential positives can only play out if powerful external actors do
not sabotage them. For the Palestinians to have truly free municipal and
parliamentary elections, there must be at least a partial Israeli withdrawal
and a binding ceasefire. Even if Palestinian armed factions can agree,
Israel - which has in the past refused a formal ceasefire, or to restrain
its death squads and military incursions - must relent. Its refusal to do so
was the main reason for Mr Abbas's failure as prime minister in 2003. If he
is not to fail again spectacularly within a few months, final status
negotiations must be rapidly initiated to deal with the real issues: final
borders, sovereignty, settlements, Jerusalem, refugees, water. A profoundly
ill-conceived American-Israeli veto has kept these issues from the
negotiating table for most of the past 15 years (the abortive Camp David
negotiations and their Taba sequel were the sole exception).

The US cannot just smile benevolently as Israel evacuates the tiny sliver of
the occupied territories represented by the Gaza Strip and demand that
Palestinians accept Mr Sharon's vision of the continued occupation and
settlement of much of the West Bank. If this is where Mr Sharon and Mr Bush
intend to try to take the Palestinians, this current bout of optimism will
be short-lived. There is an opportunity, but seizing it would require a new
approach by Israel and America. Failing such a shift, we can look forward to
the final burial of the two-state solution and the establishment of
permanent Israeli control within a single, conflict-ridden entity
encompassing the entirety of the land between the Jordan and the
Mediterranean.

The writer is professor of Arab studies at the Middle East Institute,
Columbia University


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Fair Use -
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NYLXS is a trademark of NYLXS, Inc

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