Debunking 6 Common Israeli Myths: Myth 4 – Arafat’s Inaction

Over the past 18 months, Israel has systematically attacked all the facilities of the Palestinian Authority, including police stations, prisons and intelligence headquarters, and killed and assassinated many Palestinian security officers. Hence while crippling and killing the Palestinian security forces, Israel makes the ludicrous demand that these same forces go out and work on Israel’s behalf.

The basic assumption behind the Israeli claim that Arafat “must do more” to stop attacks on Israel is that the primary role of the Palestinian Authority is not to work for the security and well-being of the Palestinian people, but rather to guarantee the security and safety of Israeli occupation forces, settlers and civilians, even while Israel rules millions of disenfranchised Palestinians, and continues to seize their land by force.

Even if such an arrangement were politically tenable, the realities of the past ten years made it impossible.

The Palestinian Authority is not a sovereign state, but a quasi-authority which at the height of its power was only given control over 17.2% of the Israeli occupied West Bank (so called “Area A” under the Oslo and subsequent accords). Even Israel with all its military and economic might could not guarantee its own safety when it controlled every inch of the West Bank.

Over the past 18 months, Israel has systematically attacked all the facilities of the Palestinian Authority, including police stations, prisons and intelligence headquarters, and killed and assassinated many Palestinian security officers.

Hence while crippling and killing the Palestinian security forces, Israel makes the ludicrous demand that these same forces go out and work on Israel’s behalf.

Israel has further undermined its own claim that Arafat is “in control” of all the violence, by continuing to demand that he act while is a prisoner of the Israelis in two rooms of his Ramallah headquarters, with no outside contact, no electricity and barely enough food and water.

The suicide bombings which have followed the brutal Israeli re-invasions of almost every major West Bank town since late March 2002 prove conclusively that there is no level of violence or ruthlessness that either Israel or the Palestinian Authority can employ that will eliminate those determined to answer the suffering of millions of Palestinian civilians under decades of Israeli military occupation by inflicting suffering on Israeli civilians.

The only way to end suicide bombings and other kinds of Palestinian violence is to end the extreme violence of the Israeli military occupation which produces and fuels both Palestinian resistance against the occupation forces and violent attacks against Israeli civilians.

Absent a political process explicitly designed to end the occupation, there is little reason to believe that such attacks can or will end.

Author: Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish

News Service: The Electronic Intifada

URL: http://electronicintifada.net/coveragetrends/6myths.shtml#4