Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Arab Countries Seek to Help Palestinians Resist Israeli Policy of Divide and Conquer

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Arab Countries Seek to Help Palestinians Resist Israeli Policy of Divide and Conquer

Article excerpt

Taking their cue from British colonizers-imitation being the sincerest form of flattery-Israel's current leaders and their 20th century ideological and terrorist precedessors have adhered to a strategy of divide and conquer in their attempt to ethnically cleanse all of Palestine. Prime Ministers David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, Ariel Sharon and now Ehud Olmert-all were and are determined to prevent Palestinians from organizing, uniting and speaking as one people. Israel's illegal apartheid wall represents only its latest attempt to maintain a status quo of separate and unequal.

Hamas' January 2006 victory in Palestine's free and fair parliamentary elections, however, upset this delicate balance of oppressor over oppressed. As Dr. Tanya Reinhardt meticulously documents in her book The Road Map to Nowhere, the new government chose to work within the international system and begin building a consensus, a united Palestine. Reinhardt shows that in fact it is Israel, not Hamas, which consistently fails to uphold its agreements.

A united Palestine would mean that the end of Zionism's dreams of a Greater Israel for Jews only. Since this has never been an option for Zionists, Israel's propaganda machine was in high gear within days of the Hamas victory. Portraying Hamas as a terrorist organization, the Olmert government sought to pit Fatah and other Palestinian groups against it and convince the Palestinian people, through starvation and deprivation, to abandon their elected government, which pledged to act in their best interests, for a government approved by and acting on behalf of Israel.

Divide and conquer: in this case, foment a civil war and eliminate the problem, as Washington dutifully fell in line behind Israel to recast the Palestinians, President Mahmoud Abbas and even Iran to fit the Jewish state's political and financial objectives.

In November, 11 months into Israel's collective punishment of the Palestinian people, the Arab League voted to allocate direct financial aid to the Palestinians despite the sanctions imposed by Israel, the U.S. and the European Union. Faced with overwhelming political pressure from Israel's guard dogs, however, the effort failed.

Yet even with tensions escalating, Palestinians endeavored to unite. The Mecca summit in early February solidified the commitment of all Palestinian parties involved to work together toward a common good. The Saudi Arabian government, which hosted and mediated the summit, pledged $1 billion in aid to assist the new unity government in re-establishing viable social and economic infrastructure. Despite attempts to recast and denigrate this commitment, sources within the Saudi government confirm the funds will reach the Palestinians.

"Grown men cry over this. I've seen it time and again."

Noting that "the Saudis have been supporting the Palestinians for years," the source emphasized that funds donated by the Saudi government conform to Islamic law, with its focus on charity and caring for one another. Rather than being given to representatives of either Hamas or Fatah, the funds are sent to individual families, bypassing bureaucratic obstacles.

According to this source, the Saudi government and royal family, "truly only want the [Palestinian] people to have safety and peace. …

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