Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

After Wye, What? Edward Said, Abu Lutuf and Criticism of Oslo: The Hanging Plane Theory

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

After Wye, What? Edward Said, Abu Lutuf and Criticism of Oslo: The Hanging Plane Theory

Article excerpt

After Wye, What? Edward Said, Abu Lutuf and Criticism of Oslo: The Hanging Plane Theory

There are two truly eloquent Palestinian spokesmen, and I have heard both.

The first is Edward Said, the misunderstood prophet of Palestine's academic bourgeois. The second is his alter-ego, Farouk Kadoumi, the "Palestinian Foreign Minister" and the representative of pedestrian Palestinian politics.

As I have said, both are eloquent, and both are equally harsh when it comes to the Oslo "Accords" and the Wye Plantation "Memoranda." (Have you noticed that pro-Wye commentators are starting to call it the "Wye River" agreement hoping that the term "Plantation" doesn't appear too apropos?)

This past weekend, I had the privilege of heating through an ADC interpreter, Kadoumi, who is better known as Abu Lutuf, explain his misgivings concerning Oslo. He, like Edward Said, makes some valid, appropriate and painfully truthful points.

However, like Edward Said, Abu Lutuf also makes the same mistake. And because this is such an emotion-charged issue to debate and it causes many not to read these words, I am going to use an original analogy to explain it.

The situation of the Palestinians who live under the post-1967 occupation -- remember there are two occupations, one in 1948 and one in 1967 -- can be compared to that of the passengers of a plane that has crashed landed and that teeters on the edge of a precipice.

Outside the plane are people like me, Edward Said and Abu Lutuf, all telling those who live inside Palestine what they should or should not do. Advice is good, but the final decision is up to them.

Nevertheless, I argue that Oslo is the only alternative and that we must try to begin a process to salvage as much of Palestine as possible -- sort of using Zionist strategy against Zionism.

The fundamental strength of Zionism is not in what its harshest critics call its extremist antireligious views and the menage à trois marriage of Judaism, politics and nationhood. It is in their clever principle that the Zionists should take whatever they can get, whenever they can get it, as much as they can get, and as often as they can get it. It is the honing of the process of the fait accompli which Israel has turned into a fine art.

The Zionists wanted "the Nile to the Euphrates" in 1917 but settled for a piecemeal build-up to the 1948 U.N. Mandated Partition Plan, plus whatever they could "take." They waited for the right opportunity and in 1956 took more, returned it, and took it again in 1967. Even after they have taken, they continue to "take" through expulsion, transfer, sophisticated public relations strategies and finely crafted political manipulation. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.