Saturday, 28 January 2012

PA Political Terminology 101: When Talks Are Not Talks

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source: Najialali.comIn the last couple of weeks, we have been extra blessed with the faces of various PA officials appearing almost every day to comment, give interviews or talks, in which they declare, confirm and strongly stress that what is happening in Amman are not negotiations. No, these are not negotiations.
  • These are talks.
  • These are discussions.
  • These are exploratory meetings (whatever that might mean).
  • These are breakfasts in Amman.
  • These are negotiation-less nights in Amman.
  • These are “how to sell out your country in 20 years” upgrade courses.
But they are not negotiations.
This ass licking

And they should know better, right? In fact, the negotiations-till-death-do-us-part team stressed several times that there will be no return to negotiations until the Zionist entity agrees to stop its illegal settlement activities in the future PA “state”. What is happening in Amman are talks, not negotiations, talks to secure a settlement freeze before the talks on settlements and other stuff, aka the negotiations, resume. See? There is a big difference between talks and talks, and before you judge the PA, you should have read their negotiations handbook: “Birth is Negotiations, Death is Negotiations and all that is in between is Negotiations”, and you would have understood that what is happening in Amman are not negotiations. No, they are talks.

The audacity with which the PA continues to act as if these are not negotiations and continues to stress that negotiations won’t be resumed until Israel agrees to freeze its settlement activities, knows no limits. And despite all forms of protest against these useless negotiations, against the whole negotiations charade, not only do PA officials continue to negotiate, but they also claim that they are negotiating away our land and our rights in our very own name, claiming to be our representatives. And as if not enough, they appear on TV stations, give interviews, talk in local conferences and meetings and declare, in a very strict tone, that there will be no return to negotiations until Israel stops its illegal settlement activities. They swear never to return to negotiations, even if it means resigning, even if it means the collapse of the PA, and countless are the times when we heard the PA-head and the negotiations-head threatening with resignation. But still they continue to return to negotiations, under various names, and continue to threaten and swear never to return to negotiations, while there is not a glimmer of a sign of any resignation.

It is not the first time that PA officials have done this. Wasn’t it only recently that they, for the Xth time, swore never to return to negotiations unless Israel stops all its settlement activity? And when they, as usual, did return to the negotiations (for the sums they get for negotiating away our rights and our Palestine are more important than you, me, every single one of us, they are more important than Palestine itself), they stressed that it wasn’t a return to “direct” negotiations, but a return to “indirect” negotiations! As in: during “direct” negotiations, PA and Israeli officials meet, negotiate, aka Israelis dictate and PA officials nod and sign on napkins, attend a negotiations banquet together, and everyone gets a “direct-“negotiations-trip album as souvenir. During “indirect” negotiations, PA and Israeli officials meet, negotiate, aka Israelis dictate and PA officials nod and sign on napkins, attend a negotiations banquet together, and everyone gets an “indirect”-negotiations-trip album as souvenir. And today, PA officials again treat us, the Palestinian people, as if we were the little children who are easily fooled and tell us: “listen kids, we are not negotiating, we are talking! Wallahi, we swear not to go back to negotiations, so be quiet!”

And while PA officials “talk” in Amman, Palestinian politicians from various PLO factions return from the world beyond, bless us with their faces and voices after long silences and extended absence, and announce their denouncement of these talks, that they are not in the interest of the Palestinian people or the Palestinian cause, and then return back to their daily work of sitting in offices and claiming to represent people and parties and cashing salaries at the end of the month. God bless the PLO! They all claim to represent us, those who are members in the PLO, and those who aren’t or soon will be. And knowing that the majority of Palestinians is against these talks, discussions, negotiations, whatever they are called, they flip a coin and send someone to denounce the whole process, and that’s it: “We did what we do best: we condemned, we denounced”. Yes, all that matters these days is not Palestine, but the salary at the end of the month. God bless the PLO!

And since, according to the PA, talks are not negotiations, except when they are meant to mean so, I suggest preparing a dictionary of PA political terminology. It will help avoid misunderstandings and will help us, ordinary Palestinians, understand what PA negotiators are talking about since their language is beyond our comprehension and help us understand when talks are talks and when talks are not talks. A reference will be made to what every term actually means to the majority of the Palestinians. There are many such political terms out there that need clarifications, but I suggest starting with the following:


1. Describes, according to the PA, the Areas Abu Dees and Izariyyeh, and depending on whether Israeli will “give back” Beit Hanina and Shu’fat to the Palestinians, which is most probably not, Sawahreh might be added to the area designated as Al-Quds.
2. The name Al-Quds is used to disguise the fact that when the PA talks about Al-Quds, it is not talking about the eastern part of Jerusalem, and thus won’t cause the anger or the distress of the PA’s partners-in-peace by demanding the liberation of Al-Quds.
3. PA plans to liberate Al-Quds include 15+ years of useless negotiations on everything except the main issues, building a hanging bridge to Al-Aqsa mosque, giving up the Old city of Jerusalem and other areas in exchange for more control in areas B and C so the PA can continue to play king and kingdom.
4. To many Palestinians, Al-Quds remains one, with its eastern and western parts, the only and irreplaceable capital of Palestine.

PA State
1. Describes the area Israel allows the PA president and officials to move within, using Israeli permits to leave and enter, usually areas A and B of the West Bank with possible loss of these areas depending on the mood of the Israeli soldier at the checkpoint or the mood of the Israeli official issuing the permit.
2. Also used to describe Swiss cheese, Bantustans, Ghettos, a prison within a prison.
3. To PA officials, the PA Palestinian state is any piece of Palestine the Israelis have no use of. The Motto of this PA state is: Life is Negotiations. The flag of this state is: My political party is above all. The national Anthem is: Hader ya Sidi! (yes, sir!).
4. To many Palestinians, the only Palestinian state is one with all of Palestine from the River to the Sea.

Jericho Casino

1. Describes the Jericho Casino, the Rawabi elite “city”, the Muqata’a imperial palace, and the Wadi in-Nar death-trap aka road.
2. This is accompanied with the introduction of night-clubs and bars in Ramallah, the political and economic capital of the PA, as signs of the approaching independence, 5 star hotels and cafes for PA officials, new-age revolutionaries and foreign aid workers.
3. Further signs of state-building include the destruction of local economy, the alarmingly growing dependence on foreign donors who enslave us in return for salaries at the end of the month, the various industrial zones for the enslavement of Palestinian workers, the wide-spread corruption and the building of massive palaces on the hilltops of Ramallah and Nablus whose shadow cools the hot air over the nearby refugee camps.
4. To many Palestinians, the PA state-building is nothing but a form of consolidating and securing the Israeli occupation.


1. Describes “Life” from the view point of PA top-negotiators; every minute of a PA-official’s life is negotiations, it is to the PA as natural as breathing, as drinking, as eating. Without negotiations, the PA will die, will cease to exit since the only reason for its creation is to negotiate away Palestinian land and rights “in the name of Palestinians”.
2. Has other names such as talks, discussions, exploratory meetings and any other term PA negotiators might think of.
3. Also refers to the condition where the oppressor dictates the rights of the oppressed and how much “freedom” and “space” the oppressed is allowed to have and not have.
4. To many Palestinians, negotiations describe the process of selling out one’s homeland, village by village, town by town, house by house, field by field, tree by tree, water drop by water drop, in exchange for an imaginary kingdom, imaginary titles, imaginary ministries, villas in Ramallah and the south of France, various accounts in Swiss banks and Israeli VIP-permits.

Peace process

1. Describes a never-ending process, where one party kills, steals and destroys the other party’s people and land. The word peace is deceptive since this particular peace process has nothing to do with peace. 2. To the PA, the term peace process means an industry, a big business and loads of money regardless of the suffering caused to the Palestinian people because of this process.
3. Also refer to a delusion, a mirage, a charade, a big fat lie.
4. To many Palestinians, the peace process is an instrument of the occupation to continue the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the theft of Palestinian land.


1. Describes a charade by PA officials. PA officials who resign or are made to resign over corruption cases, moral issues, etc., keep away from the spotlights, don’t give any interviews for a few weeks, or depending on the offence committed, for a few months, and then return to their posts, or other posts within the PA apparatus, and act as if nothing happened.
2. Another form of resignation is the recurring threats of the PA-head of resigning that are never actually implemented, e.g. threatening to resign if the Palestinian people tell him to do so (Note: they do this in every form possible, , not to mention that his “mandate” expired long ago), threatening to resign if negotiations prove futile (after 16 years still waiting for them to prove futile).
3. A term that is alien within the PA and PLO systems.
4. Also means: I am staying here till the last breath.
5. To many Palestinians, resignation is a card used by the PA to silence criticism and opposition.

Right of Return

1. Describes the Right of Return as redefined by the PA within the framework of the “peace process”:1. A return of some thousands or hundreds or whatever number of refugees Israel agrees to. 2. A return to Ramallah or Bethlehem or whatever part of the Bantustan aka the Palestinian state the Zionist entity agrees to.
2. To the PA, the Right of Return is negotiable, like all other Palestinian rights and its price depends on the highest bidder.
3. To many Palestinians, the Right of Return describes what is an inalienable and non-negotiable right for over 5 million Palestinian refugees who will never accept less than a full return to their original homes and villages.


1. Describes a process with international observers and all, after which, depending on the results, the choice of the voters will either be celebrated or ignored and boycotted. Following elections in the PA “liberated” areas, if the winners are opponents of the negotiations process, they get kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces and the losers, if they believe that “Negotiations are the Solution”, they get to build cabinets with the claim that it’s all for the interest of the people.
2. One example of elections under PA is Local Elections, which are postponed from one year to the next, and most probably will never take place because they know they won’t win.
3. To many Palestinians, elections are a theoretical right bestowed on the Palestinians of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, but practically denied all Palestinians in occupied Palestine and the Diaspora.
And yes, there is a special list of terminology for “activism for Palestine”, where Palestine, resistance, activism and other Palestinian constants are reshaped and redefined to fit what pleases and appeals to others. But that is another blog post.

Fayyad participates in first international "Jerusalem" Marathon
in Abu Dis
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UNSC Mulls Syria Resolution, Russia Opposes European-Arab Proposal

Local Editor

European and Arab countries presented on Friday a draft resolution, to the UN Security Council, backing an Arab League plan on the Syrian crisis. However, Russia opposed the draft, saying the proposed resolution crossed its red lines.

The UK, France and Germany drafted a resolution with Arab states, supporting the League's call for President Bashar al-Assad to hand power to a deputy.

The draft resolution supports an Arab League plan released last weekend demanding that President Bashar al-Assad hand over powers to a deputy so that new elections can be held.

The text demands an immediate end to the violence and "encourages" all states to follow sanctions imposed by the Arab League against Syria in November, but contains no mandatory action.


Russia's UN envoy told reporters after the meeting in New York that the draft resolution was unacceptable, but Moscow was ready to engage in further talks.

Vitaly Churkin said Russia had set out its "red lines" and that the resolution should not contain any threat of sanctions or an arms embargo.
The document "not only ignored our red lines but also added some new elements which we find unacceptable as a matter of principle.”
“The proposed draft resolution cannot be used as the basis of solving the situation,” Churkin said, expressing “deep” disappointment with the draft.
Churkin also accused the Arab League of trying to "impose" a solution to "undercut" efforts to find a political solution to the unrest in Syria.

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Just like that! UN to Bashar Assad: 'Leave in 15 days or else!'


'The Cable has obtained a copy of the draft resolution on Syria currently being discussed inside the U.N. Security Council. It calls on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to hand over power to his deputy and says additional measures would be taken if he doesn't comply within 15 days. 
U.N. Security Council diplomats are meeting behind closed doors on Friday to discuss what's being called the Arab-European draft resolution on Syria. The Moroccan ambassador is presenting the draft resolution, which is designed to implement the recommendations of the Arab League transition plan laid out on Jan. 22... ... 
Importantly, the draft resolution requests that U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon report on the implementation of the resolution every 15 days and also directs the Security Council "to review Syria's implementation of this resolution [in] 15 days and, in the event that Syria has not complied, to adopt further measures, in consultation with the League of Arab States."... 
She indicated the United States was hopeful that Russia, which has been openly supporting Assad and sending him weapons, will work with the rest of the Security Council to produce a resolution that is strong and effective. Russia and China vetoed European resolution on Syria last fall and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Friday that Russia would veto any resolution that seeks to remove Assad from power..."

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'Is there really a pro-Qaddafi uprising in Libya?'


'The Wild West in the Sahara'
"... Contrary to many of the headlines, the battle in Bani Walid, which the pro-revolutionary forces now seem to have decided in their favor, was not part of a pro-Gaddafi uprising. Green flags did not, as was first reported, sprout from the rooftops. The issue was the arrest of war crimes suspects. Since the end of last year's fighting, Bani Walid has become a refuge for the waifs and strays of the former Gaddafi administration who are on the war crimes lists of other cities. A pro-government unit in the town had begun to arrest them when on Monday their base was attacked by a local clan. Four soldiers were killed, the rest fled, and the suspects were set free.
Now the National Guard wants them back. "We want to go home, we all want to go home," says National Guard fighter Osman El Hadi, himself from Beni Walid. "But first we need to finish this."
This minor uprising, in short, is less significant in itself than for what it says about the disarray of the post-revolutionary administration in Tripoli. Right now, power on the national level is exercised by the National Transitional Council (NTC). But this latest crisis has revealed once again that the NTC is, at best, a bit player.
The real power in Libya remains dispersed among the country's bewildering array of grassroots military formations. Most are grouped around town or city military councils; Tripoli is divided into 11 district militias. The last time anyone counted, Misrata had 172, ranging from ten-man outfits to the 500-strong Halbus Brigade, with a wartime strength of 17,000. That figure has since plummeted, with thousands returning to their jobs...."
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God forgive him… I certainly can’t

by Paul Eisen

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Khaled Mashaal, intends to run for the Presidency of the Palestinian Authority

Hamas leader stepping down is ‘pure speculation’
The French newspaper "Le Soir" claimed 23/1/2012, according to a source from Hamas Monday , the head of the movement's political Bureau, Khaled Meshaal, intends to run for the Presidency of the Palestinian Authority.
Serge demeu the author of the article Speculated that "Mashaal declined to renew his chairmanship of the Hamas political Bureau, to prepare for the presidential elections of the Palestinian Authority this year."
Watchimg "Brother" Azmi Bishara
The writer pointed out that this Declaration came for several reasons, including loss of Hamas support Syrian regime (Brotherhood spring) and tensions within Hamas reached un-preceeded level especially between Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmud Zahar, a Hamas leaders and the Commander of the military wing of Hamas, Mahmoud Al-Ja'bari.
Mashaal To brotherhood Suprime Guide
 Arab world waits Egypt
The author of the article confirmed that "Egypt Islamists decided to support the Hamas leader's candidacy for the presidential elections, like the rest of the Arab spring states which began to shift towards government led by Islamists" More
Diplomatic and other intelligence sources said Friday on 27/1/2012 that Khaled Mashaal, head of the  has already left his headquarters in the Syrian capital of Damascus. But Hamas headquarters in Syria shall never closes  and will not declare leaving Syria even though this happened already.
Sources said Meshaal, is currently in Cairo, but until now there is"no agreement to open an Office in Cairo."
The source said that Mashaal shall might be in Qatar which for most of the time until the situation stabilizes in Syria.
Qatar mediation contributed in Mashaal's visit Jordan next week to restore relations with Amman for the first time after more than a decade of expelling Hamas from Jordan.

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The Ziocons & 'shitting the proverbial pants'


"...America is a country that has grown complacent in its assumptions about the Middle East and its politics, and too wedded to the idea of having an imperial role in the region (of which CENTCOM is the embodiment) and the world more generally. For several years I have advocated an American withdrawal from the Arab world (FLC believes that this is undergoing but ONLY in the Levant!) The Arab uprisings have made this all the more urgent, although it is a delicate, difficult, and potentially dangerous matter. But that's a debate for another day. 
Let me focus now on a few pieces by people who have written very unwise things, and who are the other bigpart of the problem with American foreign policy in the region: those who primarily see US Middle East policy through the lens of Israel.  
Robert Satloff, a leading hack of the Israel lobby think tank WINEP, and Eric Trager have a piece in the WSJ you can read here. A few years ago Satloff was all into pressuring Egypt on democracy issues, but now has buyer's remorse – confirming my long-held suspicion that people like him and Elliott Abrams (and many others) were only tactically interested in democracy promotion as a manner to wield greater influence over the Mubarak regime. Now that Islamists have won a majority in Egypt's parliament, they are shitting their proverbial pants...."
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Saudi to recognize, fund SNC; Russia rejects Syria resolution

Saudi Arabia will recognize the Syrian National Council (SNC) as the "official representative" of the Syrian people amid a joint Western-Gulf Arab push to have President Bashar Assad removed, a senior member of the opposition group said on Friday.
"Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told an SNC delegation he met in Cairo last week the kingdom will recognize the Council as the official representative of the Syrian people," SNC executive council member Ahmad Ramadan told Kuwait's Al-Rai newspaper.

Ramadan did not specify when Saudi will make the call, or whether it will be backed by its Gulf Arab allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

It was also reported in the UK's The Times newspaper on Friday that Saudi Arabia and Qatar will begin funding the SNC as well as armed groups fighting the regime.

Gulf Arab states have taken a leading role in trying to oust the Syrian president, having this week announced the withdrawal of their members from the Arab League monitoring team in Syria.

Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani is to officially present a Western-backed plan to UN Security Council ambassadors in New York that will request Assad hand over power to his deputy, while a unity government is formed to oversee a full transition.

The improving ties between the GCC and SNC has aroused concerns among some corners of the Syrian opposition that fear Gulf states will turn Syria into a battleground against arch rival Iran.
The GCC oppose the democratic aspirations of the Arab Spring protests engulfing the region, and sent troops into neighboring Bahrain last year to crush a similar uprising there.

It is also unclear how representative the Istanbul-based SNC is of the protesters within Syria, and the level of contact between the internal revolution and external opposition groups.

Meanwhile, Russia has preempted the West and the GCC by already declaring its proposed UN resolution as "unacceptable."
A senior Russian diplomat rejected the plan because it does not take Moscow's position into account, the Itar-Tass news agency reported on Friday.
Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov's remarks were the latest sign that Russia will push hard for changes in the Western-Gulf draft resolution.
The UN draft, which was expected to be distributed to the Security Council later on Friday, contains "no fundamental consideration for our position" and is missing "key aspects that are fundamental to us," Itar-Tass quoted Gatilov as saying.

Russia has previously said it will veto any UN resolution that seeks to impose sanctions on Syria or justify military action.

Russia and China vetoed a European-drafted resolution in October, while the West remains adamant in its push to have Assad removed from power.
(Al-Akhbar, Reuters, AFP)
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Hamas Divided Over Its Presence in Syria

(Photo: REUTERS - Asmaa Waguih)
If the advisory council does not nominate Meshal again, the favorite to win could be Moussa Abu Marzook (C), should the council opt for a leader outside of the occupied Palestinian territories.

Published Friday, January 27, 2012

Hamas has evacuated most of its administrative personnel from Syria. The justification that Hamas officials gave for the evacuation was that there is no need for these administrators to remain in Syria during a period of political upheaval and that the uprising would have hindered their ability to carry out their work and limited their movement had they stayed.
Hamas has kept a staff of about 100 people in the political bureau, a fraction of the nearly 2000 that were there before.

Despite these measures, Hamas strongly denies that it will transfer its politburo from Syria to Egypt or Jordan, or that it has any desire to leave Syria.

However, everything they are doing suggests otherwise. It appears as if Hamas is preparing for the right moment for its administration to leave Syria.

The strongest indicator of this was the decision to move the families of the members of its politburo out of Damascus over the past months.

Head of the politburo, Khaled Meshal, has moved his family to Amman in Jordan. Meanwhile, his deputy Mousa Abu Marzook moved his family to Egypt.

Hamami from London
Leave Damascus now
One movement official who did not wish to be identified stated that “Hamas does not want to leave Syria, but in the event that we are forced to leave Damascus, it must be at the lowest possible cost to us.”

As far as what this means, Hamas is quite simply “waiting for Syria to expel us,” according to the official.

The debate surrounding moving the political bureau arose with infighting among different wings of Hamas. Meshal’s moderate wing, which wants to move the political bureau, has been weakened by the “security solution” currently being pursued by the Syrian regime.

Meshal announced Hamas’s opposition to the Syrian regime’s security measures during a visit to Tehran in October of last year.

On the other hand, Meshal’s more hard-line deputy Abu Marzook’s stocks have risen. He supports moving the bureau out of Syria, and has also proposed that Hamas distance itself from Iran.

For the first time since its foundation, the conflict between Hamas’ different wings has become public. This is due to recent leaks from inside the organization that Meshal does not intend to run for his post again.

According to movement members, this news was leaked by “those close to Abu Marzook.” They add that the motivation for the leak was to prevent Meshal from later “going back on his word.”
Yet, Meshal’s announcement that he does not intend to run does not necessarily mean that he will not be a candidate.

According to one Hamas official, the organization’s advisory council “could decide to nominate him again, at which point Abu Walid [Meshal] will be forced to yield to the opinion of the council.”
If the advisory council does not nominate Meshal again, the favorite to win could be Abu Marzook, should the council opt for a leader outside of the occupied Palestinian territories. Alternatively, Ismail Haniyeh could be nominated, should the council prefer a candidate from within Palestine.

However, despite current tensions between Hamas and the regime in Syria, the movement has made some headway in Jordan.

Hamas supporters are awaiting the results of the meeting that will be held between King Abdullah II and Meshal next Sunday in Amman.

The meeting, which is being billed as a “reconciliation” meeting, will likely see the reopening of Hamas’s offices in the Jordanian capital, bringing the organization closer to its constituency in the West Bank.

The meeting, arranged nearly a year ago with the help of the Qataris, has been delayed several times by the Jordanian king due to media leaks.

Some Hamas members deny the possibility of the political bureau being transferred to Egypt, as the country is still experiencing turmoil of its own.

One Hamas member said, “Egyptian intelligence announced that it is unable to host Hamas’s political bureau in Cairo. But they will allow the movement to conduct meetings with international officials on Egyptian soil.”
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

According to Syrian opposition circles in Cairo, Hamad bin Jassem, in a meeting with members of the Syrian National Council in the Egyptian capital, presented an analysis stressing that Hamas ended as the movement of armed resistance. Hamas exit from Damascus, which has become confirmed will put an end to hamas as a resistance movement.The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt will not be able to protect Hamas as an armed resistance movement because of the Camp David and Egyptian army presence and the large economic vulnerability in Egypt as well as the Egyptian society is not psychological ready for going to war on the border with Palestine, moreover the Jordan brothers can't embrace Hamas because Jordan cannot bear this burden.

  • Zahhar: Shura Council will Choose Next Hamas Chief

  • No renewal to Mishaal: external pressures and internal differences

  • Hamas to leave Syria & Meshaal could step down

  • Rats desert a sinking ship, fools ride

  • "Is it a pre-condition to recognize Israel in order to govern?"

  • Brothers of America

  • Khalid Amayreh: "The Syrian regime must change, or it will be changed"

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