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Saturday, January 14, 2006

On the front-line

Laila El-Haddad is a journalist, blogger and mother living in Gaza City. The Guardian has commissioned her to write a series on the forthcoming Palestinian election. Her first entry offers some perspective on life in Gaza and the current security issues:

"We’ve had an unusual spell of quiet in our otherwise troubled little Gaza this week. That may be attributed in part to the four-day Eid al-Adha holiday, which comes to its conclusion today. That, in combination with an ailing Ariel Sharon and calls by Mahmoud Abbas to armed groups for some “calm” (not that his calls have necessarily been heeded in the past), has meant a somewhat quieter week: no kidnappings, no government-building takeovers, no night-time machine gun banter between police forces and “disgruntled gunmen” to keep us entertained during breaks from Israeli sonic booms and artillery shells.

"The brief calm also seems to strengthen the argument of those who posit that the recent chaos was, in fact, premeditated by certain political elements in an effort to destabilise the government or postpone elections. My guess is the gunmen are too busy devouring their Eid meat."

2 Comments:

Blogger Ibrahamav said...

At the end, she lays it on the line. It is the Palestinians who must end violence as a means.

Saturday, January 14, 2006 11:57:00 pm  
Blogger boredinHK said...

I got this from Alert and Alarmed. It is a bit of background I think is useful to read.

Alias said...
Having lived most of my life in lebenon these are my views on what I call Palestinian
Institutionalized Anarchy which should give some insight into Mr Squires questions on Israels wall>

In stage 3 of Yasir Arafat’s Low Intensity Conflict and Terror Offensive waged against Israel in 2002 (when trapped in the Mukata’a after the Passover Massacre in Netanya and during Operation Defensive Shield) the Chairman decided on a policy of what has been referred to in these columns as “planned anarchy.” He no longer authorized terror operations against Israel but rather gave the green light for everyone to execute any and all attacks on their own. Israel countered with

Operation Determined Way
and began building the security fence.


But once anarchy is developed as a policy in one domain its underlying reasoning spreads to other spheres. With anarchy there is no accountability. Arafat wanted it both ways; he would be President (or Chairman) but not be responsible for actions taken against Israel by the different Palestinian factions.


Arafat “institutionalized” anarchy not only in the “armed struggle” against Israel but in every aspect of Palestinian existence. At any given time Arafat had 8 to 12 different competing police and security forces vying for control in the field with loyalties scattered among different strongmen (ex: Jabril Rajoub, Mohammed Dahlan, Tufik Tirawi, etc.) who in turn were all indebted to him. Only on rare occasions did any of these underlings attempt to enforce law and order. They certainly did not see their function as halting terror attacks against Israel and often with Arafat’s full approval participated in the terror. Non-Palestinian Authority militias/terrorists such as the Fatah Al-Aksa Brigades, the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad were allowed to roam free, blasting away at Israelis. Today, under the hapless PA President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) the charade continues.


Arafat left no successor, no credible legislature or court system, no viable tax collection or state financial apparatus and no unified police or security apparatus loyal to the Palestinian Authority as a state institution in the making. Most monies were funneled through Arafat himself (and used for terrorism or embezzled). The political and security factions all distrusted each other. Arafat was the sole authority and he demanded chaos. It was plenty logical since anarchy served a dual purpose as it still does today. Israel cannot negotiate a cease-fire or an end to terrorism with the free-for-all of Palestinian factions challenging and undermining one another. Secondly, everyone was loyal to the Chairman, or at least showed deference. With no Arafat at the helm holding most of the strings (and funds) none of the PA affiliated groups or terror organizations are loyal to anyone but themselves.


Furthermore, in Gaza, many extended families are fully armed and finance themselves by smuggling in weaponry and civilian products from Egypt through Sinai. Kassam rockets are fired at will and any Israeli security zone in northern Gaza is useless. Chaos has devolved Gazan society to the point where anyone with a weapon is his own ruler and can organize an armed faction. Arafat’s centrality of anarchy is triumphant. Israel has no Palestinian negotiating partner who can enforce an agreement on the militias and terror groups. As for the Palestinians, they have no government, no security, no economy and no hope for the future.


Whether the January 25 elections are held or not, it will make little difference considering the proliferation of armed factions. A year after Abu Mazen succeeded him; Arafat’s institutionalized anarchy has defeated all attempts at Palestinian nation building. Israel is getting ready for another round of terrorism, but the real losers are the Palestinian People. They will suffer from Arafat’s legacy of chaos for many years to come.


Additional articles can be found at www.me-ontarget.com

Sunday, January 15, 2006 3:07:00 am  

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