April 28, 2003

PEACE, WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT

Abu Mazen tells Europeans will declare end to armed struggle (Arnon Regular, 4/28/03, Ha'aretz)
Palestinian Prime Minister designate Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has told European diplomats he will use his inaugural speech to declare an end to the use of arms to achieve Palestinian national aspirations.

Abu Mazen will be inaugurated after the PLC (Palestinian Legislative Council) approves his government. He told the Europeans, after he reached agreement on the composition of his cabinet last week with Chairman Yasser Arafat, that he would say ending the armed struggle and improving the living conditions of Palestinians are an inseparable part of the road map that would form the basic guidelines of his government. Lifting checkpoints and improving the Palestinian economic situation are essential elements in this, he said.

Abu Mazen told the Europeans all future inputs of money to the PA, whether from donors, Europeans, or Arab countries would go to the PA treasury and would be overseen by Finance Minister Salam Fayyad.

That would meet long-standing European demands made to an unresponsive Arafat for financial transparency in the use of money sent to the PA. It essentially makes the process of donor money usage subject to the same transparency rules Israel laid down for handing over tax money it collects on behalf of the PA.

Events are in the saddle and they're riding the American hawks. In very short order the neocons will be left arguing that the Palestinians, despite having the most free and democratic state in the Arab world, should not be recognized as such, but should continue to be lorded over by Israel. This will place them in the schizophrenic position of demanding and denying democratic reforms at one and the same time and of opposing Ariel Sharon for being too accomodationist. Posted by Orrin Judd at April 28, 2003 12:53 PM
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