Intifada Fatigue Among Palestinians, More Than Upcoming Elections, May Shape Events

(U.S. News) Larry Derfner and Khaled Abu Toameh - * The intifada has failed - and the Palestinians now admit it. "People are very, very tired. We've lost everything in the past four years. There's no economy, no work, and the Israelis have killed most of the fighters," says Abu Khaled, 31, a political activist in Tulkarm. "The intifada has set us back 50 years." * When Abbas's convoy of Jeep Cherokees, Mercedes-Benzes, and BMWs, escorted by Israeli security forces, drove through the Jericho checkpoint, the waiting cab drivers taunted his entourage for its fancy cars. "Here's where the money for the revolution went. Here's the money they stole," a cabbie shouted to Abbas's aides. * Israel and the U.S. demand police action from Abbas to neutralize the militants, whatever it takes. However, no one has found the Palestinian policeman who would obey such an order, and Abbas makes it clear that he will never issue it. * While Abbas has departed from Arafat's path by criticizing the "militarization" of the intifada and calling for an end to violence, he is no savior. He is not a strong leader; he cannot command Palestinian security forces to confront the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad as Israel and the U.S. insist. * All he can really do is talk and hope people listen, and after his expected election, his voice should gain at least some added authority. But it is not Abbas's new presidential prestige that could, perhaps, lead Palestinians to silence their weapons; rather, it is their own resigned understanding, after four years of futile warfare, that he happens to be right.

2005-01-04 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive