Buenos Aires,Argentine, March 2005
Palestinian Elections under the Israeli Tsunami (view)
By Suhail Hani
Ambassador of Palestine in Argentina
With an own Tsunami unfasten by Israel, the world rested in the Palestinian democracy. Without thinking whether fair and free elections are feasible in an occupied country, under a Zionist colonialism, the crimes, the Israeli boycott and the denial of the vote to 4 millions of Palestinian refugees.
Above the strategies of Israel to ruin them, the presidential elections in Palestine were highly exemplary for the region and the world. Product of a strong maturity of a people who fight for their dignity, freedom and independence, the legacy of the martyr Yasser Arafat was reflected in the overwhelming vote for Fateh, the PLO and Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen).
Hundreds of international observers guaranteed the election and in some moments they lived the same difficulties that the Palestinians. To shun walls, to argue with the soldiers of the Israeli occupation and to feel their own rebelliousness in front so much injustice. Argentina made hierarchical the elections with the official visit of the Chancellor and President of the Security Council of the UN, Rafael Bielsa, who met in Gaza with the minister of Foreign Affairs, Nabeel Sha´ath, with the interim president Rawhi Fattouh and they shared a lunch beside the Mediterranean Sea. In Ramallah, he met with the Prime Minister Ahmad Qorei and the elected president Abu Mazen, who thanked the Argentinean people and government their permanent solidarity and cooperation. In posthumous homage he offered a minute of silence and put a floral offering in the Grave of the Father of the Homeland Yasser Arafat in the Mukata´a (Presidency). With regard to the human being, the face of the Chancellor Bielsa, amazed, irradiated the suffering of the Palestinian people and their difficult life under the occupation and the walls.
Jerusalem, emblem of the Palestinian sovereignty, only the 4,5% of the citizens could vote. The places fixed by the occupation were 6 Israeli post offices, which did not interrupted their daily work of attention to the public with the logical problems. The rest, more than a hundred thousand Palestinians were forced to vote in electoral centers outside the city, with the traumas of the lack of census, victims of military controls, Apartheid walls and Jewish settlers that attacked them blocking their roads. The former American President Jimmy Carter, highlighted this difficulties that were suffered. In spite of everything and the threats the Israeli ultra-right: “all those who vote will be filmed and interrogated”, the Palestinian citizens of occupied Jerusalem voted.
While the observers were preparing their suitcases after the democratic splendor and the transparency of the victory of Fateh, the day after marked the reality of the awakening of the Palestinian people. We continue under the devastating Israeli occupation and their rhetoric myth.
Israel and its spokesmen, eager of impunity, started to knit the debilitation of the new leadership evoking the annoying myths of security and their struggle against terrorism, imposing the terrorism of State and the insecurity to the Palestinian people. The Israeli chancellor Silvan Shalom, warned: "the new authorities have to adopt strategies to combat the terrorism". Sharon, pressed the elected President Abu Mazen to take actions against those who launch Qaasam missiles from Gaza in exchange for handing Palestinian cities over. And the Minister of Defense Shaul Mofaz broke his promise and he did not remove the controls of the Palestinian cities for 72 hours, and while his forces continued provoking and assassinating to Palestinian citizens, they received an authorization to demolish in the border of Gaza with Egypt 3000 Palestinian houses in order to dig a security grave.
The world was satisfied. Those who saw the Palestinian elections as a solution, must look today to the Occupant Power to stop the inquisition of its myths so that it does not humiliate to the new leadership as it tried to weaken to the one of Arafat, and to demand Israel the end of the occupation and its terrorism of State. Otherwise, Abu Mazen will be sacrificed in the same way, it will demonize once again to the Palestinian people and leadership and the violence will continue wrapping to both peoples without justice and dignity for Palestine and Israel.
The destructive Tsunami of Israel against the Palestinian people bares the barbarism of the occupation leaving exasperating figures. From 28 September 2000 to December 2004 they assassinated 3,582 Palestinian civilians, among them 861 children, 38,971 were wounded, almost 8 thousand houses were demolished and more than a million olive and fruit trees were uprooted. Hundreds of dunams of Palestinian land were confiscated for the construction of the Apartheid Wall and Israeli settlements with the aim of undermining the Palestinian geography and causing a third massive exile of Palestinians.
On the political ground. Sharon strengthened his semantics trying to subtract credibility to the Palestinian Leadership in the exterior and the interior of Palestine. On the international ground, he compared the terrorism with the legitimate right of defense against the Israeli colonialism, trying to equal the claim of the Occupant Power with the one of the subjected and occupied people. Internally, he tries to confront the Palestinian people with their leadership in the same way as he tried President Arafat to become his chief of police and as he could not achieve it, he fenced him militarily until the martyrdom. Today, he tries the same with Abu Mazen, pressing him so that he controls to the groups of the resistance with the aim of producing an inter-Palestinian confrontation, which ends being servile to the interests of the Israeli occupation.
A big part of the Israeli people, in discrepancy with their government, is annoyed for this situation that loads on their backs the future responsibility for the Palestinian holocaust, in the same way that the Nazi regime loaded on the backs of the German people the Jewish holocaust. In this sense, the policy of Sharon is not irrelevant. The Israeli former ministry of education Shulamit Aloni, on September 2003, shook the Israeli society and the Jewish conscience denouncing that “the behavior of the Israeli chief of State Moshe Ya’alon, is absolutely similar to that of the old fascist dictator Mussolini in alliance with Adolf Hitler”.
The President Abu Mazen assumed 15 January 2005 and “asked for the end of the occupation and he offered his hand to Israel in the manner of peace”. Darkening the sun of the illusion, the government of the Israeli coalition Likud-Laborite, rejected it and promised greater military action against the Palestinian people.
Palestinian and Israelis, neighbors and partners in the peace, must strengthen their bonds in this lonely scenario that takes the life of their children and asphyxiates their hopes. Together and without the Herodians embedded in the belligerent image of Sharon, will have to look for a common destiny, which unites them in the life on the base of two free, sovereign and democratic states for two peoples with dignity.