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Palestinian Society Perspective

04 July 2003

By Yisrael Ne’eman

It is time for a good look at Palestinian society to discern the major causes bringing about the hudna, or Islamic cease-fire. 

PA Chairman Yasir Arafat failed not only in his policy of massive violence to obtain the strategic end of the collapse of Israeli society, but obtained the exact opposite, the closing of ranks between Left and Right in the Jewish State (except for left wing extremists).  Arafat as a leader proved a disaster.

By Arafat is the declared leader of Palestinian society, just like the hudna is the declared cease-fire.  Arafat proved catastrophic and the hudna will prove itself a calamity if it does not take on a western interpretation, meaning a cease-fire leading to peace, not one being used to reorganize for war.  Arafat and the hudna are one and the same, declarations of a refusal to compromise.  Just to prove the point the Chairman will apparently be the only candidate in the Palestinian elections to supposedly be held in October.  That is the exterior.

On the interior there is Palestinian PM Mahmoud Abbas and the western understanding of a truce leading to peace.  His problem and that of the Palestinian Authority is one of implementation and enforcement.  With the cohesive leadership in Hamas and the Islamic Jihad their leadership can enforce the hudna on their own even if they give it the Islamic understanding.

No so with the Fatah organizations of the Tanzim and the El Aksa Brigades.  Due to rivalries and the elimination of much of their leadership through targeted removals and arrests they are shattered to the point of every three man terror squad deciding on whether to adhere to the hudna or not.  With Arafat as #1 and Abbas as #2 and in full disagreement with each other this could be fully anticipated.  It was also Arafat’s tactic of “Planned Anarchy” if all else failed.