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PA Official to Palestinians: Stop Blaming Israel!

Dr. Ghazi Hamad is a member of Hamas and an official spokesman for the Palestinian Authority.  A former newspaper editor, he is a frequent anti-Israeli critic. But he took a very different tone Sunday in an article posted on several Palestinian web sites.  He told his people had to stop blaming others for their own mistakes if they are ever improve the wretched situation in Gaza.

“After the withdrawal from Gaza,” he wrote, “we hoped for a bright future, we thought that this year we will reap the fruits of our sacrifices. But I ask myself today – why did the occupation return to Gaza. The occupation – wise men and commentators will say – is responsible. I am not defending the occupation, but I want to stop at our mistakes, which we are accustomed to blame on others.”  And Ghazi put the blame for chaos, lawlessness, poverty, and anarchy in the Gaza Strip squarely on his own people.

Gaza is suffering under the yoke of anarchy and the swords of thugs.  I remember the day when Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip and closed the gates behind. Then, Palestinians across the political spectrum took to the streets to celebrate what many of us regarded as the Israeli defeat or retreat. We heard a lot about a promising future in the Gaza Strip and about turning the area into a trade and industrial zone.”  But today, he added, “Life became a nightmare and an intolerable burden.”  Only with an honest look within themselves, he told his people, could they learn why that happened and how they could right things.

“Anarchy, wanton killing, land steeling, thuggery … is the occupation responsible for all?...We're always afraid to talk about our mistakes.  We're used to blaming our mistakes on others….We are still trapped by the mentality of conspiracy theories - one that has limited our capability to think.”

In the year since Israel left Gaza to the Palestinians, the small coastal strip has become a hot bed of violence with rogue militias wandering the streets, foreign journalists and aid workers kidnapped, over 500 Arab deaths, and oppressive poverty.  The Israelis left the Strip their hi-tech agricultural devices, most prominently, hothouses.  Before the Israeli withdrawal, Israelis and Palestinians both worked the hothouses producing a veritable agricultural bounty.  But since the withdrawal, Palestinians have been unable to replicate the hothouses’ productivity.  Insects, aridity, and other problems that the hothouses were capable of eliminating have returned.  Plans for industrial zones and economic cooperation with others also evaporated as foreign investors found the lawless territory unacceptably risky for any sort of stable business enterprise.  The roving gangs, rampant extortion, and random kidnappings also kept workers and businessmen away.   The jobs that were expected to be created after the withdrawal never materialized.

Hamad also blamed the Palestinian Arabs for Israeli refusal to allow Gaza workers to cross into Israel as they previously did.  “When efforts are made to open the Rafah border crossing to ease the humanitarian crisis, there is always someone who fires a rocket on the crossing. When we speak about a truce, there is always someone who fires another rocket.”  The same logic applies to the Erez and other crossings into Israel. As a result, many Israeli businesses have turned to other sources of workers forever closing off those jobs to Gazans.

“The reality in Gaza today is one of neglect, sadness, and failure. When someone errs we are scared to criticize him to avoid being accused of being against the resistance," Hamad wrote and added that “the resistance [is] worthless [when] the land is full with anarchy, corruption, thuggery, and gang killings.”

He said that the Palestinians have fallen victim to “the bacteria of stupidity” and recognized that they will progress only by taking responsibility for their own lives.

“Let's admit to our mistakes, let's do some logical soul searching and place the interest of our people before us and say honestly – We were right here and we erred there. Only then will we see that the faces of Gaza and the homeland changes.”

Hamad concluded: “Please have mercy on Gaza. Have mercy on us from your demagogy, chaos, guns, thugs, infighting. Let Gaza breathe a bit. Let it live.”

Posted on 29 Aug 2006 by mah123
 
 
 
 
 


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