What Abu Mazin should say

Here is the speech which I hope Abu Mazin will one day adopt as his
own, once he realise he has to speak to the Palestinian and Israeli
people rather than to Sharon, his likes and the US..


I, Abu Mazin, Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, a Palestinian
son committed to the realisation of a free Palestinian state having
its capital in East Jerusalem, I Abu Mazen, a man dedicated to the
peaceful coexistence of the Palestinian people with the Israeli
people, am addressing this speech to the whole world

While in jail for 27 years. Mandela was given the opportunity to
get out free, any day he would agree to sign a declaration
stating he is against the use of violence in the struggle for

Mandela refused to sign such a declaration. He said
that the real problem was not the violence of the people
resisting a government which does not represent them, for whom
they had not voted, and who catered to the interests of a
minority. Mandela asserted that it was the South African
government that should be asked to commit itself to renunciation
of violence.

While proclaiming the sacred right of Palestinians to resist the
occupation and the Israeli barbaric oppression and repression, I
had always clearly denounced the suicide-bombing attacks, and
any act of violence directed against innocent civilians.

But, following Mandela's example, I do assert that it is the
repressive Israeli government which should be put in the
hot-seat and made to declare its intention to unconditionally
evacuate the occupied territories, in the most immediate future,
and to stop its violent terrorist repressive measures.

It is Israel that is in the box of the accused of the
international public opinion, It is Israel that illegally
occupies territories beyond its 1967 borders, and does violate
the Geneva conventions and the so numerous UN decisions. It is
Israel who violated international laws and UN decisions, by
implanting a Jewish population in the territories she came to
control as a result of an act of war. It is Israel who violated
the letter and the spirit of the Oslo accord by increasing the
number of settlements, installing a number of checkpoints,
infringing on the rights of the Palestinians, damaging their
economy, forcing them to live under an humiliating rule. Israel
should be accountable for all these crimes, all its acts of
terrorism as represented by the confiscation of Palestinian
land, the destruction of Palestinian houses and the uprooting of
olive trees, the targeting for assassination of many
Palestinians. We should add to that, the arbitrary arrests
without possible recourse to justice. All these crimes were
committed after Oslo and before what came to be called the
second Intefada.

I have denounced, and I do denounce the suicide bombings which
caused so many Israeli victims. The fact that the Palestinian
victims are far more numerous, do not diminish the tragedy of
any family so hurt. Israelis and Palestinians have now at least
this in common: they are being hurt by the loss of dear family
members, man and women, adults and children. This has to stop.

Let me therefore speak of the Palestinian violence and how to
stop it.

After Oslo, the Palestinian constituency supporting HAMAS was
rather small. The Palestinian authority was enjoying a greater
popularity. At this time, had the Israeli been faithful to the
spirit and the letter of Oslo, HAMAS' constituency would have
dwindled by the day. It was up to the Israeli authority to act
in a way that strengthens my hand, and weakens that of HAMAS. At
the time, had Israel announced a policy of gradual dismantling
of the settlements, HAMAS' constituency would have been reduced
to zero. The few leaders and members who would have had recourse
to violent acts against innocent civilians, would have been
arrested and, much more importantly, would have not been
replaced. The HAMAS organisation, discredited by the obvious
success of peaceful means in giving hope to the Palestinians,
would have lost its 'reservoir' to replace those members
captured or killed.

Instead, the Israeli government, by violating the spirit of peace and
reconciliation, by increasing the number of settlements by its
policy of establishing humiliating checkpoints, has weakened my
hand and strengthened that of HAMAS. And as long as HAMAS,
thanks to Sharon, enjoys the support of a large constituency,
repressing their leaders is of no practical use. It only results
in the feeling by Palestinian that I would be more devoted to
the Israeli interests than to theirs.

It is not at all surprising that Sharon is acting in a way that
strengthens the hand of HAMAS. Already Shamir, the past Israeli
premier, and member of the same Party as Sharon's, is on record
in the Time magazine as saying that Israel fears more the
moderate Palestinians than the extremists. He explained that
nobody could ask Israel to sit at the negotiating table with
extremists. But pressure could be exerted on Israel to sit with
the moderates and that, Shamir said, is dangerous for Israel.

Today, it is very easy, even for an isolated individual, to
build an explosive device and to transform himself into a
suicidal bomber. If this individual is just a crazy man, there
would be a single act of terrorism followed by no other.
However, in a situation in which the Israeli policies create
humiliation and despair in the whole Palestinian population,
such isolated individuals, even without a HAMAS organisation,
become numerous.

I have no doubt that, were Israel to evacuate the territories
beyond the green line, the cases of suicide bombing will become
very rare, and there will be no volunteers to replace those who

Sharon, you have the choice: either you want me to be a Quisling
in collusion with you to more and more deprive the Palestinian
people of their rights, their land and their means of
subsistence and their dignity, or you want me to be a partner in
the road to peace a partner who will efficiently eliminate from
Palestine all roots of violence towards the Israeli people. The
first option is not in your cards. You cannot play it. I will
never agree to facilitate your subjugation of the Palestinian

However, the second option is open either to you or to your
successor. All you have to do is to give back some hope and
dignity to the Palestinian people. Just announce an intended
date for the evacuation of the territories and the dismantling
of the settlements. Retire immediately from the cities you have
reoccupied, eliminate the checkpoints between these cities,
allow me to rebuilt the structures of the Palestinian authority,
and the rest will be up to me as the representative of the
Palestinian people. With hope and dignity, the Palestinian
people will support my all encompassing struggle against
violence and the people and organisations which resort to it.

The rest of my speech is directed to the Israeli people.

Our two people have the most important aims in common: long-term
peace, security and prosperity. In fact, and since our objectives are
identical, we should be allies, and not enemies. The one thing
that prevents the Israeli people from considering us an ally is the lack
of trust, the fear that somehow, once the Palestinian people are
free to develop their state, they will renege on the promise to
have their state live harmoniously side by side with the Israeli

I think that the fear that, if an extremist Israeli party comes
to power, it could find a pretext to invade the new Palestinian
state, is by far much more credible.

The Palestinian people is sick and tired of the occupation, the
humiliation and the lack of economic opportunities. The moment
they will start having a taste of freedom and economic
development, all their efforts will be invested in this
direction. They will throw out of their midst whoever would ask
them to go in adventures against Israel. The Palestinian
people, if only given the taste of dignity and prosperity would
throw out of its midst all trouble makers. I hope the Israeli
people would do the same. We are certain that there is no
Israeli "gene" making the Israelis become anti-arabs. Likewise
there is no Palestinian "gene" making Palestinians become

It is in my intention to supervise the writing of a Palestinian
constitution for a secular and democratic Palestinian state. In
accordance to what I know of the will of my people, it will have to be
the most democratic in the world, the most tolerant in the world. It
will also mention, as a constitutional principle, the need for the
friendship between all the peoples of the middle-east, and particularly
the friendship between the Palestinian people and the Israeli
people. Once Palestine becomes an independent state, and once
such a constitution is adopted by the Palestinian people. any
Israeli either passing through Palestine, or residing in it,
should feel at home as if he were in Israel. I want to hope that
the reciprocal  would become true.

All that looks now like a dream. It is my dream, and I would give
my life to make from this dream a reality. Moreover, I think
that it is also the dream of the Palestinian people.

Let us remember, the starting point is to give back hope and
dignity to the Palestinian people.

Clement Leibovitz
#56, 3221-119 street
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6J 5K7

Phone: (780) 436 9883

e-mails: cleibovi@shawbiz.ca