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Abbas' deputy ignores US aid: The US administrations haven't given us anything of substance
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Fatah Deputy Chairman ignores billions of dollars
 
in US aid: 
"The American administrations... 
have not given the Palestinians anything of substance"
Palestinians should "strengthen the popular resistance
so the occupation will become expensive for Israel"
  • Fatah members are leading the "popular uprising"
     
  • All US administrations should be told: "May your houses be destroyed"
By Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Completely ignoring the continuous financial aid the Palestinian Authority has received from the US - which amounts to more than $5.2 billion since 1994 through USAID alone - Fatah Deputy Chairman Mahmoud Al-Aloul announced in an interview that the Americans "have not given the Palestinians anything of substance," and that "nothing good will come from them":

Mahmoud Al-Aloul: "Recently we were forced to review all of our relations with the American administrations in recent years, and not just the Trump administration. We assessed that nothing good will come from them for the Palestinian people and the nation, and this is completely clear."

Question: "Is that your assessment or the assessment of the Palestinian leadership?"

Al-Aloul: "It is the assessment of the entire Palestinian leadership. If we review the relations with all of the American administrations, we see that they have not given the Palestinians anything of substance but rather worked in order to pull the rug out from under their feet by exerting pressures on them, and that with all their might they support [the Palestinians'] enemy that is occupying their lands."
[Al-Quds Al-Arabi, (UK), Jan. 20, 2018]

Palestinian Media Watch reported on similar anti-US rhetoric by PA and Fatah Chairman Abbas and many other Palestinian leaders, including remarks belittling and rejecting US aid.  Abbas himself stated: 
 
 

"Let them [the US] not do us a favor by paying us money... We do not want anyone to pay us. And may [Trump] not tweet at me on Twitter that: 'We will not pay money to the Palestinians because they are refusing negotiations.' May your house be destroyed. When did we refuse?"
[Abbas in speech to PLO Central Council, Official PA TV, Jan. 14, 2018]

Asked in his interview with the London paper Al-Quds Al-Arabi if Al-Aloul found Abbas' insult to Trump - "May your house be destroyed" - appropriate, Al-Aloul stated Abbas should have used even stronger language to convey the PA and Fatah's anger with the US:

Q: "Had you known in advance, would you have recommended to him [Abbas] to use this expression?"

Al-Aloul: "Maybe I would have recommended to him to use other stronger expressions. I don't know why the expression is being focused upon. It expresses the feelings and level of disappointment."
[Al-Quds Al-Arabi, (UK), Jan. 20, 2018]

Another question to Al-Aloul concerned the Palestinian "popular resistance or intifada on the ground." Abbas' deputy stated that this is led by "Fatah members," and that he as well as the PLO Central Council deem it "necessary to strengthen the popular resistance so the occupation will become expensive for Israel":

Q: "The most important thing is to extract a price from Israel... and only popular resistance or intifada on the ground will put an end to its occupation, not negotiations. Regarding the diplomatic activity, it is not enough as experience proves, but the PA is preventing [resistance and intifada]."

Al-Aloul: "No, not at all. The latest decisions of the [PLO] Central Council emphasized that it is necessary to encourage the popular resistance against the Israeli violations. [This resistance] exists and is being carried out on a permanent basis, and the ones intensively working on it together with the members of our people are Fatah members, who are leading it. It is part of the Palestinian strategy, and we have never disagreed over it."

Q: "In other words, are you satisfied with the level of the popular resistance?"

Al-Aloul: "It is necessary to strengthen the popular resistance so the occupation will become expensive for Israel."
[Al-Quds Al-Arabi, (UK), Jan. 20, 2018]

PMW has reported on numerous calls for violence by Fatah, and documented that the terms "peaceful uprising/resistance," and "popular uprising/resistance" are used by PA leaders at times to refer to peaceful protest and at times to refer to deadly terror attacks and terror waves. For example, Mahmoud Abbas defined as "peaceful popular" the murderous terror during the 2015-2016 terror wave ("The Knife Intifada"), in which 40 people were killed (36 Israelis, 1 Palestinian, 2 Americans and 1 Eritrean) and hundreds wounded in stabbings, shootings, and car ramming attacks. Abbas said: "We want peaceful popular uprising, and that's what this is." 

According to the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem, the US has provided the PA with "more than [$]5.2 billion since 1994 through USAID."
The website further states that:
"Beyond USAID, the United States is the largest bilateral contributor to UNRWA in support of Palestinian refugees throughout the region. The United States also provides substantial support to help the Palestinian Authority provide law enforcement and maintain the rule of law. U.S. support to Palestinians includes programs implemented by the Middle East Partnership Initiative as well as educational and cultural programing through the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem."
[Website of the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem, accessed Jan. 24, 2018]

The following is a longer excerpt of the interview conducted by the London newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi with Fatah Deputy Chairman and Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud Al-Aloul:

Headline: "Fatah Movement Deputy Chairman Mahmoud Al-Aloul: We will not confront the Arab countries that are going in the direction of normalization [with Israel], we will leave that to their peoples"

"Q: 'Let us start with that which is connected to style and language, and not substance. Was [Fatah Deputy Chairman and Fatah Central Committee member] Mahmoud Al-Aloul surprised by [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas'] use of the expression "may your house be destroyed" when he spoke about US President [Donald Trump]?'

[Al-Aloul:] 'In a large part of the speeches the president deviates from the text. This is what happened in the latest speech. This expression has been used many times in our tradition and stories, and it expresses pain and disappointment in the Americans.'

Q: 'Had you known in advance, would you have recommended to him [Abbas] to use this expression?'

[Al-Aloul:] 'Maybe I would have recommended to him to use other stronger expressions. I don't know why the expression is being focused upon. It expresses the feelings and level of disappointment, and this is most clear in this context. Recently we were forced to review all of our relations with the American administrations in recent years, and not just the Trump administration. We assessed that nothing good will come from them for the Palestinian people and the nation, and this is completely clear.'

Q: 'Is that your assessment or the assessment of the Palestinian leadership?'

[Al-Aloul:] 'It is the assessment of the entire Palestinian leadership. If we review the relations with all of the American administrations, we see that they have not given the Palestinians anything of substance but rather worked in order to pull the rug out from under their feet by exerting pressures on them, and that with all their might they support [the Palestinians'] enemy that is occupying their lands.'

Q: 'If so, would it have been preferable to say "may your houses be destroyed" to all the American presidents?'

[Al-Aloul:] 'Yes, certainly. It is clear that Trump's last step regarding occupied Jerusalem [declaring it Israel's capital] is also connected to other steps, and not only in Jerusalem, such as the step... regarding the refugees and regarding UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East). It is completely clear that the American side is a partner of the Israeli occupation in occupying Palestine...'

Q: 'The most important thing is to extract a price from Israel... and only popular resistance or intifada on the ground will put an end to its occupation, not negotiations. Regarding the diplomatic activity, it is not enough as experience proves, but the PA is preventing [resistance and intifada].'

[Al-Aloul:] 'No, not at all. The latest decisions of the [PLO] Central Council emphasized that it is necessary to encourage the popular resistance (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror) against the Israeli violations. [This resistance] exists and is being carried out on a permanent basis, and the ones intensively working on it together with the members of our people are Fatah members, who are leading it. It is part of the Palestinian strategy, and we have never disagreed over it.'

Q: 'In other words, are you satisfied with the level of the popular resistance?'

[Al-Aloul:] 'It is necessary to strengthen the popular resistance so the occupation will become expensive for Israel.'"
[Al-Quds Al-Arabi, (UK), Jan. 20, 2018]
On Dec. 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and instructed the State Department to begin preparations to transfer the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump added that the final borders of Jerusalem will be determined during negotiations.

In early January 2018, the US froze two planned payments to UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) for more than $100 million, as the US administration spoke about reexamining and conducting a reform of the UN body.

 


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