Observation: Free at last!?! Erekat offers to restore pre-Oslo arrangements
Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA 23 September 2011
Until now the Palestinian "threat/offer" was that if Israel did not want a
sovereign Palestinian state that it should "pay" by giving the Palestinians
in the West Bank the right to vote in the Knesset and call it a day (it is
folly to assume that Hamas would agree to be forfeit its control of the Gaza
Strip in such a scenario).
Today a Palestinian official inadvertently slashed the "price" Israel would
apparently have to pay to end the current campaign for a state:
"We will invite you [AL: Israel] to become the only authority from the River
Jordan to the Mediterranean," veteran Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat,
told Israel Radio.
Mr. Erekat no doubt considers this a terrible earth shaking threat to
But the offer to close down the PA and put Israel in the driver's seat could
be more a blessed opportunity than a disaster.
Israel would engage on a municipal/regional level with the Palestinians in
order to assure the ongoing provision of services while at the same time it
would have a free hand to address security threats. The American trained
Palestinian army as well as the other armies and various armed gangs would
be shut down while lightly armed local Palestinian municipal police would
take responsibility for local public order.
Israel would offset the loss of foreign funding that has propped up the
Palestinian economy with real jobs for Palestinians taking the place of
foreign workers - this at a time that Israel is entering a building boom as
the Netanyahu administration races to release land and approve housing
projects to reduce the souring real estate prices that triggered the social
protest movement this summer.
The employment of Palestinians instead of foreign workers would be a win-win
situation since while foreign workers try to send as much of the money they
receive back to their home countries, the Palestinians can be expected to
end up spending a significant part of their paychecks on Israeli goods.
And all this without Erekat requiring that Israel grant voting rights.
Is this a threat or an offer?