If you havent sunk your teeth into Daniel Pipes' Column this week GO NOW! There is something utterly genius in Pipe's observations. Pipes is our boots on the ground. He is everywhere (but hopefully does not suffer from the G-d complex). His take on the Arabs that live in Israel that WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH PA RULE OR GOVERNANCE is the "emmis" on the street. It says it all.........Kofi are you listening, or counting the indictments you seemlessly avoid?
Pipes work is long but extraordinary....get through it. His rational, disciplined process of thought and scrupulously
logical deliberation is breathtaking
"The Hell of Israel Is Better than the Paradise of Arafat"
by Daniel Pipes
Middle East Quarterly
In the Palestinian Authority's (PA) elections that took place in January 2005, a significant percentage of Arab Jerusalemites stayed away from the polls out of concern that voting in them might jeopardize their status as residents of Israel. For example, the Associated Press quoted one Rabi Mimi, a 28-year-old truck driver, who expressed strong support for Mahmoud Abbas but said he had no plans to vote: "I can't vote. I'm afraid I'll get into trouble. I don't want to take any chances." Asked if he would vote, a taxi driver responded with indignation, "Are you kidding? To bring a corrupt [Palestinian] Authority here. This is just what we are missing."
This reluctance—as well as administrative incompetence—helped explain why, in the words of the Jerusalem Post, "at several balloting locations in the city [of Jerusalem], there were more foreign election observers, journalists, and police forces out than voters." It also explains why, in the previous PA election in 1996, a mere 10 percent of Jerusalem's eligible population voted, far lower than the proportions elsewhere.
At first blush surprising, the worry about jeopardizing Israeli residency turns out to be widespread among the Palestinians in Israel. When given a choice of living under Zionist or Palestinian rule, they decidedly prefer the former. More than that, there is a body of pro-Israel sentiments from which to draw. No opinion surveys cover this delicate subject, but a substantial record of statements and actions suggest that, despite their anti-Zionist swagger, Israel's most fervid enemies do perceive its political virtues. Even Palestinian leaders, between their fulminations, sometimes let down their guard and acknowledge Israel's virtues. This undercurrent of Palestinian love of Zion has hopeful and potentially significant implications.
Pro-Israel expressions fall into two main categories: preferring to remain under Israel rule and praising Israel as better than Arab regimes.
No Thank You, Palestinian Authority
Palestinians already living in Israel, especially in Jerusalem and the "Galilee Triangle" area, tell, sometimes volubly, how they prefer to remain in Israel.
Jerusalem. In mid-2000, when it appeared that some Arab-majority parts of Jerusalem would be transferred to Palestinian Authority control, Muslim Jerusalemites expressed less than delight at the prospect. Peering over at Arafat's PA, they saw power monopolized by domineering and corrupt autocrats, a thug-like police force, and a stagnant economy. Arafat's bloated, nonsensical claims ("We are the one true democratic oasis in the Arab region") only exacerbated their apprehensions.
‘Abd ar-Razzaq ‘Abid of Jerusalem's Silwan neighborhood pointed dubiously to "what's happening in Ramallah, Hebron, and the Gaza Strip" and asked if the residents there were well off. A doctor applying for Israeli papers explained:
The whole world seems to be talking about the future of the Arabs of Jerusalem, but no one has bothered asking us. The international community and the Israeli Left seem to take it for granted that we want to live under Mr. Arafat's control. We don't. Most of us despise Mr. Arafat and the cronies around him, and we want to stay in Israel. At least here I can speak my mind freely without being dumped in prison, as well as having a chance to earn an honest day's wage.
In the colorful words of one Jerusalem resident, "The hell of Israel is better than the paradise of Arafat. We know Israeli rule stinks, but sometimes we feel like Palestinian rule would be worse."
The director of the Bayt Hanina community council in northern Jerusalem, Husam Watad, found that the prospect of finding themselves living under Arafat's control had people "in a panic. More than 50 percent of east Jerusalem residents live below the poverty line, and you can imagine how the situation would look if residents did not receive [Israeli] National Insurance Institute payments." In the view of Fadal Tahabub, a member of the Palestinian National Council, an estimated 70 percent of the 200,000 Arab residents of Jerusalem preferred to remain under Israeli sovereignty. A social worker living in Ras al-‘Amud, one of the areas possibly falling under PA control, said: "If a secret poll was conducted, I am sure an overwhelming majority of Jerusalem Arabs would say they would prefer to stay in Israel."
Indeed, precisely when Palestinian rule seemed most likely in 2000, the Israeli Interior Ministry reported a substantial increase in citizenship applications from Arabs in eastern Jerusalem. A Jerusalem city councilor, Roni Aloni, heard from many Arab residents about their not wanting to live under PA control. "They tell me—we are not like Gaza or the West Bank. We hold Israeli IDs. We are used to a higher standard of living. Even if Israeli rule is not so good, it is still better than that of the PA." Shalom Goldstein, an adviser on Arab affairs to the Jerusalem mayor, found likewise: "People look at what is happening inside the Palestinian-controlled areas today and say to themselves, ‘Thank God we have Israeli ID cards.' In fact, most of the Arabs in the city prefer to live under Israeli rule than under a corrupt and tyrannical regime like Yasser Arafat's."