PA Schedules Elections
Vol: 9 Issue: 26 Wednesday, June 26, 2002
Following President Bush’s outline of his vision of a two state solution for the Middle East — a solution that specifically excludes Yasser Arafat — the PA announced it would hold general elections in January.
Saeb Erekat made the announcement, but he said it had nothing to do with President Bush. “Many of you may think, ‘Are we submitting this or saying this in response to President Bush’s speech?’ We are saying this in response to Palestinian needs. We’re saying this because we have been working on this reform for months,” Erekat said.
Sure. It’s an amazing coincidence.
I confess to starting and restarting this sentence at least a dozen times, trying to come up with a way to approach Erekat’s comment without using the usual adjectives. How does one produce the literary equivalent to open-mouthed astonishment?
The question, ‘how stupid does he think the rest of the world is?’ unfortunately answers itself. Stupid enough to believe everything else they’ve been saying for the last decade.
Despite the fact most of it was as transparent as Erekat’s ‘coincidental’ announcement that for months, they’ve been working on the same reforms Bush just happened to impose as conditions on any future Palestinian state.
Evidently, months ago, somebody at the Palestinian Authority suddenly looked up and said, “Hey! Y’know what? I just realized that we haven’t had an election in seven years!”
Upon being confronted with this shocking oversight, it was decided that something must be done. But they wisely decided to keep this plan to themselves.
And, it seems that while they were having this discussion, somebody else piped up and said, “Hey! Y’know what? The original Oslo terms gave us autonomy over municipal governments under our administration. And guess what! I just realized that in more than ten years, we’ve never, ever, ever had municipal elections! I wonder who is running our towns?”
So, it was decided, long before President Bush made his speech, that the Palestinian Authority would also have their first ever municipal elections next March.
See, President Bush didn’t have to make that speech saying that the Palestinians could only have a state if they got new leaders. There’s nothing wrong with the old ones! All by themselves, without any prodding at all, they had ALREADY decided that they’d do some government stuff. Just as if they were a real government.
Like Erekat said, they are responding to ‘Palestinian needs’ for an election.
Until now, the Palestinians had no need for an election. No need for elected city councils or mayors. They certainly had no need for an election for president or for seats on the Palestinian legislative council. They already had elections for that– once.
But due to unforeseen circumstances — the destruction of their cities, complete anarchy, people being lynched in the streets — no garbage collection! — and a little matter of a misplaced three or four billion dollars — it appears that Arafat feels his people ‘need’ an election.
Let ’em blow off a little steam. Make ’em feel like they are involved in the planning of their own destruction. It’s just a little thing, really.
And if they like it, why, maybe we’ll even do it again.
How stupid does he think the rest of the world is?
News Flash: Dateline Jericho — From the BBC 26 June, 2002
“Palestinians Announce Poll Date” “The BBC’s Jeremy Cooke in Jericho says all the indications are that Mr Arafat will be re-elected, as there are no obvious credible challengers.”