Israel Resource Review 23rd June, 2005


Palestinians Name Pro-Syrian Foe of Peace With Israel as Deputy to Abbas
Dr. Michael Widlanski 24 June 2005

Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, which six months ago named Mahmoud Abbas as Arafat's successor, yesterday named the pro-Syrian activist Farouk Qaddoumi as the deputy-and presumed successor-to Abbas, according to Palestinian Authority (PA) state television, PA radio and the PA-vetted newspapers.

Amid a period of nearly unprecedented internal Palestinian violence, the decision to reach out to Qaddoumi, a pro-Syrian foe of talking to Israel, appears to be a step to try to shore up support for the flagging regime of Dr. Abbas and his prime minister, Ahmad Qreia.

"Prime Minister Ahmad Qreia said today that the most important task for the PA right now is internal security and establishing the sovereignty of law inside Palestinian lands," declared Palestinian television in its opening news item Friday.

"The anarchy has to stop," declared Qreia, shown speaking on official Palestinian Authority television.

The large-scale violence in Gaza and the West Bank has come to include large-scale daylight and night-time attacks on innocent civilians as well as officials of the Palestinian Authority, including:

  • the murder of a Palestinian policeman yesterday in Jenin;
  • firing shots at a Palestinian parliamentary deputy yesterday in Jenin and the burning of his car;
  • firing shots this week at a local councilman in Anabta in the West Bank;
  • the murder of four members of a family last week in Gaza;
  • the shooting of bullets at a meeting in Nablus, in the West Bank, where Prime Minister Qreia was speaking.

The state-controlled Palestinian media did not report that Qreia and his entourage were actually shot at during a visit in Nablus two days ago, but footage of the incident was shown on Israeli television, and Israelis viewers saw Qreia actually cringe slightly as the sound of a bullet interrupted his speech. The incident was also reported in the Palestinian printed press.

At the same time, Palestinian leader Abbas has kept a low profile, and he did not even participate with Qreia in a press conference following his meeting this week with Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon.

There is widespread Palestinian speculation that Abbas is weakening physically and emotionally, following his angioplasty surgery this month.

Dr. Michael Widlanski is a specialist in Arab politics and communication whose doctorate dealt with the Palestinian broadcast media. He is a former reporter, correspondent and editor, respectively, at The New York Times, The Cox Newspapers-Atlanta Constitution, and The Jerusalem Post.

He has also served as a special advisor to Israeli delegations to peace talks in 1991-1992 and as Strategic Affairs Advisor to the Ministry of Public Security, editing secret PLO Archives captured in Jerusalem

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Why Does the US Government Not Examine the Curriculum of the Palestinian Authority Before Launching Campaign to Finance the PA Schools?
David Bedein

Our news agency has asked the US Embassy in Tel Aviv as to why it was providing funds to the Palestinian Authority school system, coinsidering the nature of the curriculum, as translated at

The answer from the US Embassy was that this was an issue for US AID and not a matter for the US State Department.

US AID has not examined the curriculum. When asked as to why, US AID indicated that this was a State Department issue.

At a time when the US is about to facilitate funds for the PA schools from nations around the world, the question remains: Why does the US government not examine the curriculum of the PA, which speaks for itself.

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