By Yoram Ettinger
(JERUSALEM) The Palestinian elections, which will be held in January
cannot be free. Free election on one hand, and the nature of the
Palestinian Authority on the other hand, constitute an oxymoron.
Elections do not become free through rhetoric, even when the rhetoric
is uttered by leaders of respectable nations and by media and
academia stars. Elections do not constitute a magic wand, which
transforms totalitarian regimes into democracies. On the other
hand, it is a free society, which is a critical prerequisite for
Free Elections; a Free Society, which is based on the rights of
the individual, rather than the rights of the ruler.
Free elections are the by-product of a society, where citizens
accord certain rights to their government. Free elections cannot
be a by product of societies, where regimes accords certain rights
to their subjects, eliminate their opponents and brainwash their
population with hate-education. Elections held by a non-free society
are inherently non-free, even if prestigious evening news anchormen
and press conferences in Jerusalem, London, the UN and Washington,
DC refer to them as "free elections". My late friend
from Athens Texas would have said that "It doesn’t matter
how much lipstick and make-up you apply to a Doberman, it will
always be a Doberman and never a Poodle."
The January 2005 elections will deal a severe blow to the hopes
of Palestinians to be liberated from the oppressive regime, which
was imposed on them by "The Tunisians": Arafat, Abu
Mazen, Abu Ala’, Dahlan, Rajoub and other members of the PLO,
who have been considered – by fellow Arabs – as the role model
of treachery, corruption, intolerance and terrorism. These elections
will accord further Western legitimacy to the political, ideological
and financial infrastructure of Palestinian terrorism, and will
therefore deal a setback to the pursuit of peace. The coming Palestinian
elections will raise further doubts about the capabilities of
post-1992 Israeli leaders to benefit from the lessons of the 1996
Palestinian elections, from the unprecedented terrorism of the
last 11 years (since the signing of the Oslo Accord) and from
the Regime-Change and subsequent elections initiated by the US
in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The January 1996 Palestinian elections were supervised by international
and Israeli observers. They were certified as "free and democratic"
by global personalities, such as former Presidents Clinton and
Carter, by then Israeli Prime Minister Peres, by the UN, by all
European leaders, by the NY Times, CNN, the three major US Networks,
etc. They applied much lipstick and make-up, in order to Kosherize
the elections, which upgraded the legitimacy of Arafat, Abu Mazen,
Abu Ala’ and other graduates of terrorist camps in Iraq, Yemen,
Sudan, Syria, Libya, Lebanon and Tunisia. However, when the lipstick
and make-up disappeared, it became obvious that notwithstanding
the "free" election, the Palestinian Authority persisted
in hate-education, terrorism, gross violation of human rights,
corruption, systematic and violent violation of commitments made
to Israel and to the US and repression of the Christian minority.
A cardinal prerequisite to Free Election, to moderate regimes
and to durable and peaceful coexistence is the uprooting of the
regime, which has been responsible for the deterioration of the
Palestinian society. Abu Mazen and Abu Ala’ have not been in exile
or in the underground during the last eleven years, since the
signing of the Oslo Accord. Sometimes they opposed Arafat’s tactics,
but they always supported Arafat’s strategy. Therefore, they were
among Arafat’s closest confidants and senior deputies since the
1950s, when they were leaders of the Palestinian cell of the Muslim
Brotherhood in Cairo (which became the ideological mentor of Hamas
terrorists). Along with Dahlan and Rajoub, they devised a series
of understandings with Hamas, starting with the 1993 edition,
which committed the PA and Hamas to a joint strategy (Israel’s
elimination), while assigning different tactical roles to each
organization. Together the four PLO/PA leaders masterminded the
system of hate education in PA-controlled schools, mosques and
media. The four have earned the nickname – coined by fellow Palestinians
– "Mr. 20%", for the notorious kickbacks extracted from
businessmen, who deal with the PA.
The US did not initiate elections in Afghanistan and Iraq, before
the comprehensive dismantling of the Taliban and the Ba’th regimes.
The Allies did not hold elections in Japan and Germany prior to
the tearing down of the Tojo and the Nazi regimes.
The Palestinian Authority is not a platform for Free Election.
The Palestinian Authority is the key obstacle for Free Election.
Legitimizing the January 2005 election – in defiance of the clear
track record of the PA – has constituted another victory to wishful
thinking over realism. It would, once again, reward Palestinian
terrorism and adrenalize Islamic and international terrorism.
It would cause, therefore, a setback to moderate Palestinian elements
and to the pursuit of peaces.