The decision by the Arab foreign ministers to attend the Annapolis conference was the first Israel victory according to Zvi Ba’rel of Haaretz. Protestors on both side of the conflict are massing in apposition to the conference, which changed from a conference to settle the conflict to a conference to start a peace process that may take 100 years or so. Even with all of the protest and premature claims of victory there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a conference where all issues are put on the table and where US honesty and integrity if not partiality is put to the test.
Palestinians opposition group, like Israeli opposition group think that the Annapolis conference will change forever the face of Israel and Palestine and if all goes well may settle this 100 year conflict.
The Israeli Occupation of Palestine (67) has been a booming business for many Israeli and Jewish groups both in Israel and in the US and around the world. For many Jews, the Israeli Occupation of what is left of Palestine of 48 is a mission from God, a realization and revival of ancient Israel and reclamation of lost history. All of this adds up to one thing, big business, a cash cow that Zionist Jews were able to successfully use to raise close to a trillion dollars so far and more on the way.
By hook and many times by crooks, wealthy Jews and Jewish organizations, specially in the US with so much money available, some of it money fleeced from the poorest of poor Americans ( bingo games) are channeled to Israel to fund the fraudulent take over of Palestinian properties with active support from an Israeli Jewish legal system that allows and support theft, robbery and outright confiscation of Palestinians prosperities under the pre-text that this is God given and it is time to collect on God’s promise. Of course Jewish intellectuals, legal scholars, professors, educators, businessmen and most of all Rabbis simply sees nothing wrong with such actions and no one raise any issue of mortality or right or wrong as if God promise gave the Jews a blank check to do whatever they want with the land and the people living on it. In another word, there is simply nothing wrong with the Occupation that lasted for over 40 years and there is nothing wrong with all of the actions taken by Israel and the entire religious and settlers group. Morality and human values gave way to God’s promise and under such a promise every thing is permissible including murder.
On the other side of the issue, Palestinians opposition groups have been meeting in Gaza and else where to talk about Annapolis and the disaster arising out of such meeting. The Israeli Occupation has also been a booming business for many Palestinian individuals and groups. Ending the occupation is much feared by many individuals or group.
The first organization to fear ending the occupation is the PLO. For over 45 years the PLO presented itself as a “liberation” organization dedicated to restoring the historical rights of Palestinians in what is now Israel of 48 and later the mission was expanded to include the liberation of the remaining part occupied by Israel in 67.
For over 45 years, Palestinian leadership the likes of Yasser Arafat used the Occupation to justify monopoly over the cause and to use this monopoly to sustain a corrupt and incompetent leadership and to stifle any open and transparent debate and of course to silence any one that challenge such leadership. Tens if not hundreds met their death or were illuminated making sure that Arafat will never have any one who dare challenge him for the leadership let alone question his judgment.
The business of the Occupation has been excellent for the PLO and its leadership as it went about collecting and raising tens of billions of dollars from individual Palestinians and from Arab and Muslim governments. Of course without the needs for any accountability and transparency. Many if not all of the Palestinian leadership made a very good if not excellent living out of the Occupation and their continued leadership. Many made hundreds of millions of dollars from the cause, and many became very wealthy with assets in the tens if not hundreds of millions simply because they are officers or members and executives many various committees and organizations of the PLO and Fatah.
The same is true of many of the Palestinian intellectuals and professionals who learned the business of the NGO and who set so many NGOs within the Occupied Territories turning these NGO to private business, commercial and economic enterprise producing substantial income for themselves and members of their families with hardly any accountability or transparency of how the funds are spent. Of course with many donors from around the world, the occupation has been a booming business for Palestinian NGOs. The same is true of many of the heads of the Palestinian factions that also made a career out of the Occupation, whether these organizations are based in Damascus or in Gaza.
With the hope that Annapolis can bring about an end to the Israeli Occupation, there are so many Jewish and Palestinians individuals and organizations that will simply go out of business if the Occupation comes to an end.
Major Jewish organizations in the US especially the Jewish Lobby would have to look for another cause to raise money and to use and leverage this money to gain power over Congress, media and universities. With Israel at peace with its neighbors and with peace with the Palestinian what is there for them to do? Raise money for charity does not translate to power and influence over Congress and foreign policy.
The PLO, Fatah, and other liberation organizations will need to re-invent themselves and must take out “liberation” out of their names. Perhaps they become the commercial enterprise they were all along and go into real business not liberation bus selling fuel, consumers good and services. Perhaps there will be a need for these organizations to become political parties compete ting for the hearts and minds of the people and compete with each other to serve the nation. From past history, it very unlikely they will transform themselves and for sure will continue to dictatorial and corrupt parties they are and will always be.
Many heads of the NGOs would have to transform themselves into service organization serving the general public and not serving the personal interests of their officers and founders. They will have to deliver true and measured services.
Yes, the Israeli Occupation, if and when it comes to an end, will put out of business many Jews and Palestinians who made the Occupation a big business, while millions of Palestinians suffers the loss of life, property and most of all indignity of exiles.