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Letter to the editor

Mikki Futernick

I read with great interest that letter from Arthur Kittay and felt that he made many cogent points about the Arab/Muslim world. In his next to last paragraph he talks about the “democratic process” that may occur in the Palestinian-controlled lands. I felt that he did not elaborate enough about this farce called “free elections” that will take place on Jan. 9. The most surprising part of this so called “democratic election” is that President Bush signed a waiver, without going to Congress, to send $23.5 million directly to the Palestinain Authority’s bank account. The rationale by our State Department is these funds will reflect out confidence in the direction of the PA’s reform program. But let’s take a look at some of the facts surrounding this election.The January 2005 elections will deal a severe blow to the hopes of the Palestinians to be liberated from the oppressive regime, which was imposed on them in 1996 by “The Tunisians”: Arafat, Abbas, Abu Ala, Dahlan and other members of the PLO who have been considered by many Palestinians as the role models of treachery, corruption, intolerance and terrorism. Their term of office was to end in 1999, but they never allowed new elections. The history of these leaders of the PA is that they all come out of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo, and have been dedicated to creating unrest and to pilfering for their own good. They created major problems in Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon and they were expelled from all three of those countries.The U.S. did not initiate elections in Afghanistan and Iraq before comprehensive dismantling of the Taliban and Ba’th regimes. The Allies did not hold elections in Japan and Germany prior to the tearing down of the Tojo and Nazi regimes. Why are we so anxious to hold elections in the Palestinian-controlled lands before dismantling the Arafat regime?Let’s take a look at the candidates. Note I used the plural, although most Americans would not be able to name a single other candidate running.Mr. Abbas, the U.S.-supported candidate, has two faces. He is Yassir Arafat’s heir apparent and was his deputy and confidant since 1950. He was a co-conspirator in all the terrorist actions taken by Arafat, which have come to light since his death. Is he now a legitimate leader any more than were the deputies of the Taliban and the Iraqi Ba’th regimes? He kicked off his campaign by saying “the use of weapons is unacceptable because it has a negative impact on our image.” It is an instructive choice of words. Abbas does not reject terrorism because it is immoral, but because it no longer sells the cause abroad. He can look “moderate,” but he is not.Last week at a rally in Jenin, Abbas was raised up on the shoulders of Zakaria Zubeidi, the local leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (a group designated by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist group.) To gain the support of this terrorist group and others he has vowed to follow Arafat’s line. He is the only candidate that the ruling Fatah party (a subsidiary of the PLO) is fielding in the elections. All other candidates have been requested to withdraw.The important point is that he is part of the Palestinian Authority controls the bureaucracy, security forces, education system and the press.Would you believe that there are six other people actually running against Abbas? All of their platforms vis-a-vis Israel are similar, but none of them have been involved in terrorist attacks against Israel. However, they spend little time discussing Israel; they devote their time to the discussion of the need to reform the PA – making it accountable, transparent and subordinate to the rule of law – democratizing Palestinian Arab society, and developing the Palestinian economy. All are critical of the Palestinian Arab security services, which they accuse of being the source of lawlessness and chaos in the Palestinian Arab areas. They believe that the Palestinian people have the right to know what happened to the $6.5 billion that was received in foreign aid over the last 10 years.People are afraid to be seen with their campaign literature. Physical intimidation plays a frightening role and last but not least the PA-controlled press has given almost no coverage to their campaigns.One has to wonder why the U.S. would support a candidate who is a known terrorist instead of any of these men who might really be “moderates”? And why would the American people contribute our tax dollars to make sure that the terrorist is elected? The turnout at Sunday’s election is expected to be small. As the saying on the West Bank goes, “Why bother voting? All the ballots were already filled out in Washington.”Mikki FuternickVailVail, Colorado


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