Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman unveiled a new policy toward Palestinians based on the “carrot and stick” model – harsher punishment for families and villages from which terrorists originate and economic benefits for those areas that have not produced terrorists.Israeli politicians slammed the plan from all directions, but the response in the official Wafa news website is even more interesting:
“We will implement a differential policy in Judea and Samaria,” Liberman said. “Its purpose is to continue to give benefits to those who desire co-existence with us and make life difficult for those who seek to harm Jews.”
The minister added that “anyone who is prepared for co-existence will prosper, while those who opt for terrorism will lose.”
According to the new policy, the defense establishment divided the West Bank map into two parts – the main part marked on the map in green represented the areas from which no terrorists had come, while a smaller part, mainly in the southern West Bank from Hebron southward featured villages colored in red and yellow.
The areas that will get benefits immediately are Beit Sahur, in which a hospital will be built; western Nablus, in which an industrial zone will be built; and Kafr Bidia, in which a soccer field will be built.
Infrastructure plans will also be expanded in Kalkilya, Hableh and Izbat Tabib, and an economic corridor will be opened from Jericho to Jordan in accordance with a plan being promoted and paid for by the Japanese government.
The means of punishment for areas from where terrorism originates will include increased IDF activity in Area A of the West Bank; home demolitions; increased arrests; raids on homes from which terrorists came; confiscation of terrorism funds and property; cancellation of VIP permits for senior Palestinian Authority officials taking part in incitement; increased vehicle searches at the Kalandiya refugee camp; and stricter enforcement against illegal building.
One of the keys of the plan deals with the defense establishment’s desire to hold talks with Palestinian figures without mediation and without the approval of the Palestinian Authority. Although Liberman did not call it as such, it could be defined as “a track that circumvents Mahmoud Abbas.”
According to Liberman, “[Abbas] speaks with everyone in Israel and, therefore, the goal is to attain symmetry between Israel and the PA.”
He said PA officials speak to all parts of Israeli society – ministers, MKs, mayors, academics and more – whereas Israel holds talks only with PA officials or those who have received the approval of the PA.
“Our goal is to create a dialogue with anyone who wants to talk to us,” the minister stated. He added, however, that “we have no intention to crown kings in the PA or to interfere in internal affairs.”
The Palestinian private sector in a press statement Thursday rejected and described as insulting the so called “stick and carrot” policy unveiled by the Israeli Minister of “Defense” Avigdor Liberman.Now, do you think for a moment that the businesspeople drafted this letter on their own? This is an infomercial for Mahmoud Abbas, not a press release from independent businesspeople! The language leaves little doubt that it was drafted and written entirely by Mahmoud Abbas' loyalists and given to these groups to sign, probably with an implicit threat attached. Businesspeople aren't in the habit of spontaneously praising their government this way, and the additional language of "providing us with the rule of law, security and enabling environment" sounds more sarcastic than sincere.
The statement, issued by the all-inclusive coordinating council of all the business associations, chambers of commerce, and industrial & trade organizations representing the mass of business leaders in Palestine, said: “We view the policy proposed to directly contact Palestinian figures, businessmen and academics and bypass the Palestinian National Authority and its legitimate leadership under elected President Mahmoud Abbas as amateurish, and completely humiliating, under estimating our intellect; and reminds us of old age ideas that are null and void.”
“We as leaders of business and respected figures in our community, representing the private sector in the state of Palestine regard with honor and pride the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian National Authority with the related government agencies as our national government providing us with rule of law, security and enabling environment,” the statement added.
This proves what we reported recently - Palestinians agree that there is no free speech in the territories. This letter proves it.
It also proves that Abbas is running a dictatorship where he does not allow the possibility of any messaging that is not pre-approved by him. Which is yet another reason to take any statements given to the media from institutions in the PA with a huge grain of salt.
Palestinians know the rules, but Western consumers of news are clueless about them.
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