Ze’eve Elkin, Israeli Immigrant and Absorption Minister and also a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s nine-person security cabinet, said on a speech at Bar-Ilan University on Monday morning that the current “wave of terror” is just a “promo” for what will happen after the Palestinian Authority (PA) collapses.
Elkin said he decided to go public with his warnings after trying to bring the subject up at cabinet meetings to no avail. “I’m not sure that the government has passed the diagnostic stage and realized the dramatic change we are facing.”
“This is a reality we may wake up to tomorrow morning, within months or perhaps after a year or two of collapse,” Elkin told the right-wing Makor Rishon newspaper for its weekend edition.
He further noted, “The international community must also stop trying to strengthen the Palestinian Authority, because it is just an attempt at resuscitation that will blow up in our faces. It’s true that there are a number of scenarios, but the most likely scenario to me is that anarchy will result from the lack of a clear successor to Abu Mazen, due to his unwillingness to hold elections for the presidency and the surplus of legal and illegal weapons in the PA’s territory. There is no point in trying to revive the PA, and instead we should make a fitting headstone for its grave, along with that of the Oslo Accords. The Palestinian Authority was born with Abu Mazen, who initiated and pushed for Oslo, and the PA will disappear with Abu Mazen when he goes.”
Elkin explained his attitude towards the Oslo process: “The mistaken concept in Oslo lead us to today’s reality. We made a mistake when we brought the PLO leaders out of Tunis, we made a mistake when we though that they would deal with terror and incitement, and we made a mistake when we allowed them to run their education system, media and sermons without supervision. All of these led to the building of a generation filled with a burning hate for us and cause a 13-year-old girl to leave her school and stab Jews to death.
“In order to fight against the ongoing wave of terror,” he concluded, “We must treat it with antibiotics and not with aspirin. We need to understand that today’s terror was born from 23 years of neglect, ever since the Oslo Accords. Therefore, we must reach down to the roots, which are incitement in schools, in the media and especially in sermons. In addition, we must prepare for our security and to understand the new field. The source of authority is not excessive hierarchies and institutions, it’s identifying the new players below the surface in a timely manner. If we know how to identify them quietly, we can deal with the situation. There’s no doubt that this is a ticking bomb that can still be dismantled, if only we can wake up in time.”
The Palestinian Authority (PA or PNA) was created by the Gaza–Jericho Agreement, pursuant to the 1993 Oslo Accords. It was signed on 4 May 1994 and included an Israeli withdrawal from the Jericho area and partially from the Gaza Strip, and detailed the creation of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Civil Police Force.
The PA was envisioned as an interim organization to administer a limited form of Palestinian self-governance in the Areas A and B in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip for a period of five years, during which final-status negotiations would take place.
The administrative responsibilities accorded to the PA were limited to civil matters and internal security and did not include external security or foreign affairs.
Regarding the recent months tensions, a December poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that 65 percent of Palestinians wanted Mr. Abbas to resign. A similar portion favored another armed intifada, having lost faith in a negotiated peace and the Oslo accords on which Mr. Abbas has staked his career.
“He can neither support it nor oppose it [the Al-Quds Intifada],” said a former negotiator on the condition of anonymity on an interview to the New York Times on February 27, “so he shuts up and does nothing, which further enhances the perception that drives all this, that he and Fatah have produced nothing and will produce nothing, and that they are useless.”
“Abu Mazen has achieved nothing,” Sheikh Taha Qattanani, 43, said in a recent interview. “We Palestinians deserve a stronger leadership, regardless of whether it’s Fatah or Hamas.”