Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Palestinian sources revealed a letter sent by Obama that outlines carrots and sticks approach to get Mahmoud Abbas to go to direct and endless negotiations so as to keep the disastrous Oslo cover for the occupation going a few more years.

This revealed once and for all that Washington is indeed Israeli-occupied territory.
Despite our political differences, we can only feel pity for Abu Mazen whose two open choices are both bad: a) negotiate while Israel continues to colonize and ethnically cleanse what remains of the occupied areas and thus lose what little credibility remains among the Palestinian public, OR b) insist on reference to International Law (and thus a settlement freeze) and lose hundreds of millions in funding and lucrative positions of power over the now de facto self-rule areas.

In either case there will be no end to the occupation and no real or sovereign Palestinian state in the foreseeable future. Will he choose a third route that preserves dignity and self-respect and give up the charade of Oslo and its trappings that he started (and convinced Arafat to follow for years until Israel killed him when he hesitated)? (there are ways to do this since an agreement signed under duress and especially one that violates basic international law is null and void anyway and does not remove the rights of native people even when someone representing them signs it).

Will PLO reclaim its name sake as Palestine Liberation Organization or degenerate into the Palestinian Leftover Officials? Will the Palestinian people realize that they hold the keys to their own future and that salvation will not come from anyone else?

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
A Bedouin in Cyberspace, a villager at home
Professor, Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities
Chairman of the Board, Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People: