|Ramallah, July 2, 2012: PA security officer engages with|
Palestinian Arab protestor [Image Source]
Does that mean overcoming the mutual distrust is impossible? No, but it's a very serious challenge. A published quotation that emerged in the past few days helps to show why.
This comes from MEMRI, whose translations from Arabic into English and other languages are often the sole reason why things said to Arabic-speaking audiences get viewed and understood by non-Arabic speakers.
Mutawakkil Tahah, the ambassador of the PA to post-Qadaffi Libya since April 2012, was interviewed on an Al-Jazeera television talk program on September 27, 2013. What he revealed there provides for some hard-to-digest food for thought. This extract comes from MEMRI's transcript of that Al-Jazeera interview:
Israel decided to gather the youth who had fought it in the first Intifada, and to organize them into security forces, showering them [with money], so that they would defend it, rather than Israel having to defend itself. But what really happened? When the 2000-2001 (sic) Intifada broke out, it turned out that 70% of the martyrs, and of the people who carried out attacks against the occupation, were members of the Palestinian security forces. In other words, even when [Israel] establishes [our] security forces, these security forces remain patriotic and continue to fight the occupation. They will continue to serve as a wall defending the Palestinian spirit and the Palestinian interests.
We wonder whether there is going to be a reaction from Washington, especially about that "continue to serve" phrase. The US government has played a key role for years [NYTimes: "U.S. Helps Palestinians Build Force for Security] in the funding, training and facilitating of those PA forces.