"'I am proud', said Saeb Erekat, a senior aide of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president and Fatah's leader. 'Are we fighting? You bet! Are we screaming at each other? You bet!' "
He paused, then added: Are we planning to assassinate Muhammad Dahlan's* critics? You bet! Are we stealing the Palestinian people's money? You bet! Are we collaborating with Israel in its occupation of Palestine? You bet! Are we covering up the assassination of Arafat? You bet! Am I the biggest buffoon on the Palestinian stage since Ahmad Shuqayri? You bet! Do we lie to the Palestinian people? You bet! Do I offer to shine the shoes of Israeli leaders? You bet! Were we proud of Dahlan's gangs when they fled in their underwear from Gaza? You bet! Is Abu Mazen USrael 's chief puppet? You bet! Do the Palestinian people make fun of me when I speak and yell? You bet! Is the Fatah conference the mother of all jokes? You bet!" (angryarab.blogspot.com, 7/8/09)
[*See my 6/3/08 post Mainsewer Media Clueless in Gaza]
"I could see in 1991... not only that the gains of the [first] intifada were about to be squandered but that Arafat and a few of his closest advisers had already decided on their own to accept anything that the United States and Israel might throw their way, just in order to survive as part of the 'peace process'. The major losses incurred by the misguided policies of the PLO leadership during the Gulf crisis, and by the constant mismanagement of funds and assets that were never accounted for, caused the PLO leadership in panic to concede every single national aim and legal principle to the so-called interim solution proposed by Yitzhak Shamir and seconded by George Bush [senior] and James Baker. We received no acknowledgment of self-determination, no certainty of future sovereignty, no right of representation, no mention of reparations (and this from a state which received billions of dollars from Germany for the Nazi Holocaust). And if that were not bad enough, the Oslo Declaration of Principles celebrated on the White House lawn on September 13, 1993, was actually a good deal worse. For the first time in our history, our leadership had simply given up on self-determination, Jerusalem, and the refugees, allowing them to become part of an undetermined set of 'final status negotiations'. For the first time in our recent past, we accepted the division of our people - whose unity we had fought for as a national movement since 1948 - into residents of the Occupied Territories and all the others, who happen today to constitute over 55% of the Palestinian population; they exist in another, lesser category not covered by the peace process. For the first time in the 20thC, an anti-colonial liberation movement had not only discarded its own considerable achievements but made an agreement to cooperate with a military occupation before that occupation had ended, and before even the government of Israel had admitted that it was in effect a government of military occupation. (To this day Israel has refused to concede that it is an occupying power.)" (Peace & Its Discontents: Essays on Palestine in the Middle East Peace Process, Edward Said, 1996, pp xxviii-xxix)
[See also my posts The Bigger Picture (4/11/08) & USrael's Palestinian Recruits (12/12/08)]