By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem
The PA regime in Ramallah proves everyday that it is absolutely worthy of a prominent place in the dustbin of history. The matter here goes far beyond the scandalous groveling of that regime at Israel’s and America’s feet despite the latter’s blatant hostility to Palestinian rights.
In fact, the Ramallah regime has effectively lost whatever moral compass it may claim to have. Its ignominious behavior at various levels leaves no doubt as to its moral bankruptcy.
Last week, the PA regime allowed the organization of a permissive concert in Ramallah. During the concert, drunken young men and women mingled rather promiscuously. Some of the scenes at the concerts were so offensive to the Palestinian culture that the organizers had to abruptly end it, ostensibly to prevent further chaos.
Unrepentant, the organizers sought to take the show to al-Khalil, the largest and most conservative town in the West Bank. However, community leaders in al-Khalil warned the local governor that permissive concerts were a red line.
“We are not in Las Vegas or Frankfurt ; we are Muslims living in al-Khalil, in the vicinity of the Patriarch Ibrahim and not far from the Aqsa Mosque. Such promiscuity and permissiveness are unacceptable to our community since they contribute to corrupting our young generations,” said a statement read by the local community and civic leaders.
Eventually, the governor, Kamel Humeid, heeded the local community’s call, and decided to ban the organization of the concert in the city.
The decision was widely viewed as a victory by the Islamist camp over Fatah, the political backbone of the PA.
Another indelible badge of dishonor for the PA took the form of granting a non-Palestinian Arab singer a special Palestinian passport. The symbolic measure contradicts the vociferous objections voiced by Fatah and the Ramallah leadership to the granting by Prime Minister Ismael Haniya earlier this year of a diplomatic passport to Dr. Yousuf al-Qaradaw, the prominent Muslim scholar and thinker.
Al-Qaradawi is the author of more than sixty books and is widely considered one of the prominent living Muslim scholars. The 85-year old scholar spent the bulk of his life defending Palestine so much that Europe and North America declared him persona non grata under Zionist pressure.
The PA went as far as asking Interpol to arrest al-Qaradawi for carrying “a false passport.” The measure was largely symbolic and intended to harass the prominent scholar and embarrass the Islamist government in the Gaza Strip, but it showed the extent to which the depraved regime was willing to go in defying Muslim sensibilities.
The fact that the PA leadership sees that an insignificant singer is more deserving of Palestinian honor than a great Muslim scholar underscores the depravity and moral bankruptcy of the entire PA apparatus.
Of course, the moral downfall of the PA is not a recent phenomenon. When the PA was established following the scandalous Oslo Accords in the early 1990s, the first thing it did was building a large casino for gambling in the town of Jericho. This, too, will be an indelible mark of shame on the Ramallah group.
It is really difficult to pinpoint an achievement or honorable behavior that would vindicate the PA.
A few days ago, PA media displayed a euphoric jubilation over the military coup against the elected Egyptian president Muhammed Mursi. Gleeful gloating over the overthrow of the legitimate Egyptian head of state was conspicuous on PA-run TV as if the new military dictatorship in Cairo would liberate Jerusalem and free al-Masjidul Aqsa (the Aqsa Mosque) from Zionist bondage.
It obviously didn’t occur to the Palestinian leadership that military coups can only bring disaster to their countries and people and can never be a genuine asset for Palestine and its struggling people.
We in the Arab world have been living under military dictatorships or military-backed tyrannies for ages. And the result has been indisputably disastrous to put it mildly. Just look at what is happening in Iraq , Syria , Yemen and Egypt . Fifty years ago, the latter was at the same socio-economic level of countries such as South Korea . Now, South Korea is an economic superpower whereas Egypt is having trouble feeding its own people.
This is the direct result of the inherent impotence of military dictatorships.
Unfortunately, military dictators obviously have their fans, mostly ignorant people who are duped and beguiled to believe almost anything. To my chagrin, there are a lot of such people in Palestine and elsewhere in the Arab world.
Well, who says that only dynastic tyrannies in the Arab world have imbecile citizens who content themselves with following the adage “feed me today, kill me tomorrow.”?
The stark realties in the Arab world, including occupied Palestine, remind us of another adage: “If knowledge is a sea, ignorance is an ocean.”