- To further its goal, Ashraf Jabari recently announced the formation of a new party calling for a focus on economic prosperity for the Palestinians. The Reform and Development Party seeks to solve the Palestinians’ economic problems, especially high unemployment, he said. “We have a whole army of university graduates who are out of work. We have reached a situation where a young [Palestinian] man with a master’s degree in law has to work as a street vendor because he can not find work.” >
- Instead of giving Jabari a chance to carry out his initiative, the Palestinians have waged a massive smear campaign against him, with many condemning him as a “traitor” and “collaborator” with Israel and the Jews. Some Palestinians have even gone so far as to call for his arrest or execution.
- According to various reports, the forthcoming peace plan calls for giving the Palestinians billions of dollars and providing them with money from the rich Arab countries. But as Jabari’s case clearly shows, the Palestinians are less concerned with achieving economic stability than with hating Israel.
- For the Palestinians, economic aid is a cynical attempt to lure them away from their fight against Israel – and no Palestinian leader wants to expose himself to the threats that Jabari is currently receiving. So the Palestinian leaders have long ago, and far from every “agreement of the century”, made their own dirty deal: they put the money in hatred of Israel instead of in their own people.
In most normal societies, a businessman who seeks to improve the living conditions of his people by stimulating the economy and creating job opportunities for the unemployed – including an entire army of jobless university graduates – is treated with respect. But the Palestinians do not seem to be among these communities.
Ashraf Jabari is a 45-year-old businessman from the West Bank city of Hebron. As a member of a large Palestinian clan in the city, Jabari believes in economic cooperation and peaceful coexistence with its Jewish neighbors, including the settlers living in the West Bank.
Earlier this year, Jabari and some of his Jewish friends launched a new economic initiative to promote a joint entrepreneurship program between Israelis and Palestinians on the ground.
“We are working to remove borders, and both Israelis and Palestinians must be involved,” Jabari explained. “We need to break down this wall. We must first create good contacts and good relations not only in the West Bank, but throughout Israel so that we can achieve our desired goals.”
To further its goal, Jabari recently announced the formation of a new party, which calls for a focus on economic progress for the Palestinians:
The Reform and Development Party, he said, is seeking to address the Palestinians’ economic problems, including high unemployment. “We have a whole army of college-educated graduates who are out of work,” he said. “We have reached a situation where a young [Palestinian] man with a master’s degree in law has to work as a street vendor because he cannot find work.”
One would think that such a message would be welcomed by the Palestinians. Here is a man talking about helping his people get food on the table. Here is a man who says, “Let us put aside our political differences and focus on achieving economic stability for our people.”
Instead of giving Jabari a chance to carry out his initiative, the Palestinians have waged a massive campaign against him, with many condemning him as a “traitor” and “collaborator” with Israel and the Jews. Some Palestinians have even gone so far as to call for his arrest or execution.
The campaign against the Palestinian businessman culminated on the 13th. May, after he had entertained several Jews at his home at the meal called Iftar , which begins Ramadan. It is not uncommon for Muslims to host non-Muslims at the Iftar meal. But in this case, Jabari seems to have invited the “wrong” guests: Jews.
As soon as photographs of the Ramadan meal appeared on various media channels, many angry Palestinians went on social media to express their strong condemnation of Jabari.
Confronted with the widespread protests and outrage, the Jabari clan was forced to publicly condemn and reject him. “Ashraf Jabari is a criminal and he does not enter the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority,” said Arif Rubin Jabari, the clan’s leader. “Our family already rejected this deceiver back in 2002. He does not represent anyone from our clan or from Hebron.”
The clan leader further stated that Israel “used Jabari to forge its suspicious plots against the Palestinians.” He called on Palestinian Authority officials to “investigate Israel’s attempts to bring Jabari to the forefront by presenting him as an alternative to the current Palestinian leadership.”
However, there are many Palestinians who have not calmed the clan’s public condemnation of Jabari and who are now calling for a severe punishment of him for his words and deeds.
The Palestinian news website Wattan, based in Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinians, called for Jabari to be prosecuted for treason. “[The Palestinian] security forces should take immediate action to arrest him,” Wattan wrote in an article on his website.
“According to Article 135 of the PLO’s Revolutionary Criminal Code (1979), the penalty for treason is imprisonment with hard labor. The law stipulates that anyone who offers shelter, food or clothing to an enemy soldier or spy or helps him to escape, must be punished. Dozens of spies have already been punished under this law. Article 140 of the same law provides for the death penalty for anyone who acts as an informant for the enemy. Many spies have actually been executed. ”
Judging by the Palestinians’ reactions, they are angry with Jabari mainly for two reasons: because he has embarked on “normalization” with Israelis, and because he promotes the idea of ”economic peace.” The Palestinian movement for “anti-normalization” is strongly opposed to any kind of relations with Israel – including sports and cultural events. Now it seems that they are even against seeing Palestinians and Jews eating together. “According to Article 135 of the PLO’s Revolutionary Penal Code (1979), the penalty for treason is imprisonment with hard penal servitude. The law states that anyone who offers shelter, food or clothing for an enemy soldier or spy or helping him escape must be punished.Desens of spies have already been punished under this law.Article 140 of the same law provides the death penalty for the person who acts as an informant for the enemy.Many spies are in fact has been executed. “
Jabari insulted many Palestinians for daring to invite his Jewish friends to his own Ramadan meal.
Moreover, his talk of “economic progress” for the Palestinians has made him an enemy of the people. Where does this man dare to discuss ways to improve the living conditions of his people and provide jobs for the unemployed?
In the eyes of many Palestinians, the fight against Israel should overshadow everything else, even if they have to eat and drink this fight instead of the food they could buy by engaging in economic initiatives such as those proposed by Jabari.
Had Jabari joined Hamas or Islamic Jihad or one of the anti-Israel organizations in the West Bank, he would have become an idol. Had he called for a boycott of Israel instead of working – and eating -along with them, he had been hailed in his people and in his clan.
Given the spectacle of the Palestinian businessman’s actions and statements, one can safely assume that his new party will never succeed in winning the hearts and minds of the Palestinians. It’s also hard to see how any of the economic initiatives he has mentioned will ever turn into anything.
This unprecedented campaign of intimidation and hatred against Jabari takes place a few weeks before the US government unfolds its long-awaited plan for peace in the Middle East, also known as the “Agreement of the Century.”
The forthcoming peace plan, according to various reports, is about giving the Palestinians billions of dollars and raising money for them from the rich Arab countries. But as Jabari’s case clearly shows, the Palestinians are less concerned with achieving economic stability than with hating Israel.
For the Palestinians, economic aid is a cynical attempt to lure them away from their fight against Israel – and no Palestinian leader wants to expose himself to the threats Jabari is currently receiving. So the Palestinian leaders have long ago, and far from every “agreement of the century”, made their own dirty agreement: they put the money in hatred of Israel instead of in their own people.
Sources and notes
Bassam Tawil is a Muslim Arab living in the Middle East.
Original English text: “ Why Palestinians Oppose Economic Prosperity ” published by Gatestone Institute on 17 May 2019. Translated by Mette Thomsen and published in Danish on May 25, 2019 Reprinted with permission of the Gatestone Institute.
Here you can see what Bassam Tawil has written il Gatestone Institute, which has been translated into Danish . Many have been reprinted here on miff.dk. Particularly relevant to this article: “Why do the Palestinian leaders oppose all aid to their population? “August 14, 2018. As well as” Palestinian jihad against peace “March 6, 2019.
Photo taken from” Israelis and Palestinians Launch Joint Economic Initiative in Biblical Heartland “, Breaking Israel News February 21, 2019.