US and EU Funding Palestinian Efforts to Stop "Normalization" with Israel / Khaled Abu Toameh

January 3, 2012
In recent weeks, the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank has been waging a campaign aimed at foiling any meetings between Israelis and Palestinians.

As a result, Israeli and Palestinian academics were forced to cancel a number of planned meetings in Jerusalem and the West Bank after receiving threats from activists belonging to various Palestinian groups, including Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction.

At the same time, the Palestinian leadership has permitted meetings between its representatives and Hamas officials.

Last week, Abbas received a high-level Hamas delegation in his office to discuss ways of achieving reconciliation between the two parties.

This is in addition to three meetings he has held over the past year with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Cairo.

If the Palestinian leadership has a problem with Israelis songs, why don't they then cancel the Oslo Accords and declare Israel an enemy?

A famous Israeli singer who was supposed to appear at a New Year party in Ramallah was forced to cancel his performance on orders from the Palestinian Authority.

Hours before the beginning of the party, Palestinian policemen raided the hall where the singer was supposed to appear and ordered the owners to replace him with another performer.

The order to ban the singer from performing in Ramallah was in the context of the Western-funded Palestinian Authority's efforts to stop all forms of "normalization" with Israel.

As far as the Palestinian Authority is concerned, it has become a crime to hear Israeli songs in the West Bank. One of the reasons why the singer was banned was because some of his songs are in Hebrew.

Ironically, the ban came as chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat prepared to meet in Jordan with Israeli envoy Yitzhak Molcho in a bid to resume the stalled peace talks between the two sides.

Erekat and Molcho were scheduled to meet in Amman on Tuesday as part of the Quartet's efforts to get the peace talks restarted.

By canceling the appearance of the singer Mike Sharif, who is known as "The Druse Boy," the Palestinian Authority sent a message to Palestinians that it is forbidden to talk or mingle with Israelis, even if they are artists and entertainers.

This explains why many Palestinians were quick to issue statements condemning the Palestinian Authority leadership for agreeing to hold direct talks with an Israeli official in Jordan.

The Palestinian Authority's actions and rhetoric show that its leaders are more interested in normalization with Hamas than with Israel.

Khaled Abu Toameh was born in Tulkarem, on the Western Bank in 1963.He is an Israeli citizen and an Israeli - Arabic journalist.

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