I don't need to repeat Kuttab's description of the bus protests, since we all got it the last time.
"Palestinians took their nonviolent protest one step further this week. On January 9, Palestinian using their cars attempted to travel on the same Israeli-only Palestinian roads and again ended up facing Israeli soldiers who arrested five. Unlike the freedom riders, the car protesters got little press coverage, although they were well covered on social media using the hashtag #carprotest."First of all, well done to Daoud Kuttab for saying "Israeli-only," but then he blows it by calling them "Palestinian roads." What makes them "Palestinian" exactly? Palestinians didn't build them and don't maintain them. They exist on land which the Palestinians claim to be theirs, so I guess that's good enough for Kuttab. So much for that commitment to objectivity, right?
As for the protest itself, a fizzle. As usual. To show how much it fizzled, the Huffington Post didn't even cover it. Not counting Mr. Kuttab's article of course. That's pretty bad. And finally, it goes without saying that any point of view other than "Palestinians are righteous victims" is complete gone. Nothing about bus bombings, nothing about the machine gunning of settlers, nothing about Palestinian violence at all. What, you weren't expecting objectivity from a Huffington Post blogger were you?
Now, this next bit is very informative. I'm going to cherry pick from Kuttab's article a little bit so stay with me and feel free to check for yourself:
"Whether riding or driving, the protesters' major focus was on what is referred to as Area C....Under the 1993 Oslo Accords...Area C constitutes more than a third of the West Bank, including all settlements and large surrounding areas. The Israeli military establishment has both administrative and security control over it."Okay....Why are they focusing on Area C? To what end? Oh wait! He's not going to explain that, instead he's just going to simply start talking about something completely different and start lying too:
"While Israel continues to violate its commitments regarding the Palestinian Authority's security control over Area A..."
Um, what? This is kind of a big claim to just put out there without any evidence. Now, this isn't outside the realm of possibility, but I'd still like to see some kind of proof that what Mr. Kuttab is saying is correct. What kind of violations? When and where did they happen? Something? Anything? Hello?
Now that this diversion has successfully diverted us, let's get back to the matter of Area C and why the protesters are protesting about it:
"Even largely pro-Israel Americans involved in negotiations, like Dennis Ross, realize that Area C is the one where the potential for signs of peace can occur.... Major infrastructure projects, such as an airport, can only be undertaken in areas that are now under total Israeli security and administration control. While Palestinians may be able to decide what kind of zoning laws and building codes Nablus or Hebron should follow, they cannot make any development plans outside West Bank limits."Okay, so let me try to understand what is going on here. The representatives of the Palestinian people, the Palestinian Authority, signed the Oslo Accords. As part of those Oslo Accords, they handed over jurisdiction of Area C to the Israelis. But now, the Palestinian people (according to Kuttab) are starting to realize that in order to get some projects that they want accomplished they will need Area C to be under their control. However, rather than go and protest to their own government for relinquishing claims to Area C of their own free will, they have decided that it is more productive to drive around Area C with flags and yell at soldiers. Heaven forbid they actually do something that might get them somewhere other than on television.
Here's one last informative choice of language from Mr. Kuttab:
"It is highly unlikely that in an election year in the US any breakthrough in the talks will occur. As a result, at least for the next year or so the real battlefield will be what is commonly referred to as Area C."Even when a "moderate" Palestinian is talking about "nonviolent protesters," the language is all about warfare and violence. Let me guess: He won't be satisfied with anything less than "victory" in Area C either. How does he define "victory?" Couldn't even guess.