"The occasion was the holy month of Ramadan, but there is no denial that a decision was taken somewhere in the Israeli military establishment to loosen up the big prison that millions of Palestinians find themselves in. Even the dreaded Qalandia checkpoint all of sudden became much easier to cross, with soldiers merely looking at the car number while crossing, at times without the long lines that have become its trademark."Oh yeah, that's right. The Palestinians woke up one day and all of the sudden the situation was like this. They never killed hundreds of Israelis, they never rejected any peace offers, and they never accepted any agreements that would cause them to control their own sections of the West Bank. Kuttab would have us believe that the Palestinians were minding their own business until Israel came in and start slapping them around. But I guess even praising Israel a little bit requires lots and lots of spin, as we shall see.
Kuttab freely acknowledges the good times the Palestinians had while they were in Israel but then as always seeks to find the cloud among the silver lining. Those Jews must have had an ulterior motive! What could it be?
"Palestinian commentators hit the airwaves with arguments, wondering whether the decision was primarily political or economy-related. They said that Israel was satisfied with the high degree of security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority and that the security situation was the best in years and therefore Israelis wanted to take advantage of this security lull to help release Palestinian tension. Some argued that Israel was concerned that a third Intifada might be around the corner and that their decision allowing masses of Palestinians to move around might help steer people away from a return to violent confrontations."After four paragraphs of this, Mr. Kuttab comes to his conclusion:
"Whatever the real motivation behind the Israeli move to relax its border crossing policy, it seems clear that a political solution is much further than previously expected....An independent Palestinian state with strong economic ties with Jordan, Egypt and the Arab world is perhaps farther now than in decades. With the lack of a horizon for peace, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's economic peace initiative is now in high gear, being applied unilaterally by the Israeli army."Oh no! Not an economic peace initiative! Not happy Palestinians and Israelis who are mutually benefiting from closer contact with each other! The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
I guess Mr. Kuttab would be happier if the Palestinians were suffering endlessly without a single glimmer of happiness. Not sure what else I can conclude.