Quiqui: I heard something in class the other day, and I almost fell out of my seat.
The PLO didn’t have maps throughout the Oslo process.
Is this true?! Whoa. I’m wondering if, then, I can get some guidance on reading material. I’ve never run across this before, but I don’t doubt the prof is right. I keep forgetting to ask her.
Diana: The short answer is: yes. The longer answer is that all maps were ‘security classified’ information by the Israelis that was not allowed to be in the possession of anyone other than security officials. Possession of a map (by a Palestinian) was a criminal offence. While general road maps etc were likely available, the details of where military bases (including some settlements) were not available. This does not excuse Palestinian incompetence (i.e. why not create a fuss about maps) but explains Israel’s control.
Now for an interesting fact: did u know that NOT A SINGLE MAP EXISTS OF EAST JERUSALEM (outside the old city)? This is a remnant of Israeli policy not to clearly define Palestinian areas.
PB: I remember reading somewhere in Ashrawi’s “This Side of Peace,” that for many of the meetings they didn’t have anyone on hand who was 100% fluent in English either.
Fadi: This is precisely why “A critical Fatah conference should be held soon to allow a new generation to take charge of the Palestinian national movement.” Fatah owns the Palestinian national movement, right. The quote is taken from Abbashole’s op-ed in the WSJ today.
Random falafel seller: Who lied to Abbasshole and told him he’s still relevant?
May: Wait-hold up! “Possession of a map by a Palestinian criminal offence”!??!?
is that right? how can that be? How does Israel have the legal
jurisdiction to ban the possession of maps?
Diana: Used to be…West Bank and Gaza Strip were ‘military areas’ and hence no maps were allowed.
(You also couldn’t wear the colours of the Pal flag or carry a flag).
During the negotiations, they would roll out maps and show the Hebrew labelled maps to the Palestinians and then roll them back up and take them away! A friend was once imprisoned 6 months for being suspected of handing over a map of Gaza to Faisal Husseini!
Mohammad: Did this ban get lifted in time for Oslo II and subsequent negotiations?
Diana: Not sure. The Ministry of Planning started in ’94 and it took them years to create a database of maps. I don’t what they used to create their maps or how they did it but I can certainly ask.
Mohammad: Speaking of Oslo incompetence, my favorite will always be the agreement
that settlements have the right to expand but Palestinians towns and villages can’t (am I right about the second part Diana?).
Anyway, this pretty much explains why the PA has never been able to curb
settlement expansion. They agreed to it.
Diana: Not exactly but that’s what happened. Arafat believed Rabin (stupidly) who promised him that they would not build new settlements and would not expand existing ones. He couldn’t (he claims) get it in the Agreements because Rabin’s govt would have collapsed (true) and he wanted to keep Rabin in office. Arafat believed that Rabin would stick to his word. Settlements did expand, though but Arafat always believed it was temporary. There are vague provisions in all agreements that are interpreted to refer to settlements but nothing hard. After Rabin’s assassination, I think Arafat probably let out a huge DOH!
Quiqui: This is so fascinating. THIS IS HUGE!
As Edward Said wrote: “…the censorship of geography, in this most geographical of conflicts… “
Fayyad: As good as Ed Said’s quote… So prophetic in light of this conversation:Filed Under abbasshole, diana, Fadi, Fayyad, maps, Maytha, Mohammad, programmer buydatti, QuiQui, quotes