There is this illusion that they can do it without resistance...


- Jamil:
There remains still among the elite of the Palestinian Authority, and part of also the political elite and the private sector, the idea that there is still the possibility of a state, of an independent sovereign Palestine through negotiations. There is this illusion that they can do it without resistance – I'm talking about not just one form of resistance but resistance in its various aspects; against the Wall, against colonization, against normalization etc. But this myth, this illusion, is, I think, disappearing fast after the failure of the Road Map, of Annapolis, after the rise of the extreme right-wing Israeli government, the continued expansion of the colonial settlements. So now, the great majority of people realize that there is not going to be a Palestinian state in the sense that Bush used to talk about, or maybe that Mubarak would talk about. But there is a project, a Bantustan state, with pockets of population under the control of the Israeli state.

The elite have also come to see that they have some privileges and they don't want to say to the Israelis 'Go to hell. The PA is just a fa├žade, we don't have any form of sovereignty, and we're going to dissolve the PA and go back to a liberation movement.' The time will come, I think it will come soon, even if Obama assures them everyday that there is a two-state solution. There is not, there is one state that is creating an apartheid in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

- Alessandro:
Is it even possible to dismantle the Palestinian Authority at the moment, because too many people are inside the machine?

- Jamil:
They are inside the machine and certain structures have been created and certain people find it difficult to do it, how are you going to support 165,000 people who get salaries form the PA. What about the education which is now run by Palestinians, health services etc. You could keep the PA, not as a political organ but as a municipality running services, that's what it's doing in fact, it's not doing more than this! Because there has been no negotiation done by the PLO, the PLO has been frozen since the PA has been established, it's not active, it's not the representative body. We don't have any national institutions, for example, since 2006, the Legislative Council has been paralyzed, the PLO institutions have also been paralyzed so that's why we have this polarization between Hamas and Fateh and each has established its own political domain , with Fateh in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza, with no national umbrella, no national institution to flesh out your differences, find out the solutions to the national problems.

Once you are outside Ramallah you immediately face Israeli checkpoints, so you have to see it through this system of controlled urbanization where the Palestinian Authority has some sort of symbols of sovereignty, but in fact it's all very deceptive. There is not much power, this is it. I f you go to the restaurants and if you go to the fashion shops you can maybe choose fashion from Italy and maybe suits from France whatever, you think that you have entered this bubble - but it is a bubble, it can be punctured. Like what happened in 2002 when the Israelis invaded Ramallah. Which within one hour the Israelis took complete control, Arafat was besieged in one room, with smelly toilets and it was difficult to get him food. It shows you the real power - still with the occupation, when they want to use it they use it.

[Extracts from conversation no.7]