[News] Palestinians will never surrender: Dr Abdul Sattar Kassem interviewed

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Sep 15 08:57:11 EDT 2006


Palestinians will never surrender: Dr Abdul Sattar Kassem interviewed

By Silvia Cattori in Nablus

Al-Jazeerah, September 15, 2006

Silvia Cattori: You are a strong voice in 
Palestine, but a voice we don’t hear much in French speaking countries. Why?

Dr. Abdul Sattar Kassem: For 26 years, I am not 
authorized by the Israeli authorities to go out 
of Palestine. I spent two years in the Israeli 
jails and eight months in a Palestinian prison 
under Arafat’s regime. I was injured by four 
bullets shot by men recruited by the Palestinian 
authorities. But I am always here, with my pen, 
to help my people to recover their rights and try 
to get a change in the Arab world. I firmly 
believe that present Arab regimes must disappear, 
because they defend foreign interests and not the 
interests of their citizens. Most of these 
dictatorial regimes are collaborating with 
Israel, so against the rights of the Palestinians 
and the Lebanese. These regimes are the puppets 
of certain powers, more particularly of the United States.

Silvia Cattori: Were you arrested and the victim 
of an assassination attempt under Mr Yasser 
Arafat’s regime because you criticized his 
policy? Does that mean that you had no democracy, 
no freedom under his government?

Sattar Kassem: Under Arafat’s regime there was no 
democracy, no freedom of opinion at all. So many 
people where arrested! In 1999, with nineteen 
other persons, I signed a statement saying that 
there was so much corruption in the country and 
that Arafat was leading that corruption.(1) So he 
put us in jail. After that, I wrote an article 
entitled “Democracy under the prisons” where I 
criticized Arafat for his undemocratic behaviour. 
For that reason, they sent some people to shoot 
me. Arafat never wanted to implement any kind of democracy.

Silvia Cattori: Do you mean that the 1996 elections was not a fair election?

Sattar Kassem: Yes. It was not fair because there 
was so much fraud in that election. But there was 
no opposition, so nobody cared.

Silvia Cattori: So now, for the first time in the 
region, you had fair elections, Hamas won and, 
for the first time in history, we have seen the 
European Union punishing, by way of sanctions, a people under occupation?!

Sattar Kassem: That is true, that is a paradox. 
That question should be directed to the 
Europeans. We had fair and honest elections but 
we did not have the general atmosphere of 
democracy, and that was a problem. Probably you 
noticed outside too, that after Hamas won the 
election, it appeared clearly that a certain 
number of personalities -particularly in Fatah 
party- did not accept the result of this election.

Silvia Cattori: In such a difficult context, do 
you think that the Hamas movement will succeed to 
implement that atmosphere of democracy you call for?

Sattar Kassem: I do not think so, not because 
they are not able to do it, but because they are 
facing terrible problems from so many sides. The 
Israelis do not want to let this government 
function. Actually, the Israelis have arrested 
most of the ministers and many legislative members.

Silvia Cattori: When you complain about “Arab 
regimes” do you include the Palestinian authority?

Sattar Kassem: I include the former Palestinian 
authority and Abou Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas), the 
present President of the Palestinians.

Silvia Cattori: But, when you make such a 
statement, is it based upon facts you can prove 
on the basis of your personal experience?

Sattar Kassem: I have been an opponent to the 
leadership of the PLO in the parliament for more 
than 30 years. From my knowledge and research on 
Arafat, I learned that he had abdicated his 
revolutionary task and that he was not working 
for the interests of the Palestinians: that he 
worked as a filter for the Israelis and, finally, 
that he had damaged the image of the Palestinians 
in the different Arab countries he used to live 
in; and also that he had damaged the ethical and 
the social fabric of the Palestinian people.

Silvia Cattori: Have you an example?

Sattar Kassem: For instance, he used to send the 
young, loyal and faithful Palestinians who proved 
to be real fighters to southern Lebanon where 
they used to get killed. Why? Because one of 
Arafat aides used to contact the Israelis to 
inform them about the mission of those fighters; 
so that they would not be surprised. By that way, 
the Israelis killed those young people.

Silvia Cattori: Do you mean that Mr Arafat never 
imposed any security policy to his fellows?

Sattar Kassem: What I can tell you is that 
information used to flow into the hands of the 
Israelis. Arafat never made any kind of 
investigation within the PLO to know who was 
leaking information to them. So, if you insist on 
such behaviour, this means that the leaking of 
information is receiving your consent. It is for 
that reason that I am saying I knew that he was 
not revolutionary but that he was filtering. The 
faithful Palestinians used to be put aside by 
different means, and Arafat generally kept around 
him those Palestinians who cared about their personal interest.

Silvia Cattori: So, in your opinion the leaders 
around Mr Arafat where compromising from the start?

Sattar Kassem: Yes. From the early seventies, 
Arafat always depended on suspect people who, I 
think, have security ties with the Israelis. They 
were corrupt when they were in Lebanon, in 
Tunisia, in Jordan. When Arafat was in these Arab 
countries he intended misbehaviour. He never 
prevented his aids to misbehave and do many wrong 
things in the Arab streets. For instance, when he 
would let one of his fellows humiliate a tribal 
Jordanian leader; this would lead the whole tribe 
to start hating the Palestinians. When the PLO 
was fired and kicked out of Beirut by the Israeli 
army, they went to Tunisia. The Tunisians tell us 
that when the Palestinians came to Tunisia, they 
brought with them brothels, whore-houses. All 
whore-houses flourished because there were so 
many clients - Palestinian clients. The 
Palestinians made bars and dirty places in 
Tunisia flourish. For the Tunisians, the 
Lebanese, the Jordanians and the Kuwaitis, these 
are the true Palestinians. That’s what they 
think. From that time we have been hated in 
Tunisia, Kuwait and Lebanon. I wrote several 
articles against this scandalous corruption 
warning that these leaders where guiding their 
people towards a very terrible end. Except for 
people who had direct experience with these 
leaders, very few believed me. From 1994, after 
Arafat’s arrival in the West Bank and Gaza, the 
people started to realize that what I was telling 
them was the truth. It is unfortunate that they 
discovered the truth too late. True he is dead 
now, but we are still suffering from all his 
policies. Therefore, I can say that he was no 
different from any other Arab leader.

Silvia Cattori: Did these people of Arafat’s 
circle belong to the staff that came back to Palestine in 1994?

Sattar Kassem: Yes, alas.

Silvia Cattori: But did Mr Arafat know that his 
aides were misbehaving? Was he aware of what was happening around him?

Sattar Kassem: Yes, he was aware and he was very 
clever. If you are challenged several times and 
you don’t correct your behaviour then you intend 
such behaviour. Arafat was warned hundreds of 
times by so many people that his aides were 
misbehaving, but he did nothing to stop that. He 
was supported by the money he got from Arab 
countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the 
United Emirates. So, because Arafat was the man 
of Israel and America, these countries were asked 
to finance him. He had a lot of money; he was the 
richest so called "revolutionary man" in the 
world. How can that be when revolutionaries are 
generally under siege? Without the consent of 
Israel and America, these countries wouldn’t give 
him money. These aren’t independent countries. 
Now it is on orders from Israel and America that 
they aren’t giving money to Hamas.

Silvia Cattori: Did you work with the people in Mr Arafat’s entourage?

Sattar Kassem: Yes. I worked with them for some 
time and I saw what I am telling you about. This is the truth.

Silvia Cattori: Did you write about that?

Sattar Kassem: Yes. I wrote a book in Arabic 
called "The Road to Defeat" about what Arafat and his aides used to do.

Silvia Cattori: If I understand you well, this 
means that Mr Arafat was far from the reality and 
from the real expectations of his people?

Sattar Kassem: I think that the Israelis consumed 
him. That’s what the Israelis do to their agents. 
Once they are consumed they throw them away and I 
think that is what the Israelis did to Arafat: 
after spoiling him, they threw him away because he was of no more use to them.

Silvia Cattori: When I met Mr. Arafat in April 
2002, I got the feeling that he was surrounded by 
a number of opportunistic people. Was he not the victim of bad advisers?

Sattar Kassem: Yes, but he was the leader, the 
centre. He never tried to have honest advisers; 
he always lived with dirty people. And dirty 
people always give dirty advice. I even have a 
definition for “Arafatism” and I spread it 
internationally. “Arafatism” means that Arafat 
was the one who used corruption to bring the Palestinians to their knees.

Silvia Cattori: But in the opinion of the leaders 
of the solidarity movement, for instance, or of a 
writer like Uri Avnery who considered him as his 
personal friend, Mr. Arafat was a great man 
living in a very simple way, “a partner to build a new hope”!

Sattar Kassem: That is true; he used to live a 
very simple life. However, I believe that 
Arafat’s mission served the Israelis, but not the 
Palestinians. His life was very simple, but his 
aides were very rich. Some of them lived in 5 
star hotels and used to go to Monte Carlo and Las 
Vegas. You know how difficult life is in 
Palestine. I invite those people who supported 
Arafat and believed that he was honest with the 
Palestinians to come and talk openly about his policies. I am ready.

Silvia Cattori: But how can we believe that Mr. 
Arafat's mission was to accomplish what the Israelis wanted?

Sattar Kassem: At least for me, all my 
expectations about Arafat turned out to be true. 
I am convinced of what I am saying. For instance, 
in 1979, I wrote that the PLO was going to 
recognize Israel. At that time, the people didn’t 
believe me and started saying that I was a spy, 
because I raised doubts about Arafat. In 1994, 
when Arafat came to stay in Palestine, I wrote 
that he would do the same thing he used to do in 
Lebanon; that he would open whore-houses, he 
would damage the Palestinian ethical and social 
structure and he would co-operate security-wise 
with the Israelis. Unfortunately, all that I 
wrote turned out to be true. I told all this 
frankly to the authorities. That is why they shot me.

Silvia Cattori: When you speak of the 
“Palestinian ethical and social structure”, what did you mean exactly?

Sattar Kassem: Any people should live with an 
ethical code, so as to be able to respect others 
and to live with them. If the ethical code is 
absent, then everybody will be against everybody 
else. If there are no ethics how can we live 
together? This is what happened during Arafat's 
time. All the bad people, the gangsters, became 
strong and all the good people stayed at home. 
Arafat time established a system of terrible 
values, which caused respect among people to disappear.

Silvia Cattori: Despite all of that, it appears 
that PLO leaders succeeded in winning the 
sympathy of the left all over the world. Until 
today, most of the leftist parties consider 
Arafat and PLO representatives as revolutionary 
leaders and they still support them, and distrust Hamas authorities?

Sattar Kassem: Generally speaking, Arafat was 
entrusted with giving that image. But he was not 
honest at all. Of course, Arafat was not the only 
leader in Palestine. There were leftist leaders 
too, like George Habache, for instance, the 
leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of 
Palestine. There was Nayef Hawathme also, who is 
the leader of the Democratic Front for the 
Liberation of Palestine. Arafat and his aides - 
although they knew beforehand that the 
international community was not going to liberate 
Palestine - gave that false image that they were 
really working for Palestine with the help of the 
international community. The Palestinian leaders 
and the Arab leaders in general, used to show to 
the international community that they care about 
their people. In fact they are the true allies of Israel.

Silvia Cattori: If the PLO representatives are, 
like you say, detrimental to the interests of the 
Palestinians, why doesn’t the Hamas government remove them?

Sattar Kassem: From the time Hamas won the 
elections, Fatah leaders, with the support of 
their representatives outside, started working 
very hard against the new government. They have 
been co-operating with the United States, with 
Arab countries and with Israel to topple the 
Hamas government. Of course, that is part of 
Arafat’s heritage. They have been working very 
hard to rob Hamas of its authority and topple the 
government. That is why they have been 
concentrating on the PLO since Hamas won the 
elections. The PLO was so disregarded by Arafat 
and his aides – they did not care about the PLO. 
They did not even care about the Palestinian 
National Charter. When they signed the Oslo 
Accords, despite the fact this agreement was 
contradictory to the Palestinian National 
Charter, none of them cared. Now they care, 
because they want to strip Hamas of its 
authority. So, that is part of a conspiracy. It 
is an international conspiracy.

Silvia Cattori: Do you mean that the PLO 
representatives are part of a conspiracy against Hamas?

Sattar Kassem: Yes.

Silvia Cattori: Do you consider Mrs. Leila 
Shahid, the PLO representative in France for more 
than twenty years, and who was appointed recently 
by Mr Abou Mazen to the European Union, as part 
of what you call a “conspiracy”?

Sattar Kassem: All of them are cooperating with 
the Europeans States, the United States and the 
Israelis against our real national interests. I 
personally believe that Leila Shahid is part of 
Arafat’s court. For me, as a Palestinian, Leila 
Shahid is not a reliable person. I do not trust 
her. If I was in the Authority, I would remove 
her, because what she has been talking outside of 
Palestine all about for so many years is a kind 
of surrender. This will not bring any just peace 
to the Palestinians. We want peace, but the peace 
we believe in is the peace that will bring the 
Palestinian refugees back to Palestine. Other 
than that, on the contrary of what she says, we 
have not to talk about. So, all the Palestinians 
who are part of the Oslo Accords, for us, are not 
accepted. They are part of Arafat’s policies, 
part of the corruption, and part of the 
collaboration with the Israelis. Now, if some 
people say that they won us some friends, we too 
can win friends. We can explain our situation; 
everybody can explain the difficulties and the 
miseries the Palestinians have been facing over 
the years. And, as for the leftists and for the 
rightists, we can also talk to them and try to 
convince them of our real aspirations. So, to 
gain supporters in Europe is not enough. What 
Leila Shahid, and all the others who follow her 
participated in is the liquidation the 
Palestinian cause. And that is why today most of 
the Palestinian people support Hamas.

Silvia Cattori: Did you vote for Hamas?

Sattar Kassem: Yes. I voted for Hamas. Why? 
Because we want to regain the Palestinian cause, 
because we should keep our just cause alive. And 
the Palestinian cause is not the establishment of 
a so called “Palestinian authority”; that is not 
what we care about. We care about the return of 
five million of refugees who have been suffering 
for around sixty years and living under very 
difficult and dire conditions in refugee camps. 
That is what we care about. And besides, Arafat 
and Fatah and all of these PLO people who pretend 
to represent us have also been conspiring against 
other Arab countries, such as Syria and Lebanon. 
They have been contributing to the Israeli and 
United State propaganda. They have also been 
standing against Iran, although Iran has been 
extending so much help to the Palestinians. 
Again, if we talk about financial aid that these 
people insist we should get from Europe that is 
an adventure. How can I depend, and my live, on 
the Europeans? At any time if they feel 
displeased with me, they will say, “OK, I am 
turning off the tap.” That is what happened. 
Although the European states insist on democracy, 
it appears that they do not defend democracy, 
they do not want democracy, and they want a 
democracy that is tailored to their own 
interests. So, if we want to live, we have to 
depend on ourselves. And under occupation, it is 
the responsibility of Israel to provide enough 
food and to provide salaries for the people under 
occupation. That is international law. Besides, 
if I need some help and some financial 
assistance, I should get it from friends, not 
from those who are supporting Israel.

Silvia Cattori: Who are these friends?

Sattar Kassem: At least I can get it from 
Malaysia for instance; I can get it from Iran. I 
was a presidential candidate in 2005 and I told 
the people: if I am elected, I am not going to 
take a penny from those who are not our friends, 
because at any time they may threaten us. I want my live secure.

Silvia Cattori: Are the people who succeeded Mr. Arafat better?

Sattar Kassem: Abou Mazen is a very weak person 
and he doesn’t have a vision. All Palestinians 
know him. I have known Abou Mazen personally for 
more than thirty years and I know that he has 
been against resistance all the time. So, Arafat 
was just putting him there until the time comes.

Silvia Cattori: In your opinion is he an honest man?

Sattar Kassem: I think he is better than Arafat 
in that sense, but he is very weak. He is like a 
tool. Fatah people supported him to keep him in 
power, especially as they knew he was weak.

Silvia Cattori: Was he not the man that Israel 
and United States promoted, as from 2003?

Sattar Kassem: He was Israel’s choice, but all 
the influential people in Fatah are the men of 
Israel and the United States. So, these three 
parties made that choice, but the person chosen is very weak and incapable.

Silvia Cattori: Are the authorities of the Hamas government more capable?

Sattar Kassem: The government of Hamas has 
nothing to do with the former Fatah governments. 
It hasn’t taken the chance yet. Since Hamas won 
the legislative elections, all sort of troubles 
started to obstruct that government from carrying 
out its duties. Hamas hasn’t taken the chance so 
we can’t judge, we must wait. Generally speaking, 
Hamas didn’t take the offensive. They are scared. 
What I mean by taking the offensive is not, of 
course, to carry guns and kill everybody.

Silvia Cattori: Are you thinking of the offensive 
against corruption? Did you expect that the Hamas 
government would open the files as soon as it 
took office and arrest the corrupt politicians?

Sattar Kassem: Yes. The new authorities should, 
at least, open the files of corruption. But they 
didn’t do so. They didn’t even talk about it. 
They are scared. The new government was even 
supposed to collect the thousands of cars that 
Arafat distributed to his own people, sell them 
and use that money to pay salaries to the 
employees who have been without income for months.

Silvia Cattori: So why didn’t the Hamas 
government collect these cars? Do they fear causing a civil war?

Sattar Kassem: As I told you, they are scared. 
When they are asked to correct the situation they 
will tell you that confrontation will lead to 
civil war. This is not an excuse, since, if they 
open the files of corruption, they would be able 
to make all Fatah people leave the country.

Silvia Cattori: How could the Hamas government 
take the risk of a confrontation, since the real 
power, like the Security Service, is still under Mr Abou Mazen’s orders?

Sattar Kassem: I think that our authorities have 
good intentions, but they can do nothing, because 
whatever they say or do, they will be considered 
internationally as “terrorists”. However, if they 
had opened the corruption files, then most of 
corrupt Fatah leaders would have left the 
country. That isn't “terrorism”; that has to do with an internal problem.

Silvia Cattori: Are you in contact with members of the Hamas government?

Sattar Kassem: I see them, I meet them, and I 
phone them in Gaza and here in the West Bank.

Silvia Cattori: The Israeli officials used to 
portray them as mad people? How are they in fact?

Sattar Kassem: They are nice people. They are 
honest and they would like to serve the 
Palestinians. Unfortunately they are facing many 
obstacles and they are accused of being “terrorists”, that is the problem.

Silvia Cattori: Do you think that the European 
Union supports the United States’ boycott against 
the Hamas government with the intention of 
helping the Israelis to win and to constrain the 
Palestinians to give up their rights? Further, 
has France been pushing in 2004 for the 1559 
resolution in order to suppress the only force of 
resistance able to constrain Israel to draw back?

Sattar Kassem: Yes. Look at the Europeans: they 
want Hamas disarmed; they want Jihad Islamic 
disarmed, they want Hezbollah disarmed, they want 
Syria and Iran disarmed. So, who is going to 
defend the Arabs? Why should Israel not be 
disarmed? This is completely unfair and that is 
completely unreasonable. It is unacceptable. I 
want to defend myself. Who could be so mad as to 
accept to be crushed without fighting back? How 
on earth can they ask Hezbollah to be disarmed, 
while Israel is armed to the teeth? The Europeans 
States are actually adopting the Israeli point of 
view; they are not adopting a fair and balanced 
point of view - they are completely biased. If 
they want us disarmed, they should ask Israel to 
disarm as well. Then there will be a kind of justice.

Silvia Cattori: The Swiss diplomacy the promotion 
of the “Geneva Accord”, relying on Mr. Abbed 
Rabbo; an “accord” that the majority of the 
Palestinian factions have strongly refused.(2) Is 
this denial of your aspirations not upsetting the Palestinians?

Sattar Kassem: I think this Swiss initiative does 
not represent the Palestinians, but rather the 
parties who have compromised with Israel and the 
United States. The western powers believe that 
there is a kind of democracy that is tailored to 
their own interests and to the interests of the 
neo-liberal capitalism. If it deviates, then it 
is not democracy. That is unreasonable. You know, 
they think that they are dealing with an immature 
and adolescent people. No, we are mature, we have 
our own thinkers, we have our own intellectuals, 
we can analyse things and we can read them in the 
right way. These Palestinians, who are 
cooperating with Israel, with the Europeans 
countries and the Americans to halt Hamas, are 
actually committing treason. How could these 
people, like Rabbo, incite against Hamas saying 
that, “If you do not support the Geneva Accord, 
if you don’t support those who promoted it, the 
Hamas extremists will ascend to power”?

Silvia Cattori: But now, the Hamas government is 
in power. Again, why didn’t Hamas condemn the 
attitude of all those people who go on 
participating in masquerades, in contempt of democracy?

Sattar Kassem: Hamas does not have the power. 
Until now Hamas has not had the power. The 
security services are all under the leadership of 
Abu Mazen, and from the time of the elections, 
Fatah has been making so many problems for Hamas, 
that they did not leave them any time to plan, or 
to think about what to do. Fatah has been busying 
Hamas in daily problems. Besides, Abu Mazen has 
monopolized all the security services; so upon 
whom can they depend? Fatah has created a real 
problem, not only for Hamas, but for the people. 
For example, you can go now into town and you 
will see armed people. Who are they? They are 
Fatah people. They are armed and they harm the 
people, they steal from private properties, they 
can threaten, they blackmail the people, and 
sometimes they kill. I was shot by these people in 1995.

Silvia Cattori: Are they still doing the same?

Sattar Kassem: Yes, they are still doing the 
same. They were brought up by Yasser Arafat and 
financed by Yasser Arafat, so many of them now 
belong to the security service. The security 
service is supposed to preserve and to observe 
the security of the people. Instead they are 
threatening the people’s security.

Silvia Cattori: That means that, as yesterday, 
under Mr. Arafat’s power, people are scared 
because Fatah people are still powerful?

Sattar Kassem: Yes. We are scared of the Israelis 
and of Fatah people. Both are making threats to our security.

Silvia Cattori: So, you have two camps: the camp 
of Fatah, which is struggling to not lose its 
power and the camp of Hamas, who would like to 
defend the interests of the people, but which is impotent?

Sattar Kassem: That is true. And the camp of 
those who are against our own people is strong, 
because they are supported by Israel, by the 
United States, and by the European countries. Mr. 
Bush said openly, “We are supporting Abu Mazen 
financially and militarily.” They are supplying 
him with guns. Guns to use against whom? Against 
Israelis? No, against Hamas, of course!

Silvia Cattori: Does this mean that, when Mr. Abu 
Mazen and the PLO representatives call the new 
Hamas government to respect the results of the 
agreements negotiated with Israel, it is just 
because they want to preserve the privileges they got?

Sattar Kassem: Yes. They want Hamas to adopt the 
Oslo Accords so that they will preserve their 
personal interests and privileges. The Europeans 
and the Israelis needed supporters for the Oslo 
Accords. This is why they encouraged the 
corruption that Arafat established in the West 
Bank and Gaza. For the United States, Israel and 
European countries, corruption was an instrument 
to get supporters. So, much of the European money 
was wasted for the corrupt people. Palestinians 
do not believe that the negotiation has been 
productive for them; on the contrary. So they don’t want it anymore.

Silvia Cattori: Do you think the European Union 
will change its strategy and recognise the 
legitimacy of the Hamas authorities?

Sattar Kassem: No. The European countries will 
never recognize Hamas, never. The European states 
are a tool in the hands of the Israelis and the 
Americans. There are not independent. They are 
not united. If Hezbollah wins the war, the 
movement within the Arab countries will accelerate.

Silvia Cattori: What are the differences between Hamas and Hezbollah?

Sattar Kassem: Hamas does not have a strong 
organisation, weapons or training. Hamas is under 
occupation. Palestinians suffer, but regardless, 
they will continue their fight. They will never surrender.

As for the Hezbollah, Israel will not be able to 
disarm or cripple them. Hezbollah will remain 
strong. What is now important about Lebanon is 
that the people should know what terrible things 
Israel is doing against this country, as well as 
against Palestine. In fact, Israel is not 
destroying Hezbollah. Israel is harming the 
entire Lebanese civil population. The attack on 
Lebanon was huge, but Israel hit the civilians 
and hasn’t been hitting Hezbollah. Thousands of 
civilians have been killed and injured. Tens of 
thousands of houses have been destroyed, as well 
as bridges, factories and electrical generators. 
So the people need to learn about the mentality 
of the Israelis and their destructive behaviour. 
That is why I think we have to make the 
Palestinian cause an Arab and an Islamic one. 
Hezbollah has an excellent organization, a good 
administration, a good conflict management. 
Israel has tried several times to launch attacks 
against Hezbollah. This is not the first attack, 
but Hezbollah always turns out to be the winner. 
The problem for us is that recognition by the 
Europeans and the Americans of our right to 
resist is something impossible, because we aren’t 
powerful. Unless we are strong enough, we can’t convince anyone.

Silvia Cattori: You arrive at the same conclusion 
as the Lebanese political analyst, Youssef 
Aschkar,(3) who thinks that the so-called “war 
against terrorism” is a war against societies and 
against communities, a war cynically designed to 
destroy entire countries and peoples. He also 
concludes that the latter are no longer protected by their authorities.

Sattar Kassem: Yes, that is alas true. This is 
not, as Bush and Blair say, a war against 
“terrorism”. This is a war against all of us.

(1) This refers to the «Appeal of the 20 » 
drafted by the members of the Legislative 
Counsel, among whom was Hussam Khader. Israel 
abducted him in 2003 and since, he remains 
imprisoned. This appeal denounced Mr. Arafat’s 
compromises with the occupying Israelis, 
corruption, and the difficulties generated by the Oslo-Accord.

(2) The Geneva-Accord, signed in Geneva in 
December 2003, is the result of two years of 
negotiations. This agreement is consider unjust 
and unfavourable to the Palestinians. The 
Israeli, Yossi Beilin, and the Palestinian, Abed 
Rabbo, were the chief negotiators, along with the 
pro-Israeli, Alexis Keller, mandated by Switzerland to pilot this initiative.


Les Palestiniens ont voté massivement en faveur 
du Hamas lors des élections législatives 
palestiniennes de janvier 2006. Il était 
impératif de respecter leur choix. Or, l’Union 
européenne, les a punis en retirant ses 
subventions, réduisant ainsi à la misère des 
millions de Palestiniens. Il est à souligner que 
la victoire du mouvement islamique a pris à 
revers, non seulement les gouvernements qui 
misaient sur la victoire du Fatah, mais aussi les 
partis et mouvements progressistes qui n’ont 
jamais su se mettre à l’écoute de l’opinion 
palestinienne et de ses véritables aspirations. 
Face à la désespérance du peuple palestinien, 
il  est urgent d’écouter ce que les Palestiniens 
fidèles à leur cause ont à nous dire, et d’en 
tirer les leçons. M. Sattar Kassem, professeur de 
sciences politiques à l'Université Al-Najah de 
Naplouse, a répondu avec franchise et courage, 
aux questions que lui a posées Silvia Cattori.

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