Over the past two weeks, no one can deny that there have been widespread televised reports that have shown mass Palestinian Arab demonstrations for Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, with daily Palestinian chants that call for Saddam Hussein to reign missiles again on Tel Aviv, while marchers burn American and Israeli flags.
The question that many people have raised concerns whether or not Arafat and the PLO, now operating the Palestine Authority, gives official “sanction” to these demonstrations.
No one forgets that in 1991, the PLO gave full support to Saddam Hussein, when the Palestinian Arab population, which then lived fully under the sovereignty of the state of Israel, also conducted mass demonstrations under Saddam Hussein.
Today, however, the PLO’s Palestine Authority rules over most of the Palestinian Arab population, with a legislative council and a strong police force, things are different.
This time, the marches for Saddam Hussein emanate from the Palestine Authority headquarters in Ramallah.
On February 13, 1998, Danny Rubenstein, the Arab affairs correpondent for the daily Israeli newspaper, HaAretz, published a short investigative piece in which he documented that the Palestinian demonstrations for Saddam Hussein were indeed organized by the PFLP, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Rubenstein traces the funding of the PFLP to Iraq.
To paraphrase Rubenstein, it would therefore be natural to expect that the PFLP would demonstrate for Saddam.
Meanwhile, the PFLP is categorized by the US state department as one of the thirty organizations placed on the official list of groups that have been officially designated by the US as terrorist organizations.
Yet the PFLP remains an integral part of the Palestine National Council, the Palestine Authority and the Palestine Liberation Army police force, all of which are funded in part by grants from US AID, the Agency for International Development.
In other words, the US knowingly funds an entity that openly incorporates an organization that the US defines as a terror group in supports of the current regime of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.
Does the Palestine Authority support Saddam Hussein?
The answer remains that the whole is the sum of its parts.