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It's the Occupation, Stupid

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He agreed to burden Palestinians with the same value-added tax as Israel. In September, it rose to 17%. Impoverished Palestinians are severely harmed. 

Oslo also denies Palestinian farmers and businessmen normalized foreign trade. Those permitted can only go through Israel.

Partial and delayed salary payments compound intense public anger. Palestinian civil servants see no end in sight. Israel deserves most blame. Abbas, Fayyad, and other Palestinian collaborators share it. 

Hass called Israeli negotiators "geniuses." Negotiating a Palestinian Versailles assured they'd be blamed for economic crisis conditions they caused. 

PA concern became panic. Speeches, interministerial committees, and other ways are sought to diffuse public anger and lower prices. Condescending paternalistic language doesn't help. Protesters understandably are angry. Venting rage at PA officials lets Israel off the hook.

Oslo shackled Palestine's economy to Israel. Palestinian salaries don't approach Israeli ones. Regressive taxes make things harder. Unaffordable prices compound crisis conditions.

In all respects, Oslo was a Palestinian Versailles. Unconditional surrender defines it. Arafat, Abbas, Ahmed Qureia, and others went along. Eighteen years later, conditions are considerably worse.

More land's been stolen. Israel has the choicest parts. It controls water and other valued resources. Settler numbers increased greatly. Intensified violence accompanied them. So has repression. PA security forces serve as Israeli enforcers.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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