November 12, 2003 Special Dispatch No. 607

Arafat's National Security Advisor Jibril Rjoub: ' The U.S. Administration is a Fascist Administration,' 'The Iraqi Opposition to the American Occupation Must be Increased'

November 12, 2003
Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 607

In a recent interview posted on the London-based online newspaper Al-Haqa'eq and published in the Saudi daily Al-Jazirah, [1] PA Chairman Yasser Arafat's national security advisor, Colonel Jibril Rjoub, termed the current American administration "fascist." In addition, he called for increased Iraqi opposition to the U.S. occupation and denounced attempts to challenge the authority of Arafat and the PLO. He also expressed hope for a stronger Russia in order to counterbalance the power of the U.S. The following are excerpts from the interview:

The U.S. Administration is a Fascist Administration

"The American administration is a right-wing, fascist administration controlled by the Zionist right. A group of right-wing fascists is running the administration. For them, the word 'Arabs' arouses anger and triggers nausea and disgust, starting with Dick Cheney and ending with Paul Wolfowitz
I do not believe the American administration desires or is able to forge good relations with the Palestinians or the Arabs because of the right-wing hegemony over its institutions."

When asked if he thought Palestinians held some responsibility for the deteriorated relations between the two sides, Rjoub responded, "No, we are a victim, our people is a victim… The Americans are exploiting the balance of power and the fall of the Soviet Union in order to force their conditions and demands on the world in general and on the Middle East in particular."

On Arab-U.S. relations, Rjoub said: "The American side is not objective and not realistic. It does not act with a minimum of respect toward the Arabs and their aspirations. It is therefore necessary to develop an Arab [unified] position that consolidates all the Arab energy and options and stands up to the Americans, who act as if they control the world and speak the language of a policeman and the language of the new imperialism…"

Regarding the war in Iraq, Rjoub stated: "The American administration did not wage war against Iraq in order to topple Saddam Hussein's [regime]; rather, it did so in order to control Iraq's natural wealth and the entire Middle East, as well as to provide security for Israel and to bolster the eastern front… In my opinion, Arabs must now wake up. Iraqi opposition to the American occupation must be increased."

PA - Russian Relations

Having recently returned from a visit to Russia, Rjoub elaborated on Palestinian-Russian relations: "Our relations with Russia are excellent. Russia is a key nation in the world, and our hope for it is that it will regain its strength and restore the world's balance of power, such that it will be more involved in regional and international conflicts, including the conflict between ourselves and Israel… We must maintain relations with Russia and Europe and not accept the American monopoly in the Middle East."

The Geneva Accords

Rjoub sidestepped a question regarding the official PA stance on the Geneva Understandings. He called it an "unofficial initiative" and said it was the right of any group of Palestinian people to hold unofficial talks with Israelis or anyone else. However, cautioned Rjoub, any such group must remember that "the national source of authority for the Palestinian people is the PLO that has the sole right to conduct negotiations."

The PA and the Islamic Opposition

Rjoub remarked that "the contacts with every political Palestinian group, including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, have not ended, and they will never end. These forces are part of the Palestinian people, and they are part of the national liberation movement. They are active and important cells in the Palestinian political and social fabric."

Abu Mazen's Failure: Solely his Responsibility

According to Rjoub, the short-lived PA prime minister Mahmoud Abbas (also known as Abu Mazen) bears sole responsibility for his isolation within Fatah. The reason, he said, is that Abu Mazen wagered on outside elements and refused to recognize that the movement was the only source of authority. In Rjoub's view, the Americans and Israelis lied to Abu Mazen, since they gave him nothing.

Rjoub was asked if the presence of Muhammad Dahlan in Abu Mazen's government had any bearing on its failure. He considered Dahlan the reason for the failure, since he was unduly granted authority over internal affairs, contrary to the agreement between Abu Mazen and Arafat. According to Rjoub, 24 hours before Abu Mazen's government collapsed, Arafat suggested through emissaries that Abu Mazen revoke the authority he gave to Dahlan and appoint an official interior minister in his place. Abu Mazen refused. Rjoub added that Abu Mazen and members of his government gave Palestinians the impression that they aimed to take control of the PA and that Abu Mazen wanted to govern without the authority of Arafat and the Fatah. While every Palestinian has a legitimate right to differ with Yasser Arafat, he said, to challenge Arafat's authority while he is still serving as elected chairman is forbidden.

The Intifada was Not a Mistake But Operations Against Civilians Inside Israel Must Stop

While he did not label it a mistake, Rjoub said it was wrong to militarize the Intifada and to embroil the security apparatuses within Area A. He said it was unfortunate that some people, including prominent figures in the PA and the security apparatuses, had their own personal agenda. Rjoub added: "We must use every means possible to put an end to any operation against civilian targets within the Green Line."

Sharon Deceives the World

Rjoub was asked about Israel's motives for constructing the separation fence, given Sharon's explanation. His response: "Sharon is deceiving the entire world… Sharon lies more than he breathes… Sharon was lying when he spoke of painful concessions and an end to the occupation." [2]

1 http://www.alhaqaeq.netNovember 4, 2003; Al-Jazirah (Saudi Arabia), November 4, 2003.

[2] On the subject of investigations into Sharon's alleged criminal activities, Rjoub said, "The extent of corruption in Israel is unlike any other country in the world."

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