The following are excerpts from an argument between Fatah Leader Farouq Al-Qaddumi and Former Lebanese President Elias Al-Hrawi:
Al-Hrawi: When Abu Ammar [Yasser Arafat], may he rest in peace, mercy upon those who have passed away,was asked [in 1993]: "You think you can rule the West Bank and Gaza?" He answered: "Someone who could rule Lebanon for 15 years can rule Gaza and the West Bank."
When things happened between you and the Jordanian Kingdom, in Black September, where did you go? You came to Lebanon, which received you with open arms just as it took in the Palestinian refugees in 1948. But you came here in accordance with the Cairo Treaty. This treaty was nullified by the parliament, but you have kept your weapons to this day - even if only light arms - within the refugee camps. These, instead of refugee camps, have turned into independent mini-states. Anyone who commits a crime outside escapes to the camp, where he is protected by the various Palestinian organizations. I wish it were only Fatah. In the 'Ein Al-Hilweh camp, all the Palestinian gangs are present.
By Allah, tell me: How was Lebanon united? It was united when we were all united, but it was you who divided it. I couldn't believe the Israelis would be received with rice when they entered Lebanon, by people who only wanted to be free of the acts committed by the Palestinians in South Lebanon.
We want to be with the Palestinian people, and to sacrifice whatever is necessary for it. But you have sacrificed Lebanon before sacrificing yourselves.
Al-Qaddumi: We have been under siege for 40 years. Unfortunately, the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are under siege. There are 50 types of jobs forbidden to Palestinians. Lebanon is the only country to do this. At the same time you say: work - not for the Palestinian. Only weapons! Did the weapons harm you? I don't think so.
You have had and continue to have disputed in Lebanon. Our mistake was to intervene in these disputes, and I admit this was a mistake. But you are divided among you. I don't want to go on, because I have a lot to say about our experience with the Arab countries.