memri

February 1, 2016
Clip No.
5301

Nabil Shaath on Int’l Peace Conference: Anything Is Better than U.S.-Led Negotiations; Do We Need to Hijack Planes Again to Stir Interest in Our Cause?

Fatah Central Committee member and former Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath said, in a February 1 interview with the Palestinian Awdha TV channel, that the Palestinians prefer a 5+1-style framework over the international peace conference offered by France, but that "anything is better" than a peace process mediated by the U.S., which “has never been an honest broker.” Shaath said that Europeans could not care less if the entire Syrian people died, but had been stirred to action by the wave of refugees and terror attacks in Europe. “Do we have to hijack your planes and destroy your airports again to make you care about our cause?” he asked.


Nabil Shaath: "The idea of an international peace conference... Well, anything is better than American control of the negotiations. Anything. The US has never been a reliable honest broker. It is the strategic ally of Israel. Period. Therefore, any discussion of a different formula is a positive thing. But to tell you the truth, an international conference is not what is needed. What is needed is a smaller framework. Today, at the African Union summit, President Abbas reiterated that we want something similar to the 5+1 framework... Like it or not, the US will be part of it, but we want France, Germany, Britain, the EU, Russia, China, Brazil, India... From the Arab countries, we want Egypt at least... We want a small international framework.


[...]


"If the Syrian problem had not been exported to Europe – through the refugees, on the one hand, and terrorism, on the other – the Europeans would not have cared even if the entire Syrian people had died. But when all of a sudden, there were four million Syrian refugees in Europe, 1.2 million of them in Germany alone, and when this was accompanied by ISIS operations in France and elsewhere, all these countries began to fear that ISIS might have infiltrated through the refugees, and this started a debate about racial transformation in Europe, with the entrance of non-white, non-European, non-Anglo-Saxon races, like the Syrian refugees, the Africans, and others... This is what made the Syrian problem the most pressing from their perspective.


[...]


"I always say to these people, after I tell them about Syria and ISIS: Do we have to hijack your planes and destroy your airports again to make you care about our cause? Are you waiting for us to cut off your oil supply? You always wait for things to reach boiling point and explode causing you harm before you intervene to end the crimes and violations."