[Abu Ala with Abu Arafat]
From a December 22, 2010 Jerusalem Post interview with Abu Ala, former PA Prime Minister
"The future Palestinian state must be based on the tourism industry. We don’t have any other economic resources,” he says.
“The millions of tourists who will come here in the future will want to visit the holy places, in Jerusalem and its surroundings. They will come from the east, from Jordan, Christians and Muslims. If Ma’aleh Adumim and the Israeli settlements block their way, they just won’t come. All of the publications regarding retaining the blocs of settlements talk about percentages - what percentage of the West Bank will remain in Israel and what percentage of territory will the Palestinians receive in return. That’s the wrong approach. The question is the quality and location of those territories.
After all the screaming and the violence and the murders and the lies, we finally find out what the issue is. Now we see why, though it is never mentioned in the Koran, the Palestinians insist that Jerusalem is the third holiest place in Islam. Now we see why, though Jerusalem is mentioned literally thousands of times in the Hebrew and Christian bibles, that they Palestinians insist so long and so hard that there is no Jewish connection to our ancient capital. But they at the same time omit to deny any Christian connection. Because the Christians tourists are their intended market.
This is not about the Dome of the Rock, not about Mohammed, not about the Quran. It is about the hotel, restaurant, and gift shop trade. The freakin' little weasels have been willing to kill and to have their young people killed, to refuse to negotiate for decades, because they want to control the tourist business in Jerusalem.
Which has everything to do with why they insist on Jerusalem though it means nothing to them but to the extent they have brainwashed their people to believe it.
It makes a difficult situation still more difficult. Israel also has no source of livelihood than tourism. Except for biotech pharmaceutical research and design. And software development. And sophisticated agriculture. And high tech product design and manufacturing. And now with the Leviathan gas field discovery, the production and export of low-sulfur natural gas.
So the Jews have no interest in Jerusalem per se. Except for it having been our capital for a thousand years, from David to Herod. Except for returning to it having been in our prayers literally every day for two thousand years after that. Except for the Western Wall of our ancient temple being there. Other than that... But what is that compared to the Palestinians wanting to control the tourist business?
And it shows the class-drivenness of the Palestinian demand for Jerusalem. The Arabs already have the tourist trade in their hands. Most of the hotel workers, restaurant workers, tour guides, taxi drivers, and other tourist jobs are Israeli Arabs right now. Today.
The issue is not about jobs or livelihood. It is about the Palestinian bourgeoisie wanting to control businesses and profits that Jewish business owners have now. THAT is what this all comes down to.