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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 29, 2003

The PA Constitution (some comic relief)

Thanks to IMRA we can see all 220 articles of the PA's constitution. Apparently the PA decided to take calls for reform seriously and drafted a constitution. Some of it has a quality of my 4 year old. If a sibling claims that he's bothering them and he replies "I didn't hit him." I can be reasonably sure he did hit his brother. If he identifies the offense; he probably did it. (If he were innocent he'd just say his brother/sister was bothering him.) Some of these articles have a quality that is so patently false, you know that the PA is admitting that the opposite will occur (and has occurred). I'm providing relevant news and commentary to selected articles of this legal masterpiece.
Article 4
Palestine is an independent state with complete sovereignty that cannot be conceded. Its system shall be republican and its lands are unitary and indivisible.
Yes it is. It is indivisible and here they are honest. Take a look at the insignia at the Fatah website if you think it means that indivisible is only referring to Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Article 6
Islam shall be the official religion of the state. The monotheistic religions shall be respected.
Article 7
The principles of the Islamic Shari`a are a primary source for legislation. The legislative branch shall determine personal status law under the authority of the monotheistic religions according to their denominations, in keeping with the provisions of the constitution and the preservation of unity, stability, and advancement of the Palestinian people.
These are of course inconsistent. Here's a sample of the "equality" Shari'a calls for thanks to dhimmi.com:
"DHIMMI: A BRIEF OVERVIEW
7th-21st century. The notion of Dhimmitude, originating in the 7th century, still applies today to non-Muslims under Islamic rule—whether Jews or Christians, whether in Saudi Arabia or in Sudan. Dhimmitude began in 628 CE when Mohammed and his forces conquered the Jewish oasis at Khaybar. They massacred many of the Jews and forced the rest to accept a pact ("Dhimma") which rendered them inferiror to their Muslim conquerors. Over the centuries, the ideology of Dhimmitude expanded into a formal system of religious apartheid.
Institutionalized apartheid. In Shari’a law, there are official discriminations against the Dhimmi, such as the poll-tax or jizya.
No legal rights. Jews may not testify in court against a Muslim and have no legal right to dispute or challenge anything done to them by Muslims. There is no such thing as a Muslim raping a Jewish woman; there is no such thing as a Muslim murdering a Jew (at most, it can be manslaughter). In contrast, a Jew who strikes a Muslim is killed.
Humiliation and vulnerability. Jews and Christians had to walk around with badges or veils identifying them as Jews or Christians. The yellow star that Jews had wear in Nazi Germany did not originate in Europe. It was borrowed from the Muslim world where it was part of the apartheid system of Dhimmitude."
Yes the yellow star was not a German invention.
Article 32
The right of the Palestinian refugee to return to his home and the original home of his ancestors is a natural right which cannot expire. Its exercise may not be delegated nor surrendered.
And what happens when someone surrenders this right voluntarily? According to Carol Greenwald there's a law governing that:
The PA passed legislation in 1998 making Israeli ownership of Palestinian real estate a "harm to national security" that constitutes a "crime of high treason" punishable by death. 33 The murders of five Palestinian land dealers who sold property to Israelis indicated that the Palestinian Authority was not simply using rhetoric.
The PAL-PLC website is down, but this law was indeed written. Isn't it amazing the PA has no trouble finding real estate dealers but can't find terrorists?
Article 59
Private education has freedom provided it does not violate the public order and public decency or offend the monotheistic religions. The law shall regulate the supervision of the state over its organization and curricula.
Teaching the children about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion doesn't offend the monotheistic religion of Judaism. Does it?
Article 38
The accused my not be subject to any coercion or torture. The accused must be treated as innocent until his guilt has been proven in a fair trial granting him the guarantees of self-defense and the assistance of an attorney.
There are many examples of how the PA has fulfilled this take a look at the paragraph entitled "Executing the Retarded" here or the original article at the Jerusalem Post. This story also emphasizes the PA's commitment to due process as well as its progressiveness in treating women much the same as it treats men. (See the next article of the constitution.)
Article 63
Women are the full sisters of m. They have rights and duties as guaranteed by the shari`a and established in law.
Ever hear of honor killings?
Article 130
The remuneration of the president shall be determined by law.
And I'm sure the remuneration of all other officials will also be determined in such an honest manner illustrated in the following paragraph (emphasis mine):
As Arafat Critics Close In, Deputies Vie in the Wings
By JOHN KIFNER
A central part of this competition is between Mr. Rajoub and Mr. Dahlan, both heads of branches of the powerful Preventive Security Service, whose task under the Oslo accords was to keep Palestinian militants from attacking Israel. Both men rose from obscurity to be street-fighting leaders in the first intifada, and both endured years in Israeli jails, where they learned Hebrew. Both have also been living large: Mr. Dahlan built a mansion in Gaza so huge that Mr. Arafat had to tell him it was ostentatious. When an outraged Mr. Rajoub led a press tour of his damaged house after an Israeli rocket attack, journalists were fascinated by his marble whirlpool bath.
Any of these articles from the American Center for Democracy show us the money of the PA and where it goes. Finally, Morton Klein does a fine job of summing up the PA's past commitment to the principles of the rule of law. No doubt this overblown constitution will be the roadmap for a cleaned up PA. Not.
Cross Posted to David's Israel Blog.