11 tips for the new chairman
For starters, don't even think about appointing yourself deputies or vice deputies or acting vice deputies. Whether they have power or not, it's not healthy to hand out jobs that revolve chiefly around waiting for you to die.
1. For starters, don't even think about appointing yourself deputies or vice deputies or acting vice deputies. Whether they have power or not, it's not healthy to hand out jobs that revolve chiefly around waiting for you to die.
2.Man your office with aides who will be so busy quarreling among themselves they won't have time to ruin things for you. Appoint your trusty personal lawyer as your bureau chief in case some Abu-Appel tries to sell you a Greek island. Hire strategic advisers and experts in the marketing of governments. Israel will be happy to lend you Yosef Barel to help you establish a patriotic TV network.
3. Never wear a uniform, pack a pistol or decorate your chest with a string of medals awarded for God knows what. The latest Bush fashion is democracy. He is counting on you to be the founder of the first Islamic democracy in the region. Give it to him and you'll be the pet of the Western world.
4. In his day, Yitzhak Rabin was jealous of you for not having a B'Tselem human rights movement and a High Court looking over your shoulder so your leaders could do whatever they damn well pleased. It took us a long time to realize that terror can't be stamped out by force and Israel can't continue lording over another people, with or without watchdog institutions. The day the Palestinian Authority has a B'Tselem, a High Court, peace rallies and demonstrations against violence and terror, we will know a democratic leader has been born.
5. "Jobs" is not a dirty word. Ask Limor Livnat. Especially for a leader who is trying to get his foot in the door in a future Palestinian state. Jobs provide a livelihood for have-nots who will be indebted to the government some day. Menachem Begin was elected into office a second time to the tune of his promise to do right by the people. Steer them to the fleshpots, Abu Mazen, instead of the battlefield, and they will thank you and your leadership forever.
6. Never lie to President Bush. The lies of your famous predecessor cost him and your people dearly. Especially the personal letter to Bush in which Arafat swore he had no information or connection to the Karine A munitions ship. From that moment on, Bush severed ties with him and turned him into a non-partner, while Sharon was given what amounted to a free hand in striking terrorist ringleaders and operatives.
7.Make sure you don't repeat two boo-boos Sharon made when he was elected prime minister: (a) Don't say no to Bush. The guy has a very short fuse; and (b) Don't ogle Condoleezza Rice's shapely legs and then talk about it in public.
8. Don't dawdle: Get the key to the national treasury that Arafat turned into his private playground, although no one knows how much remains in it, let alone where it is. While most Palestinians were left poor and hungry by the Al-Aqsa Intifada initiated by your predecessor, which deprived them of their income in Israel, the Great Revolutionary made hundreds of millions in deals on the side. His Madame Pompadour abandoned her people on the battlefield and lined her pocket with the money meant to finance the revolution. Run a transparent administration and insure that state monies go to the people, not to a handful of corrupt individuals.
9. Like us, you can expect problems with religious fundamentalists and their radical leaders. Around here, we buy them off. In your case, force will be needed. You'll have to do what one of our leaders did: Liquidate the militias and build a one-army state. While Israel teeters on the brink of civil war so that you'll get Gaza back one day, the constant barrage of rockets and mortars is hard to swallow. Get your 30,000 policemen out into the street, order your security forces into action, and do what it takes to put a stop to terror. If not, your term will end in tears.
10. When you appear in public, be conciliatory. Instill hope. Don't whip your people into a frenzy of blood and fire. Don't threaten us with an onslaught of a million shaheeds. Become a leader remembered as Abu Mazen the rebuilder. How long can we survive without a casino in Ramallah?
11. And most importantly: Visit Arafat's grave every week and make sure he's still there.
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