Palestinian Periodical Reprints Israeli Critique of Militants

A harsh critique of "Palestinian guerrilla organizations" by independent journalist Gideon Spiro appeared yesterday in the Palestinian Al-Tariq, which comes out twice a month and is distributed along with the newspaper Al-Ayam.

In the article "Red Flag - Palestinian Guerrilla," first published September 21 on the leftist Israeli Web site "The Left Bank," Spiro assails Palestinian organizations for choosing to focus on attacking civilian Israeli targets instead of fighting soldiers and armed settlers.

"Palestinian guerrilla leaders have been revealed as failures at reading the Israeli map and did not correctly predict political developments [resulting from the harm to civilians]. It is possible that the religious and nationalistic fanaticism that characterize the Palestinian movements can explain some of the failure. Revenge becomes a central motif and that clouds clarity of thought," Spiro wrote.

Spiro states a fact little mentioned by Palestinians in public - that hundreds of armed men fire weapons during funerals in Gaza, but "when the occupation forces enter various areas in the Strip on penalty sprees, Palestinian resistance by those same armed men turns out to be negligible."

Al-Tariq has been appearing for six months as an enterprise of the Palestinian Peace Coalition, which was involved in the Geneva Initiative. But according to Ashraf Ajrami, Al-Tariq's Hebrew translator who is responsible for "Israel affairs", the "Palestinian Peace Coalition" is broader than the Geneva Initiative and its journal aims to give voice to people "who are committed to the culture of peace," some of whom are opposed to the Geneva Initiative.

Ajrami, who is interested in presenting a broad spectrum of Israeli positions, ran several interviews in Al-Tariq with members of Meretz and Labor, among them Amram Mitzna and Zahava Gal-On. He said that Likud ministers declined his requests for interviews.