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January 08, 2002
A little advice to the Palestinians

By Lester Ordway


As a concerned American, I continue to place the issue of the Palestininans in front of my congressman . I also voice my views socially whenever I get the opportunity.

Just this weekend I was talking with a friend who is a Delta Airline pilot. He was called-up by the Air Force and has been flying C-17 (cargo aircraft) missions to the Middle East. He is an educated person but knows little of the Palestinian history. I don't consider that unusual, what would we expect Palestinians to know of American Indian history? Anyhow, he seemed surprised at some of the history. Likely his case is similar to most Americans. The Palestinians with their Arab neighbors are going to have to do a better job educating the American public on the issues to sway public policy.

The Palestinians should take a lesson from American marketers; keep the message simple and pound it into the conscious of Americans through repetition. Stopping the violence and adopting a long-term strategy to accomplishing the goals would also be helpful. The PLO and the rest of the Palestinians are going to have to distance themselves from the militants to win the sympathy of the West. This is where Arafat has failed. I respect him but it may be time for a change. His stepping down now would be a golden opportunity for publicity of the Palestinian cause. The PLO should identify and promote its front men so that their names become as familiar to the American public like Sharon, Perez, and Netenyahu. If their leaders spoke English and presented themselves well they could make headway in their cause via US pressure to Israel.