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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Dangerous propositions

The best way to confront Israeli attempts to liquidate the Palestinian cause is to restore national unity

Mustafa Barghouti , Thursday 6 Apr 2017
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Views: 2185

The whole region and the international sphere is flooded with suggestions aiming at exerting pressure on the Palestinian side while Netanyahu is attempting, through his usual machinations, to pass Israeli projects to gradually liquidate the Palestinian cause via regional and international channels.

It is a must that the Palestinians or those speaking in their name stay alert to the dangerous propositions that are being propagated by diplomatic circles.

The first of these propositions is the attempt to circumvent the demand of a total halt to settlement activities through talk about a selective and temporary halt, excluding Jerusalem and what they call the settlement masses and "natural growth".

This is a despicable game that Netanyahu played previously and we should not interact with it. It is either a total, comprehensive and absolute halt to settlement construction in all its forms, including Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied lands, or refusing the deception of settlement via crooked ways. It is impermissible to self-deceive oneself in this matter.

The second proposition is attempts to pass through a normalisation process with Arab countries at the expense of the Palestinian cause, without meeting the Palestinian people’s rights and introducing a regional frame for negotiation instead of an international one.

The Arabs' refusal of normalisation has become an urgent duty, especially after it is demanded that the recent Arab Summit adopt ESCWA's report concerning the Israeli apartheid regime and execute its recommendations regarding the imposition of a boycott on the Israeli apartheid regime and standing together to overthrow it.

The third proposition is dealing with the Israeli narrative that claims that the problem’s essence lies in what it calls “Palestinian incitement and terrorism”, to cover up the root of the problem lying in the occupation and forced displacement of Palestinians and the apartheid regime that imposed it upon them.

The most astonishing thing is the talk of some international envoys about Palestinian “incitement” while they deliberately forget the flood of criminal incitement of Israeli politicians, rabbis and military figures.

Israeli incitement is not restricted to talk but is translated to public implementation of field executions — crimes that took the lives of martyrs Mohammed Al-Khattab in Al-Jalazone and Basel Al-Araj in the heart of Ramallah.  

As for the right of Palestinians to resist injustice and call for freedom and liberation, it is not incitement but a moral and human duty and he who does not stick to it abandons his national and human honour.

The fourth proposition is succumbing to fierce pressure to prevent the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organisation from performing their duty in taking care of the families of martyrs, and male and female captives.  

He who practices these pressures wants to drive Palestinian officials to not only collectively punish freedom fighters but also stand against their families, which is basically a violation of humanitarian law and international law as well as being contrary to national morality.

The fifth proposition is the acceptance of some improvements and economic aid as an alternative to a political solution to end the occupation. This method was used repeatedly in the past and proved a failure since the root of the Palestinian people's economic suffering lies in the continuance of the occupation and the Israeli apartheid regime and racial discrimination.

The sixth proposition is attempts to restrict the Palestinian Authority's role to security coordination and what they call "Security Partnership" and propagating repression of the Palestinian people's struggle for freedom.

The seventh and most dangerous proposition is passing the idea that has been previously shattered by the Palestinian people, which propagates a solution based on what is called a "transitional state" established on cut off reservations and Bantustans with the purpose of providing an opportunity to annex more than half of the West Bank to Israel and its settlements.

We are not against diplomatic efforts as long as they are committed to national constants, but it is our duty to deepen strategic perception that we aren't in a resolution phase with Israel and its governments, but we are in a fight and struggle for survival phase.  

Starting negotiations is worthless before a clear Israeli avowal of readiness to end the occupation entirely and halt totally and comprehensively settlement activities, including inside Jerusalem.

There will be no resolution before we change the balance of power in our favour through our struggle, and the first step towards changing the balance of power is to achieve national unity, overcome divisions, build a unified national leadership, and adopt a joint struggle strategy.

The writer is secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative.

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