Is dissolving the Palestinian Authority an essential next step?
By Alan Hart
The Obama administration or those who write its scripts must think that all of us who support the Palestinian claim for justice are stupid. It described Palestinian Authority President Abbas’s statement (during his speech to the UN General Assembly) that Israel’s last war on the Gaza Strip was a “genocidal crime” as “offensive and provocative” and one that “undermined peace efforts.” Peace efforts? There are no peace efforts to be undermined!
And that causes me to return to the theme of my last post which was headlined Obama takes hypocrisy to new high levels.
The longer version of my headline question for this post is the following.
Is dissolving the impotent and corrupt PA and handing back to Israel full and complete responsibility and accountability for occupation an essential next step if the Palestinians are not to be denied for ever an acceptable measure of justice?
In my analysis the answer ought to be obvious to all who are fully aware of the dynamics of the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel, dynamics which can be summarised in three short sentences as follows.
* Justice for the Palestinians is not on Zionism’s agenda.
* By default the regimes of the existing corrupt and authoritarian Arab Order are complicit in Zionism’s ethnic cleansing enterprise.
* As things are there is no prospect of the major powers led by America using the leverage they have to try to cause Israel to be serious about peace on terms the Palestinians could accept.
So unless the dynamics can be changed, the Zionist (not Jewish) monster state will remain above the law and free to go on imposing its will on the Palestinians and gobbling up more and more of what is left of their land.
That being so the only end game scenario I can see as things are (assuming as I do that the occupied and oppressed Palestinians will never surrender to Zionism’s will by abandoning their struggle and accepting crumbs from its table) is a final Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
That being so, or most likely, the priority question for discussion and debate by activist groups everywhere which campaign for justice for the Palestinians ought to be this. What can be done to change the dynamics of the conflict?
There are some who believe that an escalating campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) will do it.
My view is that BDS will not cause Israel to be serious about peace on terms the Palestinians could accept unless it becomes the policy of the governments of the major powers including and especially America.
And there’s no chance of that happening unless the dynamics of the conflict are changed.
In my analysis there is only one effective way to change them – dissolving the PA and handing full and complete responsibility and accountability for occupation back to Israel That, as noted in my last post, would not only impose significant financial, security and other burdens on Israel, it would enable global discussion and debate about the conflict to be focused without distraction on the occupation and the need for it (now in its 47th year) to be ended.
Putting the occupation and all that goes with it under greater and concentrated scrutiny ought to make calling Israel to account for its defiance of international law something less than the mission impossible it currently is.
Question: How could the political and economic vacuums left by the dissolution of the PA be filled?
There doesn’t have to be a political vacuum. The executive committee of the PLO, preferably with new elections to it, would again be the institutional representative of the occupied and oppressed Palestinians. If diaspora Palestinians then put their act together (as Jewish supporters of Israel right or wrong have always done) the Palestine National Council (PNC) could be brought back to life, refreshed and re-invigorated by new elections. A Palestinian parliament-in-exile that could speak to power with one voice on behalf of Palestinians everywhere would be far more effective than the PA.
The main argument against dissolving the PA is that the loss of American and European funding for it would have serious even catastrophic consequences for the occupied and oppressed Palestinians, not only the 100,000 or so who are employed by the PA.
But would this have to be the case?
I say “No” because the regimes of the most wealthy Arab states could easily provide the replacement funding needed. The incentive for them to do so can be simply stated. If they refused a PLO request for funding to keep the Palestinian cause alive with some hope of obtaining an acceptable amount of justice, they would be exposed like never before, fully naked, as traitors to the cause and, by default, complicit in Zionism’s enterprise. My speculation is that the regimes of the most wealthy Arab states would not want to be seen as such by their own and other Arab masses.
It was Saudi Arabia’s King Feisal, in my view the first and the last great Arab leader of modern times, who fought and won a political battle with Henry Kissinger to get Arafat to the UN to make his gun and olive branch speech and secure recognition for the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. In a sense King Feisal was the PLO’s political godfather.
As I write I find myself wondering if Qatar’s new, young ruler, Emir Tamim Hamad al-Thani, could emerge as his region’s Feisal-like wise man and become the PLO’s financial godfather. Hamas’s political leadership is allowed to live and be headquartered in Qatar and that, perhaps, is an indication that it’s pragmatic ruling family is guarding against being on the wrong side of history. Qatar alone could make the necessary investment to keep the Palestinian cause financially alive in the event of the dissolution of the PA.
So it seems to me that an economic disaster for the occupied and oppressed Palestinians would not be inevitable if the PA was dissolved and American and European funding was not then available to the replacement Palestinian leadership.
It is, of course, only the Palestinians themselves who can cause the dynamics of the conflict to be changed by insisting on the dissolution of the PA and handing back to Israel full and complete responsibility and accountability for occupation.
My hope is that activist groups of all faiths and none everywhere which campaign for justice for the Palestinians will urge them to do so.
Events in Iraq and Syria are dominating the news and I find myself wondering how different things might have been today if at a very early stage of the Syrian uprising Obama had had the wisdom to say to Putin something like, “What’s your price for requiring Assad to stand down and make way for open and honest elections?”