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‘International legitimacy’ and alienation from Palestinian history

Talk of “full rights” and “international legitimacy” by Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat was once again prominent within its usual inconsistency. Speaking at a meeting with various diplomatic representatives, including EU representative John Gatt-Rutter, Erekat insisted upon Palestine’s right to participate fully in international institutions, including recourse to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The insistence, however, was based upon acquiescence to imperialist narratives of what Palestine is expected to comply with – notably adherence to the two-state conspiracy.

Ma’an reported that Erekat said “occupied Palestine” is entitled to “full right to join international organisations, institutions, statues, conventions and protocols, especially the ICC.” The “two-state solution”, according to Erekat, is being intentionally destroyed by Israel through its constant annihilation of Palestinians. Following a regurgitation of the usual list of Israeli violations of Palestinian rights, Erekat included a positive reference with regard to the meaningless symbolism of Palestinian recognition generated recently by Sweden and the UK.

Conveniently omitted from Erekat’s narrative are the consequences of international legitimacy with regards to Palestine. The recent diplomatic discourse confirms the PA’s constant and wilful collaboration in maintaining the conditions exacerbating Palestine’s existence – a trend with various historical precedents that created an acceleration of Zionist settler-colonialism and the disintegration of Palestinian resistance.

Divested of the inherent imperialist plunder and exploitation, international legitimacy is an ambiguous term constantly referred to by the PA, despite the constraints and oppression resulting from such insistence. Upheld as an absolute to attain, the diplomatic quest is futile, with countries and international organisations determining international legitimacy remaining committed to upholding the hegemonic narrative determined by the settler-colonial state. International legitimacy for Palestinians, therefore, translates into Palestinian leaders’ acceptance of reinventing history and memory in order to accommodate both Israel and the imperialist powers safeguarding its existence.

While Israel is constantly faced with the necessity of reshaping its invention and fabrication of nationhood in order to sustain the process of colonisation, Palestine is being divested of its own ingrained memory by leaders whose allegiance is pledged to the colonisers, rather than the necessity of liberation. This strategy of alienation is in accordance with the UN’s perfected measures, throughout the decades, of deconstructing Palestinian history through resolutions that attempt to address immediate violations committed against Palestinians without resorting to accountability. In the same manner, continued reference and insistence upon the two-state conspiracy, which is a mere euphemism for complicity in safeguarding the process of complete Zionist colonisation of Palestine, will continue to serve as a premise for alleged legitimacy by a leadership that fails to acknowledge its country’s history in favour of accommodating external impositions.

The notion of seeking international legitimacy from imperialist powers is absurd, yet one that sustains the existence of the PA to the detriment of delegitimising the Palestinian population and its right to land, history and memory through violent political rhetoric. Hence, international legitimacy remains a perilous illusion for Palestine and one that should be adamantly refuted in order to create a revolutionary armed struggle for liberation of the entire territory.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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