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Abbas upholds symbolism over anti-colonial struggle

January 8, 2015 at 3:21 pm

PA President Mahmoud Abbas seems intent on pursuing further symbolism for Palestine. Following the perfunctory recognition of Palestinian statehood by some European countries last year, which was essentially an affirmation of support for the further deterioration of Palestine through negotiations and the two-state compromise, Abbas is seeking to resubmit the draft resolution that calls for an end to the Israeli occupation – a divergence from the required anti-colonial struggle.

Quoted by Ma’an News Agency, Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri declared the movement’s absolute opposition to the plans. “Such a step would be political foolishness which plays a dangerous game with the destiny of our nation.”

Seeking international recognition and legitimacy are issues fraught with complications, notably the creation of dependence upon the same international institutions that are supporting Israel’s colonisation of Palestine. In seeking a UN Security Council vote upon the draft resolution for Palestinian statehood recognition, Abbas has rendered himself complicit to further concessions, from altering the wording in attempts to suit imperialist dictates, to the ensuing failure to garner support for a compromised document, reflecting international intentions to keep the Palestinian people subjugated to the colonial power, despite diplomatic manoeuvres.

The Times of Israel has also reported that French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabuis warned Abbas against seeking another vote on the draft resolution to avoid “antagonising Israel. Fabius is quoted as having stated: “While we think the Palestinians have the right to move the status quo, at the same time there has to be an effort to find a consensus solution.”

The recent addition of non-permanent members to the UN Security Council, including Venezuela, has been given as one of the reasons for a possible change in a future vote on Palestinian statehood. However, previous reports pertaining to discussions on Palestine clearly reflect a prevailing stance – that of the two-state compromise as opposed to the liberation of historic Palestine through anti-colonial struggle.

Support for Palestine from countries such as Venezuela, which has been at the helm of providing aid to Palestinians in various forms since the late Hugo Chavez’s presidency, is still likely to remain ensconced within the parameters dictated by the international community. Venezuela under Nicolas Maduro, for example, opened its doors to Palestinian students wishing to study medicine, offering free tertiary education in their country in a manner which reflects the previous collaboration in healthcare that was initiated by Cuba. In a way, Maduro’s stance reflects internationalist solidarity and a profound humanitarian concern. However, politically, the issues of the two-state paradigm and freedom for Palestinians are mired within external impositions of how that freedom should be defined.

By insisting once again upon a UNSC vote for Palestinian statehood and an end to Israeli occupation, Abbas is contributing, as always, to the narrative endorsed and enforced upon Palestinians by Israel’s international allies. The process might be stagnated following yet another negative vote. However, even within the unlikely scenario of statehood recognition from the UNSC, Palestinians stand to lose as a result of legitimacy being derived from a document that agrees to invalidate a long history of struggle against colonialism.