A recent interview with Palestine's Permanent Observer to the United Nations Riyad Mansour once again exhibited the Palestinian Authority's trend of compromising Palestinian independence at the international level. The brief interview on NBC News' Meet the Press highlighted the contradictions which the PA embarks upon relentlessly, notably in its efforts to promote the two-state conspiracy as a solution, as well as the convenient shifting of opinions about Hamas according to the circumstances.
Commencing with the refusal to recognise Israel as a Jewish State, Mansour states that Israel cannot "demand things or impose conditions", while reiterating "we accepted to have two states on that land". Mansour's ensuing statement blatantly exposes the contradiction of struggling for Palestinian freedom while incarcerated by colonial demands dictating the parameters through which the struggle can be conducted; Israel's existence is established while "the other is struggling for its independence."
The lack of reference to anti-colonial resistance creates a dissonance throughout the interview. Serious negotiation, according to Mansour, is confined to the "two-state solution" and reaching an agreement to terminate "the occupation". The rhetoric employed by Mansour reflects the jargon spouted by international organisations in their alleged efforts to promote a hypothetical Palestinian state while preserving Israel's settler-colonial character.
Mansour stated: "With regard to the Security Council, the first step should be to adopt resolution on the parameters to defend a two-state solution and then after that we should have another resolution from Israel to stop this illegal activity of settlement activities, because we cannot have a two-state solution when we have 600,000 settlers."
Defending the two-state paradigm has become a convenient euphemism for protecting Israel's existence. Its defence, however, amounts to nothing other than ensuring the erosion of Palestinian territory and ensuring the completion of Israel's settler-colonial project. Like other Palestinian leaders Mansour differentiates between settlers in different eras, thus neglecting the foundations and complicity between Israel's existence and its citizens. Additionally Mansour declares adherence to the two-state conspiracy "a collective responsibility" to avoid the possibility of the one-state alternative.
The constant seeking of validation from international organisations, described by Mansour as "peaceful, legal methods to seek accountability", also highlights the PA's intent to dissociate the historical narrative from its current ramifications. Within international organisations, accountability is rendered an obstacle due to perpetual allegiance to Israel. Hence, although the PA's belated legal recourse to Israel's colonial massacre might serve some purpose as regards the furthering of Palestinian recognition and the reality of Israel's war crimes; it is unlikely that Israel will face consequences of detriment to its foundations.
The question is not whether Palestine will back down from seeking justice at the International Criminal Court. What should be considered is the lack of autonomy demonstrated by the PA in its dealings with international institutions, which is, in turn reflected in its criticism of Palestinian resistance, particularly Hamas, during Operation Protective Edge. Towards the end of the interview, Mansour refuses to embark upon denunciations of Hamas, yet the PA's stance during the Israeli massacre on Gaza last summer was replete with conspiracy against the resistance movement and its defence of the enclave. Substantiating claims with a clear endorsement of Palestinian resistance would have proven to be more effective, yet such a stance would contradict the foundations of the PA and its role in promoting Israel's colonisation of Palestine.