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The PA shapes facts on the ground, for Israel’s benefit

December 19, 2017 at 4:51 pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivers during his meeting with Palestinian senior leaders in Ramallah, West Bank on 18 December 2017 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Since US President Donald Trump’s declaration regarding Jerusalem it has become clear that the Palestinian Authority (PA) remains committed to reacting to, rather than acting on, political developments which in the long run could contribute to additional forced displacement and colonial expansion.

If it were not for the genuine reaction of Palestinians the issue of Jerusalem would have already been relegated to another political gamble. Try as he might, PA President Mahmoud Abbas cannot lay any claims to the current uprising – Palestinians would have resisted without the initial calls for demonstrations.

Jerusalem, therefore, is also being fragmented by the Palestinian leadership. There is no protection for protesters and other than the initial call to oppose Trump’s declaration, the PA is busy persisting in its agenda of being subservient to Israel and the international community.

In his speech to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Abbas made 13 requests which can be easily nullified if the PA itself fails to review its own collaboration with Israel. Apart from warning against recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and reaffirming the commitment to peace “based on the resolutions of international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative”, Abbas also demanded that “the countries of the world review their recognition of the State of Israel as long as it persists in violating the rules of international law and violating all international resolutions since its establishment in 1948”.

Zoabi: people can’t resist occupation with PA security coordination

Abbas also called upon “the states that believe in a two-state solution to take practical steps towards recognising the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital”.

Whilst Israel is persisting in altering narratives through impositions and expansions, the PA has failed to articulate a departure from the political demands made prior to Trump’s statement. It is not only the fact that Abbas continues to rely upon, or collaborate with, the entities that have supported Zionist colonisation. More damaging for Palestinians is the way Abbas allows perilous developments to continue unhindered. Apart from the fact that there was ample evidence of Trump’s stance prior to his statement, it is also pertinent to consider the imbalance of power when discussing Palestinian rights. Abbas himself is consolidating the imbalance due to the political power of the PA as derived from Israel through collaboration.

Mahmoud Abbas turns a blind eye on Gaza's blockade - Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

Mahmoud Abbas turns a blind eye on Gaza’s blockade – Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

Requiring the international community to review its recognition of Israel is a step which needs to be taken. However, the PA has also constructed itself as an impediment, since its inception, through concessions and collaborations, while drifting away from the people. If a thorough review of Israel’s recognition was to take place, the entire political process would have to be rewritten in a way that emphasises the Palestinian narrative. Yet the PA is not an advocate of disseminating the voice of the colonised population as this would also entail a rethinking of the two-state paradigm to the point of elimination in favour of anti-colonial struggle.

With Abbas tenaciously propagating the two-state hypothesis despite the possible future ramifications for Palestinians, it is safe to say that the PA’s role – as limited as it is in safeguarding the rights of Palestinians – is shaping the consequences on the ground in a manner which facilitates Israel’s plans. Each delay orchestrated by the PA should be read as another concession to Israel. The permanence of such delays, including reaction as opposed to constructive action that is not subjugated, is a tactic that necessitates a constant exposure, if only to remember and affirm that the politics which Palestinians are fighting, and dying for, are not the compromises sought by the PA.

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