A statement issued by Palestinian youth has slammed the convening of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) in Ramallah, declaring the forum illegitimate without democratic representation.
According to the declaration, which was published this week and is already attracting signatories from Palestinian groups in the region and further afield, says that the PNC meeting is being “held without elections and therefore has no legitimacy at any level: it is not representing the people”.
“Instead,” the statement continues, “it marginalises the millions of Palestinians struggling in exile, separates them further from their own people and cause in the homeland, and surrenders our inalienable national rights to the current Israeli and American colonial onslaught.”
The statement refers to efforts in recent years by “Palestinian youth around the world” to make clear the demand for “inclusive, democratic elections to the PNC, as part of the required radical transformation and reactivation of our national institutions”.
“We have set out clear conditions and mechanisms for rebuilding our national representative, the PLO,” the statement notes, adding: “In numerous campaigns, we have demanded a revocation of the Oslo Accords and an end to security coordination with the occupation.”
However, “despite the clarity of these demands,” it continues, “the leadership of the PLO has decided to arrange a session of the PNC without the democratic representation of the Palestinian people”, reducing “our great cause to a sad farce, as many PNC representatives are no longer alive, and we imagine therefore unable to participate at the meeting.”
The statement demands that the Palestinian leadership adheres “to all previous national agreements to democratise the PLO, expressed in 2006, 2011, 2013 and 2017 and immediately convene democratic elections to the PNC, inclusive of all Palestinians around the world”.
The statement also urges the Palestinian leadership to “urgently assembl[e] a national taskforce for the protection of UNRWA and the defence of our people under bombardment in Syria.”
The statement concludes by inviting “all Palestinian youth and community organisations to sign this statement to join our voices together on the path to victory, return and national self-determination.”