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A message to President Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds an urgent cabinet meeting in Ramallah, West Bank on 14 May, 2018 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds an urgent cabinet meeting in Ramallah, West Bank on 14 May, 2018 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

I would like to first congratulate you, your people, and myself on your safety and recovery from the health problems that ailed you recently. I would like to take this opportunity to give you some ideas that I firmly believe came into the minds, hearts, and conscience of every Palestinian and anyone who loves Palestine and its people, while you lay in hospital last week.

Mr President, no one expects you at this moment to restore Jerusalem and declare it as the capital of the Palestinian state. Also, the six million Palestinian refugees in camps and in the diaspora are not expecting to return to their homes and towns soon. These tasks are elusive and I feel that we are moving away from the “state”, “capital”, and “return” not getting closer to them. Despair has not yet run through our veins, as the Palestinian phoenix grows and it has become accustomed to rising from the ashes. This is a fact highlighted by the children and women of Gaza, as well as the youth and the elderly, with their blood and sacrifices made just a few days ago. They continue down this path and are not changing direction.

However, we are only asking you to do the possible and the minimum. God does not give us more than we can handle. The possible at this time, Mr President, is to focus your attention on the inside, the internal Palestinian home and the great efforts being made, under your supervision, to arrange it and protect it. The Palestinians today are fully aware that the battle for freedom and independence is an incredibly difficult task and that you must gather all the cards of power in your possession to achieve it. Therefore, allow me to point out what I believe are some Palestinian priorities that cannot be stalled or delayed and that cannot continue to be addressed in a verbal, superficial and unconvincing manner. They are as follows:

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The arrangement of your “wing” in the big Palestinian home, and by this I mean Fatah, the PA and the PLO. We must put Hamas and the reconciliation second in the list of priorities, at least for now. We must begin to arrange for a smooth transition of power (after a long life), as the people want to get to know your successor/successors in the leadership of Fatah, the PLO, and the PA. Let’s put the elections aside, as no one knows when they will be held and if they will even be held. No one wants division, to be followed by division and conflict within the PA, PLO and Fatah. You have no doubt followed the state of loss and the flood of questions that plagued the Palestinians, their friends and enemies, over the course of the nine days you spent in treatment.

A precious opportunity for the Palestinian people to make these arrangements has been lost. By this I mean the recent Palestinian National Council session, which we supported in order to preserve legitimacy, and we had counted on it to come up with decisions and arrangements that are worthy of your people and rise to the level of their sacrifices. Unfortunately, we were shocked by the fact that everything remained as it was. We now fear that the most recent PNC session would be the last session held by the Council.

I believe that the reconciliation is at the top of the Palestinian national priorities. This issue seems to need new approaches given the growing danger of solutions liquidating the Palestinian issue under the cover of humanity seeping through. The occurrences in the dark back channels and behind the scenes seem to be taken out of mercy on the outside but they are torturous on the inside. The Palestinian leadership, which you represent today, must raise the level of alert and intensify efforts to block the dark goals of some players in your ranks and the region around you, as well as on the international arena. Moreover, the pace of reconciliation must be quickened and efforts doubled, no matter what it takes.

Open letter to President Mahmoud Abbas

You have undoubtedly followed the West Bank’s sluggish efforts in solidarity and support of Jerusalem and the Palestinians besieged in Gaza. The modest forms of popular resistance in the West Bank are not worthy of their people and their glorious struggle legacy. These people are under your jurisdiction, and I do not want to say that you are the reason for this. However, you have said yourself that peaceful popular resistance is the way to restore our rights, so where is this resistance? What efforts have been made to ensure that the West Bank’s anger does not subside until it is freed from the abomination of occupation and the desecration of settlement?

We wish you a comfortable period of recovery, you deserve it, but we are urging you to work day and night to accomplish some of these priorities. There are many others that you and we are aware of. I think history will judge this era of your political legacy based on your success or failure to address and resolve these issues, rather than leaving them to the unknown, coincidences and conflicts amongst “brenemies”.  Our time is made up of blood, and the sword of time will cut us apart if we do not cut it. Long live you and Palestine.

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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