Between recent statements by Jared Kushner and Saeb Erekat there is a truth which is overlooked to the point of oblivion; the same power which has made it possible for the Palestinian Authority to assume an authoritarian stance can also dictate its fragility.
Following an interview with Al-Quds in which Kushner indicated that the US will soon reveal its "deal" while disregarding any possible input from PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, veteran negotiator Erekat accused Washington of "dictating a solution".
The scant details revealed about the plan are void of Palestinian aspirations. Instead, "massive investments in the Palestinian territories and the region," as reported by Al-Jazeera, seem to have been prioritised by the US administration.
Kushner's manipulation was directed at Abbas and Palestinians. While casting doubt on the possibilities of reaching a deal with Abbas, he is also reported to have called upon Palestinians "to not let your leadership reject a plan they haven't even seen."
In response, Erekat denounced the forthcoming plan as consolidating "Israel's colonial control over Palestinian land and lives while telling the Palestinian people that money will compensate for our inalienable right."
Erekat's words, directed against the collaborative efforts of the US and Israel to force Palestinians to new levels of subjugation, can very well be absorbed by the PA for necessary introspection which might, at the very least, elicit more accurate and representative rhetoric. As a colonial collaborator, the PA has the obligation to dissociate itself from mingling with the collective when making statements about Palestinians' inalienable rights; it is guilty of the same violations of which it has accused Israel.
The Oslo Accords and their altering of Palestinian life and resistance have shaped various perceptions among Palestinians as well as observers. For the Palestinians, it has created divisions across the political spectrum which made it difficult for resistance to thrive, despite its necessity in the face of occupation. Adherence to the two-state compromise by the international community has bolstered the PA's rule, whose foundations are both strengthened and compromised by the political fabric that rendered Palestinian representation a macabre farce. Yet, Kushner's comments and US President Donald Trump's purported peace plan embody sinister significance that can only be used to Israel's advantage.
By casting doubt upon Abbas, despite his eagerness to accommodate Israeli demands, Kushner has exposed how dispensable the PA is within the wider colonisation project. There is no guarantee that Trump's plan will not be stalled. Nevertheless, whether or not the plan is accepted, the fact remains that PA autonomy can only be calculated in terms of its allegiance to Israel and the US. With its "authority" compromised to such an extent, it is equally clear that the PA's relevance is also dependent upon whether or not it can still fulfil a role in contributing towards "Greater Israel".
What the US, through Kushner, has attempted to convey about Palestinians being favourable to a plan which has not yet been completely disclosed, is nothing short of degrading. Moreover, the contempt exhibited for the PA, particularly when pronouncing its absence in matters that concern Palestinians, is revealing. Even with all its pandering to colonial demands, including the sanctions on Gaza for which the PA has attracted unprecedented levels of disgust from across Palestinian society, there is no escaping the fact that the reality of its existence and ultimate demise makes it nothing more than a convenient commodity for Israel and the US to use or discard at will.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.