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The PA imitates mainstream politics and violates Palestinian rights

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets with US President Donald Trump in New York City, U.S. on 19 September 2017 [Thaer Ghanaim/Apaimages]
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets with US President Donald Trump in New York City, U.S. on 19 September 2017 [Thaer Ghanaim/Apaimages]

The media has profited from pointing out the blunders of US President Donald Trump, yet it has failed persistently to draw attention to the connections between them which have led to the latest calls at the UN General Assembly for Arab states to normalise ties with Israel. Arab leaders, of course, don’t need Trump to encourage them in that; the Arab Peace Initiative, for example, endorses this travesty. More recently, the Warsaw Conference sponsored by the US was another diplomatic endeavour promoting normalisation with the occupation state.

The result is that Trump is allowed to proceed in his collusion with Israel unhindered and unscathed. As the General Assembly comments were made, it became clear that the Palestinian Authority was not averse to participating in the charade. Following Trump’s speech, the PA Foreign Ministry released a statement which gave priority to Trump’s words over the reality of Israel’s ongoing colonisation of Palestine.

Wafa reported the statement by noting that, “While Trump was making his speech, Israel was carrying out mass arrests in Jerusalem and the West Bank and demolishing Palestinian homes.” The PA’s statement added that Trump’s views have provided “a cover that encourages the occupation authorities to commit more atrocities and violations against our people.” Such violations, the PA added, go against international consensus, the UN General Assembly and PA leader Mahmoud Abbas’s statements.

READ: Abbas’s la-la land and the evolution of the American love affair with Israel

Does the PA have to stoop so low as to highlight the Palestinian struggle against colonial violence by juxtaposing it against Trump’s speech? Primarily, Palestinian anti-colonial struggle has enough historical background to stand on its own merit. Secondly, Israel violates Palestinians’ rights whether or not Trump is making statements at the UN. The PA has scored no political points for Palestinians with its statement.

Furthermore, by means of PA collusion with Israel, ongoing violations against Palestinian civilians have been perpetrated daily. Does the PA need a reminder of how it aided Israel to track down and murder Palestinian intellectual Basel Al-Araj, for example? How about the exploitation of Khan Al-Ahmar and the Great March of Return protests, where both forms of resistance were abused by the PA as leverage for its own propaganda? Or the PA security services’ collaboration with the CIA in its security coordination with Israel and torture in PA jails before Palestinian political prisoners are handed over to Israel? The PA has done much to violate Palestinian rights in accordance with what the US and Israel routinely implement.

Israeli forces can be seen violently arresting Palestinians who tired to prevent them from demolishing their homes in Khan Al-Ahmar village of eastern Jerusalem on 4 July 2018 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli forces can be seen violently attacking Palestinians as they evict them from their homes in Khan Al-Ahmar village of Jerusalem on 4 July 2018 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Or has the PA absolved itself, yet again, by calling for an international peace conference “to supervise negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians in light of the failure of the US to play the role of an honest mediator”? Given the rampant political corruption of both Israel and the PA, what honest mediation is the PA seeking in terms of negotiations unless the role tethers Palestinians to the untenable two-state compromise which provides cover for Israel to colonise what remains of Palestine? It continues to imitate mainstream politics in that respect.

READ: If Israel takes Palestinian land, all deals are off says Abbas

The PA has a history of collaboration with Israel since its creation by the Oslo Accords in the 1990s. The overused and ineffective strategy of pointing out two different scenarios – speeches and violations – does not damage Trump in the slightest, or create more prominence for the Palestinian people in the international arena. Once again, the PA has exposed its duplicity, while affirming its refusal to protect Palestinian rights in the process.

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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