After the American president announced his plan for peace, the PA categorically and justifiably rejected the deal due to its undeniable injustice against the Palestinians’ right to establish an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
No one denies that the PA and other countries concerned with the Palestinian issue were completely aware of the plan’s details and implementation mechanisms, but the plan’s main points were not significantly different to what was leaked in the past two years. It does not stipulate East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, the return of the refugees, nor a sovereign state in a real sense.
Everyone was aware that any peace plan adopted by the current American administration, which would be welcomed by the Israeli right-wing, would not be in the interest of the Palestinians, and would give the Israelis what is not theirs. So, why did the Palestinian leadership wait for the official announcement of the details of the plan, to reject it and attempt to bring together the fragmented Arabs to reach a kind of collective rejection of it?
The Palestinian Authority is not that weak, and it has several cards that it could have thrown onto the table before the formal announcement of the plan. If it was unable to stand up to the US administration, it at least could have hindered the wording regarding some of the critical issues in the plan and left it to future negotiations to determine the future of East Jerusalem and the refugees.
Levelheadedness and balance are requirements, and no one would think to hold the PA responsible for the deal that included the deliberate killing of international laws and hundreds of UN resolutions that support the right of the Palestinian people to establish their state, as well as a clear bias in favour of the occupation state. However, reality indicates that sitting and waiting for the worst is not a feasible option, but rather, complete suicide, given the leaked details of the plan in coincidence with total American support of Netanyahu, even if by slaying the concept of peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
The PA was fully aware of what the deal would stipulate, of the environment in which it lives today, and the fragmented Arab reality, as some countries are drowning in chaos and protests, while others are suffering under the impact of harsh economic conditions, and others have their visions and strategies. The PA and other Palestinian factions must better prepare themselves to confront the liquidation of the Palestinian cause.
There is still time, and the war of words and statements will not restore the Palestinians’ rights. Moreover, Israel is determined to immediately state the implementation of what was comprised in the plan, so steps must be taken to ensure that the ball is returned to the Israeli and American court. Perhaps the first of these steps is to return to the status of an occupied state to hold Israeli legally and internationally responsible, whether it likes it or not.
This article first appeared in Arabic in Addustour on 3 February 2020
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.