The Palestinian people can expect nothing but feeble attempts at rhetoric that contradict political action from Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. In his speech commemorating the 72nd anniversary of the 1948 Nakba, Abbas once again proved he has no plan to counter the ongoing Israeli colonial expansion.
“Nothing is more precious to us than Palestine, and nothing is more honourable to us than our people and our national rights,” Abbas declared.
On the eve of the Nakba, the Palestinian people would have benefited from a more honest assertion – one that explains the PA’s complicity with Israel and the international community in ensuring the ongoing colonisation of their land. Such a candid discussion would give the Palestinian people the opportunity to choose their history and memory over the international impositions accepted by the PA and which facilitated the forthcoming annexation of the occupied West bank.
Not only is the PA tampering with the Palestinian right of return by emphasising the international agreements which mellow rights into futile symbolism. It is also delaying on articulating and implementing a political process based upon rights, rather than belated retaliation that does nothing to halt Israeli colonisation.
The PA stating it will consider itself absolved of all agreements with Israel if the annexation process takes place is a slogan void of political value. Not only because such action is long overdue, but also because the PA is yet to prove its allegiance to the Palestinian people, as opposed to exploiting them for the purpose of the two-state compromise and the international community’s purported peace-building agenda.
How has the PA honoured Palestinians through security coordination with Israel, or by torturing Palestinian prisoners in its jails? What of Palestinians in Gaza, who have had to endure PA sanctions on top of the illegal Israeli blockade, as a means of political coercion to force resistance to surrender?
While invoking the Nakba, both on its anniversary and at other times throughout the year, the PA has persistently refused to uphold the most relevant principle and right that would reverse Israel’s colonisation of Palestine – the right of return.
Together with the international community, the PA agreed to differentiating between Palestinian refugees by accepting that only a fraction would be allowed to return. To put it briefly, while the Nakba provides an excellent point of reference for the PA to score some fleeting attention, Abbas still supports the international diplomacy that interferes with the Palestinians’ right to anti-colonial struggle and return.
Even when what remains of Palestine is now clearly on the brink of annexation, the PA is refusing the Nakba collective memory as the foundation for the Palestinian people’s political action. Indeed, the two-state compromise was given more prominence by Abbas than the colonisation process which continues to displace the Palestinian population.
Upholding the two-state compromise is a rejection of the Palestinian people’s memory of the Nakba. The PA cannot claim to prioritise Palestine, when it adheres to a flawed paradigm that is shaped by the international community’s protection of Israeli colonisation.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.