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When will the Palestinians unite?

June 22, 2021 at 1:04 pm

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu look thoughtful as he sits in the Knesset before parliament votes to approve the new government on June 13, 2021 in Jerusalem [Amir Levy/Getty Images]

One vote was enough to overthrow “King Bibi”, who ruled over Israel for twelve consecutive years, and three more before that. He was prime minister for 15 years altogether, longer than anyone else in the post. Not even Ben-Gurion, the founder of Israel, did that.

Benjamin Netanyahu was removed from the premiership after a stormy session in the Knesset, with Naftali Bennett’s coalition government scraping through a vote of confidence by 60 votes to 59. That ended the Netanyahu era as prime minister and leader of the right-wing.

Although the Netanyahu page of Israeli history has been turned, we are not yet on a new page. The sole common objective of the eight-party coalition was to remove him; it has no shared vision for the future or any concept of domestic and foreign policies. The latter will probably not differ much from what they were under Netanyahu. Indeed, we can expect an increase in extremism, racism and brutality.

It has to be admitted that all of the Zionist usurpers on the land of Palestine are racist by nature and harbour hatred and hostility towards the Palestinians. They want to erase them from existence. There is no difference between the right, left and centre in this respect; nor between religious and secular. It’s just a matter of how much hostility is exposed. During the so-called “Flag March” in Jerusalem last week, we saw young and old alike chanting “Death to the Arabs” and insulting our beloved Prophet. The young Zionist Jews have grown up on hatred of Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular. This seems to be a core belief in their interpretation of their faith.

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It is from such a background in a hateful racist society that Israeli leaders have emerged, including the extreme right-winger Naftali Bennett. He is the first Israeli prime minister from the ranks of religious Zionism. He is the founder and head of the extremist Yamina party, and he calls for more settlements and refuses to freeze their expansion. He dreams of Greater Israel, which includes all the Palestinian lands from the river to the sea, and beyond. He is one of the fiercest opponents of the establishment of a Palestinian state, and with his abhorrent racism, he refuses to grant the Palestinians under Israeli rule in the occupied territories the same civil and political rights given to Israeli citizens.

Bennett’s position on Gaza and the resistance is very clear: he rejects any political solutions; only military “responses” will do. He is threatening, intimidating and arrogant. Moreover, he has not learnt any lessons from what happened to his mentor Netanyahu, and duly more or less declared war on Gaza on his first day in office. This was to be expected from a racist neo-fascist who has boasted in the past about his killing of “many Arabs”.

The extremist who killed former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 for negotiating with the Palestinians and thus violating the Torah, Yigal Amir, came from Yamina. Amir was 25 years old at the time and of Yemeni descent. He exposed the fact that there is no difference in the level of extremism among Zionists no matter where they come from to colonise Palestine; the racism inherent in Zionism runs in their veins.

Israeli Premier Yitzhak Rabin and his wife Lea share a toast 23 September 1992 in Jerusalem [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli Premier Yitzhak Rabin and his wife Lea share a toast 23 September 1992 in Jerusalem [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images]

Although this new government bears the seeds of its own downfall within its disparate coalition members, including an Arab party, I do not count on their differences to bring the government down. They have made up their minds to unite against a common enemy, the Palestinians, and not against themselves.

Hence, we must ask the Palestinians what they have prepared to confront this extreme right-wing government that is openly hostile. Isn’t it time for the Palestinians to unite in the face of a common enemy?

It was heartening to see the resistance factions, including the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas; the Saraya Al-Quds brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad; and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Fatah, working together in a joint operations room during the recent military offensive against Gaza. They revived the spirit of jihad in the nation and gave us hope again. However, does uniting in this battle mean uniting the political wings?

Unfortunately, the gap is still huge between Fatah and the other factions that believe in resistance and see it as the quickest and most complete way to liberate Palestine. Fatah has a long and honourable history of struggle but has been hijacked by a gang that does not want to admit the failure of its path following the ill-fated Oslo Accords signed thirty years ago. The Palestinians have gained nothing from this agreement, and have seen more of their land being occupied. Israel got more out of Oslo than it has from four major attacks on Gaza and general oppression across the occupied territories. It is still the enemy that the PLO Charter insists must be fought. Sadly, Fatah has gone from being a resistance movement against the Israeli occupation to security coordination with the enemy, pursuing resistance fighters, arresting them and reporting them to the Israeli security forces so that they may be killed.

Uniting the resistance also means unifying the strategic visions of the Palestinian cause, as a comprehensive national project, and restoring it as a national liberation cause the main pillar of which is resistance. To achieve this, a new revolutionary national leadership must be elected that takes bold and decisive decisions, the first of which should be the abolition of the Oslo Accords and the disasters that resulted from it.

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Octogenarian Mahmoud Abbas and the rest of the Oslo gang must be removed, and even prosecuted for the crimes that they have committed against the Palestinian people, the loss of Palestinian rights and serious corruption. Consider the Pfizer vaccine scandal, for example the company allocated 1.4 million doses of the vaccine to the PA, but Abbas agreed to give them to Israel in exchange for vaccines that will soon expire, thus saving Israel tens of millions of dollars as a reward for its crimes.

The magnificent Palestinian uprising that was seen during the Israeli attack against Gaza in May, which included Palestinians inside and outside the occupied territories, the likes of which Palestine has not witnessed since the 1948 Nakba, should not have been in vain. It should be the basis for uniting the Palestinian ranks and putting the Palestinian house in order. The first step should be to oust Abbas and turn over his page in history, just as Netanyahu’s was. In doing so, the Oslo page will also be turned, and we can start with a fresh, blank sheet. Such a move begins and ends with resistance.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.