In practice, the recent meeting of PA President, Mahmoud Abbas, with Defence Minister, Benny Gantz, in Tel Aviv, did not take place to add another confirmation or new evidence to the pile of political and national sins that the PA leadership has been committing since its inception, especially since Abbas assumed its presidency. All the PA is doing is further disregarding the Palestinian awareness and collective mood, which has abandoned the PA's political policies and choices and condemned it as a whole. The people are no longer surprised by any new scandals, whether in the form of actions or statements and verbal positions.
Moreover, the justification of the meeting in the PA's media outlets, bragging about the meeting and considering it an achievement and a breakthrough on the Israeli front is not only cause for pity, but also provokes anger and resentment, because it is incomprehensible for the PA's underestimation of people's awareness to reach this point, finding it easy to lie and deceive, as well as whitewash the ugly, and promote it in a vulgar and unconvincing manner. It is basically saying, "You have no choice but to submit to the policies of the PA, let them pass and get used to them. Your condemnation has no effect on the powerful PA leaders."
Those who still think well of the intentions of this Authority, and consider its catastrophic steps as political jurisprudence, may be surprised by the extent of its audacity to hold such a public meeting. The truth is that the PA is always counting on a number of factors that tempt it to cross the red lines, the first of which is that the practical positions towards its policies do not go beyond verbal condemnation and media outrage for a few days, then all traces of it disappear, even if some residue remains in the hearts of the Palestinians. The second fact is that the popular rejection of the PA makes no difference, nor does it shorten its life or affect its chances of continuing to govern. It is reassured that it will remain solely in control of the Palestinian decision, deriving its strength and legitimacy from the Israeli occupation and its international supporters. This leads us to the third fact, which is the PA's conviction that the pillars of its existence and the extension of its life is based on Israel's satisfaction with its performance in terms of controlling the situation in the West Bank, perpetuating the status quo and blocking any surprises that might be ignited by a fuse here or there.
The PA leadership is well aware of its definition in its own eyes and in the eyes of the occupation, knowing that it is nothing more than a security administrative authority, receiving economic and life facilities, in exchange for its major security services with which the PA pays the occupation from the resistance's pocket and at the expense of advancement in the course of confrontation with the occupier. However, despite its realisation of its role, it is not ashamed of lying and does not stop pretending to play a patriotic and nationalistic role. It also continues to position itself as a natural component within the Palestinian body, and what helps it to do so is the ambiguity of the position towards its project by the resistance factions as a whole, which still have been unable to form a unified political position that is clear and strong, redefines this Authority, and determines its distance from it, according to how close or far its policies are from the national interest.
As long as this is the case, we will not expect in the coming days spontaneous repentance for these national sins. Rather, the next phase will witness a further deepening of these sins, especially with the emergence of signs of a revival of the militancy spirit in the West Bank. This has reached the extent of the occupation requiring the presence of the PA to impose its oppression and control on the streets. We will witness more violations of freedom and combatting national work, as well as holding some measly facilities over the heads of the Palestinians. The mouthpieces will grow louder and claim to commit to national constants while, instead, it continues to stab them and cause them to bleed. The PA's only concern is to gain Israel's approval of its performance. The occupation has never cared about the slogans cursing it or calling to fight it, as long as its friends continue to provide it with amazing services, submit to it and comply with its orders.
This article first appeared in Arabic in the Palestinian Information Centre on 3 January 2022
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.