This month marks the 30th anniversary of the Oslo Accords, and the Palestinian Authority’s Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh is paying homage to the occasion of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s squandering of Palestine. As the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee’s (AHLC) meeting approaches, Shtayyeh warned during a meeting with Norwegian Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Hilde Haraldstad that, “Donor countries must carry a strong and direct political message to protect the two-state solution, which Israel is destroying with its measures.”
Donor countries will have no objection to continue promoting a defunct paradigm. After all, it serves Israel’s interests for the PA to oppose political alternatives consistently. The decline in financial aid for the PA is another factor that Shtayyeh ties in to the two-state compromise, but even the illusory state building which the international community was intent on funding in previous decades is no longer a priority. The PA has become so irrelevant that many pretences are being stripped away. At a bare minimum, the PA will continue promoting the international narrative on Palestine while aiding Israel’s colonial expansion. Meanwhile, Israel faces no decline in the economic and other deals it concludes around the world.
If Shtayyeh thinks that he is imposing conditions, he is mistaken. It is the international community that imposed the two-state paradigm upon Palestinians from the 1947 UN Partition Plan onwards. Shtayyeh’s statement is none other than his commitment to international impositions which have contributed to Israel’s colonial expansion. There is no link between the two-state politics and Palestinian statehood, unless one takes into consideration the complete annihilation of the possibility.
Given the PA’s current standing as it continues to alienate Palestinians further and increase the chance of their anti-colonial struggle taking the opportunity to alter the political landscape, Shtayyeh would have done better to at least refrain from insisting upon the international community’s commitment to retain a rhetorical status quo with dire consequences for Palestinians.
Although he did mention a list of Israel’s human rights violations, he also failed to mention how the two-state politics provides impunity for colonialism and its violence. Had the international community decided against partition, there would possibly be less dissociation now about the colonial violence unleashed against Palestinians. Israel is now merely the author of many human rights violations which are not traced back to their colonial foundations. What Shtayyeh is telling Haraldstad is that the PA will continue working towards the complete colonisation of Palestine, and insisting that the international community keeps its end of the bargain, for Israel’s benefit. Anything for the trickle of funds that allows the PA to remain at the helm, for now.
Shtayyeh knows well that the international community cannot pressure Israel to “stop all its unilateral measures” from within the confines of a defunct paradigm. The two-state “solution” has always been an acceptance of colonialism; its non-existence gives Israel complete impunity. Shtayyeh’s rhetoric is merely asking the international community to protect a form of colonisation of Palestinian territory which is, after all, UN approved. For sure, he will not find any international objections. In its current phase, the PA contributes to Palestine’s obliteration.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.