To end the occupation, dissolve the Palestinian Authority

11 December 2013

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View of the backs of riot police at a demonstration

The Palestinian Authority stands in the way of liberation.

(Issam Rimawi / APA images)

My head feels like it will explode. There are many urgent questions but, like most Palestinians, I feel a sense of incomprehension as I listen to the news about John Kerry’s recurring visits, and the talk of a Palestinian state and lasting peace.

When people step away from their TV screens and go out into the street, they experience a different reality. They experience heavily armed soldiers storming, killing and imprisoning.

They experience checkpoints dotting the roads. They experience bulldozers and equipment uprooting their olive trees and building houses for Israeli settlers on their land.

What is happening? Where is the peace? Where are the negotiations? And who is Kerry anyway?

To the Palestinian Authority negotiators, I ask: What are you doing?

Israel gains time

Allow me to travel with you twenty years back in time to the start of Oslo negotiations, which also marked the beginning of the attempted eradication of our dream of an independent Palestinian state. The Zionists have always aimed to gain time in order to impose a fait accompli on the Palestinian people.

More time is tantamount to more construction of colonies; the number of colonies that were constructed since Oslo has doubled, bringing the number of Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank — including East Jerusalem — to as many as 650,000, according to some figures.

More time means more checkpoints and more separation walls, all of which put the entire Palestinian people in ghettoes and Bantustans where they cannot move securely through the barriers of humiliation and the gates of indignity. That’s what negotiations have brought us.

Brazen

And now, shamelessly and brazenly, you are talking about a Palestinian state on twelve percent of historic Palestine? Where is this Palestinian state? And what are its borders?

Who gave you the right to negotiate on my behalf? Who gave you the right to prevent my children from visiting the sea, which is not farther than 25 kilometers from where we live? They have not seen it in their whole lives.

Who gave you the right to prevent my children and me from visiting Jerusalem? That great city is only 20 kilometers from my home, but we can only hear about it in the news and see it in pictures.

Who gave you the right to negotiate on my right to live in freedom, peace and security? Such rights are inalienable and cannot be usurped or surrendered by anyone.

And when will your negotiations come to an end? Will any agreement be subject to a popular referendum in which the entire Palestinian people living in Palestine and in the diaspora participate?

You recognize quite well that these negotiations are absurdly hollow and meaningless, and that you are certain that the primary beneficiary from these negotiations will be the Israeli occupation. So why do you cling on to these negotiations with tooth and claw?

I am quite sure that these negotiations will not achieve peace, or a Palestinian state.

Doomed to failure

Reality suggests that Israeli occupation forces will not abide by the outcome of these negotiations, just as Israel has refused to abide by the outcome of previous negotiations — under the pretext of security.

If the negotiations fail — and I’m sure they are doomed to failure — what will happen next? What are the alternatives and what are your plans? What is your strategy for ending the occupation?

I am disheartened to say that after these failed negotiations there will be more failed negotiations. You are divided and quarreling among yourselves.

Your goals are not national. You do not work in the best interests of the people, but for partisan and factional interests.

What a pity that you do not believe in our right to live in freedom, like other peoples of the world.

Freedom is not something that is given to people. It is something that is gained.

We will not gain our freedom except through popular resistance, in which all segments of the Palestinian people are unified against the occupation, in an organized popular intifada.

There will not be a popular intifada before the Palestinian Authority is dissolved, and a unified, principles-centered national leadership is formed. Only such leadership can take forward a global intifada to end the occupation once and for all.

Iyad Burnat organizes regular protests against Israel’s wall in the West Bank village of Bilin.

Comments

there are many good movies on netflix and a great book, Goliath that need to be widely publicized.

by Israel, the European Union and the USA, we cannot support this "administration under occupation" ! Neither should the palestinians, nor the civil society in western countries, because the sole construct of the PA is thought to maintain - and "ease" - forthgoing occupation and depossession of Palestine. Only a freely elected representation of free palestinians are entiteled to decide for Palestine's future. Would anyone in the world have had the idea to "invite the french Maréchal Petain" to a peace table? Would anyone have had the chutzpa to invite Mr. Quisling to decide about the future of Norway? Mr Abbas and his powerless administration should step down in order to clear the way to re-establish Israel's and the UN's responsibiltiy for the fate of Palestine. Israel must be called to her responsability, must be made accountable as an occupying power. There is only one way out of the blockade: re-istablishment of international law for the whole land, from the mediteranian sea to the Jordan river.

The writer is correct, that the PA is roadblock to the interests of the people. But, perhaps out of politeness, Lyad neglects to mention the entrenched self interests that comprise the PA. The PA leadership and those in its employ live a much easier life that those it claims to represent. Just a thought.

not only The PA leadership and those in its employ live a much easier life that those it claims to represent, but they probably never could expect the same comfort if there were free elections. I suggest to view the film on Youtube "Donor Opium", which is very clear about it. It shows the corruptive effect of the european and american subsidies, which go directly to Ramallah (of course there's a political prize to pay for it, which is the just opposite of independance).

There's no hope for the PA; But really, imagine if the PA was dissolved and Hamas took over the West Bank? Wouldn't that just give Israel more excuses for invasions and bombings? If the PA is dissolved I pray that Hamas would be as well.

But I really doubt Abbas will ever go out of power. Once these people reach the thrown you need a forklift to get them out.

The only way that the Palestinian people will achieve freedom is through struggle, peace in not part of Israels plan.
They claim to be in a struggle to build a land for their people. and will use force to achieve their end.
Not through choice, but as there is no the Palestinian peoples will have to fight for their rights- and fight hard.
Hamas is not the perfect answer but for now its the only answer..... fight on

Hamas is NO answer, and neither is the PA. Both have harmed Palestine more than Israel ever will.

Hamas is a terrorist organisation, not for the rockets; on the contrary, that's far from terrorism, Hamas' mistreatment of the Palestinian people in Gaza is the perfect example of terror tactics. Not to mention the bloody feud with Fatah which is breaking Palestine apart. We can't have that laden burden upon our shoulders. I'd rather have Israel than a Palestine ruled under dictatorship. At least we can still free the latter.

Even then, whilst I believe resistance was the answer, we shouldn't go to Hamas because it's one of the few major organisations in Palestine that wants to free Palestine via tangible resistance. That's an idiotic reason to support an organisation such as Hamas. After all, Hamas and the PA rule under the conformity of groupthink.

If anything, the only organisation that could ever really apply the whole resistance thing well is the PFLP, even though it's been practically broken since Habash died.

However, fighting is no longer an answer. We can't rely on a failed tactic anymore. Arab nations have all but abandoned us. Egypt and Jordan have fought tooth and nail but to no avail. We can't compete with American technology. The best thing to do is kill them with pacifism.

There's this really great poem by Mahmoud Darwish called 'A soldier dreams of white lillies'. It's amazing, and I think it puts the solution into perspective.

I concurr with this article. The Israeli-Kerry(US)- Abbas (for whom?) so-called
negotiations are chilling----scary.

At the UN Security Council the US has a veto. In effect Israel has a veto despite
its defiance of more rules of the UN Charter than can be mentioned. (If a
decision displeases Israel, it simply condemns it as "biased".)

At the UN General Assembly all Member states have one vote. There is
no veto. There in the last few days alone the number of states voting in
opposition to Israel is invariably over one hundred. The US, Israel, Canada
can usually get only nine votes in opposition.

Nothing is mentioned. The UN-West believes in "peace", another word for Zionist
suppression, for Israel's death machine, dispossession etc.

There is no aspect of a Palestinians life that has been improved in any 'peace talks' any 'negotiations' any anything. A new leader who is honest and will not bow down to Israel or USA is badlly needed. Although I suppose he would be assasinated!
Each and everyone man or woman who makes concessions for their own benefit should be named and shamed. Those of the Popular Front should demand elections.

Your analysis of the freedom that Palestinians having been striving for over 65 years is incisive. Every comment you have made in your article, I and those who have responded to it fully agree and endorse your sentiments. Note the following points:
1. As long as Palestinians have recognized the existence of Israel which is the demand of the international community with the pre 1967 borders then even we cannot understand these so called peace talks which have so far never been honoured by the Israelis.
2. Not only the United Nations but the majority voice of the International community should force Israel to leave 1967 borders and also the siege of Gaza. The Palestinians like you have mentioned living in Palestine and the diaspora should take part in a referendum to establish a viable and sovereign state.
3. Compensation should be paid to the Palestinians by Israeli who have for the past 65 years carried out ethnic cleansing, destruction of property and robbery of resources and the damage they have done to the rich agricultural heritage of the Palestinian people. Not forgetting the genocide committed by Israelis - every Palestinian family must be paid compensation.
4. Palestinians and the International community should demand that the Israelis leave the Palestinian land without any pre- conditions.
Peace talks have always been one sided issue for Israeli which you rightly say to buy time as they continue to take more Palestinian land. It is now time for change.

Note that Abbas who is not "President" of Palestine (his term expired in
2009, January I believe) speaks with the (royal) "we". He claims to speak
for Palestinians !!! [As I understood it, Israel and US did not feel it was
"necessary" for Abbas to run to be re-elected for another term at that time.
Perhaps he would not have been re-elected but this is, of course,speculation.]

A candid and pertinent outcry of the ordinary Palestinian who sees the situation from the somber perspective of the oppressed. An invader armed to the teeth, supported by the world powers, and who holds the entire land and its people in its grip, a weak, corrupt and traitorous phantom leadership, a tragic past and a hopeless future: this is what most if not all of the Palestinian people will experience during their lifetime.

Is not weired that Abass is the same person that during the funeral of Madiba aka Nelson Mandela he made a comment that people should not boycott Israel? What kind of a leader is he when he is campaigning for Israel's well being against the well being of his own people? He cannot lead and there is rumors that say he actually collaborated with Israel to Assasinate Arafat

Thank you for spelling out what just about every Palestinian I know says privately. The PA serves private and foreign interests, and its presence guarantees Palestinian domination by Israel. It would be impossible to exaggerate the damage it has caused (and continues to cause) since the Oslo accords were signed 20 years ago. I hope this article starts a (long overdue) national conversation about our next steps, the first of which must be getting rid of this unelected, clueless, and useless body, which has made us dependent on foreign aid.