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Palestinians Should Seek An Alternative Salvation Strategy

02 July 2015

By Khalid Amayreh

Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic liberation group, is rightly rejecting Palestinian Authority (PA) dictates regarding efforts to form a Palestinian government.

We all know that the main raison d'Ítre of the PA is to serve the so-called security interests of the Israeli occupation regime. Otherwise, the PA is completely redundant as far as the Palestinian people are concerned.

Having utterly failed to make any tangible achievements for the Palestinian people, the PA is trying now to woo Hamas to join a "government of national unity" to replace the present government, headed by Rami al-Hamdillah.

But such a government must be acceptable to Israel first and foremost as well as to the so-called donor countries, including the United States, Israel's guardian ally. And as we all know too well, Israel will only accept and deal with a Palestinian government that is completely subservient and answerable to it.

In other words, Hamas would have to unconditionally recognize the illegitimate Zionist entity in fulfillment of the Israeli-inspired Quartet requirements.

Needless to say, recognizing Israeli would be an act of political adultery and ultimate national treason on Hamas's part.

That is why Hamas must never ever recognize Israel. Doing so, God forbid, would make Hamas just another Fatah. That would be the ultimate moral and political suicide for Hamas.

We know that Fatah, the mainstream faction of the PLO did recognize Israel (even without specifying Israel's borders) more than 22 years ago in the hope that Israel would reciprocate by recognizing a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders.

However, instead of recognizing a putative Palestinian state, Israel embarked on a frantic campaign of settlement expansion all over the West Bank, which eventually killed any remaining prospects for the establishment of a viable and territorially contiguous state worthy of the name.

Unfortunately, the PA realized the enormity of its blunder much too late. Last week, PA official Saeb I'rekat threatened to withdraw the PLO recognition of Israel.

His threat, however, should not be given any real political weight given the fact that the PA is subservient, almost totally, to Israel and the United States. A few months ago, Hussein Sheikh, a PA official, said that "the very oxygen we breathe comes from Israel."

Fatah- Hamas rift is not the real problem

That is why we must be honest with regard to diagnosing the Palestinian situation. Yes, the enduring division between Fatah and Hamas doesn't play a constructive role in enabling Palestinians to get their act together.

However, we must always guard against any exaggerations in this regard. Indeed, in the final analysis, even if the Palestinians were able to get their act together so successfully and form the best government in the world, such a government would still be utterly powerless to do much for the Palestinians and their just cause.

The reason is simple. The PA itself is languishing under the sinister Israeli occupation.

Hence, whether Hamas joins or doesn't join a government of national unity with Fatah and other factions, there won't be a qualitative difference to the better in the overall political situation.

Hamas should also declare openly that the PLO is no longer the sole and only representative of the Palestinian people. This was true in the late 1960s, 1970's and a good part of the 1980s, but that was history.

Now, things have changed and the PLO lost the status it once held. This is why Hamas must never accept continued PLO hegemony on the national-decision making process.

No one is suggesting that the PLO should be written off completely. However, we must have the moral courage to proclaim that the PLO is now one of many political and social forces permeating among Palestinians both at home and in the Diaspora.

But the PLO is living in a dream world. It is often seen trying to convince itself that a recognition of a non-existing Palestinian state by a majority of nation-states in the world will eventually force Israel to end its decades-old occupation.

But this is wishful thinking in broad daylight.

This is because it is too late for a Palestinian state, given the reality of settlements in the West Bank, especially in East Jerusalem, as well as the political realities in Israel itself, now in the clutches of Jewish fascism that is conspicuously anti-peace and anti-Arab.

In light this writer suggests that all Palestinian factions, including Hamas and the PLO, should abandon, once and for all, the goal of establishing a dwarfed political entity on less than 20% of the historical Palestinian homeland.

Instead, we should pursue an alternative salvation strategy based on enabling and empowering our people, especially at home, to enhance the level of steadfastness and resilience, and be better prepared to withstand systematic Israeli repression.

Khalid Amayreh is a Palestinian journalist and current affairs political commentator living in Occupied Palestine 


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