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About Those Who Violate the Legitimacy in the Name of Legitimacy!
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
April 26, 2018

One of the main pretexts for an urgent call to the Palestinian National Council, is to "renew the Palestinian legitimacy" and "preserve it" in a highly complex Palestinian, Arab and regional situations. Also, there is a talk of "renewing" legitimacy, as if the Palestinian legitimacy is in real danger, and therefore an urgent session of the National Council must be held.

There is no Palestinian side against renewing the legitimacy. Thus, for example, the political discourse of many Palestinian forces led to calls for the holding of comprehensive presidential and legislative elections (for the National and Legislative Councils) to determine the legitimacy of these bodies, after they have been weakened and the expiration of their legal mandate has been for a period of time. In addition, the disrupting side of that is the Palestinian Authority and the official leadership (which they try to limit the legitimacy of it through one person, i.e. the president of the PA) on the one hand, and Hamas, when it disabled, for example, the recent local and municipal elections in the Gaza Strip, on the other hand.

In addition to this, it can be said that the pretext of determining the legitimacy is not consistent with urgent calls, in which the necessary steps are being disrupted to give the legitimacy, its political content, before giving it, its administrative content, especially as we are talking about a current un-elected National Council, that can be re-formed by authoritarian decisions, as in the case of the appointment of representatives of the Military Council (42 members) by a single decision of the President of the PA, in which he excluded militants from other factions, whose struggling history is not less than those who were appointed in their brilliant ranks, but sometimes it raises more than some of the ranks which have been gained under the PA ,and not in the framework of resistance. The same is with the appointment of some 80 new members under the name of independents, only to provide the so-called "quorum" for the National Council (i.e., the numerical quorum even if from one color), especially that a number of active factions either announced their non-participation in the Council, or still, they have not announced a position yet, which puts the Council in the face of two contradictory realities: a numerical quorum - yes - but the political quorum will be missing, in the absence of the political consensus among the PLO's active members and outside it.

This would allow some to challenge the legitimacy by challenging the political legitimacy of the National Council, which is being prepared, outside the steps of the national consensus, that have formed a national heritage over the years of the PLO. The Council is now being tampered with, through the unilateral preparations for the National Council.

So, as not the pretext of legitimacy, to become an element of blackmail and so as not to draw the situation by some people, as if there are those who insist on the legitimacy of the PLO, and there are those who do not care about it, it is necessary to put it clear.

First, the legitimacy does not stand at the limits of individuals alone, that is, in a clearer language that does not stop at the head of the PA alone. As his legitimacy is stemmed from the national bodies.
Second, the legitimacy does not stop at the limits of providing the “national legitimacy” to a number of members of the Central Committee of Fatah, by naming them members of the Executive Committee and the Central Council in the PLO, but the legitimacy is much further. These specific goals are a political recruitment of legitimacy in the service of a particular political current. The legitimacy that we mean is the legitimacy of national consensus, which is the legitimacy that is being -unfortunately- violated by the "political kitchen" in the official leadership before others.

• This "political kitchen" is still impeding the implementation of the legitimacy decisions, taken by the Central Council in its last two sessions (5/3/2015 and 15/1/2018), that chaired by the Chairman of Legislative Legitimacy, Salim Al-Zanoun (Abu Al-Adeeb), who personally took up the reading of the statement and decisions of the last session.

• It has turned against the legitimacy of decisions of Central Council, when it submitted its project of solution, to the Security Council on 20/2/2018 on the basis of the return to the Oslo Accords and the negotiations of the permanent solution.

• It is the one which has violated the legitimacy, when it has agreed to cancel the borders before June 4 in favor of "agreed land exchange".

• Also, it has violated the legitimacy of the Palestinian national rights, when it has agreed on an "agreed solution" with Israel to the refugee issue, which undermined the right of return.

These violations and coups against the legitimacy are due to the signing of the Oslo Accords, which constituted a complete coup against the Palestinian national program. As it recognized the right of existence for the state of Israel, while it so far has refused to recognize the right of the Palestinian people in a state of its own. It also accepted a limited gradual administrative autonomy, as an alternative to the independent Palestinian state as provided by its declaration of independence on 15/11/1988. In addition, it is the one which, in 1996, colluded with the Israeli Labor Party, when it agreed to postpone the negotiations of the permanent solution in support of the Israeli party in the elections and at the expense of the salvation of the Palestinian people from the occupation. Moreover, it is still committed to the Oslo Accords, despite the expiration of their term (five years) and it still considers them as a roof for a political solution with the Israeli side.

The Legitimacy is the legitimacy of the Palestinian political system, and not individuals.

From here we ask:

• Who is responsible for marginalizing the Executive Committee and stripping it of its power in favor of "political kitchen"?

• Who is responsible for the marginalization of the Palestinian Central Council (two meetings only in four full years!), suspending its meetings and freezing its decisions?

• Who is responsible for making the decisions of the Preparatory Committee (Beirut 2017) in the trash and going to a unilateral national council without a national preparation?

• Who is responsible for disabling the PLO's "Activation and Development Committee" as the "first Palestinian leading framework", which has been formed in the presence of the President himself, in Cairo on March 15, 2015, and which was supposed to provide a framework for reforming the situation of the PLO and developing it, to be joined by all the forces and turned into a comprehensive Palestinian framework for all Palestinians, without exception, which enhances the spirit and the will of the national unity, and reawaken all the elements of Palestinian power?

Before we digress, let's conclude:

• "How can those who violates the Palestinian legitimacy day after day talk about the renewing and defending the legitimacy?"

• Is not "legitimacy", in some of minds, merely a means of renewing the "legitimacy of the kitchen" as an alternative to the legitimacy of the Palestinian national institutions and in the PLO?

Moatasem Hamadeh is a member of the Political Bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by Manal Mansour
Revised by Ibrahim Motlaq

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