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Betting on the American Role and the Separation from Reality Policy
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
September 4, 2017

Ignoring Trump's statements, his team, and Netanyahu's positions and projects is an obscurity for the reality and a state of separation from this reality.

The confusion in the Palestinian Authority's official centers about the realities of US policy on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, seems incomprehensible, unjustified, and has a function of justifying the Palestinian side's adherence to the new American policy.

President Abbas' saying that the PA is still waiting for the clarity of American vision, to enter into serious negotiations, is to avoid the criticism of the ambiguity that surrounds this policy, which in turn has created a new cover for the occupation authorities, to expand the settlement in Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, and build new settlements ,also increasing the powers of Civil Administration of occupation, in order to enhance the occupation procedures and strengthen the tools of the settling presence in the West Bank and Jerusalem more and more.

It seems that the Palestinian side is recognizing the reality of situation very slowly, so as to avoid confronting this reality, its repercussions and impacts, with what all that means of reformulating of the political equations with the occupation, and with the American side.

In the closed meetings, President Abbas's advisers admit that the Palestinian issue is not on the White House's agenda, but rather it falls at the bottom in the list of international interests of the White House and its auxiliary services, such as: the Secretary of State, the National Security Council or others. Also the most important to the United States, is the Palestinian security cooperation with the occupation authorities to go well, within the framework of the commitment of Palestinian official leadership to "fight terrorism", and the promise which was made by President Abbas to Trump on his visit to the White House.

Also, in the closed meetings, Abbas's advisors and negotiators complained that 20 rounds of direct negotiations with the United States have not reached to the tangible results, including the agreement on the settlement issue, and the nature of solution to be reached in the permanent solution's negotiations, as well as the basis that will be adopted in drawing the borders of two states. The closed meetings concluded with a declaration of desperation to reach an agreement with a delegation composed of Trump's, son-in-law Jared Kouchner, his special envoy Jason Greenblatt, US Ambassador in Israel Thomas Friedman, and the US National Security co-advisor Dina Powell, as all of them are known for their right-wing tendencies, their bias to Israel and their adoption for its positions, conditions, demands, and vision of the permanent solution.

With previous US administrations (GW Bush , Obama, and before them Clinton), the starting point in resuming the negotiating process was to agree on the point they have reached in the previous rounds, and starting from it toward new steps.

This does not mean that the previous administrations were not favoring Israeli interests, but rather they were biased towards the positions of successive Israeli governments. However although these administrations were meeting, even in principle, with the need to stop the settlement, but at the same time they weren't not pressing an enough force on Israel to stop it. We must not forget that the Obama administration, in its last weeks in the White House, allowed the passage of Resolution 2334, in the Security Council, which condemned the settlements, in Jerusalem and in the West Bank, and called for a complete halt. These administrations also were recognizing the June 4th 1967 lines, as the basis for demarcation, while at the same time calling for the principle of an exchange of territory on both sides of the border agreed upon, for reasons that, are related to Israeli security interests. In addition to that they were adopting the two-state solution as the basis of solution, despite we do not support, as it is considered as a futile solution, that does not meet the national rights of Palestinian people, in regaining its all occupied Palestinian land in 1967, to establish an independent and sovereign state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and to ensure the refugees' right of return.

These all are bases that were adopted and inherited by the previous US administrations, to resume the negotiating process. The problem was the Israeli side's attempt to return the negotiations to zero form. Unfortunately, it has succeeded frequently in dragging the Palestinian negotiator to this point, and turning the negotiation process into a liaison chamber, to discuss the partial issues that can be discussed at the level of employees at a lower degree, at the expense of preoccupation with the issues of permanent solution, i.e. the settlement, the departure of occupation, also the establishment of the Palestinian state and the delineation of its borders and other strategic issues.

Perhaps this is one of the many reasons that led to the scuffling of negotiating process for a quarter of a century, without reaching its desired end, but it rather, as it is clear, has reached to a dead end.

The Palestinian Authority opposes the obvious truth and refuses to recognize the deadlock of negotiations, because it refuses to recognize the failure of its political project. Therefore, it insists on keeping the Palestinian cause as a hostage to its failed policy, for years, to justify its survival under Oslo project.

In this context, it has renewed the bet on US policy and wished that the proposals of the American delegation this time, to bear the means to save it and return to new negotiations, even if they will end, as usual to failure.

Therefore, it speaks about stopping the settlement, as if it had been resolved, and talks about the two-state solution, as if the US administration had restored it as the basis for solution.

In this regard also there is its futile call for the convention of the Palestinian National Council, with its old staff, without a comprehensive political review, without a comprehensive national preparation, based on the consultation with all Palestinians, to reach to a political consensus, without returning to the Palestinian street, to conduct elections to rebuild the National Council, with transparency and freedom, in accordance with the system of full proportional representation, and without the adoption of a meeting place, where everyone can attend.

Trump's remarks and positions on the Middle East and its issues, Greenblatt's nine conditions which were presented to President Abbas, to resume the negotiations, and Kouchner's statements and positions on the Palestinian issue, and his permanent declaration of his bias towards the Israeli side, in addition to Netanyahu's positions and statements on settlement, Jerusalem, and the alleged safe borders that require the annexation of the Palestinian Jordan Valley ,the existence of occupation throughout the West Bank to the Jordan River, and the series of scenarios and alternative projects, that are constantly published from the centers of research and planning, in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and defense in Israel, and in its political institutes and research centers. All these are signs and evidences more than enough about the failure of the Oslo process, the failure of the negotiating process under the US conditions, also the failure of "negotiation option is the single option", which requires a bold political review, in favor of the Palestinian national program, the program of the intifada and resistance in the field, the resistance program in diplomatic forums, the unity of the people, its rights and its political forces program.

Other than this, is an attempt to obscure the reality, and a state of separation from the reality.

Notes: 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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