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Between the resolution 2334 and the reaction of the US House of Representatives
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
January 17, 2017

The US House of Representatives' decision in response to the Security Council resolution 2334 conveys a letter to the Palestinians on the nature of the next US administration. So, what are they going to do?

President Abbas would be able to record for himself that he has achieved, at the end of the last year, some of the gains, which their boundaries overlapped between what is a private and regulatory related to Fatah, and between what is a national and related to the Palestinian cause, including the convening of the seventh National conference of Fatah (in spite of those who have questioned the legitimacy of the man, as explained by some of his associates).

Also that includes the Security Council resolution 2334 (23/12/2016), which condemned the Israeli settlement unanimously (including the United States refrain from voting for the first time since 1979), as well as the press conference of the US Secretary of State John Kerry (28/12/2016) in which he condemned the settlement also and described it as a danger on the «two-state solution», which was launched by the United States and adopted by the «International Quartet» and which is at the same time, a «danger» on the future of the Zionist state as a political project that serves the Western interests in the region, especially if it turned out, according to Kerry's fears, into a bi-national state that cancels its Jewishness, which Kerry considers it as a necessary condition for Israel to play its geopolitical role in which it was planted in the area for.

But the move that President Abbas did not (nor the Palestinian national situation) calculate its account, is the decision of the US House of Representatives (05/01/2017) with a large majority, Republican and Democratic (342 votes to 80), to denounce the UN Security Council resolution 2334 and the calling for aborting it , in the international organization, and to adopt the direct bilateral negotiations as the only way to resolve the dispute, and also calling on the current and upcoming US administration to use the (veto) «against any future anti-Israel resolution in the Security Council». In light of this, observers expect the US Congress, in a later step, to follow the House of Representatives, especially since the Republicans dominate the council as well.

There is no doubt, that the House of Representatives' decision, and later the Congress’, will not weaken the moral, legal and political power of the UN Security Council's resolution. But nevertheless, it carries a clear signal to the nature of the next US administration and its policy on the conflict with Israel, especially regarding the issue of settlements, which is the essence of the conflict between the Palestinian people and the occupation, who owns a project to devour most of the occupied Palestinian territories , and to plant them with settlements and settlers, and to close the road in front of the Palestinian national project, in favor of alternative projects that do not exceed the limits of the self-management, without sovereignty on the ground ,the atmosphere and the water.

Perhaps the House of Representatives' decision tells the Palestinian official leadership and the Palestinian general situation ,that the next on the Palestinian issue, with Trump's management, will be very severe, and that the bet on the role of the US sponsor - which was played by the Obama administration, without providing the Palestinian side with any national gain - has become more sterile bet, and that John Kerry's speech, in 28/12/2016 , was just talking , which will not affect the balance of the conflict and its mechanisms, and it will be vanished in the political arena by the absence of its owner.

Consequently, this means that the Palestinian official leadership should re-read the political scene, from its Israeli perspective, which is going far away in the settlement expansion projects, and the very excessive use of repression, and murdering in cold blood for the youth of Palestine, and the insistence , at the same time on futile negotiations, according to the Israeli conditions: negotiations under occupation, siege , oppression, murder , confiscation of land , expansion of settlements , the Judaization of Jerusalem, and the imposition of the conditions of the security cooperation, and providing all of this as «negotiations without preconditions» as Netanyahu claims.

This means transforming these negotiations - with the Israeli preconditions and with the Palestinian pre-acceptance - to a Palestinian cover for the Israeli daily policies as formulated by the Netanyahu government, and means at the same time, the loss of the Palestinian national rights with the wind.

Also, the Palestinian official leadership should re-read the political scene from the American point of view, as a threat that is about to be implemented ,to transfer the US Embassy to the occupied Jerusalem, which is considered as a recognition of the US that Jerusalem is a capital of Israel , (which will open the door to other international recognitions). And a clear announcement that the settlement is considered as one of the Israeli «sovereign» rights, so that the construction (i.e. the settlement) in the occupied Palestinian territories (including Jerusalem) is as the construction in Tel Aviv, Nahariya, Herzliya, which is a sovereign Israeli right, such as the French sovereign right to construct in Paris, or the British sovereign right to construct in London.

It is an obvious impudent fraud, and a brazen attempt to impose a new political reality, which could become one of the foundations of the US- Israeli «settlement», which is less than the minimum of the national legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

Therefore, betting on the return to new negotiations - under the care of the US, and under the French care (for example) and in the light of the imposed facts in the ground by Israel - is an effective way to commit the political suicide, and proposing the Palestinian national rights as a free gift to Trump and Netanyahu.

The importance of the resolution 2334, politically, morally and legally, is not reaching to the level that this resolution could be able to move a single stone in the Israeli settlements. The US House of Representatives' decision is a political cover, in order to continue the settlement expansion projects. That should suppose a position or a political alternative program that takes into account the next major political changes in the region and on the Palestinian issue, at the forefront is the arrival of Trump's administration to the White House.

The condemnation and denunciation statements are not enough, and the emphasis on the «good will» through the Oslo Accords commitment, including the security coordination with the occupation authorities, would raise questions about the feasibility of this policy, and the future of the Palestinian Authority, objectively, and in the eyes of the Palestinian people, and about the distance that separates it between being «national authority» or being as a security agent for the occupation.

The betting and relying on the reactions of Arab and Islamic countries on the possibility of transferring the US embassy to Jerusalem, requires, first of all, re-arranging the relationship with these countries, at a time when everyone knows the extent of tension that governs the relationship of the Palestinian official leadership with some capitals, such as Cairo and Amman and others.

In the same context, we should admit that the Palestinian case is passing through an important, sensitive and strategic stage, and treating this with improper solutions, is an expression of: a loss of the political will, an intellectual dullness, a denial of reality and a political coma.

All the facts lead to the assertion that the solution lies in the return to the Palestinian national program, the program of the intifada, resistance, the internationalization of the Palestinian rights and cause and the abortion of Oslo Accords and their obligations.

We believe that the Preparatory Committee, which met in Beirut (10 and 11/1/2017) bear a huge historical responsibility that is lying on the shoulders of the forces that gathered under its roof. If the goal is to reach a mechanism for a unifying national council, we must emphasize that the basis of the Palestinian unity, is the program that guarantees the unity of the people and the unity of its rights.

As the National Council is the highest authority, the Preparatory Committee meeting is the title that would pave the way for the unifying session of the Council. And in the hands of the Preparatory political realities, what could establish a historic step for the Palestinian case to regain its national unifying program.

Then we can say that the Security Council resolution 2334 has become a weapon in the battle that requires all forms of weapons. As for John Kerry's speech, which came too late, and devoid of any practical steps, the history will record it on him, as a denunciation. In this speech, there is a clear admission that the United States is providing the cover for the occupation and its projects. So, the Palestinian case must read this confession as it is, and to take its responsibilities on it.

Moatasem Hamadeh is a member of the Political bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Translated by: Ibrahim Motlaq & Rawan Albash

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