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Between what was gone and what is next
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
November 23, 2016

No choices have been left for the Palestinian negotiator after the declaration of Hollande that the “Paris conference” chances are so poor.

Most of the world leaders were forced to rewrite their congratulatory messages at the eve of the release of the results of the US presidential elections, after the change of their expectations for the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, and perhaps they needed some time to find the appropriate words to congratulate the candidate Trump, who became president.

In the midst of the serious developments in the region and the whole world and all their implications, the US allies founded themselves that they have to prefer the continuation of the democratic management in US in spite of the conflicts that have arisen between them about several files related to these developments.

But there are many questions about the Palestinian case and its various components, especially the leadership of the Palestinian authority, whether the continuation of the previous administration was a better choice for them or not, among the Israeli right welcoming the arrival of Trump and burying the «two-state solution»?

Is it right to believe that during his last days, Obama would go to make an announcement related to settlement after knowing that the file will be in the hands of the Republican administration?

Perhaps it is too early to talk about the basic guidelines that identify the new US administration priorities, until the formation of the new government and the determination of its basic poles. In spite of the natural differences between one government and another in identifying the internal and external priorities, the unchangeable thing is that there is no substantial modification could occur with the election of Donald Trump, connecting with the established strategies determined by the interests and orientations of decision-makers in the United States regardless of the existing administration either democratic or republican.

This does not mean to ignore the changes that arise in the American political scene, but all of this in the opinion of most experts are circumstantial variations in style and performance and is not related to the position of the core issues, especially on the level of foreign policy.

Regarding the Arab-Palestinian / Israeli conflict, there is no real difference seems between all the successive US Republican and Democratic administrations in dealing with this file. As long as the determinants of the US position in this regard emanating from maintaining the strong strategic relationships between Washington and Tel Aviv; even under any difference arises between the two parties on many issues.

If Obama was able at the beginning of his first presidency to enhance the Arab and Palestinian official bet on the possibility of the Washington understanding to the Palestinian and Arab rights, But what happened during the eight years of his presidency was the unprecedented Israeli expansionism, which will make it difficult for Trump to succeed in this matter, especially as the Israeli government wants to make Obama's leaving as a break with the talk about the settlement, or any mention of an independent Palestinian state, which has been always likes a banner raised by the US administration as unachievable goal because of the absence of the mechanisms and strategies of achieving it.

The groups which surround the prime minister of “Israel” are concerned of Obama if he could make a declaration which includes a repeat of the determinants of the settlement as seen by his administration during his last days, and even if that happened, it will not have a practical effect, especially since the US administrations are doing that in the words of their president toward a number of issues which were processed by his administration and remained stuck, and this was turned into a tradition , that is not translated on the ground, and if that was possible, the time was open to those administrations since the beginning of their presidencies.

In all cases, there is not any chance to the Palestinian negotiating team to talk about the settlement, and if the bet on the French initiative is still works, this will not be possible in the light of many French and European questions about the new US administration policy details towards the region; and as long as the new president will not take his job officially before 01/20/2017, the expectations about the French initiative are not more than illusions. Even the French president recently said that the chances of holding «Paris conference» by the end of this year are so poor.

As the previous administrations, the new one will find a confused Palestinian scene in the light of the continued division and the exacerbation of the Palestinian crises and the lack of the unified Palestinian position beside the absence of the unity of the national program and the strategy that could ensure to achieve it.

Accordingly, if the Palestinian side wanted to be strongly present in the regional and international political scene without any marginalization, it should pay attention to its own house; as it has a clear road map in this direction drawn by national consensus decisions. Whether through the multiple comprehensive national dialogue decisions, or by the package of the advanced decisions taken by the Palestinian Central Council in March of the last year.

It was sure for everyone, including the Palestinian negotiator and his political reference , that the path of the previous settlement on its own terms completely closed in front of the Palestinian rights, and the US patronage to this settlement was only for the Israeli expansionist interests, and the try to escape towards other forms which repeat the experiment will increase the confusion of the Palestinian situation which stands in front of a large entitlements under the predominance of the settlements and the Judaization campaigns.

While Tel Aviv seeks through its successive governments to interact with the changes that occur in the region and the world, and always presents itself as a party which is seriously interested in the implications of these variables, while the official Palestinian performance reclines waiting for what these variables will lead to , hoping to take advantage of their consequences without making a real effort , to let the relevant parties in that to know that the Palestinian factor is present and can’t be surpassed.

Mohammad Al-Sahli is Editor in Chief of Al-Hourriah newspaper, the official speaker of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Translated by Al-Hourriah English staff

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