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Decisions of the Last Central Council
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
September 3, 2018

An in-depth reading for the statement of the Central Council at the end of its 29th Session, confirms unequivocally that it expresses a sudden political crisis that appears between the lines and paragraphs. It also expresses a state of denial that everyone can notice.

• As the boycott of the Democratic and Popular Fronts, the National Initiative, independents, Hamas (through its deputies in the Legislative Council) and the Islamic Jihad (which rejected the invitation), according to the statement, was seen as an abstention of some members of the Council from attending, denying the political quorum within the framework of a national institution based on national consensus, and blatantly using the numerical quorum, which, due to the great imbalance in the composition of the Council, can be fulfilled by Fatah alone, without being able to meet the required political quorum.

• As for the great discovery, achieved by the statement, is the confirmation that the direct goal of the Palestinian struggle is the independence of the State of Palestine. But it did not say what the means, mechanisms or the decisions, that should be taken and implemented to achieve this transition. As if the statement recalls the Declaration of Independence (15/11/1988), which was based on a popular uprising, while the statement is empty from any practical preface, but the reference to previous decisions that are still suspended.

• It is repeated with the recommendations made by the Executive Committee on the implementation of the decisions of the National Council, as they were approved by the statement, but it did not specify who is concerned with the implementation of these recommendations. Note that they are “recommendations” based on the decisions of the Central Council (on 5/3/2015, 15/1/2018) and the National Council (on 30/4/2018) and they have been suspended so far. The response may was made in the context of the concluding statement at the Central Council, when it made it clear that all that was adopted at this session is nothing more than "recommendations that need to be thought about how to implement them". The closing statement also has postponed the implementation process, until after the next session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, where the president of the PA will deliver the speech of Palestine, and some consultations are expected to take place. After that, a new Central Council will be invited to discuss the outcome of the United Nations session, to re-examine the decisions and recommendations adopted and to examine the mechanisms for their implementation. That is, the statement did not come out of the limits of the vicious circle and the transfer of decisions from a study committee to another study committee, from a Central Council, to a National Council and from a National Council to a Central Council and so on, until the promise of the Palestinian Authority is fulfilled.

• So that it does not appear as unfair to the official leadership with its bets, the statement affirms in its decision under the item "First" on the continuation of cutting of political relations (note only political without security) - with the United States - until the US administration retracts from its illegal decisions on Jerusalem, refugees and settlements. That is, there is a bet on the possibility that the United States will back down from its decisions. This bet is really illusions and a state of denial of the realities of American politics and the reality of the "deal of the century", which is being applied step by step, without hesitation, and without regard to the rejection and recognition, which hasn't exceeded the screaming within its limits, as the initial rejection is good. But being satisfied with verbal rejection only, is a form of capitulation, hesitation and fear of field engagement with the United States, which conceals, within it, the possibility of reaching to "compromises" with the Trump administration, while the settlement continues, the Israelization and Judaization continue and Netanyahu's projects are also continued without obstacles.

• The strange mix in the statement is the second paragraph in (First) which adheres to the call for an international conference with full powers. At the same time it adheres to the Arab peace initiative 2002, as well as the vision of president Mahmoud Abbas on 20/2/2018. The international conference to be held "on the basis of the implementation of relevant UN resolutions", the Arab initiative removes the right of return from these resolutions, while the president's initiative returns back to Oslo, which, according to their understandings, is that what is reached between the two parties , is the practical application of UN resolutions, which means that the reference of the negotiations, or the international conference, is the negotiations themselves, not the resolutions of international legitimacy. It is logical for the United States and Netanyahu to welcome this "adherence", because it puts the negotiations in front of three options, that lead in descending order, in the third option to the Oslo Accords, which leads in the context to the convergence with the "deal of the century", even if all the PA media denied so.

Otherwise, what would the Palestinian public opinion explain the suspension of the decisions of disengagement from Oslo, and what was stated in the concluding statement in the last Central Council that what was approved is just "recommendations", that will be re-examined once again at a future session of the Council, to be held after the session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Last but not least, it was striking that all the decisions came in the form of "decides", "affirms" and "endorses", a formula that means (in general) having the power of making decision and the power to enforce, with the exception of the clause on "immediate cancellation of the measures taken on the salaries and benefits of Gaza Strip employees and their treatment as other PA employees."

Here the Council moves from "endorsing and obliging" to "demanding". As it "demands", without specifying anyone , and talks about actions taken, without condemning who took them or revealing the identity of it . Moreover, contrary to the statements of the Prime Minister, the president of the PA and some members of the Executive Committee, the Council clearly admits that punitive and unjust measures are still in force and must be discontinued immediately. Unfortunately, despite the Council's "diplomacy" in its "demanding", these "measures" are still in force and have not been repealed.

The Council repeats the same decisions in the same manner and for the same purposes. Noting that one philosopher once said that "stupidity is to do the same thing twice in the same way and steps, and waiting for different results".

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

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