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I Deceive… I Exist
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
May 4, 2018

This is the slogan of the "political kitchen" in the Palestinian Authority, to justify its evasion from the political entitlements, dictated by the decisions of the Palestinian Central Council in its last two sessions, and to cover its ongoing and continuing commitment to the Oslo Accords and their commitments, and its pledges to the American Administration and Israeli occupation at the expense of the Central Council decisions, to guarantee its existence in the regional political equation for the settlement of the Palestinian question. This slogan, “I deceive, I exist” is the slogan that under its roof, it practices its propaganda policy in addressing the Palestinian public, believing unfortunately that it is really succeeding in this process of mislead, underestimating the awareness of the Palestinian popular situation and its political experience and ignoring the fact that this situation has read the facts very well and it has lost the certainty that this "kitchen" is serious about getting out of the Oslo Accords' restrictions, and perhaps President Abbas' speech at the UN Security Council on February 20, 2018, in which he reaffirmed the commitment to follow the Oslo Accords and negotiate under Oslo, is the best proof on that.

If we want to give a clear example (among many examples), let us take up the issue of requesting the international protection for the Palestinian people , its land and its Jerusalem against occupation, settlement and siege.

• On 30/3/2018, in response to the massacre of the Israeli occupation against the «march of the land and return» in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Jerusalem, as well as in the 48 areas, the Palestinian presidency announced that it will request the international protection for the Palestinian people. We have followed the matter between Ramallah and New York, and we have not seen that the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Executive Committee, or the Presidency has asked the Palestinian Mission in New York to take formal action, individually or in cooperation with Arab and Muslim missions, to submit request for protection. After a short period of time, after the ere were new martyrs and wounded in the occupied territories, the head of the Palestinian delegation in New York spoke about the PA move to request the international protection, then it has been ignored. A few days ago, the spokesman of the Palestinian presidency said that the "leadership" is working to request international protection for the Palestinian people. So far, the issue of international protection is still a media issue that has not been transferred to the procedural stage.

• Another issue dealt with by the Palestinian "kitchen" in the same way, is the case of submitting a complaint against the crimes of occupation against the Palestinian people and its land. Many of them are deliberate murder, the siege on the Gaza Strip, the looting of land, water, settlement, the separation wall, the racial annexation, the issue of prisoners and the collective punishment…

Regarding this issue, the Central Council on 5/3/2015 took a binding decision and repeated it at its last session on 15 January 2018. So, once the Secretary of the Executive Committee declares that work is under way to prepare the files for submission to the International Criminal Court and that it only requires the signature of the President of the Palestinian Authority, then we hear another statement that the PA is sending brief reports on the crimes of the occupation to the International Criminal Court. Then a statement from Foreign Affairs of the PA that a date has been set (when?) with the ICC to discuss the crimes of the occupation, all this haven’t been accompanied by any single step (one step since four years). The Executive Committee also tried to deceive the public opinion when it said in its last statement that it "continues to work to activate the complaint against the occupation to the ICC". And when the Attorney-General of the ICC issued a statement on the massacres of the occupation in the "march of return", some in the institutions of the PA tried to mislead the public opinion too, so they declared that this statement issued by the International Court , means that it has just really begun to deal with the Palestinian complaint. Note that, the Attorney General's statement is clear, so anyone has awareness can understand it well, and there is no need to use it, to cover up the failure and reluctance of the PA to submit a complaint to the ICC, where this issue has become also a major issue of media and political misleading issues.

We can give many and many examples, and we can mention other issues where obligated decisions have been taken at the highest levels, including a request for active membership for the State of Palestine in the United Nations. A request for the convention of an international conference on the Palestinian issue patronized by the United Nations, in accordance with its resolutions. A request to join 22 international organizations, that the United States has warned the PA not to take this step because of its dangers on Israel and its status in the international community, or stopping the security coordination with the occupation by withdrawing the recognition of Israel (or even suspension).

This pledge was made by the Palestinian official leadership to the administration of former President Obama, and the Palestinian official leadership has renewed its commitment to it, in the speech of 20/2/2018, when it has renewed its commitment to the Oslo Accords, with the choice of negotiations as a sole option of solution, and when it condemned the "violence and terrorism" and pledged to fight it (i.e., not to resort to resistance, and the commitment to what it calls ''the peaceful popular resistance"), therefore, we stand in front of a "political kitchen" that prefers its commitments to the United States and the occupation authorities rather than to abide by the decisions of the Palestinian bodies, such as the Central Council and the Executive Committee of the PLO. So, to cover this, it misleads the public opinion by statements with hollow rhetoric, and it provides the Israeli, American and European sides, with confirmations on its commitment to the agreements signed on 9/9/1993 (recognition of Israel) and on 13/9/1993 (Oslo Accords) then Paris Economic Protocol.

What allows the political kitchen and official leadership to exercise this policy?

The answer is clear: the deteriorating situation in the PLO institutions and the marginalization of these institutions, in favor of the PA, when a single political trend can control the political decision or control its implementation.

As the Executive Committee, is a body that meets at the summons, with no organized agenda that arranges its meetings and is not "concerned" in making decisions and the limits of its role are debate and deliberation on views. Note that, this Committee in theory is the daily leadership of the Palestinian people, and the daily reference of the Palestinian Authority. But things are going the opposite, as the decision of the PA and its government is the strongest, not of the Executive Committee. For example, the Executive Committee referred to the PA government the decisions of the “Central Council” regarding the security and economic issues to submit proposals on the mechanisms of implementation, but the result: nothing and the assignments are still a dead letter, as well as the decisions of the Central Council are also a dead letter.

The Palestinian Central Council is also a body that meets upon summoning. Note that the Central Council is the intermediary body between the National Council and the Executive Committee and its decisions are binding on the Executive Committee, the PA, its President and its government. This Council is the one which endorsed the establishment of the PA, and thus it is the source of "legitimacy" of the PA and has the right to restore the powers of the PA if it wants. But the reality is that things are going the other way around. As the PA and its President are everything, whereas the Executive Committee and Central Council: nothing.

The serious of continuation of this as it is, that, the Israeli and American sides are continuing to implement the deal of the century, step by step, the last of which is the removal of the status "occupied land" phrase from the West Bank, Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Syrian Golan, in preparation for the annexation declaration, in which Israel sees its interest while the "political kitchen" is still in its place:

• On the one hand, it continues its commitments to the Oslo Accords and the Paris Protocol, and its pledges to the US administration.

• On the other hand, it continues to mislead the Palestinian and Arab public opinion, by saying: "I deceive, I exist".

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

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