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"Oslo's" Mottos
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
September 10, 2018

Before Trump, the US administrations, which accompanied the settlement process, launched attractive headlines, in order to attract the official Palestinian leadership to the negotiating table. As a sole sponsor, the Palestinian negotiator hoped that the US to intervene at every complex in the negotiations. This happened many times, but in favor of occupation.

It was important for those administrations to continue the negotiating scene for many reasons that concern them in the internal and external policies. Since the start of the settlement, according to the Oslo Accords, they have sought to restrict the Palestinian situation and prevent it from "receding" towards the "intifada era" that broke out at the end of 1987.

Since the signing of the Accords, it has been clear that the course of the settlement that does not pass from Jerusalem, and does not approach the establishment of a Palestinian state. Before that, it does not recognize the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homes and properties from which they have been expelled, but it seeks to cancel it.

It can be said that the deterioration of the Arab situation and the bloody wars that have engulfed in many Arab countries, with the deterioration of the Palestinian situation due to the division and the failed policies, have enabled the United States to change the way of its strategic policies that are implemented in the region. So, it has moved from the policy of "carrot and stick" to putting everyone in front of a gradual implementation of its policies in the region and the world as well, in connection with the contradictory rivalry that has been created by the wide international interventions in the region, in which each side seeks to strengthen its influence.

The US administration is no longer interested in forming coalitions in the region by the same previous cost, when the Palestinian issue imposed itself strongly on the agenda of the Arab official system, and therefore, it is no longer forced to demand the Israeli occupation to take steps towards the Palestinian side, to enable a number of Arab countries to join to Washington in its alliances against its rivals in the region. On the contrary, the current US administration has found its chance in the increasing concerns of a number of Arab officials to instruct them to take normalizing steps with the Israeli occupation, which confirms that since Washington has sponsored the settlement process exclusively, it has been aware that the basis of this settlement serves the security and expansionist considerations of Israel, and that the big convergence in the American-Israeli interests, is the basis on which Washington builds its policies toward the settlement, and what is happening today is the endorsement of this congruence, without frills.

The American proposal on the future of Jerusalem was one of the main reasons, which failed the "Camp David II summit" in the summer of 2000. At the essence of the American proposal was the search for a capital for the Palestinian state on the outskirts of the city. When Trump came and recognized that Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he did nothing but using the power given to him by the US Congress in the law that it passed in 1995, just a year after the formation of the PA.

Trump also has used US laws that have been passed by the Congress for decades on the terms of funding for a wide range of UN agencies such as UNRWA and UNESCO, in order to block them or to control his contribution to them, provided that they are committed to the American vision. Which means an apparent disconnection between Washington and the United Nations resolutions that established these institutions. This is what happened to UNRWA when the Trump administration dared to give a different definition for the Palestinian refugee, away from what the United Nations decided, as well as the mandate of the Agency and its link to resolution 194, which guarantees the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties. The US administration also wanted to transfer their follow-up to UNHCR.

The former approach of US administrations in dealing with the titles of settlement and moving between pressure and encouragement has enabled Washington to maintain the negotiating scene in the presence of "Arab follow-up countries". The Palestinian negotiator dealt with this method from the point of view of the promotion of the speech of encouragement at the expense of the indicators of pressure, exerted on it, in order to market its position in adhering to the process of settlement with its unfair bases, and using it to fuel its bet on the American role and circulate it in the political circles, close to the PA and its only option. The Negotiation.

Therefore, the Palestinian negotiator was shocked and then confused when Trump announced his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and then his intention to transfer his embassy to it. The reason for being shocked is known, as the two decisions were blatant infringement on Palestinian rights. While the confusion is because that Trump's position and his supporting for settlement in public beforehand, eliminates the usual American equation in dealing with the settlement titles. Thus, the duality of pressure and encouragement to be replaced by the language of the acceptance and implementation. That means, at the same time, running out of fuel that was fueling the bet on Washington and marketing the illusion about a balanced solution, coming on the way. Most importantly, the rejection of Trump's administration decisions (and this is the less that can be done) necessarily places the Palestinian official leadership in front of the need to answer practically on the question: What to do?

Anyway, both, the Central Council (sessions 27 and 28) and the National Council (at the end of last April) responded to this question and took a number of decisions that constitute a compass towards the return to the national liberation program, which the Oslo Accords formed a coup on it. The most important issue remains the commitment of the official leadership to implement these decisions, as a practical adherence to all aspects, relevant to the application. In the forefront, the decision to disengage from Oslo and its political, security and economic constraints, as well as the activation of Palestine's membership in the international institutions, especially the International Criminal Court through the direct submission of complaints against the crimes of the occupation, and the submission of an application for full membership of the State of Palestine in the United Nations.

So far, the official Palestinian leadership has engaged in a clash with the Trump deal, outside the field. The high tone of the media clash will not effect on the course of aggressive steps, being taken by the US administration in its attempt to liquidate the Palestinian rights. The continuation of this situation encourages Washington to speed up these steps, and at the same time, the Netanyahu's government can be more involved in killing, settlement and judaization.

In light of all this, the Palestinian situation worsens and the internal relations deteriorate with the transition of exclusivity in the political decision to the national institutions, which leads to further marginalization of the PLO, while the national consensus decided to strengthen its role as sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and to develop its situation through the election of its new National Council in accordance with the full proportional representation.

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 Manal Mansour
Revised by Ibrahim Motlaq

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