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The Confession is a Condition to Change
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
February 15, 2017

Does the Palestinian official leadership have enough courage to admit that it made a mistake in Oslo, as a prelude to follow an alternative political and struggling strategy?

The approval of the Knesset on the legalization of the illegal settlements was not a surprise for anyone. The debate was going on between concerned competent committees and the General Assembly of the Knesset, the Israeli newspapers pointed out that the draft resolution has the required majority for approval; therefore the issue was a matter of days to be approved as a law. So within (less than two weeks) the project has become a law in force, despite of the objections of some legal departments and some of the Knesset members, including the United Arab List, Meretz, the Zionist camp, where each part had its view.

In our opinion, we see that the law of legalizing the illegal settlements as approved by Knesset falls within a framework of an integrated Israel policy supported by the US. Even the Paris Conference was, in its consistence "that the negotiations are the only way to the solution" a bias to the Israeli policy, despite the Palestinian' welcoming with it.

The occupation strategy is based on a range of foundations. The first is to restrict the Palestinian side that negotiations are the only way for the solution. At the same time, it obstructs the negotiations and prevents them from reaching an «acceptable» solution. Then, at the same time it expands settlement projects, and imposes a new field reality which becomes a part of the solution that Israel looks for it, which is based on annexing the widest space of the Palestinian Bank (in addition to the occupied Jerusalem), and which keeps a tight space like the crowded cities as a place to establish the Palestinian entity, with Israeli security and economic conditions, that make it totally constrained without a minimum of independence and sovereignty.

Netanyahu didn't hide his project; he said it more than one time that he is against the establishment of the Palestinian state. And that he intends to annex the Area C to Israel which is (60% of the west bank land), And he would not abandon Israel's full security hegemony over the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea (i.e. the whole of Mandatory Palestine) and that he is adhered to Israel as a national homeland for the Jews. And that the settlement (thus the annexation) in the Palestinian West Bank is an Israeli sovereign right of first class, like the construction in Tel Aviv. Consequently, all of these foundations do not constitute a violation to the resolutions of the international legitimacy only (including resolution 242 which provides on the Israeli withdrawal to the June 4/67, and which provides on the inadmissibility of the requisition of territory by force), nor to the international law, but also to the Oslo Accords and their protocols , which were signed by Mahmoud Abbas (who was the secretary of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization) in the White House gardens in 13/09/1993.

They also constitute a violation of the mutual recognition, which was signed with the Israeli side in 09/09/1993. So we are facing a strange and unique scene:

• A state that has occupied our land since 1967 (in addition to the seizure of large parts of the regions of 1948) and we recognize its right to exist in 9/9/1993, and recognition here, is a form of the recognition of the occupation and its legitimacy.

• We sign with it a «peace treaty», when it still occupies our land (and it had declared the annexation of Jerusalem. the capital of our state as the eternal capital of Israel). Thus, we make with it a «Partnership for Peace» [peace of the brave! And we drop the aspect of occupation from it.

• Then, we give it a waiver of our land [or what was left of our land] as a «disputed land», and not under occupation, and that its ultimate fate will be decided by negotiations of the permanent solution, which passed and will not be back again.

• Then, the Israeli governments cancel all this, and they expand the settlements and the land annexing, and disrupt the negotiations, then keep things remain trapped in a vicious circle, leading to the provision of the necessary time for Israel to annex a wider area of our land and impose facts as a substitute for negotiations.

The worst of all this is that the Palestinian team, the partner in the Oslo accords, is still on «its loyalty» to the agreement, abides by its provisions, complies with the Israeli and US pressure, and tries to cover its inaction by waving with the anti-warnings and procedures, without turning them into real actions, but even without the implementation of the decisions of the Executive Committee of the PLO , and its Central Council (March 2015), from here, for example, the Palestinian official leadership found itself facing a new reality, when the Knesset passed the legalizing of the illegal settlement act, and the legislation of the policy of the annexation [Israel is building settlements for annexing them to it in the end , and not to let them for the Palestinians in the framework of the so-called the «permanent solution». And what it has been issued until now, didn't exceed the condemnation statements or the demanding of the international community to intervene, without adding any appropriate reaction which could have the level of responsibility imposed by the new law in the Israeli Knesset. We are not only facing the decision to build thousands of settlement apartments (with the seriousness of this too), but we are before a new reality says that the government of Israel has become armed by an Israeli law that allows to it to invade every inch of the Palestinian occupied territory and annex it to its settlement projects as an act of the Israeli laws. The Palestinian citizens are not allowed to go to justice. The roof of what they can get is the financial compensation, under the occupation authorities' estimate.

Thus, this new reality imposes a new policy, which is completely different from the old policies that were moving to revive the bilateral negotiation process with Israel, or under the political strategy that the negotiations are the only way to resolve.

The crisis of the Palestinian Official leadership is that it doesn't have enough courage to speak honestly with its people, and to admit that Oslo was a mistake.

We believe that without this clear confession, the official leadership will not come out of the crisis, but it will be wandering here and there, in a futile search for solutions that are provided by its policy which reached to the impasse.

It is useful to condemn the American silence, and welcome the European condemnations, as well as the statement of the Arab League, but such steps will not shake the hair of Netanyahu's head or any of his ministers, he was clear in his interview with the Prime Minister of Britain, when he stressed on his rejection of the «two-state solution» as adopted by the international «Quartet», and insisting on his solution which is based on the «imperfect Palestinian state » [a form of autonomy] under the sovereignty and the dominance of security and economic dependence for Israel.

Well then on the base of the confession with the failure we will have a real change and then the talk about the new and alternative policies could be right, also the talk about the resolutions of the Executive Committee , the Central Council, the Preparatory Committee of the National Council in Beirut, and other resolutions with the national consensus.

None of the Palestinian parties is against the diplomacy, but this diplomacy is not enough for the solution, the solution is in the field, and by depending on the fields we build the diplomatic policies.

We believe that the ball will stay in the court of the Executive Committee and its president and the Central Committee of Fatah, also in the court of the Official Leadership. But this ball is not an ordinary one, it is a fire ball!

Moatasem Hamadeh: Is a member of the Political bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by: Ibrahim Motlaq & Rawan Al-Bash

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