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The Confessions of Erekat
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
September 26, 2018
 

The statements made by Saeb Erekat, secretary of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, to the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper and other media outlets included three issues that deserve to be looked in.

• The first issue: his confession to Hebrew newspaper, for the first time, that the health of President Mahmoud Abbas has deteriorated in the recent days, seriously, which threatened his life. We believe that such an issue is not a matter just related to President Abbas, but also to the public opinion and the Palestinian situation without exception. It is no doubt that everyone wishes health and wellness for President Abbas, however, this does not mean to conceal that his health conditions from the Palestinian people, nor to inform the Palestinian people about the reality of the health conditions of the PA president and the chairman of the Executive Committee through the Hebrew media, while the Palestinian media does not stop emphasizing that everything is okay, at a time when things have reached a very dangerous stage, this first.

And this, second: It is not correct to exclude the Executive Committee from the health status of the PA’s president or to turn his health situation into mere speculation, circulating here and there. Moreover, with Erekat's own admission, President Abbas was exposed to a dangerous situation, without arrangements to fill the void, unlike the situation we were in during the time of the late Yasser Arafat, especially since President Abbas is carrying out a number of tasks under conditions that all agree on their sensitivity and accuracy.

Conclusion: The health of the president (any president in any country) is not a private matter, but a public affair and the people must be aware of the health status of its president, and to be assured that in case of the occurrence of an exception, the transition from one hand to other, will be smooth and legal and does not expose the general situation to problems or confusions, especially in a situation such as the Palestinian situation, where the issue of the succession of President Abbas has become a first-class issue, in which stories, legends and novels have been created, which results a matter of great concern about the health of President Abbas (and this is a humanitarian issue of the highest order) and concern for the stability of the Palestinian political situation.

• The second issue: his confession that it was the Palestinian negotiator, who initiated in the Oslo rounds, without American or Israeli pressure, to make free concessions. So, in order to show the good intention toward Israel, the negotiator neglected the right of return and accepted the alternative solutions, he also agreed to amend the borders of 4th June , under the principle of an agreed exchange of land, which opens Israel's appetite for continuing the settlement, as long as the door to annex settlements is open. The negotiator also accepted a “demilitarized state” to reassure Israel that the neighboring “Palestinian state” would not pose a security threat to it, and it agreed on the presence of a "third party" on the Jordanian-Palestinian borders to reassure Israel not to smuggle weapons into the “Palestinian state”. It also agreed on preventing the flow of Palestinian refugees under the pretext that this would plunge the Palestinian state into social crises that could turn into explosions that would have repercussions on Israel!

For the first time, we hear that the aggressed is demanded to provide good faith guarantees to the aggressor. For the first time, too, we hear that the aggressed is the source of danger to the aggressor. Moreover, Erekat admitted what we were publishing and about the negotiating "secrets", and what the Palestinian negotiator denied. Such as the refugee issue, the right of return, in addition to the issues of sovereignty and others. Besides all of this, Erekat does not draw conclusions from a quarter of a century of failed negotiations and free concessions, despite he is the author of the famous book “Life is Negotiations”, in which he was bold to admit that the American mediator was not a mediator but a third party always biased in favor of the Israeli side. This means to say that the Trump administration is no longer an honest mediator, bears a lot of fallacies. As the United States has never been an honest mediator, but, as Erekat admits, it was not a mediator at all, what constitutes a resounding condemnation of all the policies that bet on the Oslo negotiations, the “road map” negotiations, and the negotiations of Annapolis, and a condemnation to all calls for the resumption of negotiations by the same means and mechanisms, and outside an international conference called for by the United Nations and sponsored by the permanent members of the Security Council and under the relevant resolutions of the legitimacy and guaranteeing the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people: An independent state with full sovereignty with its capital in East Jerusalem on the borders of June 4th , 1967, the departure of settlements and the dismantling of its structure and the right of return of refugees to homes and property that they have been expelled from since 1948.

The paradox, after all this, is that the Palestinian negotiator, despite Erekat's confessions, is still stuttering when talking about the international conference, without clear features, linked to the Arab peace initiative (2002) and the "vision of the president" (20/2/2018) which opens the door for political manipulation and evasion beyond the limits of international legitimacy.

• The third issue (among many others) is Erekat's confession that Trump's administration has so far applied 70% of the “deal of the century”. By confessing this (albeit belatedly) he confirms a series of facts:

* What we have been emphasizing since the announcement of the “deal” (that it is on the table of practical implementation, and that its implementation is being carried out step by step, and that its final details will be announced only when the necessary conditions to impose it), are fully met. And that what Trump is doing, in his close alliance with the occupation, aims at providing these conditions on the ground.

* It refutes what was promoted by many members of the Executive Committee, and the circle, close to the "political kitchen" that the rejection and opposition of the deal, by the Palestinian leadership has aborted the deal in its bud, and the deal has failed and died (!)

* It refutes the policy of betting on an Arab role to disrupt the deal, or at least to modify it, which opens the door for a Palestinian partnership with it. It also refutes the Arab policy and its promises that the Palestinian side will have a seat in the "deal" that will be occupied by the Palestinian negotiator. It also confirms the fall of the official Palestinian bet on the intersection with this promise by adhering to the remains of Oslo, as formulated by the president's vision on February 20.

* Erekat's confessions also confirm that the verbal opposition does not stop the deal and the clash in the field, step by step, through resisting the occupation and settlement, boycotting the United States completely, and stopping the bet on the promises, is the only way to pave the way for the encirclement of the deal, block it and disrupt its effects.

Erekat's confessions are important, and bold. However, he had to end these confessions by another confession, namely, that the policy of disrupting the decisions of national consensus in the Central Council (5/3/2015 and 15/1/2018), and the National Council, and continuing the bet on illusions, facilitates for the Israeli and American sides to pass their policy, which is still weakening the Palestinian situation and disrupting the mobilization of its power, which are many, effective and influential. Erekat's confessions are avowal that the ball is in the court of the official leadership.

 
Notes:
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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