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The Dilemma of Decision-Making and its Implementation
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
January 25, 2018

The Central Council confirmed the decisions of its previous session nearly three years ago, without concluding to examine the reasons that led to their non-implementation, throughout the period between the last two sessions of the Council.

Despite of repeating the title of political partnership in the current and previous decisions of the Council, but the official Palestinian leadership performance was away from this active principle, which ensures the progress of national action to achieve the goals, set by the Palestinian liberation project.

Therefore, the decisions taken by the PLO's national institutions, were in a side and the official Palestinian policy in another side, due to the absence of the binding mechanisms, that guarantee the implementation of these decisions, and observe the performance of the leading bodies in the Organization, due to its commitment to implement the policies which have been adopted by the national consensus.

By the continuation of this absence, the question became legitimate about the fate of any proposed decisions, taken by the national institutions.

The national institutions of the PLO are suffering from the policy of marginalization and exploitation by the official Palestinian leadership; this applies to the National and Central Councils and the Executive Committee. The policy of marginalization is obvious through two axes: the first is by referring them to the enforced "retirement", and the second by ignoring the decisions, taken by these institutions and adopting policies that contradict with their decisions.

The most prominent example is the Central Council, which adopted in 2015 a decision, stating that it should be held every three months linking to the situations and developments related to the Palestinian cause, and it should keep up with the correction of the internal situation, at forefront, ending the division and restoring the unity. But what happened was the prevention of the Council from being convened for three years, until recently, as it was held under the pressure of the US administration's decisions regarding Palestinian rights and its transition from supporting the occupation to an actual partner.

In addition, the official leadership has closed the door on the implementation of the resolutions of the Council since their adoption before three years, and continued with security coordination with the occupation, and has not activated the membership of Palestine in the UN institutions, in particular the International Criminal Court, in which the Council stressed the need to file complaints against the crimes of occupation.

The Council called for the correction of the political process and its establishment in accordance with the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy, at the forefront, Resolution 194, which guarantees the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties from which they have been expelled, but the official leadership has ignored this and kept its policy of waiting and betting on the American role in the settlement , and we remember ,months ago how optimism was spread about a political solution by Washington, just because it overstepped its ignorance to the Palestinian official leadership, without paying attention to the nine US conditions, proposed by Greenblatt on PA, as a clear indication on Trump administration's adoption of Israel's vision, and without paying attention to the position of settlements and Trump's resentment on the Security Council's recent resolution in this regard.

What raises doubts about the seriousness of position of the official leadership towards the Trump administration is what it insisted on, in the final statement of the last session of the Council, which linked the partnership with Washington with Trump's cancellation of its decision on Jerusalem, which confirms that the bet on the United States is still existed.

In addition to the marginalization of national institutions, the official leadership has adopted a policy of exploitation towards these institutions, by exploiting the convention of their meetings for a specific function, which is to try to legitimize the wrong policies, as what happened at the National Council's meeting in 1996, to ratify the unfair entitlements of the Oslo Accords, then the Council was returned to its hibernation again.

In our opinion, the basic dilemma that has established the policy of neglecting the national institutions and their decisions, and exacerbated the phenomenon of exclusivity in the official Palestinian policy, lies in the decision-making mechanisms and thus in the course of managing the Palestinian public affairs.

As the Palestinian official leadership has adopted, in the composition of national bodies and institutions, on devoting the numerical majority, at the expense of the political majority, this means that these bodies are meant to be a mere formal cover, to pass the policies of the so-called political kitchen, where the number of its participants, is limited to the number of fingers of a one hand only. But in case it was not available, these institutions are being put on the shelf, which make this kitchen exclusive in planning and implementation.

The reason for all this is to overstep the principle of political partnership, imposed by the tasks of the national liberation movement, and the partnership means the contribution of all political components to decision-making and implementation.

As a result of this policy, the role of the Executive Committee of the PLO as a leading body, concerned in the management of public affairs, has diminished, and it was marginalized, as the other bodies and institutions, and it is regrettable, that it did not hold its meeting immediately after Trump announced its decision on Jerusalem, but after a month later, during which the limited official political kitchen dealt with that declaration, according to its calculations that did not leave the equation of the bet on Washington and the possibility of changing its position.

Therefore, despite the importance of the decisions, taken by the Central Council at its previous session and a number of decisions at its current session, this importance will not be turned into practice, if the decision-making mechanisms of the national institutions are not addressed. These decisions will remain as dead letter and will be used as a mean of solicitation for negotiating proposals, away from the entitlements, dictated by the aggressive American-Israeli policies against the Palestinian people and its national rights.

For these reasons, the calls have been repeated for the rehabilitation of the Palestinian political system, on a democratic basis by electing its institutions and bodies, in the PLO and the PA, also on the basis of the law of full proportional representation, to ensure that these institutions play their national role, on the basis of respect for their internal regulations and specialized functions, through the separation of the executive powers from the legislative and judiciary ones, and respecting the role of union work and its independence from PA and its bias to the interests of the groups that it represents, and thus the law and accounting the corruption can be promoted.

As stated in the note of "DFLP" to the meetings of the Central Council recently, it is necessary to make a serious review for the nature of internal national relations, which, because of the division and the policy of exclusivity, has deviated from the basis of national coalition participatory unity, which has been reflected negatively so far on our ability to create a political strategy, that responds to the risks of the Palestinian cause.

It is necessary, in this context, to call on the Committee of activating and developing the PLO, as a comprehensive national framework to convene and to complete the work initiated by the «preparatory committee» of the National Council in preparation for the organization and holding general elections.

Mohammad Al-Sahli is an Editor in Chief of Al-Hourriah newspaper, the official speaker of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by Rawda Abo Zarqa
Revised by Ibrahim Motlaq

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