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We Managed to Put the American Mediator aside
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
August 8, 2017

The victory that took place in Jerusalem carried many lessons and rich experiences which require the active forces to build on them mechanisms for struggle and action in the battle against the occupation and settlement.

One of these lessons, which should learned deeply, is to evaluate the American role in its trying to play the role of mediator between the Netanyahu government and the Palestinian official leadership.

There is no doubt that Washington could not stand idly by, after the flames that have been ignited in Jerusalem, have spread to the rest of the Palestinian occupied territories, and then they have extended to the Arab and regional environment, and have drawn the attention of international capitals.

Therefore, Washington considered the Palestinian popular uprising, as a direct threat to its actions, in order to prepare the political stage for a political process, that would pave the way for a regional solution, that would end the Arab-Israeli conflict, and open the door to new regional political equations, in which the roles, definition of issues and priorities will be reformulated, to serve the American-Zionist project in the region.

On the other hand, the Palestinian Authority has hastened to resort to the American mediator after feeling that it was wedged between two sides, which it could not easily escape.

The first, is the pressure of Palestinian street, which set its goals and the roof of its positions, and closed the door to any compromise, when it decided to reject the Israeli measures, in their various forms, and restore the situation to what it was before July 14, the date of military operation of the three young «Jabbarin», against the presence of Israeli military in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa area. The Palestinian street, with all its political, social, and spiritual components, understands that the battle goes beyond the limits of prayer and its conditions, to reach issue of sovereignty over Haram and its surroundings, in the context of the historical conflict created by the religious Zionism over the legend of Temple Mount, and the need to destroy Al- Aqsa Mosque through a plan that will extend to all of Jerusalem, and even the entire West Bank by Judaization, settlement, and obliterating the national identity of the country.

The PA was unable to accept less than the demands of Palestinian street. Therefore, under the pressure of the street, the PA could not open the door of bargaining with the occupation authorities.

The other side is that the PA was also unable to press on Netanyahu’s government to reach a "settlement" for this issue. Netanyahu's government, for several reasons, adopted the line of escalation, in its procedures (electronic gates, smart cameras, suppression and killing by using live bullets ...). So the more Netanyahu's government escalates its measures, the more Palestinian street increases its rigidity and cohesion, which created a crisis for Netanyahu personally, who can no longer go to more stubbornness and intransigence. That also, created crisis for the Palestinian Authority itself, which saw itself required to take a position in light of this crisis and the complexity of situation, and the transferring of Intifada in Jerusalem, to an introduction of a comprehensive Palestinian uprising that could extend across the West Bank and its effect began to resonate in the Gaza Strip, in the diaspora, in Arab capitals and in the Palestinian communities also, which have mobilized its efforts according to the call of the Department of Expatriates in the PLO, headed by Executive Committee member Tayseer Khaled.

The things seemed clear, as the issue did not carry for a moment a religious aspect, but it remained within its national framework, which was expressed, through the unity of Palestinians in one position, and through the united standing of Muslim and Christian clerics against the occupation authorities. In this double crisis the Palestinian Authority tried to ask for the help of American mediator, who saw the Palestinian call as an opportunity to intervene.

But the intervention of American side was disappointing to the PA hopes and expectations. It seems that the PA is still reading the American position only under the pressure of its deep political crisis. The crisis of reaching of its negotiating political option to the impasse, and its inability, and its refusal to retreat from it, in favor of alternative national options, and its insistence on adhering to the US role as the one who maintains its position in the (Israeli-American) political equation of conflict in the region.

The American move came in the side of Netanyahu and his actions, when Washington called on the official Palestinian leadership, to press on the street to calm the situation and stop the Intifada, and when it considered that the actions of Netanyahu and his government as necessary (as he claimed) to protect the security of Al Aqsa and its worshipers. As if Netanyahu wanted to protect Al Aqsa from Muslims! And to protect Muslims from the Muslims themselves! In a blatant game to justify his control over the Haram and entrapping it him, and imposing the full Israeli sovereignty over every inch in it, to confirm the claim that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

The PA failed to convince the American side to take a "balanced" position, and failed to convince it about the predicament of PA and its president, under the increasing public pressure, and the continuation of Intifada to reach its second week.

This is the turning point that forced the PA under the pressure of the Palestinian political forces, including the Fatah movement, which maintained its connection with the popular situation, outside the frameworks and channels of PA's bureaucracy and its class calculations, and under the pressure of the clergy and the unity of their position and cohesion. The point in which the PA was forced to break its silence by the speech of President Abbas, who announced a series of tactical measures, that did not stop the relation with occupation, especially when he linked the re-activation of the security coordination, with restoring the situation in Al-Aqsa to what it was before July 14.

There are two important lessons must be learned:

The first is that the unity of popular movement in the street is the strongest weapon to push the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian official leadership towards positions that meet the interests of national cause and Palestinian street. This is what happened in Jerusalem, when the official leadership was submitted to the street position, in the two meetings held by it to follow up the situation, especially the meeting of 21/7/2017, when it committed to the decision of protesters in Jerusalem.

This is what happened during the prisoners' strike, when the PA was forced to support the strike after it tried to abort it; also this happened when the street came out in a major demonstration against the unjust amendment of Social Security Law, and when public employees went out on the streets of Ramallah, defending their rights.

The Second lesson is that the US mediation is not a fate, and that American pressure is also not a fate, and that the American position can be faced and rejected. Kouchner and Greenblatt's mediation seemed pale, and meaningless, as well as it was left behind thousands of angry Palestinians in the street, also Sadat's discourse which is adopted by the Palestinian Authority and its president, which claimed that 99% of the cards in the region were in the hands of the United States has fallen, and the American mediator can be put aside, on the shelf, and turning the confrontation with Netanyahu's government and the occupation, into a direct confrontation, in which there is a unity of the Palestinian street, and its forces on the field ,a solid political will and a steadfast adherence to the national rights based on the Palestinian national project.

Moatasem Hamadeh is a member of the Political Bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by: Rawan Al-Bash
Revised by: Ibrahim Motlaq

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