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What after the American Delegation Visit?
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
September 9, 2017

We may add nothing, if we say that the Palestinian leadership with its political project is having a new crisis, which its features have become clear after three developments:

* The first: is the victory, achieved by the Palestinian people, in Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa Intifada, against Netanyahu's government, proved that the Palestinian situation can cause cumulative defeats in the face of occupation, if it adopts the policy of confrontation and provides its necessities. The Aqsa victory showed the strength of Palestinian street and the weakness of official policy in its bets on the Oslo project.

* The second: is the emptiness of the US delegation's pouch (to Ramallah) from any plans or proposals except planting illusions, and exerting pressure on the official leadership to stop all political and diplomatic moves, on the international level, and to resort to a deadly waiting policy, until Trump's administration can manage to devote itself to the Middle East issue, as it is busy with other international files right now.

These calls for waiting , have no signs that indicate that the US administration could offer a solution outside the Trump project for a "regional solution", i.e. the normalization of Arab-Israeli relations, in preparation for a solution to the Palestinian issue, that does not reach to the minimum legitimate national rights of Palestinian people, including the right of self-determination and the establishment of its independent national state with East Jerusalem as its capital on June 4th 1967, and the right of refugees to return to their homes and property according to Resolution 194.

* The third: is the failure of official leadership to invite the "old" National Council to an urgent meeting in Ramallah, before going to the General Assembly of the United Nations; and the national consensus that was shown in the Beirut consultations, which its titles were assured in the Executive Committee statement (12/8) and they stressed on the importance to hold a new national council, not only in its structure but also in its policies that re-evaluate the Palestinian national program, and abort the Oslo project, its commitments and obligations, and the Paris Economic Protocol which harms the national interests of Palestinian people.

These three developments, confirmed that the crisis experienced by the Palestinian leadership, is caused by its adherence to the Oslo project, with all its obligations towards the Israeli side, at the expense of the legitimate national rights of the people. It is also due to its involvement with some Arab parties that are responsive to American policies, and its willingness to listen to them. Last but not least, the reason for this crisis, is its procrastination in the implementation of what is agreed upon nationally, whether in the Executive Committee of PLO, its Central Council, the Preparatory Committee of Palestinian National Council or in the recent statement of Executive Committee, on August 12, 2017, as an expression about the national consensus on the overall issues of the Palestinian national file.

Once again, it is necessary to say that the adoption of the current policy is only a good way for causing great losses to the Palestinian cause and rights.

This current policy has affected the official position of Palestinian Authority, weakened its influence among the Palestinian public, and lowered its popularity at the street.

This was confirmed by polls, conducted in the Palestinian areas by survey centers, and it was also confirmed by the angry cheers of the victorious uprising in Jerusalem and Aqsa.

It should also be said, that this policy will further weaken more and more the position of Palestinian institutions and the Palestinian society's appreciation for them. Especially since most of the Palestinian street is now considering the bet on current policies, as a failure, and calling for the need to substitute them with new alternative policies, provided by the unified national program.

There is no need to say that the call for the convention of an old Palestinian National Council was met by the street with great derision, because the street has lost its confidence in old formulas and wants to renew the institution and its program.

Thus, the official leadership has to decide between two choices: the option of adhering to US policy, and the continuation of the state of weakness in the Palestinian institution, in addition to the decline of street's confidence with it, or the option to return to the national program, which it has overturned on it on September 13th 1993, and substituted it with Oslo Accords. The National Program, which has been revived in the documents of Palestinian national consensus, (Cairo Conference, National Accord 2006, Central Council 2015, Executive Committee12/8/2017), which have been suspended by the official leadership.

What is not reassuring, in the midst of this debate, is that some official statements do not hide the continuation of their bet on the US role, such as saying, for example, that the American delegation pledged to present its vision of the solution within a period not exceeding four months. While the statements of the White House confirm the exact opposite, and categorically deny that the delegation has made a similar commitment.

This means that the commitment to the American option is still prevailing in the Palestinian leadership circles, and that the bet on the American role, is still the existing one. Although many statements that come from here and there, by members of the Palestinian kitchen (who has set itself up as an alternative to the legitimate bodies) also the advisors of this kitchen, and the promoters of its policies, do not stop criticizing the policy of the Israeli government, and accusing it of blowing up the foundations of solution, that they are betting on, which reveals the extent of contradiction in the positions of official leadership, and reveals the extent of weakness that controls the thinking of official leadership, and the magnitude of the crisis experienced by the policy adopted by the Palestinian official leadership.

The victory of the Intifada of Jerusalem and the Aqsa brought us valuable lessons, that the national duty is pushing us to learn and hold:

• The imbalance in power between us and the occupation can be overcome by organizing and mobilizing the street and by resorting to the comprehensive popular resistance.

• We can always impose the Palestinian cause on the agenda of Arab situation, both the popular and official, and get the official Arab situation support, if we follow the path of Intifada and the popular resistance against occupation and settlement.

• We can attract the global support, from on all continents of the world, if we raise our case again, from a negotiating issue to a cause of people's struggle for its right in life and national dignity.

This is the way, as the Executive Committee has decided (12/8), to redefine the relationship with Israel as a colonial occupation and settlement and an act of daily aggression against our people and our land, as the struggle against occupation, colonization and aggression, considered as a legitimate action through resistance and popular uprising.

• We can also neutralize the American role, as it was in the Al Quds and Al Aqsa Intifada.

• Last but not least, we can force Netanyahu to step back step by step, till achieving the national rights.

• Again, the resistance and the intifada are the way.

• Once again, there is no way out of the political crisis except through the program of action in the field and through the internationalization of the issue and rights.

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

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