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When Lieberman Admits
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
August 3, 2018

While Benjamin Netanyahu boasts of his rockets, planes, and iron fist, his war minister, and his partner in the far right coalition, Avigdor Lieberman, admits that his army has lost the ability to deter Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. As he has warned them once, then again and again, to stop the kites, the burning balloons, and the marches of return and breaking the siege, and launched an aggression on the Strip once again, targeting civilians before the military and children and parks where they play before the military positions of the army wings of resistance. He also threatened once again to wage a new invasion against the Strip, and to assassinate Palestinian leaders, but without any result. As kites are still flying, burning balloons are still falling on the surrounding of “Gaza” settlements, and the marches of return and breaking the siege are still continuing with determination, raising national slogans, taken from the developments of the Palestinian situation. This is what makes the Gaza Strip, and at the core of the Palestinian, Arab and international political movement, in different political contexts.

This is not the first time Israelis have admitted the loss of their ability to deter Palestinians. In the first major national intifada, Yitzhak Rabin, the chief of staff of the Israeli army, admitted that he had no military solution to stop the intifada, as he tried murder, tear gas, mass arrests, breaking bones, and all forms of repression, violence and oppression, but he did not succeed, and saw his army rot in the streets and alleys of the West Bank cities and Gaza Strip and its camps. Not only his army lost its deterrent power, but it also lost its military discipline, and shifted from an army fighting on the fronts to mere police chasing the demonstrators from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Therefore, he called on his political leadership to save the Israeli army by searching a political solution to the intifada. So, Israel used its secret and well-known friends and succeeded in dragging the Palestinian leadership into the predicament of the Oslo Accords at the expense of the popular intifada, which retreated after losing the “national unity” cover that was shattered by the Oslo obligations.

In the second intifada, although Israel invaded the Palestinian territory in 2002 and reoccupied it after it rebelled against it and turned into an armed revolution, but the “solution” was not military, it was political, when the chairman of the Executive Committee, Mahmoud Abbas (before his election as President of the PA) held an understanding with the occupation, leading to the dismantling of Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and then it was legalized (after the election of Abbas as president of the PA) in a truce agreement with Sharon government to stop the fighting against the occupation forces, in order to rearrange the Palestinian home and prepare for the withdrawal of the occupation forces and settlements from the Gaza Strip under the project, the “retrogression” adopted by Sharon before he fell ill.

These are simple examples that clearly and blatantly show that the power of the occupation, however grows, will be unable to deter the Palestinian people's movement in its various manifestations, and any bet, outside this conclusion, will be futile, and lead only to failed results, as Oslo Accords, or Sharm el-Sheikh agreement (2005) between Abbas and Sharon, or the protocol of the Rafah crossing, which has gave Israel the power to impose a siege on the Palestinians even on the common crossing with Egypt.

Does this mean that the Palestinian popular movement lacks the ability to influence on the official political decision, and that its sacrifices always go, in vain?

The facts confirm the exact opposite. One of the most important of these facts is that the Palestinian national institution has often been succumbed to pressure from the popular movement. For example, the PA government's retreat from the Social Security Law which was amended in favor of businessmen at the expense of the popular strata. Also, the submission of the Executive Committee on 22/7/2017 and 12/8/2017 to the pressure of the uprising of Jerusalem and the gates of Al Aqsa, and its declared decision to stop security coordination with the occupation (regardless of the extent of compliance with the decision). As well as the acquiescence of Palestinian Central Council, followed by the Palestinian National Council respectively, on 15/1/ 2018 and 30/4/2018, to the pressure of the Palestinian street, the rage marches in the West Bank, and the marches of return and breaking the siege in the Gaza Strip, and the adoption of binding decisions to disengage from the Oslo Accords, and Paris Protocol, abolish the bilateral negotiations and transfer the national cause to the United Nations and the International Criminal Court. Implementing these decisions would reformulate the Palestinian policy to emerge from Oslo, towards a return to the Palestinian national program.

The dilemma is always in the head of the Palestinian leadership.

• The Oslo Accords were negotiated and formed through the "political kitchen" run by the PLO's leading head behind the bodies, away from street censorship and contrary to its will.

• The decision to dissolve the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and to sign the armistice agreement with Sharon was made without consultation, neither with the Fatah leadership nor with the Palestinian leaderships. Even when the leaders went to Cairo in March 2005 to engage in dialogue, the «political kitchen» had signed the armistice agreement with Sharon.

• The last decisions of the Central and National Councils, are still suspended by a decision of the "political kitchen" (note that the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization is still inactive and has not held a single meeting so far since its election in the National Council on 4/5/2018).

So we are facing a clear political reality:

• A Palestinian raising popular movement that has led the occupation army, with its lethal weapons, to lose its deterrence capability, by creating various methods of struggle.

• An official leadership that does not have the will to stand in front of the pressures. It involves itself in political positions, but it is too weak to implement the decisions of the bodies to confront the occupation.

This means that the Palestinian popular movement has big strides, to be made in putting pressure on the official leadership to abide by the decisions of the bodies and their alternative policies for Oslo.

One of the sure signs of the popular movement success in achieving its goals is that with great sacrifices, it has been able to paralyze the capability of the occupation to deter.

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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