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Hawatmeh Reveals to the Public Opinion the National Plan to Defeat "Trump's vision"
March 11, 2020

Nayef Hawatmeh, Secretary General of Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, interviewed by Al-Hourriah Magazine:

* What is your plan to Defeat the "Deal of the Century"?

** We were the first to warn on danger of this "deal" and we rejected the name of "deal of the century" because it was based on dynamiting the international resolutions and laws established during the XX and XXI century to resolve the Palestinian question by guaranteeing the elementary legitimate rights of our people. For this reason we demand that it be called by its real name: "Trump-Netanyahu deal", since it is a joint project between the new US government, headed by the Republican Trump, and the Israeli extreme right-wing coalition government, headed by Netanyahu; In addition, in his 181-page project in English, which he calls the "Trump vision", he repeats this name ten times on each page and makes no mention of the "deal of the century".

Our reading of the "deal" is that it is based on dynamiting laws and international law resolutions and pretend to perpetuate the occupation, colonial settlement and injustice that this reality produced against the rights of our people, as a permanent solution to the Palestinian issue, by liquidating our legitimate rights, creating the Greater Israel, in which heart there are a group of enclosed ghettos and bantustans surrounded by settlement, on scattered parts of the West Bank, falsely called "the Palestinian state", devoid of all signs of sovereignty, and subjected in all spheres of life to the complete control and domination of the occupation. A solution based on racial discrimination, fascism, the humiliation of the Palestinian people, and insulting its national and personal dignity, in exchange for ridiculous inducements of a few million (or even billions) of dollars, a price for the homeland, land, freedom, independence, and national dignity. This is all our people have fought against for more than a hundred years, offering hundreds of thousands of martyrs and wounded, suffering torture and oppression, tyranny, hunger, cold, thirst, dispossession and tears. And therefore it is not willing to enter into this deal and being part of it, because it is a deal to liquidate the cause and the rights of our Palestinian people and to eliminate its presence on the homeland.

If Balfour made his promise to the Zionist movement of a Jewish national homeland in Palestine as "a land without a people", then Trump and Netanyahu are making efforts to transform our people into a "people without a land". We called, early, for not to bet on the "acceptable solution" that comes from this deal, and we called early to get out of the fruitless bets policy: the policy of betting on Oslo after more than a quarter of a century of failed negotiations, which provided everything to the occupation and, failure after failure, our people were afflicted by disasters; the policy of betting on the resumption of bilateral negotiations under the sole American patronage, which was declared bankrupt by the former Secretary of State John Kerry in April 2016, after Netanyahu refused to accept the requires of the negotiations, as were designed by the United States itself, which demand a partial, not total, freeze of settlements; policy of betting on the role of the Quartet (United States, Russian Federation, European Union, Secretary-General of the United Nations) in March 2003, that entered into clinical death after the United States marginalized it, excluded, and disrupted any role in sponsoring of the political process; and last, but not least, the policy of betting that the solution will be in the hands of Trump and his deal.

Now, what does Trump offer for us?

It offers us a solution, that in fact, it is not a peaceful solution, but rather a declaration of war, launched by the United States administration, against our people and their rights, alongside the Israeli occupation. A "solution" based on erasing Jerusalem, erasing the right of return, legalizing settlements, annexing the land, judaizing it, and accepting, in return, an autonomous administrative authority over parts of the West Bank, on a map of a dismembered geography, separated by settlements, bypass roads, military checkpoints, tunnels and bridges, and which was despoiled of its rich and fertile land and its Palestinian sovereignty; the sovereignty over land, security and crossings are in the hands of the Israeli occupation, and its boundaries are drawn by the occupation at it whim under the "Trump-Netanyahu vision" plan, fully subjected to the power of fascist racist occupation par excellence. Large numbers of Palestinians work in the service of the Israeli economy, and under Israeli hegemony, which erases their Palestinian culture and national history, and instead cultivate surrender, fallacy, deception, subordination, deadly despair, and loss of hope for any Palestinian national future. In other words, in West Bank the situation is far worse than the situation of our people on occupied areas in 1948 where they hold at least Israeli citizenship, citizenship rights, although it is a distorted citizenship subjected to racial discrimination (the law of nationality and the right to self-determination is for Jews only). What we have in West Bank is much less than this. Crowd of people confined in populations called cities or towns, surrounded by the occupation army, subjected to arbitrary and malicious procedures, in exchange for "peace" that eliminates the Palestinian presence, and dismantles the Arab and international isolation of Israel and insets it into the region, it reinforces its position and even opens the door for its dominance over the region, benefiting from the unlimited support and bias provided by the American administrations (arms, money, politics).

What is our response and what is our plan?

Our response is simply to stick to the Gradual Program (the National Program), the program of return, self-determination and independent state.

As for our plan to transform our program into struggle tasks, in the national ranks, among the masses, in national institutions, in the territories occupied in 1967, and 1948, and in the regions of the diaspora and refuge, we have already presented it in more than one occasion to the Palestinian national movement and the Arab liberation movement, and to our friends in the international community, and we fought and are still fighting to achieve it. We did not live a single moment in a political vacuum, but we were always at the center of the battle on more than one axis, these axes constitute a response to the Trump-Netanyahu deal (which is now "Trump-Netanyahu's vision") as presented to public opinion at the conference, which was held by the duo, on the east wing of the White House, on 28 January 2020.

- At the domestic national level:

1) We work and fight to rectify and correct relations between the factions of the PLO, based on coalition, constituted on the principles of national partnership, as an alternative to the policy of individualism and exclusivity, exclusion and marginalization, and to back to ethic of the national coalition and its respect for the national partnership, wherewith is reinforced the concept of national unity.

2) Reestablishing the Executive Committee of the PLO coalition, and rearming and activating the bodies that enhance their link with the mass movement, and the fields of political and diplomatic work, such as the Political Department, Department of Refugee and Cultural Affairs, Education and Information, and the popular organizations.

3) Reform the Administrative Council of the National Fund in PLO as a national fund for our people, whose function is to provide finance for PLO institutions, their factions and organizations, in accordance with decisions made by the National Council, obligatory for the Executive Committee, to reinforce the resistance of our people, their organizations, unions, associations, parties and political forces.

4) Moving towards ending the division and restoring internal unity on democratic basis, through general elections, for the presidency of the Authority, and for the Legislative Council (of the Palestinian Authority) and the National Council (of the PLO), according to the proportional representation system, with a minimum of 1 Percent, as agreed at national level and enshrined in a binding electoral law; that the National Council holds elections for its new executive committee and their parliamentary committees, it enables the unification of our people, in the institution, the program and the rights, which reinforces the representative position of the PLO, as the sole and legitimate representative of our people, general framework for all factions of national action, the institutions of civil society, and its political currents in different directions, under the roof of the Gradual Program, the program of the national consensus, the return, the self-determination and the independence.

National unity based on firm, democratic, institutional, and programmatic foundations, in accordance with the values, concepts, and principles of the coalition and national partnership at this stage, the stage of national liberation, as an alternative to the monopoly, exclusivity, marginalization and exclusion, is the obligatory passage to ensure victory in the battle to defeat the "Trump vision" and fortify the Palestinian home, the national movement, the popular movement, and provide guarantees to cover the gaps where infiltrate attempts to manipulate the internal Palestinian situation, create divisions in their ranks and turn their national cause into a mere instrument for regional wars and conflicts, our people are thrown on it at the expense of their cause and their national rights, which is their top priority, there is no other priority above it.

- On the political level:

Our program is based on the steps that remove us from Oslo and their agreements and free us from their restrictions and obligations, with the interest of working and fighting for the tasks of the National Program, also reaffirmed in the decisions of the PLO Central Council on 5/3/2015, these decisions as well as their development were also reaffirmed in the decisions of the National Council on 4/30/2018, which details are as follows:

1) Officially announcing the suspension of the Oslo Accords and the Paris Economic Protocol, and reporting it by official notes to the occupying state, and international and regional organizations such as United Nations, League of Arab States, International Criminal Court, International Court of Justice, and the World Council for Human Rights, among others.

2) Taking away the recognition of the occupying state (Israel) until it recognizes the completely independent and sovereign Palestinian state with its capital Jerusalem, on the borders prior to June 4, 1967; and completely stopping colonial settlement, pursuant to Security Council Resolution 2334, on late December 2016, adopted at unanimity.

3) Stopping completely the security coordination with the occupation authorities, in all fields, in all forms, and giving order to Palestinian security services to protect our people against the aggressive actions of the occupation forces and the hordes of settlers.

4) Starting the implementation of the economic disengagement plan from the occupying state, as drawn up by the Study Committees appointed by the Executive Committee, in one of which participated the current Palestinian Authority' Prime Minister, Muhammad Shtayyeh, author of the proposal to stop using the Israeli shekel, in the context of the economic boycott against Israel.

5) Stopping security coordination with the CIA, practiced under pretext to combat terrorism, at the same time as United States describes the PLO as a terrorist organization, and it closed its office in Washington. We are a progressive and revolutionary national liberation movement, essentially. It is shameful to cooperate with an intelligence agency whose main task is to plan to sabotage peoples and their progressive, democratic, and national liberation forces, and our friendly forces in the world.

6) Extending the jurisdiction of Palestinian courts over the entire occupied territory since 1967, and prosecuting all members from the occupation forces and their settler hordes who violate Palestinian laws, and chasing them through Interpol and through the International Criminal Court.

7) Retrieving the population registry and land registry from the Civil Administration of the occupation authorities, to reaffirm the sovereignty of the Palestinian Authority and sovereignty of PLO and the Palestinian people, over themselves and over their land.

8) Bringing before the International Criminal Court the crimes of occupation, settlement, siege to Gaza, mass arrests, cold-blooded street killing, and all violations of international law provisions, and following up on their processes until Israeli war criminals appear before the court and receive their fair punishment for crimes they have committed against our people in violation of international law and international humanitarian law.

9) Requesting the full membership of the State of Palestine in the United Nations, based on Resolution 67/19 (November 2012) of the General Assembly, which granted it observer membership and recognized it as state under occupation, with its capital Jerusalem, on the borders prior to June 4, 1967, and solving the refugee case in accordance with Resolution 194 which guarantees them the right to return to the homes and properties from which they have been expelled since 1948.

10) Requesting international protection for our people against occupation and against colonization.

11) Submitting to the United Nations a request to hold an international conference to resolve the Palestinian national issue, in accordance with the relevant law provisions, and within a specific time period, with binding decisions and results, to ensure our people break free from occupation and colonization, and achieve an independent and fully sovereign state with its capital Jerusalem on the borders prior to 5 June, 1967, and resolving the Palestinian refugee issue under the Resolution 194, which guarantees them the right to return to the homes and properties from which they have been expelled since 1948.

12) On the basis of all this, and at the forefront of all this, the popular resistance in all forms against the occupation and colonization moved towards a widespread Intifada in the occupied Palestinian territories, that leads to a widespread national disobedience, until the occupation and colonization carry their sticks and withdraw from every inch of our land occupied since June 5, 1967.

- As for the wide national level:

We call for a wide national conference, which brings together representatives of our people in the occupied territories in 1948, in the occupied territories in 1967, and in the exile and emigration, to unify the Palestinian national struggle program, to guarantee the unity of our people and the unity of its national rights according to political, legal, party and other specificities, under the banner of PLO, our sole and legitimate representative, to confront the single enemy, the Israeli occupation and colonization.

- As for the fate of the Palestinian Authority:

We, confirm our refusal to dissolve the Palestinian Authority. We are in favor of the national decision on 28/2020, taken in the Palestinian leadership meeting, to amend its functions from an authority shackled by the Oslo Accords to an authority committed to implementing the National Program, on the ground, in the economic, security, services, and other aspects, so as to provide our people with the components of strength, steadfastness, and stability in the fight of independence it is carrying out, under the banner of the gradual program (the national program) of the PLO coalition, on a democratic electoral unified basis .

* How do you read the Arab position?

** ‘’Trump's vision’’ marches on two roads: the first is regional and the second is Palestinian-Israeli. We presented our plan and our combative program to confront that "vision" on the Palestinian national road.

On the regional track, the goal of the plan is to establish a regional Arab-Israeli-American alliance for the imperialist domination of the region under the pretext of combating terrorism, encircling the nuclear program and the political expansion of Iran, source of terrorism and its main supporter, according to Trump's equations.

It is not a secret that the regional road advanced over the Palestinian national road, in the openness of some Arab regimes towards Israel, such as Bahrain, Qatar, Amman, and finally the meeting between the President of the Sovereign Council of Sudan, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, and the Prime Minister of the occupation government, Netanyahu.

We call on Arab states and regimes to abide (as a minimum) what the Arab Summit decided in Beirut (2002) and in Amman, Riyadh and Tunisia, which renewed their commitment to the Arab Peace Initiative, which subjected the relationship with Israel to its complete withdrawal from every inch of the occupied Arab land in the June, 1967 Aggression (Gaza, the West Bank, in the heart of which is Jerusalem, the Golan Heights in Syria, the Shebaa Farms and the Kafr Shuba hills in Lebanon), and also calls for commitment to the decision to cut diplomatic ties with countries that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and those that moves its embassy to it, and to continue to support the Palestinian cause on the ground (financially and economically in light of Israeli siege), in international forums, and in the struggle of our people for its full right to self-determination, independence and return.

* What are the challenges the new reality poses to the conflict with the Israeli enemy?

** The new reality of the conflict with the Israeli enemy is unprecedented. We are now facing a situation in which the American position agrees with the Israeli position. Rather, the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is ahead of the occupation government in its extremism against the interests and rights of our people. At the same time, we are in front of an Israeli position in which the right-wing coincides with the extreme-right, with the center-right, and even with the center, in the project to annex the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea and to implement what brought in the "Trump's vision". Consequently, the margin of maneuver in front of the Palestinian national situation is limited, and the margin of bets in front of it is also limited. What imposes us, as Palestinians, recovering, as an imperative, from which there is no escape, our internal unity for ending the division and building the partnership and national unity, and to restore the principle that affirms that the Palestinian participation is the decisive in the battle, and that the battle on the ground is the way that lead to triumph of the rights, and impose to put aside all other bets.

The more we unite, and the more we adhere to the unalterable solid position, and the more we stand firmly, more we achieve to encourage Arab and international support for our cause: in the Arab popular movement, and in many Arab capitals, especially in the Maghreb countries where the signs of national and nationalist renaissance do not need confirmation, and we also succeed in attracting honest international support in Russia, China, and others. The events and debates taking place now in the European Union confirm that the general trend of the Union countries is to abide by the resolutions of international law, which guarantee us our right to break free from occupation and colonization. We see in the statements made by Josep Borrell, the representative of the Union foreign policy, the commitment of the «Union» with international law and we see his refusal to “Trump vision” as a positive prospect. We also see a positive prospect at the Union’s warnings to Israel in case it begins to annex the settlements and about the recognition to state of Palestine, and the positive attitude of 107 Democrats Members of the US Congress, against the "Trump vision" plan and with the two-state solution based on international law and United Nations resolutions. This, of course, is what was harvested as a result of the resistance of our people, their solidity, their struggles and precious sacrifices.

* What is the horizon regarding the relations with the United States?

** We do not see the United States as a connected, unified block. Rather, we look it as a mobile political entity, which combines senior administration, parties, trends, forces, and community activities. The better we are able to read the picture and the map, better we are able to draw the right policy across more than one axis.

Regarding the US administration, we must to tear down any bets on the possibility of change its stance, unless it trips with a Palestinian stance, solid unalterable and outside any betting on the possibility of intersection with "Trump's vision."

As for Congress, we are watching the conflict in its ranks between Republicans and Democrats, in universities and political intellectual currents, and we want the Palestinian, and Arab, diplomacy to know how to deal with this conflict.

On the street level in the United States, there are our Palestinian and Arab communities in many American states and cities, and friend forces, which together constitute the spearhead of the national struggle there, to unveil the truths of American policy, and to unmask the falsehood of the claims of the Zionist lobby.

That means, we are in a complex battle with the United States, not fought in a single language nor with a single tool, but need more than one language, and multiple tools and this depends on the vivacity of Palestinian, Arab and international diplomacy, it depends on the vivacity of Palestinian communities and on the vivacity of the national action factions, in how they interact with these communities. At this point, we call for the review of the status of the Department of Expatriate Affairs, which was pulled out from the Executive Committee in PLO and was sent to other sector, which prevented it from being part of the Palestinian strategic policy, and turned it into a party tool of single color, at the service of the domination and exclusivity policy, at the expense of the Palestinian communities unity and their will of independence in building their positions in a democratic manner that serves their local interests and serves the supreme national interest for the rights of the people of Palestine to self-determination, freedom and independence, and the rights of Arab peoples to progress, democracy, the state of right under the rule of law and social justice.


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