Friday, January 4, 2013

Mordechai Kedar: Palestinians For Dissolution of the PA



by
Mordechai Kedar

Read the article in Italiano (translated by Yehudit Weisz, edited by Angelo Pezzana)
Occasionally a journalist must show his readers a disturbing, difficult and complex picture, so that they will not be surprised when reality hits them in the face. It is not my intention to spread anti-Israeli propaganda, but rather to illustrate the prevailing mood that confronts us, for this is the task that I am entrusted with and this is the responsibility that rests on my shoulders.

Several days ago, Mahmoud Abbas, head of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority, announced that if negotiations with Israel are not renewed in a way that will lead the Palestinian people toward their goal, he will invite Netanyahu to Ramallah, he "will lay the keys on the table” and dissolve the PA. This announcement, which was given to the newspaper “Haaretz”, was supposed to shock Israel to its foundations, but that is not what happened: the Israeli public – which is preoccupied with upcoming elections – did not go berserk as a result, and the announcement was left hanging in the air.

But the Palestinian public is not indifferent to events, and in recent weeks we have seen an increase in public disturbances in Judea and Samaria. The Arabs who are residents of the disputed territories take Abu Mazen’s announcement in various ways: some fear an outbreak of violent acts that will harm not only Israel but them as well; some fear that dissolution of the PA might cause an economic downturn, but there are some who wish for the dissolution of the PA and not because of Zionist motives. We bring the words of one of these, Ahmed Muhsin, who, after Abbas’s announcement about dissolving the PA, published the following article, entitled “Since the PA is meaningless, dissolve it if you can and leave us be!!” 

The article, written by Muhsin (my comments in parenthesis, M.K.):


Western media have publicized Abbas’s announcement and called it “Earth-shattering News”, thus revealing how the West regards the PA. We have no intention of analyzing the announcements, their meaning or their timing (the Israeli pre-election season) but only to raise questions that we have heard from the various shades and sectors of the general public. The people are convinced that the PA is not the seed from which a Palestinian state will sprout.  Those who designed it and brought it here have promised us (so that the masses will applaud them and we will believe in it) that it will bring us peace that will turn us into Singapore in Palestine. The PA is a bitter experiment for which the Palestinian people have paid a high price, as we see today and as the martyr Abu Amar (Yasir Arafat) remarked in his last days. The result, which we witness and live each and every moment in the occupied territories, is a rapid growth of settlements, the building of the racist separation wall, the Judaization of Jerusalem and the land, a rise in the number of captives and prisoners, security collaboration with the occupiers, dependency of our people on the hook of salaries that the PA pays, to the point where we beg our enemies to pay us what we have earned and beg for crumbs at the doors of donors, who pay and give grants – and nothing comes for free – in addition to the results of the Oslo Accords and the establishment of the PA, which caused the shameful split (between the PLO and Hamas). So where is the threat in dissolving the PA when it is [directed/ toward the occupation and especially to Netanyahu? Must we wait until the outcome of the elections in the occupying country with its militaristic society? Must we wait also for the results of the elections in the United States in order to formulate]] our policy each time anew?

Is the slogan “The PA is a national achievement” true or false? Are those right who claim that the PA is not a Palestinian entity, and that’s why it serves its resignation to its masters (the Israelis)? Is it logical that an entity that is on such a (high) level as the PA, a state with observer status at the UN, should present its resignation to the occupation and call for the occupation to return and its army invade Palestinian land? Is Abu Mazen the only one who has the authority to take the decision to dissolve the PA? Where are the Palestinian institutions, who are interested in the subject? The PLO? The Fatah Movement? The various Palestinian offshoots? Was the issue presented to them and were they consulted on the matter of dissolution of the PA? Or perhaps we belong to the third world and have become a one-man organization, a one-man political entity where all governmental authorities are held by one man?

Was the goal of Abu Mazen’s threat to dissolve the PA and hand over the keys of the West Bank to the Israeli occupation, just another attempt to drag Israel into negotiations by pressuring Israel and the United States; will he give up the condition that settlement activity must be stopped before returning to negotiations? If this is true, can the problem of Palestine endure another twenty years, treading a path with no possibility of arriving at a solution?

Does Abu Mazen have the authority to decide to dissolve the PA? Can such a decision be reached by Palestinians alone (without the involvement of higher bodies such as the Arab League and the UN)? Why – after all of the marching in place – is there no decision to confront the arrogant occupation and call for (violent) resistance as the martyr Yasir Arafat did, may Allah have mercy on him? Is Abu Mazen serious in the threat to dissolve the PA? Or perhaps it is just another empty threat, like previous threats which were not carried out? Does Abu Mazen hear the voices of nationalist demands to return to the situation that preceded the Oslo Accords and its consequences, to escalate the (violent) resistance and to place the responsibility on the occupation, especially in light of the deteriorating situation in the occupied Palestinian territories?

Will Abu Mazen carry out the threat to dissolve the PA? Or perhaps he will respond to the pressure of special-interest groups who stand to gain from the continuation of the PA, are these the topics that provide meaningless descriptions for the hallucinatory analysts of the situation? These people produce declarations] that weaken our determination; they are bullies of surrender, supporters of the (Zionist) lie who defend it at any price, under the illusory signs and slogans that have no connection to reality beyond their own narrow interests.

Is the threat to dissolve the PA the admission of the Oslo architects of its utter failure? Will a power vacuum reign in the occupied territories after the dissolution of the PA? (This is the most concerning situation of all, because then the Arab society in Judea and Samaria might deteriorate into violent internal conflicts, as is currently happening in Syria.) Will the resistance (Hamas) fill this void? (What will the situation be between Hamas and the PLO) after the reorganization of the PLO and activation of its institutions, as it continues to grapple with the occupation until liberation, the return (of the refugees into Israeli territory), the achievement of freedom and independence?

Dissolve it! O Abu Mazen if you could only do that!!! Turn your threat into reality!!! Translate it into deeds!!! Enough already with empty talk and wasting time, because the PA has become meaningless and it doesn’t even have control of its own decisions. It is a mere hired hand, or contractor for the occupation, and there will not be a power vacuum after the dissolution, since the heroic arms of the resistance will be there to deal with the occupation and sweep it off to hell!!!”


This concludes the article, which, in my opinion, reflects the mood of many. In the past seven years, since the second intifada was put down, many have forgotten its horrors and severe consequences, and many youths – who were only children then – have today become “shabab” who lead the resistance against Israel. There is in this situation a generational struggle, between the elders who seek a solution and the youth, who see solution as surrender.

They see in the media what has happened in the past two years in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen and Syria as well. The images are not heartwarming, the suffering presented by the media is great, blood is spilled in the streets of the Middle East, but the man in the street has the feeling of “yes, we can!!” To bring the desired change will also require our blood. Will this feeling be enough to draw the masses into the streets resulting in terror attacks if Abu Mazen carries out his threat? Time will tell.

If so, then we will regret that we did not solve the problem by means of the “Palestinian Emirates” solution, which we have described on this honorable platform in the past.

If so, then we will regret that we did not solve the problem by means of the “Palestinian Emirates” solution, which we have described on this honorable platform in the past.


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Dr. Kedar is available for lectures


Dr. Mordechai Kedar
(Mordechai.Kedar@biu.ac.il) is an Israeli scholar of Arabic and Islam, a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University and the director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. He specializes in Islamic ideology and movements, the political discourse of Arab countries, the Arabic mass media, and the Syrian domestic arena.

Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav with permission from the author.


Additional articles by Dr. Kedar

Source: The article is published in the framework of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. Also published in Makor Rishon, a Hebrew weekly newspaper.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the author.

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