June 4, 2014
The formation of a new Palestinian government means nothing, even if it is a "national reconciliation government", if a national programme based on equity (and not the division of "incomplete authority" between Fatah and Hamas) is not adopted. It is also very important for the government not to become a national consensus government based on security coordination that serves the interests of the Israeli occupation. Such concerns are justified after President Mahmoud Abbas declared that security coordination with Israel is "sacred", stripping reconciliation and the end of negotiations of any national or political significance. If security coordination is sacred, we no longer possess any sanctities or degree of holiness.
The Palestinian people do not need governments and authorities that are mere formalities; they need a national authority which remembers that it is on the trail of national liberation, rather than a phase of ministries, buildings, cars, bodyguards or photo-opportunities with influential figures from all over the world that achieve nothing but personal satisfaction and self-deception.
Nobody believes that the Palestinian government will be transformed overnight into a revolutionary movement. At the very least, though, the unity of the national factions should not be used as an excuse to add patriotism to the security cooperation serving the occupation's interests. I say this out of respect for the martyrs and their families.
Yes, there is a need for a unified and united leadership, but it must be a leadership that adopts a national programme that is not concerned with false sovereign appearances, while Israeli bulldozers confiscate more land, eating into the people's freedom, land and the air that they breathe. There is no need for a leadership that does not lead but tries to prove its good intentions to the Israeli occupier.
Ultimately, despite all the threats made by Israel against the Palestinian Authority and against the formation of a reconciliation government with Hamas, the matter of security coordination must not become a foundation for Palestinian unity, as if it were part of the national programme, without which the reconciliation will not be achieved.
It is clear that continued security coordination is the most important requirement for US approval, or at the very least, to test the new government, as it is not afraid to impact on the Palestinians' refusal to return to negotiations and instead form a government based on the most sensitive issue. Therefore, it is important for the decision not to return to negotiations to be a part of a new vision, and we are not sure if the PA is able to do this, or even wants to do this. This must be done in order for the new vision to remain established and to avoid it from becoming an empty vessel, and in order to reject any settlement that dictates the liquidation of Palestinian rights.
We cannot disregard the importance of not returning to the negotiating table, and more importantly, sticking to this decision, but this is not enough, because a decision like this does not take into consideration tactical strategies, as the Americans will not stop pressuring the Palestinians and the Israelis will continue their plan of eliminating Palestine and the Palestinians.
We fear that the PA, and all of its components, may be waiting for the next American step, or for Israel to budge and become less inflexible, if only a little. It may be waiting and hoping for differences between Israel and the US that might serve Palestinian interests.
Washington's reaction to the Palestinian decision not to return to negotiations suggests that it did not decide to punish the PA, despite calls to blame it for the failure of the negotiations and to cut off aid.
However, we must understand Washington's position in its correct context: the continued discussions between the Secretary of State and Mahmoud Abbas are not for the sake of understanding Palestinian objections, but to avoid a third Palestinian Intifada and a repeat of the scenario that followed the failure of the Camp David talks. On the one hand, the Americans and the Israelis are interested in the Palestinians adhering to security coordination in order to restrict them and undermine the foundations of the national resistance. On the other hand, Washington does not want Benjamin Netanyahu to be provocative, as Ariel Sharon was when he went into Al-Aqsa Mosque with heavily armed troops, which will spark a new uprising.
So, refusing to resume negotiations while continuing to uphold security coordination is not considered a resistance position; instead, it serves the Israeli-American agenda, which views this as humiliating cooperation that preserves the security of Israel and its freedom to violate the security of the Palestinians. This is seen by the US and Israel as necessary to rein in the PA and the Palestinians.
The most dangerous and ugliest scenario would be Fatah and Hamas competing, through the PA, to implement security arrangements that will silence and oppress internal dissent and resistance, not necessarily to please Israel, but in order to remain in power. Regardless of the situation, the result will be the same and Israel will benefit.
Translated from Al Araby Al Jadid 3 June, 2104