Sunday, July 22, 2007

Time for a New Palestinian Liberation Movement

By Tony Sayegh

Let’s face it, the Palestinians are at a major decision point and the reality today is not what it was just a month ago. The forces amassed against them are preparing a major push to liquidate Palestinian rights, once and for all. There is nothing new in seeing the U.S., the E.U., the U.N. and the puppet Arab regimes conspiring for a final solution. What is new is the formation of a Vichy, collaborationist “government” that is working openly with the occupier to formalize this liquidation of Palestinian rights. It is true that the main quislings in this open collaboration are old faces who have been preparing for this day for sometime. What is new is their emergence in the open as a tool of the occupation, with no apologies or shame. Some of the collaboration used to take place quietly, behind closed doors, and if found out, used to be denied; no more. When the “old man” Arafat was around, this vermin did not dare to go this far in their collaboration and treason, and that is why they conspired with the Mossad to poison him.

What is to be observed is that the Vichy forces of Abbas and Fayyad are not just collaborating with USrael in occupied Palestine. They are now solidly a part of the hegemonic U.S. axis in the region, which primarily revolves around Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE, the so-called Arab quartet. After Siniora in Lebanon, Abbas is the latest addition to this kennel.

Therefore, it was not a surprise to read a week ago that Fatah’s representative in Lebanon was urging the Palestinians in the refugee camps in Lebanon to fight with the Siniora army, the same army which was still shelling and destroying their refugee camp in Nahr El-Bared after expelling 35,000 Palestinian refugees. If we put the events in Nahr El-Bared in perspective, we realize that the USraeli goal is to amass forces in Lebanon to fight Hizbullah and to Iraqize Lebanon by spreading the same creative destruction that Iraq enjoys today to Lebanon. Abbas’ assigned role is to be on the side of Siniora and to join the fight against Hizbullah. After all, the Arab quartet was cheering for Israel last summer hoping that Israel would vanquish Hizbullah. It is no secret that the goal of eliminating Hizbullah as the most effective Arab fighting force has not been abandoned, and this time Abbas wants to join the fight against the Lebanese resistance just as he is fighting the Palestinian resistance.

There is a bigger plan being contemplated to settle Palestinian refugees in surrounding countries, using Arab oil money, since the right of return will be forfeited by Abbas and his “government.” Part of the price of settlement in Lebanon is that the Palestinians fight for the U.S. stooge, Siniora. Credible news from Lebanon indicate that the destroyed Nahr El-Bared will not be rebuilt; is this the prototype for other Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon? Is Fath Al-Islam or another “Islamic” group created by Siniora and Hariri getting ready to repeat the same scenario of Nahr El-Bared in other camps as a prelude for their destruction in the coming civil war? All these are distinct possibilities. The important thing to keep in mind is that Abbas and what is happening in Lebanon are elements in a much bigger picture to engineer a “new” Middle East.

Given this background and the seriousness of the Palestinian condition, it is not adequate for the Palestinian organizations (primarily Hamas) that are determined to oppose this liquidation of Palestinian rights and continue with the resistance to just keep repeating calls for Abbas for dialog. What dialog, and for what purpose? It is a disservice to all Palestinians to keep pretending that nothing has changed. I was one of the people who wrote against the so-called unity government. I opposed it and said that it would not last. Of course I did not have a crystal ball, but the contradictions involved were too many and were impossible to overcome.

The problem which is facing Hamas is that it came to political power using free elections, but by a vehicle which was intended to end the resistance and to liquidate the rights, namely Oslo. The PA and its structures, such as the Legislative Council, were not meant to lead a liberation movement; they were meant to bless the end of resistance and to sign on the dotted line formalizing the final liquidation of the cause. In fact one of the first acts of the first PLC was to vote for the amendment of the original Palestinian charter, recognizing Israel’s “right to exist” before our right to exist, and our right of return were recognized.

This, in a nutshell, is what is happening in Gaza and the West Bank: in Gaza the forces of resistance are determined to keep the resistance going, while in the West Bank, the Palestinian Karzai is proceeding with his sellout. If the PLC does not give Karzai what he wants, then he will use his old geriatric cronies from the central council of the PLO to give the sellout a fig leaf of “legitimacy.”

The time has come to end the PA charade; it is all in the open now. Oslo and its PA offspring have produced enormous damage to the Palestinians and now have brought us to the edge of a final and bigger Nakba. What is needed is for Hamas and other resistance groups to call for the formation of a new liberation movement that replaces the defunct PLO. This approach is imperative now and should replace talk of “reforming” the old PLO. You can’t reform traitors who have put their cards on the table.

The new liberation movement should jettison all remnants of the PA and the old PLO. It should isolate the Vichy government in the Green Zone in Ramallah and keep it under pressure, even fight it. All talk of new elections should be ignored. If elections are announced by the traitors in Ramallah, then resistance to these illegal elections should be swift and unwavering. Resistance to the occupation of Iraq is a better model for the Palestinian resistance, with the leadership of Hamas, to follow.

Having a new and broad liberation movement should allow all patriotic forces to be a part of it, in particular those patriotic and honest elements within Fatah who now find themselves as orphans after their movement has been co-opted by the traitors from within.

An important task of this new movement is to encompass and give voice to the millions of Palestinians in the Diaspora. The fragmentation and the sense of hopelessness and loss which most of these Palestinians have felt since the formation of the PA has to end. The PA was intended for the Palestinians under occupation, but the Palestinians need something bigger and more encompassing. The plot is to end the right of return and make the Palestinian question a question of settling “the refugees.” We need a structure to represent all Palestinians and to carry on with the fight for the right of return.

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