Thursday, September 6, 2007
There are Palestinian intellectuals who do not deal with the Palestinian refugees from the viewpoint of the Israelis, but their views have not and will not be recognized by the PA leadership and the West pro-Israel policy makers.
A Very Good Article
By Hasan Afif El-Hasan
Special to PalestineChronicle.com
"......Joseph Massad, a realist himself, observed that pragmatism in the Palestinian intellectuals discourse “is one wherein everything Israel accepts is pragmatic”. It should not come as a surprise that Mr. Khouri was co-recipient of the pro-Israeli Pax Christi International Peace Award for his efforts to bring peace and reconciliation to the Middle East. What peace! US pro-Israeli organizations do anything they can to recruit and promote the careers of Palestinian intellectuals, such as Rami Khoury, who are willing to support the Israeli strategic goals. They are given generous grants for research, chairs in high education institutions, memberships in US sponsored fact finding committees, invitation to participate in conferences and of course peace awards. They are “invited to the Brookings Institution and become regulars on US televisions”. Yassir Arafat received the Nobel Prize for peace for squandering the gains of the first Intifada by signing the ill-fated Oslo Accords.
There are Palestinian intellectuals who do not deal with the Palestinian refugees from the viewpoint of the Israelis, but their views have not and will not be recognized by the PA leadership and the West pro-Israel policy makers. They have been sidelined, ignored by the West and fiercely attacked by the self-proclaimed pragmatist supporters of Oslo fiasco for speaking their minds since 1993. They were described as “anachronisms relegated to the dustbin of history”. Driven by desires to be accepted by Israel and the West, Arafat intellectual compradors referred to those who opposed Oslo as people imprisoned in miserable past.
It is ironic that books of Edward Said, a realist and a critic of Oslo, have been banned only in the Palestinian territory under the PA control but not in Israel proper or anywhere else in the world. And all PA administration since 1993 upheld the ban. Shouldn’t the self-proclaimed pragmatic intellectuals come back and apologize to Said today even in his memory since he had been proved to be right all the way and they have been dead wrong? I don’t think they will because they have sold their souls with their intellectual potential and identity to the enemy of the Palestinian cause. Very few have recognized the gaffs of Oslo agreements and bailed out, but none of the major players and supporters. Rashid Khalidi, a strong advocate of the refugees’ right of return, was one of those involved in Madrid process but opted out soon after realizing that Oslo agreement was a scam.
Salman Abu Sitta, a realist Palestinian intellectual is another voice, but it will not be registered on the political radars of the West because he has not surrendered his intellect to protect the Israeli interests. On the refugees’ issue, he does not agree that the right of return for the Palestinian refugees should be tied to what is practical from the viewpoint of the Israelis at the expense of the Palestinians. From his perspective, the return of the refugees to their lands is “practical and feasible”. He has a plan to implement it. And he supports his argument with documents on the Palestinian land in Israel proper that had been confiscated by Israel and the depopulated villages. Abu Sitta work should inspire the young refugee leaders to skip the empty slogans of the PA leaders and be very suspicious of solutions offered by the Palestinian comprador intellectuals associated with the West.
The refugees constitute seventy percent of the Palestinians and there will be no peace unless their issue is resolved. They should not give the comprador intellectuals a mandate to compromise their absolute and inalienable right of return to their homes and property in Israel proper. And they should insist on receiving full compensation for losses and damages that had been incurred.
The refugees have lost all previous rounds with Israel but they cannot afford to lose the final one. This time around, if they lose because they trusted the self-proclaimed pragmatist intellectuals to decide their fait, they should blame none but themselves."