The failure of the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations in 2000 triggered the second Intifada against the Israeli occupation, but the failure in 2007 will most likely trigger violence by Palestinians against Palestinians.
By Hasan Afif El-Hasan
Special to PalestineChronicle.com
"......Most likely nothing will be achieved by the negotiations that will follow the conference. The question is what will happen when (not if) the negotiations fail to produce an agreement or an agreement will be reached but, like many others before, it will not be implemented. Such a failure will sweep away any justification for Abbas political platform that rests on the US and Israel’s goodwill to produce a just settlement for his people.
Then, the honorable course of action for Abbas and his governing elites is to apologize to the Palestinians, declare failure and resign, but such action will not happen because of two reasons. First, relinquishing power, even if there is no real power, by resigning from office is not a tradition in the Arab countries. Some Palestinians will urge Abbas to resign but many others, whose personal fortunes are dependent on keeping him in office, will council him otherwise, and he certainly will not resign. If the corrupt and incompetent architects of Oslo fiasco never surrendered power when the Palestinian People in the occupied land rejected them in the last legislation elections, they will never give up the spoils of power and resign if they fail to negotiate a just peace for the Palestinians.
Second and most important, Israel and the US will never abandon their man, Abbas, and his team because they will not find better Palestinians to serve their interests. Abbas is needed to continue the fight against the Palestinian resistance that may threaten Israel’s security and he is the most likely to eventually accept peace on Israel’s terms. The Palestinian Authority under Abbas and Fayyad including its security apparatus has become an agency of Israel and the US, suppressing the right of resistance against occupation.
Given the tax money which Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinians and some financial and material aid from the US, Abbas can deliver the West Bank elite beneficiaries of his regime and the middle class government employees who are dependent on their salaries to provide for their families livelihood. The support of the middle class is essential for the survival of any regime in any country. As for the political opposition in the West Bank, his security forces can be equipped and trained to control it in cooperation with the Israeli military, but the opposition will not lie down without a fight especially since his regime loses legitimacy after its failure to produce a settlement.
The failure of the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations in 2000 triggered the second Intifada against the Israeli occupation, but the failure in 2007 will most likely trigger violence by Palestinians against Palestinians, a re-run of their in-fighting during the 1936-39 revolt against the British. The civil war in 1936 led to the abeyance of the national movement and the triumph of Zionism in 1948, but a civil war in 2007 will seal the fate of the Palestinians’ national cause and the completion of the Zionist colonialists’ project."