Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Time for New Palestinian Political Strategy

By Dr. Elias Akleh
Palestine Chronicle

"Palestinians had long lost confidence in their Palestinian Authority as their representative, who was supposed to defend their rights and work to achieve their statehood. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, was imposed on the Palestinians in the 2005 election when the Israeli forces had arrested and restricted the movements of other Palestinian candidates and his campaign was given 94% of TV coverage. Although his presidency had expired in January of 2009 he is still, illegally and unconstitutionally, occupying his position. Polls had shown that his popularity is very low.....

There is a consensus that the path of peace negotiations has miserably failed and would never yield peace, yet members of the Palestinian negotiating team insist on negotiating because it secures their positions. Arab leaders support negotiations in the hope of containing the Arab/Israeli conflict in Palestine only. Israel wants negotiations to extract more political concessions. The US calls for negotiations in order to appear as an honest peace broker while at the same time guarantees Israeli military superiority in the region. The losers are Palestinians themselves; negotiations had harmed their cause; they have lost more land and more rights.

There is a dire need for an immediate new more assertive Palestinian political strategy. There is an urgent need for a new more effective Palestinian election, involving not only Palestinians under Israeli occupation, but also Palestinians in all Palestinian refugee camps and in exile, to choose a more representing political body, who would sincerely and assertively fight for the Palestinian rights on the international arena. The 17 years old Palestinian negotiating team with its futile negotiate-only mindset needs to be dismantled and be replaced with another team who is ready to negotiate only after Israel withdraws back to 1967 borders. .....

Further, and most important, the legitimate armed resistance to Israeli occupation must be re-introduced alongside the political struggle as an indispensable method for liberation. Aggressive armed resistance to the Israeli occupation is the only deterrent Palestinians have to stop Israeli expansion. The Egyptian October 1973 War liberating Suez Canal and Hezbollah’s liberation of south Lebanon in 2000 serve as good examples for the saying “what was stolen by force could not be regained except by force”. "

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