Monday, April 12, 2010

A new political option for confronting Israel

Hasan Abu Nimah, The Electronic Intifada,
"Neither war, nor an intifada -- in the sense of a violent Palestinian response to Israel's unrelenting violent aggression -- are the only alternatives. Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, recognized by foreign powers as the head of the Palestinian Authority, has constantly expressed strong opposition to any armed resistance against the occupier, and has frequently condemned and ridiculed resistance. And, after ignoring them for years, Abbas and his colleagues have lately started to endorse and even associate themselves with the nonviolent struggle of Palestinians in the West Bank, which are always met with Israeli aggression and brutality.

This however is not the only kind of nonviolence I see as a possible alternative: there is also a political option. It is important to recognize first that all efforts to settle the century-old conflict caused by the Zionist invasion of Palestine have failed because they were unjust, arbitrary, distant from legality, and did nothing to right fundamental wrongs.

A new political strategy would involve recognizing this basic shortcoming and demand a return to legality, in effect a return to the days before the 1991 Madrid Conference which launched the past two decades of futile "negotiations" and accelerated Israeli colonization.

The Arab States, including the Palestinians, could demand full implementation of Security Council Resolution 242 in the same manner as it was implemented on the Egyptian side leading to the total evacuation of all the Egyptian occupied territories including the removal of all illegally-built settlements on Egyptian soil. This significant precedent should apply to Syria's occupied lands as well.

All the dubious formulas of Oslo, the Quartet, the Roadmap, Annapolis and the many other understandings should be dropped. The two-state solution should be dropped, too. Once the occupation ends and the Palestinians recover their territory they have the right then to establish their state on it independently from any Israeli or other foreign intervention. A Palestinian state on part of their historic homeland is not an Israeli gift. It is a right Palestinians alone can decide to exercise, if they so choose."

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