Analysis: President Abbas, if you don't want to fight, negotiate
Published Wednesday 04/07/2012 (updated) 05/07/2012 14:39
I cannot work out an explanation for the state of "no peace, but no war" which has prevailed in Palestine in the last two years.
We Palestinians neither want to fight the Israeli occupation, nor to negotiate with them. We use the term "steadfastness" to describe this stalemate, as if doing nothing at all and remaining motionless has become steadfastness.
Palestinian intellectuals have long criticized the Arab regimes because they neither want to fight Israel, nor accept reconciliation with the occupying country.
For 40 years, we have been suffering fatally on a daily basis under occupation, while Arab TV stations have been slamming Israel in their news, and at the same time resistance fighters were being detained in Arab countries for politically-motivated security reasons.
At that point, late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was fed up and broke the silence by saying that the same Palestinians who fight and carry out military operations will make peace and sign agreements.
Over the past two years, the Palestinian leadership -- including the PLO and Hamas -- have been facing a crisis over what slogan to raise.
Therefore, neither the Palestinian public knows what its leadership is up to, nor does the leadership know what the public wants.
Palestinian leaders restricted themselves to issuing sharply-worded political statements cursing and slamming occupation, and blaming this occupation for as many offenses as they wanted. In the newsroom, we receive statements from Palestinian leaders reading as bizarre sentences as: "So and so condemns the occupation for the murder of children in Rafah."
And it goes on. So and so Palestinian leader condemns the Israeli incursion in Nablus, and another leader holds the occupation responsible for the confiscation of one third of West Bank land. Another leader denounces Israeli attempts to judaize Jerusalem and to break into the al-Aqsa Mosque or carry out excavations under the mosque.
Some leaders even condemned other leaders because they did not condemn the Israel occupation over detaining someone. What good is this? Is this the policy we need in order to free Palestinian prisoners and liberate Jerusalem?
For two years, the Palestinian leadership has refused to negotiate with Israel. They went to the UN seeking recognition of a Palestinian state, but the US fought that bid very firmly, proving that it is the number one enemy when it comes to UN resolutions on the Palestinian people’s rights.
Up until now, the Palestinian leadership still refuses to negotiate with Netanyahu or meet with Israeli leaders, but at the same time they urge the Palestinians to halt resistance activities. So how will this dilemma end?
Seemingly, Israel will eventually take control of the whole West Bank, complete its plans to judaize the Jordan Valley, segregate Gaza once and for all, and the Arab city of Jerusalem will end up a poor neighborhood within the greater Jewish Jerusalem.
Jerusalem will eventually meet the same end as Jaffa, which was once the most important Palestinian city before it became nothing more than a poor neighborhood in Tel Aviv. Despite everything, the Palestinian leadership is still adamant in rejecting both negotiations and resistance.
President Abbas, if you don't want to fight, and you don't want us to fight, go and negotiate so we can see what could happen.
Nasser Laham is the editor-in-chief of Ma'an News Agency.