The Only Hope: A Palestinian Gandhian Revolution
By: Gulamhusein A. Abba
From what has appeared so far in the media and on blogs, it appears that all that the Palestinian leadership intends to do in September is approach the UN for recognition of a Palestinian State with 1967 borders and give it full membership. Such recognition and membership, important though they are, are at best purely symbolic. In and by themselves, they cannot advance the cause of the Palestinian people, much less end Israel's illegal occupation. Nor, judging from past performance, can one expect much from the UN.
First, it must be understood that the Oslo agreement was a big mistake. The signing of it by Arafat was an act of a desperate man trying to end his exile, return to Palestine and recapture his leadership which was fast slipping into the hands of those carrying on the Intifada from within Palestine. More than anything else, this millstone round the neck of the Palestinian people needs to be removed and thrown out.
The current Fatah leadership is more intent on retaining the privileges granted to them by the Israelis (like going unhindered through checkpoints with VIP cards, getting a monopoly to import essential goods --like Dahlan importing gas _ and being able to travel around the world without any hindrance) and the US and some other Western countries (sumptuous and ego boosting State receptions and financial aid) than in obtaining for the Palestinians their just demands.
Any strategy that envisages negotiations with Israel or US will yield nothing. Such negotiations are a waste of time and serve only to provide an opportunity to the Israelis to confiscate more Palestinian land and expand Israeli settlements.
If the PA is really serious about pressing the cause of the Palestinians, it should, instead of merely seeking recognition and membership of the UN, announce its rescinding of the Oslo agreement and throw the whole question in the lap of the UN, insisting that the UN live up to its responsibilities and get Israel to vacate its illegal occupation in its entirety and faithfully carry out its duties as a member of the UN.
The PA should urge all the member states of the UN to hold Israel accountable and boycott it, divest from it and impose sanctions on it till it confirms to internationally accepted and agreed upon rules of conduct by civilized nations.
More likely than not, judging from past history, neither asking the UN to take any action against Israel nor asking member state for BDS support will receive the desired response, but, they will be on record and show up the hypocrisy of those who do not respond.
Internally, the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank and in Gaza need to bury their differences, put aside personal ambitions and agendas, and present a united front, creating a truly unified and representative party representing all the Palestinians.
The Palestinian leaders, instead of depending on support from outside, should go to their people, identify themselves with their people and draw strength from them. Unless they do this they will, sooner or later, meet the fate of Hosni Mubarak.
Those Palestinians who seem to have fallen into a stupor and come to accept their subjugation in return for a loaf of bread from Israel need to stir themselves up, and, all Palestinians, irrespective of their faith and ethnic divisions, must unite to launch massive, non-violent civil disobedience.
At the same time, those able to do so should step up lobbying, PR work, using the social net-works and making available to the media resources to cover what is being done in Palestine and get their word out. Once the common people of the world come to know the true facts, there will be a swell of support for the Palestinians. Already many from countries all over the world are beginning to be supportive of the Palestinians and critical of Israel. These include Jews in Israel itself and those living outside. Even Zionists of long standing are speaking out against the actions of the Israeli leaders.