Monday, 4 March. 2024
Your Key to Palestine
The Palestinian Initiatives for The Promotoion of Global Dialogue and Democracy

In today’s news, Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch made some pretty serious accusations. Apparently, he says the Palestinian Authority is stoking the flames of violence in the Palestinian territories ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit to the region on March 20. That’s a strange accusation given President Mahmoud Abbas’ recent statements about keeping the protests peaceful and not allowing Israel to drag the Palestinians into a cycle of violence, something which Israel obviously wants.

Also in today’s news was another quirky piece of information. Apparently, an Israeli judge set precedent by ordering the PA to pay compensation in the amount of NIS1.5 million to the family of a Bezeq employee who was killed by a 15-year old Palestinian boy back in 2003. The story goes roughly like this: The Bezeq employee was in Baqa Al Gharbiyeh, a Palestinian village straddling the Green Line. Just across the border is Baqa Al Sharqiyeh, in the West Bank. On the fateful day, the Bezeq employee, named Amos, was sitting in his car, his security guard gone off to a nearby store, when the Palestinian boy crossed over from Baqa Al Sharqiyeh, brandished a gun and shot at the car three times, killing Amos. Now, after years of lawsuits, the judge says the PA [along with Bezeq] is responsible for the death in that it did not prevent it. It also said the boy had gone to a military training camp in Jericho and the PA should have anticipated that he may use his new knowledge against Israeli targets.

This is all over and above Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rants about President Abbas not being a ‘man of peace’ because he refuses to return to futile negotiations and the fact that even measly so-called “good-will gestures” towards the Palestinians are being conditioned to a return to negotiations. For the record, the leadership says the rumored ‘gestures’ are actually obligations on Israel according to signed agreements [release of long-serving pre-Oslo prisoners, handover of Area C territories to the PA, etc.] and not gestures at all.

The point of all of this is that the PA and the leadership overall cannot win, so to say, no matter what they do. Israel and the Americans will always, always be breathing down the PA’s neck, keeping them in a stranglehold to prevent it from moving any closer to an independent state. The question is when does this all become too much? When does the PA and the leadership realize that nothing good will ever come of trying to work within the perimeters of American and Israeli standards? History has proven that this unholy alliance is futile. The PA must be exhausted of this balancing act between keeping face with its people and trying to keep the funds flowing from donors that have no qualms with pressuring and blackmailing the Palestinians; and all the while Israel is given a free hand to continue oppressing the Palestinian people and taking their land.

Perhaps it is time to overcome the fear. The Palestinians have been put on the defensive for long enough, which is bizarre given the justness of their cause. The occupier plays victim and the victim is painted as terrorist. Such upside down worlds usually only occur in fairytales.

No one can deny that the Palestinian leadership is between a rock and a hard place. Having signed the Oslo Accords and accepting them as the path for peace, it built a golden cage of sorts around itself. Basking in the early euphoria of the return of the PLO and creating a ‘government’ did not hide the fact that the yellow brick road full of promise has ultimately led to nowhere. Meanwhile, the Palestinians have been shackled and bound by these agreements that it erroneously thought would lead them to freedom and independence and are held up to them at every turn.

Signed agreements are no longer a valid argument, as long at the implementation is one-sided and the slander against the PA and the leadership continues unabated. Let us set all of these unhelpful considerations aside and think of how we can finally reach the goal we all want: for Palestine to be free.

Joharah Baker is a Writer for the Media and Information Department at the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH). She can be contacted at mid@miftah.org.

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