The “State of Palestine” between liquidating the cause and continuing the struggle

In the face of the current catastrophe that exceeds the 1948 Nakba in awfulness, atrocity, lethality, destruction and displacement, the “Palestinian Authority” (PA) has come up from Ramallah with an initiative deemed to offset the suffering that the people of Palestine has been enduring, namely a renewed application to the United Nations Security Council to recognize Ramallah’s PA as a member state of the international organization on the same footing as other member states. By Gilbert Achcar.

 

The Palestinian condition has deteriorated to worse than anything it has known in more than 75 years of suffering and oppression, ever since the Zionist movement seized most of the land of Palestine between the river and the sea and completed its occupation of what remained less than twenty years later. In the face of the current catastrophe that exceeds the 1948 Nakba in awfulness, atrocity, lethality, destruction and displacement, the “Palestinian Authority” (PA) has come up from Ramallah with an initiative deemed to offset the suffering that the people of Palestine has been enduring, namely a renewed application to the United Nations Security Council to recognize Ramallah’s PA as a member state of the international organization on the same footing as other member states.

Cheer up, people of Palestine. Your enormous hardship has not been in vain. Rather, it is about to produce a great step on the way to a “solution” of your cause, that same “solution” (here in the sense of liquidation) about which Joe Biden – the Zionist government’s partner in the genocidal war currently waged on the land of Palestine – asserted, from the very first days of the frenzied campaign launched more than six months ago, that it has become urgent in order to extinguish the Palestinian volcano that has continued to erupt inevitably and intermittently, but at an accelerating pace in recent years. The truth is that Biden, upon his return to the White House as president, primarily looked for an easy “achievement” in Middle Eastern politics by seeking to get the Saudi kingdom to board the train of “normalization with Israel”, which his predecessor, Donald Trump, had put on a new track with the Abraham Accords achieved with the complicity of the United Arab Emirates.

Biden realized that trying to advance the so-called “two-state solution” would bring him to a confrontation with his “dear friend” Benjamin Netanyahu. He chose to avoid that for opportunistic reasons and because of his passion for Zionism, to which he once openly declared his personal dedication. His administration’s efforts thus focused on the “normalization” track, neglecting the “solution” track until the volcano exploded again with the operation launched by Hamas and Israel’s ensuing war of annihilation, unparalleled in madness and intensity of destruction for at least half a century, not only in the Middle East but in the whole world. The “solution” (liquidation) thus came back to the table, and the U.S. president called for the “revitalization” of the Ramallah PA. The latter soon complied, interpreting the request as it suits it, not as a replacement through democratic elections of its aging head, who lacks any legitimacy, but rather as a replacement of its prime minister with another with less political ambition, in a way that did not fool anyone.

The PA was thus emboldened to officially demand to be granted an ordinary member seat at the UN, instead of the only decision that could have redeemed it before history, which was to declare civil disobedience to Israel of their “authority”, which is devoid of authority except in serving the occupation’s goals and which is helplessly watching not only as Gaza is annihilated, but also as the West Bank itself is witnessing a creeping genocide. Were they unable to end their relations with the Zionist state, it would have been better for them to announce the dissolution of their “authority” instead of continuing to participate in the liquidation of their people’s cause. For, if they are now closer to obtaining the desired seat than ever before, it is not because of their diplomatic prowess, but only because granting the “State of Palestine” full membership at the UN has become the cheapest way for Western governments to pretend to somewhat offset their unconditional support for the ongoing genocidal war, which has lasted too long and worsened in ugliness, up to the current war of starvation.

Britain itself, through its Foreign Minister and former Prime Minister, announced its willingness to consider recognizing the PA’s “state”, while other European countries, including Spain followed by France, have begun to prepare for similar recognition. It is worth noting that the same British government that expresses its openness to this recognition, rejects the call issued by official and unofficial British legal experts to stop supplying weapons to the State of Israel, as this constitutes a violation of international law in sharing the responsibility for a war violating the most basic rules of that law with regard to the conduct of wars. It has therefore become certain that the endeavour to grant the PA a regular seat at the UN will not be blocked by a French or British veto, so that the only outstanding question that remains is what the U.S. administration will do. It was the first to call for the establishment of a “Palestinian state”, but it does not want to fully break its relationship with Netanyahu, or for that matter with most of the Zionist establishment, which opposes such a move. It also fears that its stance may enhance Netanyahu’s position by showing him as a stubborn defender of the Zionist interest in the face of all pressure, including that of the big brother and partner in crime. The Biden administration may hence resort once again to abstention under some pretext, with utter cowardice.

As for the outcome, it will be like the mountain that gave birth to a mouse, because granting “Palestine” (that is, approximately ten percent of its historical territory) an ordinary seat at the UN is really but a mouse, compared to the huge mountain of ordeal that the people of Palestine has endured and is still enduring. What value is there indeed for a statelet based on fragmented territories under the complete control of the Zionist state, such that its purported sovereignty would be of a kind that would make it envy the Bantustans created in the past by the apartheid regime in South Africa?

The only progress that could be achieved by an international recognition of the State of Palestine is if this state’s first declaration following its recognition included an insistence on an immediate cessation of the ongoing aggression, a call to impose reparations on the Zionist state for the crimes it has committed, a demand that all Palestinian detainees be released, and that all Zionist armed forces and settlers be withdrawn from all the territories occupied in 1967, including Arab Jerusalem. This should be combined with a call to the international community to enable the return of all Palestinian refugees who wish to return, and their accommodation in the settlements after the evacuation of the Zionist settlers, just as the Zionist pioneers settled in the Palestinian cities and villages that they seized following the 1948 Nakba after emptying them of their original residents. Only such a position could make of an international recognition of the State of Palestine a milestone in the long-term struggle against Zionism, instead of being a step towards liquidating the Palestinian cause.

Translated from the Arabic original published in Al-Quds al-Arabi on 9 April 2024.

Source >> Gilbert Achcar’s blog


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Gilbert Achcar’s newest book is The New Cold War: The United States, Russia and Ukraine, from Kosovo to Ukraine (2023).

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