The statement below was issued today at a protest in Beirut outside the Palestinian embassy. It follows an interview Mahmoud Abbas gave to Israeli television where he said he has no right to live on the land he was displaced from inside Israel. This was understood by many as a rejection of the Palestinian right of return. The protest is yet another sign of the crumbling edifice of the Oslo Accords and the centrality of the right of return to Palestinians and Palestinian political discourse.
Palestinian Youth Statement from Lebanon
In his latest statement, Mahmoud Abbas, the term-expired president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), reiterated the PA’s commitment to the futile negotiations process and compromised Palestinian historical rights, foremost among them the Right of Return (RoR).
A protester holding a poster of the Palestinian cartoon character
Handala kicking Mahmoud Abbas. Handala was created by the
artist Naji Al-Ali and represents Palestinian refugees. The poster
says, “Whoever doesn’t want to fight for liberation should get the
hell out.” (Photo: Facebook)
Abbas’ recognition of the Zionist entity is a blatant violation of our right to Palestine, undivided, and our right to return to it. Such statements are an insult to the sacrifices of our martyrs and the struggle of our people. Furthermore, his characterization of armed struggle as terrorism flagrantly undermines our right to practice to all forms of resistance, particularly under occupation, which is a right enshrined in international law.
We confirm our commitment to the original spirit of the Palestinian National Charter, and we reiterate that our people’s sacrifices of martyrdom and struggle should be solely invested toward the goal of liberating all of Palestine.
We are here today to demand the revocation of the Oslo Accords; the abandonment of the negotiations discourse; and the dissolution of the Palestinian authorities, which have burdened our people with internal divisions along political factions and political arrests.
We are here today to reassert our reclamation of all of historic Palestine, and to reiterate that we are the daughters and sons of this land.
We demand that the leadership of the PLO:
1. Hold Mahmoud Abbas accountable for his statements that are detrimental to the national spirit among Palestinian people worldwide;
2. Pressure Abbas to issue a public apology to all Palestinians, and Palestinian refugees in particular;
3. Reaffirm the Right of Return;
4. Immediately halt all processes of security coordination with the Zionist entity and cut off all channels of political, security and media cooperation;
5. Immediately release all Palestinian political prisoners and activists currently held in the prisons of both Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza;
6. Seek unity and take meaningful steps towards ending the Palestinian political division;
7. Immediately set in motion a process for electing a new Palestinian National Council involving all Palestinians worldwide;
8. Revive and reactivate the PLO, constructing a Palestinian National strategy that upholds the original spirit of the Palestinian Charter and guides the struggle of all Palestinian political groups;
9. Hold accountable any party that compromises historically enshrined Palestinian rights, creating internal divisions.
Together on the path of victory, return and self determination