Palestinian leadership bears responsibility for accumulated diplomatic failures. The public’s confidence cannot be restored without serious intervention, including dissolving the Palestinian Authority and reforming the PLO.
The UAE and other Arab states making peace with Israel have backed Palestinian rights. With nothing to show for it. Ever since Oslo, Israeli leaders have fought creation of a Palestinian state. In the Labor Party, it was liberal Zionist hero Shimon Peres “who most vehemently opposed the idea,” Shlomo Ben-Ami recalled.
Fifteen years ago Israel left its settlements in Gaza, and Gazans dreamed that the end of military checkpoints to protect Jewish settlers and bulldozed citrus groves and barriers to the Mediterranean Sea meant an end of occupation. What a savage illusion that was, though Emad Moussa recalls the dreams of that day.
The Israeli government’s goal is clear: establish an apartheid regime through annexing parts of the West Bank, and liquidate the Palestinian cause all together. Haidar Eid discusses what Palestinian political strategy should be in this moment.
The latest Israeli military order allows forces to seize funds in Palestinian banks. The political motivation behind this “legal” hogwash is the Israeli desire to punish the Palestinian leadership for refusing to stop making welfare payments to those Palestinians who were, or continue to be, detained in Israeli prisons—political prisoners,—in addition to welfare payments made to families of martyrs. It is important to note that nearly one million Palestinians have gone through the Israeli prison system since the start of Israeli military occupation in 1967.
Seeds of Peace and the Tami Steinmetz Center at Tel Aviv University were both created in the early 90s to further the Oslo vision. Now the Steinmetz center has closed and Seeds of Peace is in crisis, with a former camp director calling for resistance against “oppression.”
Twenty-five years ago James Zogby led the Clinton White House effort to build economic growth for the Palestinians as part of Oslo accords. He says the project failed –as the Bahrain economic conference organized by the Trump administration will — because Palestinians never gained the political freedom, including an end to occupation, that is a prerequisite to business growth.
“The two state solution is dead. Palestinians have to move on and press for equal rights in a unitary state. That will take a generation, if not longer, but I see no alternative.” Ed Abington once negotiated the Oslo accords for the State Department. Now he sees denial of visa to Hanan Ashrawi as landmark event.
Haidar Eid responds to Palestinian criticism of Gaza’s Great March of Return which says the protests have not been worth it: “these intellectuals’ assimilation of the (neo)liberal mentality, makes them look down upon the culture of resistance as useless, futile and hopeless. This defeatist ideology fails to appreciate people power or even to see that it exists. They are defeated because they want to fight the battle on Israel’s terms-through the adoption of an Israel-Hamas dichotomy, rather than apartheid Israel vs. the Palestinian people.”
On Monday, Israel doubled the area where Palestinians can fish in the Mediterranean Sea off of the Gaza Strip as part of Egyptian brokered talks with Hamas. The distance fisherman can operate in was extended from 6 nautical miles at the narrowest sea corridor, to 15 nautical miles at the widest. Yet Gaza fisherman say the relaxed restriction has no impact.