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.
Haider Eid says the rise of the BDS movement, the eruption of the Great March of Return, and the outpouring of demonstrations against Israel are in complete contradiction to the Palestinian leadership who still hold up the Oslo peace process and the two state solution at Palestinian’s ultimate goal. Eid says there is a strong need for an alternative program that makes the De-Osloization of Palestine its first priority.
Young Palestinians from the “Oslo generation” say that the compromises of the peace process were unfair ones. Oslo “normalized the occupation in every way,” says Yasmin Abu Shakdim, 22. While Meras al-Azza, 25, says, “They gave up all of our land against the will of the Palestinian people.”