Palestine elections: A leap into the unknown for Fatah and Hamas

HearstDavid Hearst is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye. He is a commentator and speaker on the region and analyst on Saudi Arabia. He was The Guardian’s foreign leader writer, and was correspondent in Russia, Europe, and Belfast. He joined the Guardian from The Scotsman, where he was education correspondent.

David Hearst

18 February 2021 14:31 UTC

Both parties are going into the elections without an agreed vision for Palestine and a detailed plan for obtaining it

You can tell when elections are being planned in the occupied West Bank. 

This is the fifth time elections across Palestine have been attempted in the past 15 years since they were held in 2006, when Hamas, to everyone’s surprise, not least their own, swept the board. This time President Mahmoud Abbas appears to be serious about holding them.

How can one tell? Because between them his Preventive Security and Israeli forces are arresting anyone who opposes their candidates. The Palestinian Prisoners Club says that 456 civilians were arrested in January in the West Bank and on one night alone in February, 31 Palestinians were rounded up. 

A Palestinian member of Central Elections Commission displays an ID to a colleague as they check the work of the first Voter Information and Registration Centre in Gaza City on 10 February, 2021 (AFP)

A serious escalation

The arrests are politically colour blind. Every faction has been targeted – even those that have not yet been established. For over a year, Israeli forces have been targeting hundreds of young men and women from a left-wing social and political network.

Politically motivated arrests are nothing new in the West Bank. What may surprise some is that the Hamas leadership in Gaza is still pushing ahead with the election plan regardless

They face charges of  “terrorist activity,” “visiting an enemy state” or even vaguer “communicating with foreign agents”. Their interrogators put them in little doubt about why they are being detained . They want fear to spread in the community.  Detention and torture are tools to stop the network before it can grow. Hamas members in the West Bank are threatened they will be next if they dare to stand. 

Khaled al-Hajj, a Hamas leader in Jenin who supported President Abbas’s elections decrees, was arrested last week. Another Hamas member, who had just had surgery for cancer, was severely beaten.

Wasfi Kabha, a former Hamas minister, told MEE: “We are facing a dangerous and serious escalation, not only by the occupation, but also by the security services that belong to the PA. That arrest campaign aims to scare, intimidate and terrorise members of the movement and also those who have sympathy for Hamas. The arrests are meant to influence the election. There are many others that the Israeli forces threaten to arrest if they nominate themselves or take part in the elections.”

Kabha added: “The Palestinian security services severely beat Abdel Nasser Rabbi despite the fact he had suffered from cancer and had surgery a short time ago. Unfortunately, Palestinian security services finish the job of whoever Israel can not manage to arrest.”

Politically motivated arrests are nothing new in the West Bank. What may surprise some is that the Hamas leadership in Gaza is still pushing ahead with the election plan regardless.

A divided Hamas

The interesting question is why? During three rounds of negotiations with Fatah in Beirut and Ankara, the Hamas leadership insisted on holding all three elections for the Legislative Council , the presidency, and the National Council of the PLO simultaneously. This is because they did not trust Abbas to keep his word once he himself had been reelected as president.After 15-year wait, Palestinian elections face new obstacles following law amendments

Hamas also insisted that the PA end its security cooperation with Israel and the arrest campaign in the West Bank. For a while Abbas complied, only to abandon that strategy when it became clear to him last November that Donald Trump was out of office. In subsequent talks in Cairo, Hamas failed to get either demand. 

The other two factions, the Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), both tabled reservations. Islamic Jihad announced it was not running for the elections, but the delegation from Hamas stayed in.

Proponents of the deal with Fatah claim that Hamas were given guarantees that some 38,000 civil servants in Gaza would not only be paid by the PA, but receive permanent tenure. They claim a new election court would be formed to avoid the heavily weighted constitutional court that Abbas created. They also claim Hamas would secure the collaboration of the international community, including renewing relations with the European Union. They also claim that no one could criminalise the resistance.

Opponents of the deal within Hamas say all of these promises are wishful thinking. They point out that the issue of civil servants, which is at least a decade old, has been put off until after the elections. A new election court has not been announced by Abbas and, even if it were to be formed, it could not supplant the existing constitutional court, which remains the highest legal authority in the West Bank. 

Lastly, they say that it is not in Fatah’s power to guarantee international recognition of Hamas, which is still designated as a terrorist organisation by both the US and the EU

This combination of pictures created on 11 January, 2019 shows (L) Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (AFP)
This combination of pictures created on 11 January, 2019 shows (L) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (AFP)

Hamas’s senior leadership is clearly divided. Hamas in Gaza is hemmed in, unable to break out of the prison camp that has become Gaza following the 2006 elections, the attempted coup by Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan, and the split with Fatah. They are fed up with being held responsible for the continuing siege and are desperate to find a way out. Money is also running out. Iran is no longer funding them as before, and there are signs that other foreign backers are pushing them into Fatah’s arms.  Israel’s arrest campaign aims to destroy a new Palestinian movement

But the anger at the crackdown on Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PFLP members in the West Bank is mounting. While there is sympathy over the conditions they face in Gaza, the Hamas leadership, which is now based entirely in the enclave, will face mounting pressure to pull out of elections in which Hamas can only lose. 

No one expects a rerun of the 2006 result.

One measure of the backlash which the leadership in Gaza will face is spelled out in a leaked letter from one of the most prominent Hamas leaders in Israeli prisons. Ibrahim Hamid was a leader of the military wing in the West Bank during the Second Intifada and received one of the harshest terms: 54 concurrent life imprisonment sentences. Hamid called the decision by Hamas’ political bureau to run in the elections “hasty”.

He said the decision had been made independently of the Shura Council, a consultative body that elects Hamas’s politburo, and without the full knowledge of the prisoners’ movement. Ibrahim added that running for the elections would only serve Abbas’s purpose of reviving his legitimacy while curtailing that of Hamas.

In Hamid’s analysis, Hamas is facing a lose/lose scenario: should it win the elections, what is to prevent a repeat of the 2006 scenario, which launched the siege of Gaza and the split with Fatah? Should it lose the elections, would Hamas hand over both the administration and its rockets to Fatah in Gaza?

Even if Abbas kept his word and created a genuinely representative national Palestinian government, and Hamas was allowed to return to parliament and enter the PLO, what would stop Israel from arresting MPs as they do now? 

Fatah’s problems

Fatah is faring no better. Abbas’s drive to refresh his mandate and seek the legitimacy he has lost as one of the architects of Oslo is being threatened by two other Fatah leaders. Abbas has long been aware of the plan which I first revealed in 2016 to replace him with his arch-rival Dahlan.

The plan for a post-Abbas era was hatched by the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Egypt. Since 2016, Egypt and Jordan have not stopped pressuring Abbas to reconcile with Dahlan. The latest message was passed to Abbas when Egypt and Jordan’s heads of intelligence visited Ramallah recently.

The new card in this operation is the man who ran against Abbas and then withdrew his candidacy in the 2005 presidential election, the Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, a leader of the First and Second Intifadas who is in prison on five concurrent life sentences. 

Barghouti remains a consistently popular figure of the resistance. At one point he polled higher than both Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader, for the post of president. In April 2017 Barghouti organised a hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

This time round, Barghouti announced his intention to run for the presidency and the PNC through one of his supporters, Raafat Ilayyan. Ilayyan quoted Barghouti as saying that a united Fatah list “should be open to all including those accused of taking sides and those sacked from the movement”.

A man holds a photo of prominent Palestinian prisoner Marwan Barghouti calling for his release during a rally supporting those detained in Israeli jails after hundreds of them launched a hunger strike, in the West Bank town of Hebron on April 17, 2017
A man holds a photo of prominent Palestinian prisoner Marwan Barghouti calling for his release during a rally on 17 April 2017 (AFP)

This was a clear reference to Dahlan, who lives in exile and has been sentenced in absentia to three years in prison on corruption charges and expelled from the party. Dahlan’s lawyer at the time called the conviction a “cleansing exercise” for Abbas.

Does Fatah want to liberate Palestine from the occupation, or does it want to govern as a surrogate for Israel, whatever conditions it is put under?

After nearly two decades behind bars, Barghouti wants to get out of jail. Is Dahlan, who is Israel’s preferred Palestinian leader, the Fatah leader’s get out of jail card? Barghouti’s announcement ruffled feathers in Fatah. Jibril Rajoub, secretary general of Fatah’s central committee, who led negotiations with Hamas, accused foreign countries of meddling in the Palestinian elections. 

Rajoub told Palestinian TV: “Some messages have been received from some countries trying to interfere in the path of dialogue, including Arab states which rushed [to normalise relations with Israel]. However, Fatah’s position is clear and does not take directions from any foreign capital.” 

In their campaign to position Dahlan as the next Palestinian leader, Egypt, Jordan and UAE are keen to exploit the distrust between Fatah and Hamas. The latest sign of this is the arrival of the first of what will be a large group of Dahlan men in Gaza after many years in exile. This could only have been achieved with the consent of Hamas leaders in Gaza. 

The true winner of the election may, therefore, be a man who does not even stand on the ballot. One way or another, Dahlan is determined to return to Palestine at the expense of both Abbas and Hamas. 

The jockeying for position within Fatah is about power. But aside from this, Fatah has a real problem with its identity and its purpose. Does Fatah want to liberate Palestine from the occupation, or does it want to govern as a surrogate for Israel, whatever conditions it is put under?

Rajoub and Dahlan are sworn enemies only because they are rivals. Neither has a vision for a free Palestine. Abbas momentarily found his voice as a Palestinian leader in pushing back against the normalisation of ties with Israel, which he called a betrayal. But as soon it became clear Trump was on his way out, Abbas tossed his principles out of the window and returned to business as usual both with Washington and Israel.

The real leaders

Who then are the real leaders of this struggle? For this, we should not look to elections but to what is happening on the streets because it is only here that liberation movements are reborn. That was the case when the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat started Fatah and when Hamas became a dominant force in the First Intifada. No one, either in Ramallah or Gaza, is leading or directing events that are now taking place in Palestine.

Israel is playing a delaying game, and unhappily, both Fatah and Hamas leaders are playing into its hands

It has been a long time since there were major demonstrations by Palestinian citizens of Israel. Earlier this month, protests erupted in several towns and villages. The spark this time is the crime rate and the lack of policing. But the Palestinian flags and the slogans tell a different story, one that has not been seen or heard since the First Intifada. 

There are more and more youth initiatives taking root in the West Bank, including the one Israeli forces are so keen to dismantle. There is clearly a new generation of protest underway that is independent of Fatah, Hamas or the now divided Joint List in the Israeli Knesset.

In the diaspora, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) is becoming an international movement. This, too, is independent of any Palestinian leadership. Rudderless, there is every chance that a new Palestinian movement in and outside Palestine will seize control. 

Israel is playing a delaying game, and, unhappily, leaders of both Fatah and Hamas  – one crippled by its decision to recognise Israel, the other imprisoned by it – are playing into its hands. If this continues, the impetus to break the deadlock will come from the streets, as it always has done in the past.

No vision

What a contrast Palestinian leaders make to other liberation movements. When Nelson Mandela walked out of prison on 11 February 1990, he made a speech that resonates to this day. He said the armed struggle would continue until apartheid collapsed. He called on the international community to continue the boycott of the apartheid regime.

Mandela and the ANC showed determination and vision to the end. Both are sadly lacking in Palestine

“The factors which necessitated the armed struggle still exist today. We have no option but to continue. We express the hope that a climate conducive to a negotiated settlement would be created soon so that there may no longer be the need for the armed struggle… To lift sanctions now would be to run the risk of aborting the process towards the complete eradication of apartheid. Our march to freedom is irreversible. We must not allow fear to stand in our way,” Mandela said.

Compare this to what Fatah has done. It signed the Oslo agreement that criminalised the armed struggle and opened the way for Israel to normalise its relations with China, the Soviet Union in its last days, India and many African countries. Oslo gave nothing to the Palestinians. It ended up giving a lot to Israel, culminating in the opening of embassies in Abu Dhabi and Manama. 

The Palestinian Authority created by Oslo became a surrogate of Israeli forces, even when Israel was starving Ramallah of tax revenue collected on its behalf. In Abbas’s own words, the PA provided Israel with “the cheapest occupation in history”.

What did Abbas get in return? Another 600,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. 

Mandela and the African National Congress showed determination and vision to the end. Both are sadly lacking in Palestine. The mice of this struggle are in Ramallah. The lions are on the street – where they have always been.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.David

Related

The US is Duplicitous over Jerusalem, but the PA Stays Silent

February 18, 2021

The city of Jerusalem. (Photo: Ekaterina Vysotina, via Pixabay)

By Ramona Wadi

The Biden administration is adopting a confusing position regarding Jerusalem, signaling a possible effort to square the circle of taking the US back to the fold of international consensus on Palestine and Israel, while maintaining the gifts which former US President Donald Trump handed on a plate to Israel. As usual, Washington is being duplicitous. Also as normal, the PA is staying silent.

In a recent briefing by the US State Department, spokesman Ned Price seemed to contradict the diplomatic position taken by the US under Trump, declaring the issue of Jerusalem to be “a final status issue which will need to be resolved by the parties in the context of direct negotiations.” Such a statement puts the US in line with two-state politics and international consensus.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated clearly that he recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a Trump-era move that ushered in the probability of further annexation. Even more telling was Blinken’s dithering when asked whether the US would support a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem. Playing upon the fact that diplomatic negotiations are stalled, Blinken answered, “What we have to see is for the parties to get together directly and negotiate these so-called final status issues.”

If President Joe Biden is determined to pursue two-state diplomacy within the framework of Trump’s legacy, Palestinians are in for a worse time than they were under his predecessor.

The “deal of the century” was explicit in its determination to strip Palestinians of their political rights. A mix of two-state politics and the deal of the century constitutes a double effort to ensure that the Palestinians are the losers, which will be exacerbated with the Palestinian Authority’s brand of acquiescent politics.

In the absence of a clear policy on Palestine, the PA has given too much importance to Biden’s overtures so far. Restoring relations with the PA is, of course, a necessity, but Mahmoud Abbas has still not spoken about US-Palestinian diplomacy, while Biden has not yet formulated a policy and is still hovering between Trump’s actions and pursuing the two-state paradigm.

So far, the US has stated that it will not move the US Embassy back to Tel Aviv, thus clearly endorsing Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided” capital. The PA has preferred not to mull over this significant strategy.

The restoration of relations and the promise of humanitarian aid have instilled a resolve in Abbas to resort to the usual time-waster of an international peace conference, in which participants will overlook the fact that the US can’t possibly adhere to the two-state paradigm without recognizing that occupied East Jerusalem should serve as the capital of the Palestinian state.

Abbas and the international community are still clinging to the obsolete two-state hypothesis, while the US will abide by international consensus as long as it does not have to completely renege on what Trump achieved. When Trump declared Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital, Abbas called for protests.

What will he do if Biden does not explicitly endorse East Jerusalem as the capital of a State of Palestine? Will Abbas call out the US for its duplicity, or will he continue to stay silent as long as the PA can once again lay claim to a minor presence in the circle of America’s diplomatic relations?

– Ramona Wadi is a staff writer for Middle East Monitor, where this article was originally published. She contributed this article to the Palestine Chronicle.

 Palestine news

Palestinian Resistance running in the New Legislative Elections Simulates Insanity,إستراتيجية فلسطينية واقعية في مقابل انتخابات تحاكي الجنون

**Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

Palestinian Resistance running in the New Legislative Elections Simulates Insanity

عمرو علان - Amro 🇵🇸 (@amrobilal77) | Twitter
* Palestinian writer and Political researcher

Amro Allan

First published in Global Research

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results:” this quote is wrongly attributed to Einstein, but regardless of who said it, this is what best describes the Palestinian resistance participation in the new Palestinian legislative elections. The new elections are being sold as the way for reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. However, the Palestinian division occurred in the light of the results of the 2006 legislative elections, and as a direct result of the contrast between Hamas and Fatah strategies towards the Palestinian cause. 

The strategies of the Palestinian factions have not changed since the previous elections. On the contrary, the Palestinian Authority (which in fact represents Fatah) has become entrenched further with the occupation, and the foreign actors’ stance against the Palestinian resistance has become more rigid. And it is stands to reason that a significant change in at least one of these two factors is a prerequisite to expect different outcome of any new elections 

So, away from the slogans of the reconciliation between Palestinian factions and the accompanied PR campaigns, what does each of the Palestinian factions hope to achieve from these elections?  And more importantly, what is the solution to break the siege imposed on the Palestinian resistance in Gaza?

The Palestinian Authority (PA)

In January 2020, the former U.S. administration announced the ‘deal of the century’; this deal in fact exposed the hidden intention of the successive U.S. administrations. This announcement was preceded by the Zionist Entity revealing its intention to annex the West Bank. Add to this, the ‘Jewish nation-state’  laws which the Zionist Entity passed in 2018 that may lead to transportation of the Palestinians in the 1948 territories out of their homes. After all these developments, Mahmoud Abbas declared Oslo Accords dead and the end of the security coordination with the occupation. With this, a glimmer of hope within the Palestinian factions that the PA had finally benefited from its disastrous experience over the past 30 years has emerged. It was said at the time that it was possible for Fatah to agree with the other Palestinian factions on the basis of civil resistance to the occupation. And a meeting of the Secretaries-Generals of the Palestinian factions was held in Beirut on this basis. However, soon the hope of any change in the performance of the PA evaporated. The PA continued to coordinate fully with the ‘Israelis’ forces in order to thwart any attempt to resist the occupation and continued to suppress any popular movement on the ground, no matter how peaceful it was. The PA relentlessly suppressed Even the peaceful popular demonstration of solidarity with the hunger-striking detainee Maher al-Akhras at the time. Then came the shocking statement of Hussein al-Sheikh, the PA Civil Affairs Minister, when he announced the return of the PA diplomatic relations with ‘Israel’ to how it was, including the security coordination- which in truth never ceased. 

It has become clear to most observers that the PA function has become limited to two tasks: first, collecting financial aid; and second, paving the way (knowingly or unknowingly) for the occupation to accomplish its aims of annexing what little that remains of the West Bank. 

By stifling any form of Palestinian movements, peaceful or otherwise, to resist the occupation’s changing the facts on the ground, the Pa has become de-facto complicit of the occupation. Hence, all PA talk still possessing a Palestinian national project becomes no more than empty rhetoric. Because even he who believes in the negotiations as the only path to attain Palestinian rights does not strip himself of all negotiation leverages as the PA has indeed done. The PA has become a mockery of itself. It now mimics the French government of Vichy or the South Lebanon Army; with the difference that the last two had a project, regardless of our view of their projects, whereas the PA no longer has a task to speak of. These are not labels that can be given lightly or as a matter of populism, nor it is a call for internal fighting which must be avoided at all cost, especially in the presence of the occupation. But this is a description of the current situation that must be taken into account when assessing any future Palestinian strategy.

Thus, it can be reasoned that the goal of Mahmoud Abbas and the PA from the elections is to renew their legitimacy, or more precisely to take allegiance from Hamas and the rest of the Palestinian factions, and then to return to the vortex of what they call peace process and with no horizons in sight, of course. 

Hamas and the Palestinian resistance factions

Hamas and the Palestinian resistance are going through an evident crisis, because of their limited options and their failure to lift the 15-year siege imposed on the Gaza Strip. It can be argued that the origins of the blockade were Hamas’s strategic miscalculations to run in the 2006 legislative elections- which did not secure Hamas any immunity nor protected it as it had hoped. Notwithstanding this argument, the occupation remains the prime source of the blockade. The Zionist Entity is the holder of the blockade keys and no one else. This is the primary fact and must not be ignored when formulating any   strategy to dismantle the blockade.

It is not a secret that Hamas is hoping that running in the upcoming elections will lead to lifting the blockade or at the very least easing it. This presents two assumptions: either Hamas competes against Fatah to win the majority in the legislative elections or runs with Fatah on the same party list. Suppose it is the former, and Hamas wins the election. In that case, Hamas will face a repeat of the 2006 scenario if there is no change in the Palestinian faction’s policies nor any change in the key international players’ stance towards the Palestinian resistance. 

But if Hamas runs in the elections on a party list with Fatah, and it agrees to be a minority in the legislative elections, it will become an opposition party within the Oslo system. At which point, they will be obliged to play according to the Oslo rules. We observe the emergence of two parallel lines on the Palestinian scene- that can never converge. One represents the PA which has become linked to the occupation (and part of it, in reality), and which does not believe in any form of confrontation with the occupation, even a peaceful one; whilst the other believes in Resistance to restore Palestinian rights. As a result, the resistance factions will find themselves facing the same current dilemma. With the difference that this time they will have given to the opposite side new ammunition to use against them. The Palestinian resistance will be required internally and internationally to respect the elections’ results and hand over the Gaza Strip to the PA before any easing of the blockade takes place.  And because the blockade keys are with the occupation, the Palestinian resistance will have to follow the Zionist Entity’s definition of handing over control of the Gaza Strip. And that means the disarmament of the Palestinian resistance and nothing else.

The solution to break the siege on the Palestinian resistance

It must be recognized first that finding a solution to the Gaza crisis is not a simple task, because the blockade is linked first and foremost to the occupation itself and is only one of its   symptoms. Nevertheless, what deserves attention is that the Occupation Entity has allowed a lot of financial aid to the PA in Ramallah and even to the Gaza Strip, whenever the status quo nears the point of collapse in the West Bank or Gaza. This indicates that the Zionist Entity fears an explosion in either of these arenas. For instance, Netanyahu retreated from his decision to announce the West Bank’s annexation fearing the break of a third intifada based on the estimates of his security advisers and nothing else. This casts doubt on the idea that the West Bank    is not ready for a popular movement and a third intifada. It is true that starting a popular movement is not without many obstacles, first of which   is the presence of the PA intelligence services, who are now directly coordinating with the Shin Bet. Nevertheless, is it really possible that the Palestinian factions are short of the means to motivate people and move onto the street if they put their mind to it?

In addition to what has been said, if we put the blockade imposed on the Palestinian resistance in its broader context as part of the economic war imposed on all resistance forces in the region, movements and states alike, the lifting of the siege on Gaza clearly becomes a common interest for all these actors. And this calls for the Palestinian factions to try to formulate a unified strategy with all the resistance forces in the region (i.e. the Axis of Resistance) to lift the blockade. It is, of course, obvious that this requires rounds and rounds of discussion, and that any strategy to break the siege with the support of the Axis of Resistance will be a medium-term strategy, but this remains the more productive option. Engaging in uncalculated adventures such as new elections will only lead to more time-wasting, even according to the most optimistic estimates.

Conclusion

The siege imposed on the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip is a vital component in the overall strategy of the Zionist Entity, and any counter plan to break the siege that does not take in account this fact is bound to fail. Therefore, steps that can change the equations on the ground and the development of a comprehensive national Palestinian strategy are paramount for dismantling the siege. Today the Palestinians have a realistic opportunity to impose withdrawal of the occupation from the 1967 territories through a   third intifada. This would undoubtedly change all the existing equations on the ground. 

What is put forward in this article are only thoughts for deliberation. The formulation of a complete future Palestinian strategy needs the participation of many minds. But what this article has tried to avoid is sugar-coating the reality, simplifying the status quo, and providing solutions that appear attractive on the outside but bear the seeds of their own failure in the inside.

* Palestinian writer and Political researcher

إستراتيجية فلسطينية واقعية في مقابل انتخابات تحاكي الجنون

عمرو علان - Amro 🇵🇸 (@amrobilal77) | Twitter
*كاتب فلسطيني وباحث سياسي

عمرو علان

First published in Arabic in Al-Akhbar Fri 5 Feb 2021

الأخبار الجمعة 5 شباط 2021

«الجنون هو أن تكرّر الفعل نفسه أكثر من مرّة وتتوقّع نتائج مغايرة». يُنسب هذا الاقتباس خطأ إلى آينشتاين، لكن بغضّ النظر عمّن كان قائله الحقيقي، لعلّه أفضل ما يُوَصِّف حالة انتخابات المجلس التشريعي الفلسطيني المزمع إجراؤها قريباً. لقد وقع الانقسام الفلسطيني، أصلاً، على ضوء نتائج انتخابات عام 2006 التشريعية، وكنتيجة لتباين النظرة بشأن الاستراتيجيات بين حركتَي «حماس» و«فتح»، ومنذ ذلك الحين، لم يطرأ أيّ تغيير على الظروف الداخلية الفلسطينية من ناحية المواقف، ولا الرؤى تجاه المشروع الوطني الفلسطيني، ولا الموقفان الخارجيان الدولي والعربي قد تبدّلا بشيء. بل على العكس، زاد انحدار السلطة الفلسطينية وارتباطها بالاحتلال داخلياً، وزاد الموقفان الدولي والعربي نكراناً للحق الفلسطيني وصلفاً تجاه القوى الفلسطينية عموماً، فكيف إذن يمكن توقّع أن تكون نتائج الانتخابات الجديدة أفضل من سابقتها، وأن تؤدّي إلى مصالحة فلسطينية؟ فما الذي يبتغيه، إذن، كلّ طرف من هذه الانتخابات بعيداً عن الشعارات المعلنة وحملات العلاقات العامّة؟ وما هو الحل للخروج من حالتَي المراوحة والتيه الواضحتين في الوضع الفلسطيني؟

السلطة الفلسطينية

مع إعلان الإدارة الأميركية السابقة عن صفقة القرن، هذه الصفقة التي تمثل التوجه الحقيقي للإدارات الأميركية المتعاقبة، وما تلاها من إفصاح الكيان الصهيوني عن مسعاه لضمّ أراضي الضفّة الغربية، ناهيك بسَنّ قوانين يهودية الدولة التي تهدّد أصل وجود فلسطينيّي أراضي الـ48 في ديارهم، ظهر بصيص أمل ولو كان ضئيلاً عن احتمالية كون السلطة قد استفادت من تجربتها الكارثية، خلال الأعوام الثلاثين الماضية، عندما أعلن محمود عباس عدم الالتزام بمخرجات أوسلو ووقف التنسيق الأمني، وقيل حينها إنّه يمكن التوافق بين سائر القوى الفلسطينية على أرضية الحدّ الأدنى في مقاومة الاحتلال على أساس المقاومة الشعبية. وعلى وقْع ذلك، تمّ عقد اجتماع أمناء الفصائل في بيروت، لكن سرعان ما تبدّد الأمل في أي تبدّل ولو كان طفيفاً في أداء السلطة، فقد استمرت السلطة في التعاون الكامل مع قوات الاحتلال بهدف إحباط أيّ محاولة لمقاومة الاحتلال، وتابعت قمع أيّ حراك شعبي على الأرض مهما كان سلمياً، وحتى مجرّد التظاهرة الشعبية السلمية للتضامن مع الأسير المضرب عن الطعام آنذاك، ماهر الأخرس، تمّ قمعها دون هوادة. وتبع ذلك تصريح حسين الشيخ مستهزِئاً بعقول كلّ الشعب الفلسطيني بلا استثناء، عندما أعلن ما أسماه «انتصار الشعب الفلسطيني» وعودة التنسيق الأمني رسمياً (ويا دار ما دخلك شر).

لقد بات جلياً من طريقة تعاطي السلطة الفلسطينية مع الواقع الفلسطيني، أنّ وظيفتها صارت محصورة بأمرين لا ثالث لهما؛ الأول: تحصيل المخصّصات، والآخر: تمهيد الأرضية في الضفة الغربية – بعلم أو بدون علم – كي يُنجِز الاحتلال مشروعه بابتلاع ما بقي من أراضي الضفة عبر منعها لأيّ شكل من أشكال المقاومة أو الحراك من أجل التصدّي لخطوات الاحتلال التي يستمر بتنفيذها على أرض الواقع. وكلّ حديث عن مشروع وطني فلسطيني لدى السلطة ما هو إلا صرخات في البرّية، فحتى من كان يؤمن بطريق المفاوضات لتحصيل حقوقه لا يعمد إلى تجريد نفسه من كلّ ما لديه من أوراق ضغط أو تفاوض من تلقاء ذاته. وعلى هذا، صارت السلطة الفلسطينية تحاكي حكومة فيشي الفرنسية أو جيش لحد الجنوبي مع فارق أنّه كان لهذين الأخيرين مشروع، بغضّ النظر عن رأينا في مشروعيهما، بينما لا يوجد أي أفق مستقبلي أو مشروع للسلطة الفلسطينية، هذه ليست توصيفات يمكن إطلاقها بِخِفّة أو من باب الشعبوية، ولا هي دعوة إلى الاقتتال الداخلي الذي يجب اجتنابه بأيّ ثمن، ولا سيما في ظلّ وجود الاحتلال، لكن هذا توصيف لواقع حال يجب أن يؤخذ في الحسبان عند تقدير أيّ موقف.

وإذا ما ألقينا نظرة فاحصة، نجد أنّ السلطة فعلياً باتت تمثّل مشروع الفلسطيني المهزوم. لذلك، نجد محمود عباس يقول إنّه سيفاوض ويستمر بالمفاوضات والاستجداء عساه يُحصِّل شيئاً من الحقوق الفلسطينية، ويُعلّل ذلك بكون الفلسطيني جرّب الطرق الأخرى ولم يحصل على مراده لأنّ الظروف الدولية والإقليمية والداخلية في غير مصلحته، بحسب فهمه غير الدقيق ولا الواقعي. لكن يغيب عن هذا التصوّر أنّه حتى خيار الاستسلام غير متاح للفلسطيني الموجود في الضفة وأراضي الـ48، فالكيان الصهيوني لم يَعُد يخفي مشروعه في هضم أراضي الضفة وترحيل سكانها عاجلاً أم آجلاً، وربما يكون مردّ التشويش في هذا التصوّر تجاهل أصل المشروع الصهيوني الذي هو مشروع إحلالي يقوم على اقتلاع السكان الأصليين للأرض وإحلال المستوطنين مكانهم، وقد ساعد في ظهور هذا التصوّر بروز بعض الأطروحات المشوِّهة لحقيقة الصراع من قبيل نظريات الفصل العنصري (الأبارتايد)، أو أنّ القضية الفلسطينية هي قضية كرامة أو مساواة. لكنّ المفارقة، هنا، أنّ خيار الاستسلام ربما يكون متاحاً لأهالي غزّة إذا ارتضوا العيش بذلّة تحت سيطرة الصهيوني، وليس لباقي سكّان المناطق الأخرى في أرض فلسطين. نكتفي بهذا القدر كي لا نستطرد عن أصل النقاش الحالي أكثر.

بناءً على هذا العرض، يمكن الخلوص إلى كون هدف محمود عباس والسلطة عموماً من إجراء الانتخابات هو تجديد شرعيتها، أو أخذ البيعة من حركة «حماس» وباقي الفصائل، بتأييد خطّها السياسي إن صحّ وصفه بالخط سياسي، ومن ثم لتعود إلى دوّامة ما يسمونه مفاوضات سلام وبلا أيّ أفق طبعاً، بينما تواصل تأدية دورها الوظيفي في تأمين الحماية لقوات الاحتلال والمستوطنين، ريثما يُجْهِز الكيان الصهيوني على باقي أراضي الضفة وعلى الوجود السكاني لأهالي الضفة وأراضي الـ48.

«حماس» وفصائل المقاومة

تمرّ «حماس» بأزمة خيارات واضحة وحقيقية، بسبب إخفاقها في فكّ الحصار عن قطاع غزة، هذا الحصار الذي تشارك فيه السلطة ذاتها وبعض الدول العربية المتواطئة، والذي بات يشكّل عبئاً على أهالي القطاع ويتسبّب في عجز الحكم في غزة عن تأمين الكثير من الحاجيات الأولية للغزّيين، ناهيكم بتعطيل حركة الدخول والخروج من وإلى القطاع، ما حوَّل قطاع غزة إلى سجن مفتوح بكل معنى الكلمة. ويمكن المحاجّة بأنّ منشأ الحصار كان بسبب تقدير «حماس» الاستراتيجي الخاطئ الذي خاضت بموجبه الانتخابات التشريعية في عام 2006، التي لم تؤمّن للحركة أي حصانة ولا هي حمت ظهرها كما كان مرجواً، لكن بعيداً عن كلّ هذا النقاش يبقى الاحتلال هو مصدر الحصار الأول والأخير، ومفتاح فكّه ليس مع أحد سواه، لا مع السلطة ولا مع تلك الدول العربية المتواطئة، وهذا أمر أساسي لا يصحّ تجاهله عند صياغة أي استراتيجية لفكّ الحصار.

بناءً على ما سلف، يمكن استنتاج أنّ «حماس» تأمل من دخول الانتخابات فكّ الحصار أو تخفيفه على أقلّ تقدير، وهذا بالتالي يطرح فرضيّتين: إما دخول «حماس» الانتخابات على أساس المغالبة، وإمّا خوضها على أساس المشاركة بصيغة قائمة مشتركة مع «فتح» أو بصيغة أخرى يُتّفَق عليها.

فإذا كانت الانتخابات مغالبة، واستطاعت «حماس» الفوز بالأكثرية، عندها نكون أمام تكرار سيناريو عام 2006 بحذافيره، طالما لا تغيير في المواقف الداخلية للأطراف ولا تبديل للمواقف الدولية كما ذكرنا. وأما إذا كانت الانتخابات بالمشاركة وارتضت «حماس» أن تكون أقلية، أو إذا ما فشلت في تحقيق الأغلبية بالمغالبة ففي الحالتين ستتحوّل إلى معارضة ضمن منظومة أوسلو، وعندها ستكون ملزمة باللعب وفق قواعدِه، وفي ظلّ وجود خطّين متوازيين على الساحة الفلسطينية لا يتقاطعان، أحدهما بات مرتبطاً بالاحتلال عضوياً وبالطبيعة لا يؤمِن بأيّ شكل من أشكال مجابهة الاحتلال حتى ولو كانت سلمية، والآخر يؤمِن بالمقاومة كسبيل لاستعادة الحقوق.

فستجد «حماس» وسائر فصائل المقاومة نفسها أمام ذات المعضلة الحالية، لكن هذه المرة ستكون قد منحت للطرف المقابل ذخيرة جديدة للاستقواء عليها، فهي ستكون مطالبة داخلياً ودولياً باحترام نتائج الانتخابات وتسليم قطاع غزة قبل أيّ تخفيف للحصار. وهنا لن ينفع التذاكي فالحصار مفتاحه مع الاحتلال والآخرون هم مجرد تفصيل كما جادلنا، وتسليم القطاع لدى الكيان الصهيوني يعني تسليم كلّ فصائل المقاومة لسلاحها الموجود فوق الأرض وتحت الأرض ولا شيء دون ذلك.

لكن يردُّ البعض بأنّ دخول الانتخابات يمكن أن يمنح «حماس» وسائر فصائل المقاومة وضعاً في الداخل الفلسطيني يماثل وضع حزب الله في لبنان، وهنا يمكن قول الآتي: من الصعب مقارنة وضع قطاع غزة وحال فصائله بالحالة اللبنانية، لا من ناحية وجود سوريا على الحدود اللبنانية التي لا تشارك في حصار لبنان، والتي فوق ذلك تشكّل خطّ إمداد لحزب الله منها وعبرها، ولا من ناحية قوة حزب الله الذي بلغ مرحلة من القدرة التسليحية يستطيع معها تبديل معادلات إقليمية. ومع هذا، يجب الانتباه إلى أنّ من يطْبِق الحصار على غزّة هو الكيان الصهيوني بشكل مباشر، بينما يعدّ الأميركي الوحيد الذي لديه قدرة على ممارسة أشكال من الحصار على لبنان. وكان الأميركي يتَّبِع في الفترات الماضية استراتيجية المساكنة في لبنان لحسابات معقّدة ومخاوف لديه لا مجال لذكرها هنا، بينما تخلّى اليوم عن فكرة المساكنة، وهذا ما يفسر الضغط الاقتصادي الذي يمرّ به لبنان بالأساس، بالإضافة إلى عوامل داخلية لبنانية أخرى مساعِدة. وخلاصة القول أنّ جميع قوى المقاومة في الإقليم تتعرّض، اليوم، لحصار مالي واقتصادي تتفاوت فعاليته وآثاره تبَعاً لظروف كلّ فصيل وجغرافياً موقع تواجده.

الخروج من حالة المراوحة

استعرضنا في ما سبق كيف أنّ دخول «حماس» الانتخابات لن يفضي إلى حلٍّ لحصار غزة، بل يرجّح أن يؤدّي إلى نتائج عكسية تعود بالضرر على المقاومة الفلسطينية. هذا ولم نفصل في المخاطر على المشروع الوطني الفلسطيني وثوابته وأهدافه لضيق المساحة. وقبل الخوض في الحلول، يجب الاعتراف بداية بأنّ إيجاد حلّ لأزمة غزة ليس بالأمر الهيّن كون الحصار مرتبطاً أولاً وأخيراً بالاحتلال ذاته وما هو إلّا أحد أعراضه، وهو ضريبة تدفعها قوى المقاومة إلى جانب ضرائب أخرى كثيرة يتحمّلها كلّ من يسعى إلى التحرير كما جادلنا. لكن يجب أيضاً الإشارة إلى أمر آخر جدير بالانتباه، وهو سماح كيان الاحتلال لقدر من المساعدات المالية بالوصول إلى سلطة رام الله، وحتى قطاع غزّة، كلّما أوشك الوضع على الانهيار، سواءً في الضفة أو قطاع غزة. وهذا يشير بوضوح إلى أنّ ما يخشاه العدو هو حصول انفجار في أيٍّ من هاتين الساحتين، ويبدو أنّ العدو بات مدركاً لمكامن ضعفه واختلال موازين القوى لغير مصلحته أكثر من إدراك بعض الفلسطينيين لهذه الوقائع، فنجد بنيامين نتنياهو يتراجع عن قراره الذي استثمر فيه كثيراً بإعلان ضمّ أراضي الضفة الغربية تحسّباً لانفجار الانتفاضة في أراضي الـ67، بناءً على تقديرات أجهزته الأمنية ولا شيء سوى ذلك، وهذا يدحض الفكرة القائلة بكون الضفة مترهّلة وغير حاضرة للتحرّك شعبياً. صحيح أنّ الحراك الشعبي دونه صعاب عديدة، أوّلها وجود جيش من مخبري أجهزة السلطة الذين باتوا يأتمرون بأمر الشاباك مباشرة، لكن هل يُعقل أن تعدم الفصائل الوسيلة في تحريك الشارع؟

وفي المقابل، فليس مردّ التذمّر الشعبي ضيق الحال المعيشي فقط، لكنّ حالتَي السكون والمراوحة اللتين يعيشهما الوضع الفلسطيني هما سببان لا يمكن تجاهلهما، حيث كون هذا الوضع يوحي بانسداد الأفق على الصعيد الوطني، وفي هذه الحالة تطفو المصاعب المعيشية على السطح لتأخذ موقع الصدارة على القضايا الوطنية الأخرى. وهذه ليست دعوة للهروب إلى الأمام كما ربما سيحاجج البعض، فأيّ حراك شعبي في الضفة هذه المرة ستكون حظوظه في فرض الانسحاب على كيان الاحتلال من أراضي الـ67 مرتفعة للغاية، بناءً على استقراء التوازنات الدولية والإقليمية وحالة التراجع التي يعيشها الكيان الصهيوني. ولا تغرّنكم حالة انهيار بعض الأعراب أمام هذا الكيان، فهؤلاء مصيرهم مرتبط بهذه المنظومة الاستعمارية وليس بمقدورهم تعديل موازين القوى بشكل حقيقي، ويصحّ فيهم القول الشعبي: «عصفور يسند زرزور».

بالإضافة إلى ما تَقدَّم، إذا ما وضعنا الحصار المفروض على قوى المقاومة الفلسطينية في إطاره الأوسع كجزء من الحرب المفروضة على كلّ قوى المقاومة في الإقليم أحزاباً ودولاً، كما نوّهنا في الفقرة السابقة، يصير فكّ الحصار عن غزة مصلحة مشتركة لكلّ هذه الأطراف مجتمعة، ويستدعي العمل من جهة الفصائل الإسلامية والوطنية الفلسطينية على محاولة صياغة استراتيجية موحّدة مع كلّ قوى المقاومة في الإقليم. ندرك كون هذا الأمر يلزمه جولات وجولات من التباحث، وكون أيّ استراتيجية لفكّ الحصار بالتوافق مع القوى الداعمة ستكون من طبيعة الاستراتيجيات المتوسّطة المدى، لكن هذا يظلّ أجدى من الدخول في مغامرات غير محسوبة العواقب كالانتخابات، التي لن تؤدي إلّا إلى المزيد من إضاعة الوقت بحسب أكثر التقديرات تفاؤلاً.

خاتمة

حصار قوى المقاومة في غزة ليس بالأمر الثانوي ضمن استراتيجية العدو، لهذا لا يُتوقع أن تفلح الخطوات الملتوية ولا الهروب من حقيقة الأمر في فكّه، ويلزم لذلك خطوات من شأنها تبديل المعادلات على الأرض، ومشروع وطني متكامل. واليوم، أمام الشعب الفلسطيني فرصة واقعية لفرض الانسحاب على الكيان الصهيوني من أراضي الـ67 عبر انتفاضة ثالثة، وهذا من شأنه بلا شك تبديل كل التوازنات القائمة، وما تمّ طرحه في هذا المقال هو عبارة عن أفكار للنقاش والتداول كون الأمر يحتاج إلى العديد من العقول للخروج باستراتيجية مجدية. يقول المثل الإنكليزي: «يُغَلِّف الموت بالسُّكَّر»، كناية عن عدم مواجهة الأمور على حقيقتها، وهذا ما حاول هذا المقال تفاديه بدلاً من تبسيط الوضع القائم وتقديم حلول ظاهرها سهل وباطنها فشل، وتبقى هذه هي ضريبة التحرير والمقاومة التي لا مناص من دفعها.

* كاتب فلسطيني وباحث سياسي

Palestinian political activist and analyst Abdel Sattar Qassem dies of Covid-19

Qassem was born in the village of Deir al-Ghusun in 1948

Qassem, 72, had announced in January that he would be running as an independent candidate for the presidency in the upcoming Palestinian election

By MEE staff

Published date: 2 February 202

Prominent Palestinian academic and political activist Abdel Sattar Qassem died late on Monday aged 72 of Covid-19, his family said.

Qassem, a professor of political science at Al-Najah University in Nablus, was well known for his activism against the Israeli military occupation in the West Bank, as well as his criticism of the Palestinian Authority’s security coordination and the Oslo Accords of 1993, signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO).

He died at Al-Najah Hospital in the northern West Bank town of Nablus, where he was receiving treatment after contracting coronavirus two weeks ago.

As of Tuesday, 2,023 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have died of Covid-19 since the pandemic started in March, according to figures released by the PA Ministry of Health.

Qassem was born in the village of Deir al-Ghusun in 1948, near the town of Tulkarem in the present-day West Bank. He received a BA in political science from the American University in Cairo, followed by a master’s degree from Kansas State University, and a second master’s in economics and a PhD in political philosophy from the University of Missouri in 1977.

Early in January, Qassem announced that he would be running as an independent candidate for the presidency in planned PA elections in July. 

He did not reveal the names of candidates on his list for the legislative council election in May for fear of persecution and arrest by Israeli or PA security forces, according to Al-Watan Voice news.

Qassem has been arrested numerous times by Israeli authorities. After the Oslo Accords in 1993, the Palestinian Authority detained him for short periods for his harsh criticism of the PA’s security coordination with Israel.

Translation: Farewell Abdel Sattar Qassem

In August 2014, he survived a close-range assassination attempt in Nablus. Unknown gunmen attempted to shoot him from a driving vehicle, almost 200 metres away from his house, while he was on his way to a TV interview.

The PA arrested him once again in 2016, claiming that he had called for the execution of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during a live show on the Gaza-based Al-Quds channel. Qassem denied the allegation, and he was later released.

He was a well-known prolific political commentator for several publications – including speaking to Middle East Eye for a number of stories – and was hosted on major Arab and Palestinian TV channels.

He authored several books about his days in the Israeli prison of the Negev, the Syrian-Palestinian leader Izz al-Din Al-Qassam’s revolt against the British mandate in the 1930s, and the fall of the Shah in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. 

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Palestinian elections: one path for many goals ‫الانتخابات الفلسطينية: مسارٌ واحد لأهداف كثيرة

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

Cartoon – Mother #Palestine gives #Israel agent Mahmoud Abbas a lesson on  the Right of Return | Latuff Cartoons

All Palestinian factions have been plunged into a detailed debate about the elections, without even placing them in the balance of need and benefit. Everyone was silent on the way and timing chosen by the authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, to hold the elections, Hamas, accepted the decrees. Abbas wants to elect the “Legislative Council”, then the presidency, as the “National Council of the Liberation Organisation”, However, Abbas” wants to ensure that he remains in his chair, and to prepare plans to contain “Hamas” or reduce its representation, Fatah faces serious divisions that could fragment the movement in his life before he leaves, a scenario that he has not been accounted for and is now firmly working to prevent. The only constant is that as long as he is alive, he will not budge from his position, and that what forced him to hold elections is only the American-European, Arab, requests for the considerations of each party. Hamas, which advocates that it is “compelled” to run in elections and pressured it — in a repetition of the 2006 scenario — has decided to work to harvest the majority if possible, while Islamic Jihad remains on its previous position, with the possibility of participating in the “national” elections in whether it will lead to a change in the PLO’s doctrine. Between this and that, the organisation’s factions and “independent” figures assess the proportions they can get to cross the entry threshold, and better alliances if they are forced.

Three-way split threatens Fatah: The Solution in Barghouti’s Hand

Mai Reda

Monday, February 1, 2021

Ramallah | Since PA President Mahmoud Abbas issued a presidential decree setting a date for the elections, as a result of a U.S.-European-Arab request to renew “legitimacy” and arrange the region, internal “Fateh” differences have begun to surface, foreshadowing divisions within the movement that may contest the elections with three lists: one affiliated with the Central Committee and supporting Abbas, the second supported by the prisoner Marwan Barghouti and the youth group, and the third for the current dismissed leader Mohammed Dahlan (reformist) will continue to count on Fatah even if the latter rejects it.

PFLP has not resolved its position on participation because it doubts Abbas’s intentions (APA)

The “Fateh” projections indicate Barghouti’s intention to run for president, and to form a list in the legislative elections that precede it, a “nightmare” that haunts Fatah’s first-grade leaders. But Marwan’s son, Kassam Barghouti, said his father “does not yet have an official position on the matter… On Tuesday, the date of the lawyer’s visit to Barghouti will be conveyed from him, pointing out that “everything that is rumoured in the press is not official.” However, according to well-informed sources in the movement, who preferred not to be named, the subject is “very sensitive”, so within days he will meet the secretary of Fateh’s central committee, Jibril Rajoub, Barghouti in prison to dissuade him from running against Abbas, and to try to satisfy him by putting him at the top of Fateh’s list in the legislative council. The sources add: «Barghouti is very angry with the behaviour of the authority about his case, and feels that he was left alone, especially in the strike of dignity announced years ago,» but «it is unlikely to depart from the framework of the movement because it is one of its founders».

A few days ago, Fateh leaders Azzam al-Ahmad and Jamal Nazzal vowed that the movement would hold accountable any of its members who might fight it by running independently “difficult”, but Al-Ahmad added that “Barghouti is cut off from politics and spent his life in prison, and cannot meet the wishes of our people”! However, Fateh’s legislative member Hatem Abdel Kader told Al-Akhbar that, according to Barghouti’ lawyer, the man would run for president, but we do not know how the “Fateh” pressure will affect him. Barghouti entered his 19th year in Israeli prisons on charges of leading formations of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Fateh, while circles close to him are rumoured to have many concerns about his fate, and what he is currently interested in getting out of prison, especially if there is a prisoner exchange at the hands of the resistance.

Away from the man’s position on running for the presidency, there is a “Fateh” approach calling, if the official movement’s list does not meet the conditions that would ensure its success (e.g., including competent, honest, experienced, professional and militant personalities), to create another list that meets the previous conditions, says Abdel Kader, noting that Abbas has threatened to use “force” against any other list called Fateh, a rival to that official. Other sources confirm Abdel Kader’s speech, saying that there is a list led by al-Shabaab ( young people), which will be supported by Barghouti, and that there may be figures from the Central Committee and other authority at the Level of the West Bank and Gaza. This list is “a haven for disgruntled people to power, and by the way they will not ally with Dahlan, but may be coordinated after the elections if they win, with the aim of restoring consideration to Fatah,” the sources added.

There is an official list of “central” and another for Dahlan and a third supported by Barghouti


ياسر عرفات – اليرموكYarmouk63

As for the “reformist”, he intends to participate in a parallel list and promote it with leaders Dahlan is working to buy the loyalty of some of them inf the West Bank and Gaza, and he appointed a few days ago two spokespersons of the current, the owners of the “shocking names of Fatah and the Authority”, according to sources close to his current. “Dahlan has monitored this list and its success in tens of millions of dollars with UAE funding.” The current spokesman, Imad Mohsen, has already said that if Fateh does not include them in its list, “we will go to the elections with an independent list of legal and academic Fateh figures, because the free Fateh will not be driven like a herd based on the whims of one person,” referring to Abbas.

Commenting on these divisions, Fatah leader Abdullah Abdullah told Al-Akhbar that Dahlan is no longer Fatah, and therefore his descent into the elections does not affect the unity of the movement. Barghouti will be contacted by the Central Committee, stressing that it is the frameworks of the movement (the central, the revolutionary council and the advisory council) that decide the presidential candidate, “and if you decide a name, everyone should abide by it… I don’t think Barghouti sings outside Fatah.” With regard to the electoral map and the official list, Abdullah said: “After the Cairo meeting, we will determine who will be at the top of the list based on the ideas that will be presented at the meeting, and we will decide whether the movement will be at the top of the list alone or with other factions of the PLO, and we will not anticipate the events.”

Dahlan’s current realises that Fatah’s polarisation will be a factor in his favour in the elections, as there has already been a split in the movement’s leaders’ statements about its presidential candidate. However, The Kaban’s egg remains in Barghouti’s hand, which public opinion polls show is the most popular Palestinian in the West Bank at least, the most recent of which was conducted by the Palestinian Center for Political and Research Research (PSR) a few days ago, with Barghouti winning 61% of the vote if he was placed not in front of Abbas, but in front of Hamas’ political bureau chief, Ismail Haniyeh. According to the same poll, if Haniyeh is placed in front of Abbas, the former will get 50% against 43% for the second. The Center also estimated that if Barghouti forms an independent list, he will get 25% of the public vote, while 19% of the public said that in this case they will vote for the official Fatah list, which is confirmed by a source in the Ramallah government who said that «50% of the official Fatah prefers Barghouti for the presidency over Abbas». As for Dahlan, the poll predicted that his current list would get 7% of the public, while in this case 27% would vote for Fateh’s official list against him.

Hamas seeks majority… And “Jihad” is studying its options

Rajab Al-Madhoun

«حماس» تسعى للغالبية... و«الجهاد» تدرس خياراتها
Recommendations have been issued to the government in Gaza to improve dealing with people and avoid any problems (AFP)

Hamas continues to prepare and prepare its initial list for legislative elections, while Islamic Jihad continues to consider the possibility of contesting elections of its origin and any parts it may participate in, and the two issues remain awaiting the outcome of the Cairo Dialogues

Gaza | As part of Palestinian preparations for the first part of the elections next May, a Hamas source told Al-Akhbar that the movement has prepared its initial list of legislative elections, including Gaza and the West Bank, but is “considering options other than entering a single list in its name,” including “the possibility of a list of alliances with resistance factions, and with independents, to achieve an appropriate number of seats,” stressing that the directives of the Political Bureau and the Shura Council approved the entry of the elections strongly and work to win more than 2006 elections.

Although Hamas has not begun to “mobilise the organisational cadre” for the elections and implement the popular mobilisation plan to vote for it in Gaza, it has completed the formation of its central and sub-committees to implement its campaign based on the Program of Resistance and Resilience in the Face of Occupation, the source says, which reveals instructions to the Government branch in Gaza to “complete the efforts that have been strengthened over the past two years to improve the reality of government work with the population, prevent any current crises, and provide all necessary services to citizens.” The initial list includes symbolic figures in the movement, as well as the young faces whose number swelled, noting that the largest share will be professional and community figures with a large presence within Gaza and the West Bank, as the movement seeks to avoid the problems of 2006, when the main criticism was that its list consisted mostly of sheikhs and graduates of sharia colleges.

Regardless of the nature of the list, Hamas has resolved its intention to participate strongly


At the same time, the source says, the movement has developed a number of scenarios for the elections, including a single list or a list with Fatah, a list with resistance factions or even a list with “independents,” but will wait for the outcome of the Cairo dialogues next week to determine the nature of their participation, and which scenarios will result in the biggest victory. These dialogues, it seems, will be a watershed in evaluating the elections and their seriousness, the source explains, adding that “we have formed committees to process the files for dialogue in the issues of justice, security, personnel and the reality of the situation in Gaza, the West Bank and freedom of expression… We have also formed a central high committee in the political bureau to follow up on the legislative elections.”

Although it seeks to win the most seats, Hamas does not want to form a government alone if it wins a majority, but rather favours a government of national unity or a competent government to avoid a new blockade. The “Hamas” position on the mobilisation for the National Assembly elections remains the same, but the decision to enter the presidential elections has not yet been decided, to be discussed after the results of the “legislative”

In contrast, The Islamic Jihad has not resolved its position on participating in the legislative council elections, preferring to discuss the move after the Cairo dialogues, according to statements by its leaders. However, sources said that there are opinions within the movement pushing towards partial participation, as opposed to a majority rejecting the origin of participation that the movement has avoided many times before while announcing that it continues to adopt the option of resistance, away from the secretions of the Oslo Agreement all. While Jihad has a strong desire to enter the National elections under certain conditions, it has postponed discussions on these conditions until it is sure that these elections, scheduled for the end of the eighth month, can take place, and the movement has not resolved its position on the presidential elections and any figures that could support them through its cadres.

«PFLP» hesitating… The rest are afraid to fall.

Rajab Al-Madhoun

Monday, February 1, 2021

«الشعبية» متردّدة... والبقية يخشون السقوط
PFLP has not resolved its position on participation because it doubts Abbas’s intentions (APA)

Palestine (PFLP), has not resolved its position on participating in the elections. This is because he continues to question the intentions of the authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, and the possibility of using the Constitutional Court against his opponents if Fatah does not win. Al-Shaabia (PFLP) shares its participation with consensus in Cairo on the points of contention, most notably “the formation of the electoral court by national consensus away from the uniqueness and manipulation that took place in the Supreme Council for the Elimination of Abbas”, as confirmed by the Deputy Secretary-General of the Front, Abu Ahmed Fouad.

A leading source in al-Shaabia (PFLP), told Al-Akhbar, that the Central Committee and the Political Bureau have not yet decided on the decision to participate, but confirms that “all options are available, including participation in a national list of all factions, alliance with Hamas, or a single list similar to the 2006 elections” in which the FRONT won 4.2% by three seats. The source points out that there is internal opposition to entering into a unified list with the organization’s factions, including Fatah, for fear of exploiting the list, strengthening its uniqueness with the Palestinian decision, strengthening its political program based on negotiations with the occupation, as well as differences with Fatah that have not been resolved at all.

The front refused to be under the umbrella of Fateh and shared one list


In parallel, Fatah is seeking to bring together PLO factions to enter into a single list with them in the legislative elections. Since the decision to hold the elections, the organisation’s factions have held meetings, most recently in the middle of last month, to discuss how they will enter the elections and achieve good results that will cover their weak popularity. Fearing the exposure of its low popularity, a number of them are seeking to form a unified list to bypass the threshold and entry of the Legislative Council, which was called for by The Democratic Front’s Central Committee member, Mahmoud Khalaf.

DPFLP meetings include the People’s Party, the Popular Struggle Front, the Palestine Liberation Front, the Palestine Arab Front, and the Palestinian Arab Front, factions that did not get the decisive percentage in the 2006 elections, and fear that their presence would end because some of them adhered to the positions of the authority, the latter’s use of them in many positions, as well as their ineffectiveness in the popular arena. Therefore, it wants to boost its chances now to achieve more than 10% for all of them, but the fear of disagreements over the formation of a unified list among them has led some to demand a reduction of the discount rate to 1% unlike the previous rate, 2%. Democracy wants to expand the alliance of the organisation’s factions this time to achieve better results than it did in 2006, when it allied itself with the People and Fida and garnered 2.7% of the vote, and is now struggling to include the Liberation Front, which won the last election 0.3%, in addition to the Palestinian Arab, which received 0.4%, and the Palestinian Initiative (Mustafa Barghouti and others.) which got 2.72%.

“Independents” find their chance

Rajab Al-Madhoun

The presidential decree on legislative elections does not allow “independents” to run individually, prompting a number of them to form their own lists, leaving themselves as a rival and alternative to factions, taking advantage of the decline in popular confidence of the majority of the organisations. “Independent” figures in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip are preparing to form several lists, while a number of factions are considering an alliance with those including Hamas and Fatah to consolidate the seats they will win in the elections.

With the “Gathering of Independent Personalities” welcomed the election decree, sources in the group revealed that a number of figures under his banner are seriously considering running in the elections on a special list, amid expectations that this list will get “satisfactory results with the high popularity of a number of them and the desire of the street to change and end the division.”

Al-Akhbar learned that the former prime minister, Salam Fayyad, is preparing to enter the elections at the top of a list of independents that includes personalities from Gaza and the West Bank, as happened in the 2006 elections in which he won two seats, but his partner in the last elections, Hanan Ashrawi, announced that she would not run This election, as well as her disagreement with him.

‫الانتخابات الفلسطينية: مسارٌ واحد لأهداف كثيرة

Cartoon – Mother #Palestine gives #Israel agent Mahmoud Abbas a lesson on  the Right of Return | Latuff Cartoons

غرقت الفصائل الفلسطينية كافة في النقاش التفصيلي حول الانتخابات، من دون وضعها أصلاً في ميزان الحاجة والفائدة. سكت الكلّ على الطريقة والتوقيت اللذين اختارهما رئيس السلطة، محمود عباس، لإجراء الانتخابات، وتحديداً «حماس» التي قبلت «المراسيم» كما هي من دون اعتراض. يريد عباس انتخاب «المجلس التشريعي»، ثمّ الرئاسة، فـ«المجلس الوطني لمنظمة التحرير»، والأخيران تحصيل حاصل لخريطة القوى التي ستظهر في الأول. لكن مع احتياطات «أبو مازن» لضمان بقائه على كرسيّه، وإعداده خططاً لاحتواء «حماس» أو تقليل نسبة تمثيلها، تواجه «فتح» انقسامات خطيرة قد تُشظّي الحركة في حياته قبل رحيله، وهو السيناريو الذي لم يكن يحسب له حساباً ويعمل الآن بقوة على منعه. الثابت الوحيد أنه ما دام حيّاً، فلن يتزحزح عن منصبه، وأن ما اضطره إلى إجراء الانتخابات ليس سوى الطلبَين الأميركي – الأوروبي، والعربي، لاعتبارات كلّ طرف. أمّا «حماس»، التي تدافع بأنها «مضطرة» لخوض الانتخابات وأن ضغوطاً تمارَس عليها – في تكرار لسيناريو 2006 -، فقرّرت العمل على حصاد الغالبية لو أمكن، فيما لا تزال «الجهاد الإسلامي» على موقفها السابق، مع إمكانية للمشاركة في انتخابات «الوطني» في ما إذا كانت ستؤدي إلى تغيير في عقيدة «منظّمة التحرير». بين هذا وذاك، تُقيّم فصائل المنظّمة والشخصيات «المستقلّة» النسب التي يمكن أن تحصل عليها لتتخطّى عتبة الدخول، والتحالفات الأفضل في حال اضطّرت لها.

انقسام ثلاثي يهدّد «فتح»: الحسم بيد البرغوثي

 مي رضا الإثنين 1 شباط 2021

رام الله | منذ أن أصدر رئيس السلطة الفلسطينية، محمود عباس، مرسوماً رئاسياً بتحديد موعد للانتخابات، جرّاء طلب أميركي ــــ أوروبي ــــ عربي تحت عنوان تجديد «الشرعيات» وترتيب الإقليم، بدأت الخلافات «الفتحاوية» الداخلية تطفو على السطح، ما ينذر بانقسامات داخل الحركة التي قد تخوض الانتخابات بثلاث قوائم: الأولى تابعة لـ«اللجنة المركزية» وتدعم عباس، والثانية يدعمها الأسير مروان البرغوثي وفئة الشباب، والثالثة لتيار القيادي المفصول محمد دحلان (الإصلاحي) ستبقى تُحسب على «فتح» حتى لو رفضتها الأخيرة.

لم تحسم «الشعبيّة» موقفها من المشاركة لأنها تشكّك في نيّات عبّاس (أي بي أيه )

تشير التوقّعات «الفتحاوية» إلى نية البرغوثي ترشيح نفسه للرئاسة، وتشكيل قائمة في انتخابات المجلس التشريعي التي تسبقها، وهو «كابوس» يؤرّق قيادات الصف الأول في «فتح». لكن نجل مروان، قسام البرغوثي، قال إن أباه «ليس لديه حتى الآن موقف رسمي حيال الأمر… غداً الثلاثاء موعد زيارة المحامي للبرغوثي وسينقل عنه موقفه»، مشيراً إلى أن «كلّ ما يشاع في الصحافة ليس رسمياً». مع ذلك، تقول مصادر مطّلعة في الحركة، فضّلت عدم ذكر اسمها، إن الموضوع «حسّاس جداً»، ولذلك سيلتقي خلال أيام أمين سرّ «اللجنة المركزية لفتح»، جبريل الرجوب، البرغوثي في السجن ليثنيه عن الترشّح ضدّ عباس، ولمحاولة إرضائه بوضعه على رأس قائمة «فتح» في المجلس التشريعي. تضيف المصادر: «البرغوثي غاضب جداً من سلوك السلطة حيال قضيته، ويشعر بأنه تُرك وحيداً وخاصةً في إضراب الكرامة الذي أعلنه قبل سنوات»، لكن «يُستبعد أن يخرج عن إطار الحركة لأنه من مؤسِّسيها».

وقبل أيام، توعّد القياديان في «فتح»، عزام الأحمد وجمال نزال، بأن الحركة ستحاسب أيّاً من أعضائها الذين قد يحاربونها بترشّحهم مستقلّين «حساباً عسيراً»، لكن الأحمد زاد على ذلك بالقول إن «البرغوثي منقطع عن السياسة وأمضى عمره في السجون، ولا يستطيع تلبية أمنيات شعبنا»! مع ذلك، يقول عضو «التشريعي» عن «فتح»، حاتم عبد القادر، لـ«الأخبار»، إنه وفقاً لما نُقل عن البرغوثي عبر محاميه، سيُرشّح الرجل نفسه للرئاسة، لكن لا ندري كيف ستؤثّر الضغوط «الفتحاويه» عليه. يُذكر أن البرغوثي دخل عامه الـ 19 في سجون الاحتلال بتهمة قيادة تشكيلات لـ«كتائب شهداء الأقصى»، الجناح العسكري المحلول لـ«فتح»، فيما تشيع أوساط مقرّبة منه أن لديه هواجس كثيرة حيال مصيره، وما يهمّه حالياً الخروج من السجن، وخاصة إن كان هناك تبادل أسرى على يد المقاومة.

بعيداً من موقف الرجل من الترشّح للرئاسة، ثمّة توجّه «فتحاوي» يدعو، في حال كانت قائمة الحركة الرسمية لا تلبّي الشروط الكفيلة بإنجاحها (كأن تضمّ شخصيات ذات كفاءة ونزاهة وخبرة وسيرة مشرّفة مهنياً ونضالياً)، إلى إنشاء قائمة أخرى تُلبّي الشروط السابقة، كما يقول عبد القادر، علماً بأن عباس هدّد باستخدام «القوة» ضدّ أيّ قائمة أخرى باسم «فتح» منافِسة لتلك الرسمية. وتؤكّد مصادر أخرى حديث عبد القادر، قائلة إن هناك قائمة يقودها الشباب، وسيدعمها البرغوثي، ويُحتمل أن تكون فيها شخصيات من «اللجنة المركزية» وأخرى من السلطة على مستوى الضفة وغزة. وهذه القائمة «ملاذ الساخطين على السلطة، وهم بالمناسبة لن يتحالفوا مع دحلان، لكن ربّما يجري التنسيق معه بعد الانتخابات في حال فوزهم، بهدف إعادة الاعتبار إلى فتح»، تضيف المصادر.

ثمّة قائمة رسميّة من «المركزية» وأخرى لدحلان وثالثة يدعمها البرغوثي


أمّا «الإصلاحي»، فينوي المشاركة بقائمة موازية وتعزيزها بقيادات يعمل دحلان على شراء ولاء بعضهم على مستويَي الضفة وغزة، وهو قد عيّن قبل أيّام متحدّثَين رسميَّين للتيار، هما من أصحاب «الأسماء الصادمة لفتح والسلطة»، كما تقول مصادر مقرّبة من تيّاره. وتضيف: «دحلان رصد لهذه القائمة وإنجاحها مبالغ ضخمة بعشرات الملايين من الدولارات بتمويل إماراتي». وسبق أن قال المتحدّث باسم التيار، عماد محسن، إنه في حال لم تُدخلهم «فتح» في قائمتها، «فسنذهب إلى الانتخابات بقائمة مستقلّة تحتوي على شخصيات فتحاوية اعتبارية وأكاديميين، لأن الفتحاوي الحر لن يساق مثل القطيع بناءً على أهواء شخص واحد»، في إشارة إلى عباس.
تعقيباً على هذه الانقسامات، يقول القيادي في «فتح»، عبد الله عبد الله، لـ«الأخبار»، إن «دحلان لم يعد من فتح، ولذلك نزوله في الانتخابات لا يؤثّر في وحدة الحركة. أمّا البرغوثي، فستتواصل معه اللجنة المركزية»، مؤكّداً أن أطر الحركة (المركزية والمجلس الثوري والمجلس الاستشاري) هي التي تُقرّر مرشح الرئاسة، «وإذا قرّرت اسماً، على الجميع أن يلتزم بذلك… لا أعتقد أن يغرّد البرغوثي خارج فتح». وفي ما يتعلّق بالخريطة الانتخابية والقائمة الرسمية، يقول عبد الله: «بعد لقاء القاهرة، سنُحدّد مَن يكون على رأس القائمة بناءً على الأفكار التي ستُطرح في اللقاء، وسنقرّر هل ستكون الحركة على رأس قائمة وحدها أم مع غيرها من فصائل منظّمة التحرير، ولن نستبق الأحداث».

يدرك تيار دحلان أن حالة الاستقطاب التي تعيشها «مركزية فتح» ستكون عاملاً لمصلحته في الانتخابات، إذ سبق أن ظهر انقسام في تصريحات قادة الحركة حول مرشّحها للرئاسة. مع ذلك، تبقى بيضة القبّان بيد البرغوثي، الذي تُظهر استطلاعات الرأي العام أنه الأكثر شعبية «فتحاوياً» وفلسطينياً ــــ في الضفة على الأقل ــــ، وآخرها استطلاع أجراه «المركز الفلسطيني للبحوث السياسية والبحثية» قبل أيام، وكانت نتيجته تفوّق البرغوثي بحصوله على 61% من الأصوات في حال وُضع ليس أمام عباس، بل أمام رئيس المكتب السياسي لـ«حماس»، إسماعيل هنية. وبحسب الاستطلاع نفسه، فإنه في حال وُضع هنية أمام عباس، يحصل الأول على 50% مقابل 43% للثاني. كما قَدّر المركز أنه إذا شَكّل البرغوثي قائمة مستقلّة، فسيحصل على 25% من أصوات الجمهور، فيما قال 19% من الجمهور إنهم سيصوّتون في هذه الحالة لقائمة «فتح» الرسمية، وهو ما يؤكّده مصدر في حكومة رام الله قال إن «50% من فتح الرسمية تُفضّل البرغوثي للرئاسة على عباس». أمّا بشأن دحلان، فتَوقّع الاستطلاع أن تحصل قائمة تيّاره على 7% من الجمهور، في حين أن 27٪ سيُصوّتون في هذه الحالة لقائمة «فتح» الرسمية ضدّه.

«حماس» تسعى للغالبية… و«الجهاد» تدرس خياراتها

رجب المدهون الإثنين 1 شباط 2021

«حماس» تسعى للغالبية... و«الجهاد» تدرس خياراتها
صدرت توصيات للحكومة في غزة بتحسين التعامل مع الناس وتجنّب أيّ إشكالات (أ ف ب )

تُواصل «حماس» استعداداتها وتجهيز قائمتها الأوّلية للانتخابات التشريعية، فيما لا تزال «الجهاد الإسلامي» تتدارس إمكانية خوض الانتخابات من أصلها وأيّ أجزاء يمكن أن تشارك فيها، والمسألتان تبقيان في انتظار ما ستفرزه «حوارات القاهرة»غزة | في إطار الاستعدادات الفلسطينية للانتخابات المنوي عقد الجزء الأول منها (البرلمان) في أيار/ مايو المقبل، يقول مصدر في «حماس»، لـ«الأخبار»، إن الحركة أعدّت قائمتها الأوّلية للانتخابات التشريعية بما يشمل غزة والضفة، لكنها «تدرس خيارات أخرى غير الدخول بقائمة منفردة باسمها»، ومنها «إمكانية عقد قائمة تحالفات مع فصائل المقاومة، وأخرى مع مستقلّين، بما يحقق لها عدداً مناسباً من المقاعد»، مؤكداً أن «توجيهات المكتب السياسي ومجلس الشورى أقرّت بضرورة دخول الانتخابات بقوة والعمل على الفوز بنسبة أكبر من انتخابات 2006».

ومع أن «حماس» لم تبدأ «استنهاض الكادر التنظيمي» للانتخابات، وتنفيذ خطّة التحشيد الشعبي للتصويت لها في غزة، فإنها أكملت تشكيل لجانها المركزية والفرعية لتنفيذ حملتها القائمة على «برنامج المقاومة والصمود في وجه الاحتلال»، كما ينقل المصدر، الذي يكشف عن صدور تعليمات للجهاز الحكومي في غزة بـ«استكمال الجهود التي تَعزّزت خلال العامين الماضيين في تحسين واقع العمل الحكومي مع السكّان، ومنع ظهور أيّ أزمات حالياً، وتقديم كلّ ما يَلزم من خدمات إلى المواطنين». وتشمل القائمة الأوّلية شخصيات رمزية في الحركة، إلى جانب الوجوه الشابّة التي ازداد عددها، علماً بأن الحصّة الكبرى ستكون لشخصيات مهنية ومجتمعية ذات حضور كبير داخل غزة والضفة، إذ تسعى الحركة بوجودهم إلى تلافي إشكالات 2006، حين تمحور الانتقاد الرئيسي حول أن قائمتها تتشكّل غالبيتها من الشيوخ وخرّيجي الكلّيات الشرعية.

بغضّ النظر عن طبيعة القائمة، حسمت «حماس» نيّتها المشاركة بقوّة


بموازاة ذلك، يقول المصدر إن الحركة وضعت عدداً من السيناريوات للانتخابات، منها الدخول بقائمة منفردة أو بقائمة مع «فتح» أو بقائمة مع فصائل المقاومة أو حتى قائمة مع “المستقلّين”، لكنها ستنتظر ما ستفضي إليه حوارات القاهرة الأسبوع المقبل لتحديد طبيعة مشاركتها، وأيّ السيناريوات ستُحقّق لها أكبر فوز. هذه الحوارات، كما يبدو، ستكون محطّة فاصلة في تقييم الانتخابات وجدّيتها، كما يشرح المصدر، مضيفاً «(أننا) شَكّلنا لجاناً لتجهيز الملفّات الخاصة بالحوار في قضايا القضاء والأمن والموظفين وواقع الحال في غزة والضفة وحرية التعبير… أيضاً شَكّلنا لجنة عليا مركزية في المكتب السياسي لمتابعة الانتخابات التشريعية».
وعلى رغم سعيها إلى الفوز بأكبر قدر من المقاعد، إلا أن «حماس» لا ترغب في تشكيل الحكومة وحدها مجدّداً في حال نيلها الغالبية، بل هي تُفضّل تأليف حكومة وحدة وطنية أو حكومة كفاءات لتلافي حصار جديد. أمّا الموقف “الحمساوي” في شأن الحشد لانتخابات «المجلس الوطني» فلا يزال هو نفسه، لكن لم يُحسم بعد القرار بالدخول في الانتخابات الرئاسية، على أن يناقَش ذلك بعد نتائج “التشريعية”.

في المقابل، لم تحسم حركة «الجهاد الإسلامي» موقفها بخصوص المشاركة في انتخابات «المجلس التشريعي»، مُفضِّلة أيضاً مناقشة هذه الخطوة بعد حوارات القاهرة، طبقاً لتصريحات قياديين فيها. لكن مصادر قالت إن هناك آراء داخل الحركة تدفع نحو المشاركة الجزئية، مقابل غالبية ترفض أصل المشاركة التي تَجنّبتها الحركة مرّات سابقاً مع إعلان استمرارها في تبنّي خيار المقاومة، بعيداً من إفرازات “اتفاقية أوسلو” كافة. وبينما لدى «الجهاد» رغبة كبيرة في دخول انتخابات «الوطني» ضمن شروط معينة، أرجأت التباحث في هذه الشروط حتى التأكّد من إمكانية حدوث هذه الانتخابات المُقرَّرة نهاية الشهر الثامن، كما لم تحسم الحركة موقفها من الانتخابات الرئاسية وأيّ شخصيات يمكن أن تدعمها عبر كوادرها.


«الشعبية» متردّدة… والبقية يخشون السقوط

رجب المدهون الإثنين 1 شباط 2021

«الشعبية» متردّدة... والبقية يخشون السقوط
لم تحسم «الشعبيّة» موقفها من المشاركة لأنها تشكّك في نيّات عبّاس (أي بي أيه )

لم يحسم الفصيل الأكبر في «منظّمة التحرير الفلسطينية» بعد حركة «فتح»، «الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين»، موقفه من المشاركة في الانتخابات. مردّ ذلك أنه لا يزال يُشكّك في نيّات رئيس السلطة، محمود عباس، وإمكانية استخدامه المحكمة الدستورية ضدّ خصومه في حال لم يحالف الفوزُ «فتح». وتربط «الشعبية» مشاركتها بالتوافق في القاهرة على النقاط الخلافية، وأبرزها «تشكيل محكمة الانتخابات بتوافق وطني بعيداً من التفرّد والتلاعب الذي جرى في المجلس الأعلى للقضاء على يد عباس»، كما أكد نائب الأمين العام للجبهة، أبو أحمد فؤاد.

يقول مصدر قيادي في «الشعبية»، لـ«الأخبار»، إن اللجنة المركزية والمكتب السياسي لم يحسما بعد قرار المشاركة، لكنه يؤكد أن «الخيارات كافة متاحة بما في ذلك المشاركة في قائمة وطنية تضمّ جميع الفصائل، أو التحالف مع حماس، أو قائمة منفردة على غرار انتخابات 2006» التي حصلت فيها الجبهة على 4.2% بواقع ثلاثة مقاعد. ويشير المصدر إلى وجود معارضة داخلية للدخول في قائمة موحّدة مع فصائل المنظّمة تضمّ «فتح»، خشية من استغلال الأخيرة تلك القائمة، وتعزيز تفرّدها بالقرار الفلسطيني، وتقوية برنامجها السياسي القائم على التفاوض مع الاحتلال، فضلاً عن وجود خلافات مع «فتح» لم يتمّ حلّها أصلاً.

رفضت الجبهة أن تكون تحت مظلّة «فتح» وتشاركها قائمة واحدة


على خطّ موازٍ، تسعى «فتح» إلى تجميع فصائل «منظّمة التحرير» للدخول في قائمة واحدة معها في الانتخابات التشريعية. ومنذ قرار إجراء الانتخابات، عقدت فصائل المنظّمة لقاءات، آخرها منتصف الشهر الماضي، للتباحث في كيفية دخولها الانتخابات وتحقيق نتائج جيدة تغطّي ضعف شعبيتها. وأمام خوف عدد منها من انكشاف شعبيّتها المتدنّية، فهي تسعى إلى تشكيل قائمة موحّدة لتجاوز نسبة الحسم ودخول «المجلس التشريعي»، الأمر الذي دعا إليه عضو اللجنة المركزية لـ«الجبهة الديموقراطية»، محمود خلف.

تضمّ تلك اللقاءات حزب «الشعب» و«جبهة النضال الشعبي» و«جبهة التحرير الفلسطينية» وحزب «فدا» و«الجبهة العربية الفلسطينية»، وهي فصائل لم تحصل على نسبة الحسم في انتخابات 2006، وتخشى من انتهاء حضورها بسبب التصاق بعضها بمواقف السلطة، واستخدام الأخيرة لها في مواقف كثيرة، فضلاً عن انعدام فعاليتها في الساحة الشعبية. ولذلك، تريد تعزيز فرصها الآن لتحقيق أكثر من 10% لها جميعاً، لكن الخشية من الخلافات حول تشكيل قائمة موحّدة بينها دفع بعضها إلى المطالبة بخفض نسبة الحسم إلى 1% بخلاف النسبة السابقة، 2%. أمّا «الديموقراطية»، فتريد توسيع تحالف فصائل المنظّمة هذه المرّة لتحقيق نتائج أفضل من التي حصلت عليها في 2006، عندما تحالفت مع «الشعب» و«فدا» وحصدت 2.7% من الأصوات، وهي الآن تجهد لضمّ «جبهة التحرير» التي حصلت في الانتخابات الماضية على 0.3%، إضافة إلى «العربية الفلسطينية» التي حصلت على 0.4%، و«المبادرة الفلسطينية» (مصطفى البرغوثي وآخرين) التي حصلت على 2.72% .

«المستقلّون» يجدون فرصتهم

رجب المدهون الإثنين 1 شباط 2021

لا يتيح المرسوم الرئاسي الخاصّ بالانتخابات التشريعية، لـ«المستقلّين»، الترشّح بصورة منفردة، ما يدفع عدداً من هؤلاء إلى تشكيل قوائم خاصة بهم، طارحين أنفسهم منافساً وبديلاً من الفصائل، مستغلّين في ذلك تراجع الثقة الشعبية لغالبية التنظيمات. وتستعدّ شخصيات «مستقلّة» في الضفة المحتلة وقطاع غزة لتشكيل قوائم عدّة، فيما يدرس عدد من الفصائل التحالف مع هؤلاء بِمَن فيها «حماس» و«فتح»، لتعزيز المقاعد التي ستحصل عليها في الانتخابات.

ومع ترحيب «تجمّع الشخصيات المستقلّة» بمرسوم الانتخابات، كشفت مصادر في التجمّع أن هناك عدداً من الشخصيات المنضوية تحت لوائه تبحث بجدّية خوض الانتخابات ضمن قائمة خاصة، وسط توقعات بأن تحصل هذه القائمة على «نتائج مرضية مع ارتفاع شعبية عدد منهم ورغبة الشارع في التغيير وإنهاء الانقسام».
وعلمت «الأخبار» أن رئيس الوزراء الأسبق، سلام فياض، يستعدّ لدخول الانتخابات على رأس قائمة من المستقلّين تضمّ شخصيات من غزة والضفة، كما جرى في انتخابات 2006 والتي حصل فيها على مقعدين، لكن شريكته في الانتخابات الماضية، حنان عشراوي، أعلنت أنها لن تخوض هذه الانتخابات، فضلاً عن خلافها معه.

⁨انتخابات كلٌ يغني على ليلاه – New Elections or a Third Intifada?⁩

** Please scroll down for the English machine translation **

انتخابات كلٌ يغني على ليلاه

عمرو علان - Amro 🇵🇸 (@amrobilal77) | Twitter
*كاتب فلسطيني وباحث سياسي

عمرو علان

عربي 21، الجمعة 29 يناير\كانون الثاني 2021

تدخل القوى الفلسطينية معترك انتخابات المجلس التشريعي التي تم التوافق على إجرائها وكلٌ يغني على ليلاه، فمحمود عباس يسعى من وراء هذه الانتخابات إلى الحصول على إقرار بكونه الممثل الشرعي لكل الفصائل الفلسطينية في الضفة وقطاع غزة، وعينه على طاولة مفاوضات جديدة تُعْقَد بمباركة إدارة جو بايدن الأمريكية، وعلى استئناف تلقي المخصصات من الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية والكيان الصهيوني، فهو لم يَعُدْ عنده أي شيء آخر ليقدمه للفلسطينيين، سوى ربما المزيد من تنسيقه الأمني “المقدس” مع قوات الاحتلال وبلا أدنى خجل، ولا يحتاج الإنسان إلى الكثير من العناء لتوقُّع مصير هذه المفاوضات، فيكفي النظر إلى تجربة الثلاثة عقود المنصرمة، وإذا كان هذا غير كافٍ فيمكن الاستئناس بما قاله جو بايدن مؤخرا عندما بشّرنا بأن التوافق بين أطراف النزاع يحتاج إلى المزيد من الوقت، وطبعا الكيان الصهيوني مستمر أثناء ذلك في تنفيذ مشروعه بقضم القليل المتبقي من أراضي الضفة عبر زيادة الاستيطان، وصولا إلى تهجير من تبقّى من سكان الضفة لأن الصهيوني يريد الأرض دون البشر الذين عليها، ويقدر أحد أصحاب الرأي بأنه لن يمضي الكثير من الوقت قبل أن يبدأ المستوطنون بحملات الإرهاب ضد سكان الضفة، حملات بدأت بوادرها بالظهور من خلال القتل الاعتباطي لبعض سكان أراضي 67، ولِما لا والسلطة الفلسطينية صارت وظيفتها الوحيدة حفظ أمن المستوطنين موفرةً بذلك للكيان الغاصب أرخص احتلال عرفه التاريخ، هذا ولم نتحدث عن الانتشار المريب للسلاح غير المنضبط بين أيادي بعض المشبوهين من أهالي 48، الذي أدى إلى حصول عدة جرائم في الشهور الماضية.

إن كل ما شهدناه من سياسة الحرد التي اتبعها محمود عباس فترة حكم دونالد ترامب، وصولا إلى اجتماع أمناء الفصائل الفلسطينية في بيروت لم يكن إلا مجرد مناورات تكتيكية، والمضحك المبكي أنه كان يُصرّح طيلة تلك الفترة عن تمسكه باستراتيجية المفاوضات العقيمة، لكن هناك على الساحة الفلسطينية من لا يريد أن  يسمع.

أما حركة حماس فهي تأمل من وراء هذه الانتخابات الخروج من المأزق الذي وضعت نفسها فيه بعد خوضها انتخابات عام 2006، لعلها تستطيع تخفيف وطأة الحصار الظالم على قطاع غزة، وهنا يُطرح السؤال الوجيه الذي يرِدْ على لسان الكثيرين: كيف لانتخابات جديدة أن تؤدي إلى انهاء الانقسام بينما كان منشأ الانقسام انتخابات 2006 بالأصل؟

واهمٌ من يظن أن حصار فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية في قطاع غزة سببه الانقسام، الحصار يا سادة سببه تمسك المقاومة الفلسطينية بالحقوق والثوابت الوطنية، وحملها عبء قضية فلسطين المقدسة، ومربط فرس الحصار عند كيان الاحتلال لا عند سواه، لذلك أي محاولات لفك الحصار أو تخفيفه لا تمر عبر الاشتباك مع العدو الذي يفرض الحصار لن تكون ذات جدوى، ولن تفضي إلا إلى المزيد من تعمق الأزمة وإضاعة الوقت والجهود.

تشهد الضفة هذه الفترة حالة غليان لا يمكن تجاهلها، والعمليات الفردية والبطولية المستمرة تدلل عل أن النار تحت الرماد، فلا يمر أسبوع دون حصول عملية أو اثنتين، فأيهما أجدى؟ تأطير هذه الطاقات وتفعيل الحراك الشعبي وصولا إلى الانتفاضة، أم تنفيس هذا الغضب الشعبي الكامن عبر دخول انتخابات غير مقتنع بجدواها غالبية الشعب الفلسطيني؟

شعبنا بعمومه مدرك لكون فكرة انتخابات تحت حراب الاحتلال الذي يتحكم بكل مفاصل الحياة في الضفة الغربية ما هي إلا مزحة سمجة، لكن أحد أخطر عواقب هذه المزحة السمجة إدخال الإحباط في نفوس الشباب الغاضب في الضفة وتثبيط هممه.

خروج المقاومة الفلسطينية من أزمتها وتخفيف الحصار الظالم المفروض عليها لن يكون عبر سلوك الطريق الأسهل غير المجدي بل من خلال الطريق الأنجع حتى ولو كان الأصعب، والانتفاضة الثالثة سيكون من شأنها قلب المعادلات وتغيير الوقائع، ناهيكم عن فرصتها الحقيقية في دحر الاحتلال عن أراضي 67 دون قيد أو شرط في ظل حالة التراجع التي يعيشها العدو الصهيوني، والتي باتت تتحدث عنها مراكز دراسات العدو ذاته، ولا يغرنكم حالة التذمر الشعبي من صلافة العيش وضيق الحال، فلتبدأ الخطوات الجدية اتجاه حراك شعبي منظم وانتفاضة جديدة وستجدون خلفكم مارد اسمه الشعب الفلسطيني، يعض على الجراح ويربط الحجَر على المَعِدة لكتم الجوع – متمثلا بالرسول الأعظم – في سبيل الهدف الوطني الأسمى. 

New Elections or a Third Intifada?

Amro Allan

عمرو علان - Amro 🇵🇸 (@amrobilal77) | Twitter
*Palestinian writer and Political researcher

Arabi 21, Friday January 29 2021

On the 15th of January Mahmoud Abbas called for new elections to be held in the next couple of months in the occupied territories. But let us ignore the fundamental contradiction of holding a poll in an occupied territory under the watch of the occupation forces for now, and try to look in the motives behind this step.

We believe that each of the Palestinian factions is planning to run in this elections with a different ulterior motive.

First, Mahmoud Abbas is seeking  recognition as the legitimate representative of all Palestinian factions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. And all he has in mind is a new negotiating table held with the blessing of the new Joe Biden administration, and to resume receiving financial support from the United States of America and the Zionist Entity.  That is because he no longer has anything else to offer  to the Palestinians, except perhaps more security coordination with the occupation forces without any hint of shame. 

The outcome of this new negotiations is predictable, at least from the experience of the last three decades. And if this is not enough, we can draw on what Joe Biden has said recently when he warned that a consensus between the parties to the conflict needs more time. Of course, the Zionist Entity will continue to implement its project of annexing the little that remains from the West Bank lands by increasing settlement activities, with the aim to displace the remaining Palestinians in the West Bank. The Zionist Entity wants the land without the people on it. One expert envisages that it will not be long before the settlers start a campaigns of terror against the inhabitants of the West Bank; campaigns that began to appear through the arbitrary killing of some of the inhabitants of the territories occupied in 1967. And why not, when the Palestinian Authority sole function has become to maintain the security of the settlers. Thus, providing  the usurped entity the cheapest  occupation  in  history.

And we have not mentioned the suspicious appearance of uncontrolled weapons in the hands of some shady individuals in the territories occupied in 1948, which led to several homicides in the past few months alone.

All the steps that we witnessed from Mahmoud Abbas hinting to the withdrawal from the Oslo Accord during the days of Donald Trump was nothing but   a tactical maneuver. And the irony is that he was openly reaffirming all along his adherence to his futile strategy of negotiations.

Turning to Hamas, we find that it hopes that the new elections will break the deadlock in which they set themselves up after the last elections in 2006. Also, they hope to ease the unjust blockade on the Gaza Strip as they believe that a new elections will lead to unity between Hamas and Fatah. But here the valid question arises: how can new elections lead to an end to the division between Hamas and Fatah, when the elections of 2006 was what caused the current division in the first place?

In any case,, all who think that the siege of the Palestinian  resistance  factions in the Gaza Strip is because of the current division are deluded. The siege, gentlemen, is because of the Palestinian resistance’s adherence to the Palestinian’s national rights and principles, as well as carrying the burden of the holy cause of liberating Palestine.

The siege locks are in the hands of the Occupation Entity and not in Abbas’s hands nor any one else. Thus, any attempts to dismantle or ease the siege do not pass through the clash with the occupation which imposes the blockade will be sterile, and will only lead to further deepening of the crisis and wasting more time and efforts.

We have been witnessing a boiling situation over the passed year or two in the West Bank that cannot be ignored, and the continuous individual and heroic operations almost on a weekly bases clearly indicate that the fire is under the ashes. So which is more useful then, Framing  these energies and activating the popular movement to the intifada, or venting this underlying popular anger by running a new elections? 

The Palestinians in their majority are not convinced of the usefulness of this new elections. Our people in general are aware that the idea of elections under the bayonets of the occupation, which controls every detail of the life in the West Bank, is nothing but a joke. But one of the most serious consequences of this silly joke is to introduce dismay in the hearts of angry youth in the West Bank and discourage them.

The Palestinian resistance’s exit from its crisis, and the easing of the unjust siege imposed on it will not be through the easier and useless way, but through the most effective way, even if it is the more difficult one. And a third intifada will change the status-quo and the facts on the ground. Not to mention its real chance to force the occupation withdrawal from the 1967 territories without conditions.

Today the Zionist Entity is witnessing a real deterioration due to many reasons. Even ‘Israel’ thinktanks and strategic  centers acknowledge this deterioration , and it would be wise of the Palestinians to build on these new conditions. 

Finally, to the Palestinian resistance factions we say, do not be fooled by the discontent displayed by many Palestinians because of the present harsh economic situation in Palestine, let the serious steps towards an organised popular movement and a new intifada begin, and you will find behind you a giant called the Palestinian people, who will bear their wounds, and tie the stone on the stomach to bate the hunger as Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, once did, for the sake of the supreme Palestinian national goal.

Realities of politics and Palestinian aspirations حقائق السياسة وأماني الفلسطيني

**Please scroll down for the Arabic version **

Palestinian politician residing in Jenin, Occupied Palestine

Saada Mustafa  Arshid_

Many Arab and Palestinian policies are built on the fact that Joe Biden’s presidency will  be a natural extension of the policies of the Obama administration, in which Biden was vice president, and president Biden is the same person. I think that’s an inaccurate estimate. The man has a strong personality, he is experienced and experienced in both domestic and foreign politics, and his long experience in Congress has given him the experience and statesmanship he needs, and then there is a lot of water that has taken place  in the valleys of politics  both in Washington and  in the Middle East during the four years  of Trump’s administration, which  has been full of events, which makes the new president obliged to deal  with  those  variables, albeit with a different mentality and policies. If he ever talked about a two-state solution, he ever talked about a two-state solution, it goes back  to a long time ago, and that  does not  mean that he will remain steadfast when he speaks. The new U.S. State Department, which supports the two-state solution, a state (Israel) as a Jewish state and besides it a Palestinian state without sovereignty and dignity, without borders without crossings, without sovereignty over its airspace or the hollow of its territory, without its Jerusalem and some of the West Bank. Last Tuesday, exaggerated statements were made in Ramallah following a speech by the Acting United States Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Richard Wells, in which he said: We will restore relations with the Palestinian leadership and the Palestinian people, and that many mistakes were made by the administration of former President Trump in this context and must be corrected, but it does not specify what are those mistakes, and it seems certain that the subject of Jerusalem and the transfer of the embassy to it are not one of those mistakes, as well as the annexation of the West Bank from the Jordan, settlements and  goods that have become sold in the United States and written on them.  By Israel, these mistakes may not go beyond cutting off financial aid, closing the PLO office in Washington, and closing the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem.

There is no doubt that the election of Biden was in some respects a coup in the Arab balances  that  have  repercussions on the Palestinian affairs, and he acknowledged in the certainty of many Arab leaders that Trump will remain in the White House for a second term, which led them to invest in supporting his re-election financially and politically, and indeed At the  expense of national security through the processes of normalisation and alliance in its political, security and then economic forms, and this has put them in trouble with the new administration, which has enough files and tools to their necks, making it their plans and dreams and illusions autumn papers, blowing the wind. Biden’s victory, at the same time, was a victory for other regional  powers, which entered into a bitter and strained conflict with the Trump administration, Iran  breathed a sigh of relief, even if there were adjustments to the  nuclear deal with the Obama administration, but with Biden’s arrival, she had passed the difficult stage and had come out  of the bottle, as well as Qatar, a permanent ally of democratic administrations in Washington, and a victory for Qatar’s Muslim Brotherhood allies and Qatar’s Palestinian guests, i.e. Hamas, while at the same time defeating Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and its Palestinian guest, while dealing with an adversary with the Trump administration can be optimistic (and perhaps He is overly optimistic, as we see the Palestinian Authority, which see President Mahmoud Abbas’ call for Trump’s house to be  ruined, has been met with caution, and those who have treated the Trump administration cautiously in its last year find an opportunity to build better relations with the new administration, as Jordan has. Some Arabs are optimistic under Biden, including the Palestinians, as they carry expectations and aspirations above what they can afford, and what comes out of the new U.S. administration is nothing more than delusions and signs that may be misleading — such as talking about a two-state solution — because there are no clear policies or strategies that can be read or built upon yet, This is while the Arab, Islamic and international violations are expanding, with new countries candidates for normalisation, and others in the process of transferring their embassies to Jerusalem, while (Israel) exchanges with Sudan, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates embassies, missions, economic and cultural  missions and iron domes, an Arab who was the back of Palestine Its issue and the rights of  its people  will  be at its best only a neutral  intermediary, in the Palestinian (Israeli) relationship, while the Palestinian is totally  absent  from any comment, condemnation or criticism of this nefarious behaviour.

حقائق السياسة وأماني الفلسطيني

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سياسي فلسطيني مقيم في جنين – فلسطين المحتلة

سعادة مصطفى أرشيد

يتمّ بناء كثير من السياسات العربية والفلسطينية منها على أنّ رئاسة جو بايدن ستكون امتداداً طبيعياً لسياسات إدارة الرئيس الأسبق أوباما، التي كان فيها بايدن نائباً للرئيس، وانّ الرئيس بايدن هو الشخص ذاته. وفي ظني أنّ ذلك تقدير غير دقيق. فالرجل يملك شخصية قوية، وهو مجرّب ومتمرّس في السياسة الداخلية والخارجية على حدّ سواء، وقد منحته تجربته الطويلة في الكونغرس ما يحتاجه من خبرة وحنكة، ثم أنّ مياهاً غزيرة قد جرت في وديان السياسة سواء في واشنطن أو في الشرق الأوسط خلال السنوات الأربع من حكم ترامب والتي كانت مليئة بالأحداث، ذلك ما يجعل الرئيس الجديد ملزماً بالتعامل مع تلك المتغيّرات وإنْ بعقلية وسياسات مختلفة. وإذا كان قد تحدث ذات يوم عن حلّ الدولتين، فإنّ ذلك يعود الى زمن مضى، ولا يعني ذلك أنه سيبقى متمترّساً عند كلمته، فالسياسة أمر دائم التغيّر ولا ثوابت فيها، وكذلك مفهوم حلّ الدولتين الذي يحتمل أكثر من تفسير، مما يدعم هذه النظرة ما قاله منذ أيام، وزير الخارجية الأميركي الجديد بلينكن أمام الكونغرس، من أنه يدعم حلّ الدولتين، دولة (إسرائيل) كدولة يهودية وإلى جانبها دولة فلسطينية منزوعة السيادة والكرامة، بلا حدود بلا معابر، بلا سيادة على أجوائها أو جوف أرضها، بلا قدسها وبعض من الضفة الغربية. الثلاثاء الماضي، صدرت تصريحات مبالغة في تفاؤلها من رام الله اثر حديث أدلى بها القائم بأعمال مندوب الولايات المتحدة في هيئة الأمم السفير ريتشارد ويلز، قال فيه: سنعيد العلاقات مع القيادة الفلسطينية والشعب الفلسطيني، وإنّ أخطاء عديدة كانت قد اقترفتها إدارة الرئيس السابق ترامب في هذا السياق ويجب تصحيحها، ولكنه لم يحدّد ما هي تلك الأخطاء، ويبدو أنّ من الأكيد أنّ موضوع القدس ونقل السفارة إليها ليسا من تلك الأخطاء، وكذلك ضمّ أراضي الضفة الغربية من أغوار ومستوطنات وبضائعها التي أصبحت تباع في الولايات المتحدة ومكتوب عليها أنها من إنتاج (إسرائيل)، ولعلّ تلك الأخطاء لن تتجاوز قطع المساعدات المالية وإغلاق مكتب منظمة التحرير في واشنطن، وإغلاق القنصلية الأميركية في القدس الشرقية.

مما لا شك فيه أنّ انتخاب بايدن كان في بعض جوانبه انقلاباً في التوازنات العربية التي لها انعكاساتها على الشأن الفلسطيني، فقد وقر في يقين عديد من القادة العرب أن ترامب باق في البيت الأبيض لفترة رئاسية ثانية، الأمر الذي دعاهم لأن يستثمروا في دعم إعادة انتخابه مالياً وسياسياً، لا بل وعلى حساب الأمن القومي من خلال عمليات التطبيع والتحالف بأشكاله السياسية والأمنية ثم الاقتصادية، وهذا الذي أوقعهم في مأزق مع الإدارة الجديدة التي تملك من الملفات والأدوات ما يكفى لليّ رقابهم، فجعل ذلك من خططهم وأحلامهم وأوهامهم أوراق خريف، تذروها الرياح. فانتصار بايدن، كان في الوقت ذاته انتصاراً لقوى إقليمية أخرى، دخلت في صراع مرير ومجهد مع إدارة ترامب، إيران تنفست الصعداء، حتى لو جرت تعديلات على الاتفاق النووي الذي أبرمته مع إدارة أوباما، لكنها مع مجيء بايدن، قد تجاوزت المرحلة الصعبة وقد خرجت من عنق الزجاجة، وكذلك قطر، الحليف الدائم للإدارات الديمقراطية في واشنطن، وانتصار لحلفاء قطر من الإخوان المسلمين وضيوف قطر من الفلسطينيين وأقصد هنا حركة حماس، وفي الوقت ذاته هزيمة للسعودية ومصر والإمارات وضيفها الفلسطيني، فيما يستطيع من تعامل بخصومة مع إدارة ترامب بأن يتفاءل (وربما يبالغ في تفاؤله) كما نرى السلطة الفلسطينية التي ترى أنّ دعاء الرئيس أبو مازن على بيت ترامب بالخراب قد تمّت الاستجابة له، ومن تعامل بحذر مع إدارة ترامب في عامها الأخير، أن يجد فرصة لبناء علاقات أفضل مع الإدارة الجديدة، كما حال الأردن. يبدي بعض العرب تفاؤلاً برئاسة بايدن، ومنهم الفلسطينيون، إذ يحملون الأمور توقعات وأماني فوق ما تحتمل، فما يصدر عن الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة ليس أكثر من تهويمات وإشارات قد تكون مضللة – كالحديث عن حلّ الدولتين – إذ لا سياسات أو استراتيجيات واضحة يمكن قراءتها أو البناء عليها حتى الآن، هذا فيما يتسع الخرق العربي والإسلامي والعالمي، بدول جديدة مرشحة للتطبيع، وأخرى بصدد نقل سفاراتها للقدس، فيما تتبادل (إسرائيل) مع السودان والمغرب والإمارات السفارات والبعثات والملحقيات الاقتصادية والثقافية والقباب الحديدية، وهو العربي الذي كان ظهيراً لفلسطين ومسألتها وحقوق شعبها، لن يكون بأحسن أحواله إلا وسيطاً محايداً، في العلاقة الفلسطينية (الإسرائيلية) فيما يغيب الفلسطيني تماماً عن أيّ تعليق أو إدانة أو انتقاد لهذا السلوك الشائن.

Ramallah Traitors Impatient to Resume Unconditional Talks with Israel

Report: Abbas Impatient to Resume Unconditional Talks with Israel

January 2, 2021

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in Ramallah. (Photo: via Facebook)

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas hopes to resume unconditional talks with Israel as soon as possible, a senior PA official informed Israel Hayom.

On Friday, the Israeli outlet reported a senior PA official stating that Abbas is enthusiastic “to resume negotiations with Israel as soon as possible through American mediation and without preconditions.”

The official argued that Abbas is planning to take advantage of the fact that President-elect Joe Biden’s administration has not yet formulated a clear vision of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

According to the official, if the Biden administration became preoccupied with other issues, it would place the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the bottom of its agenda. As a result, it could take months before making any progress.

“The goal is to strike while the iron is hot and resume negotiations without delay,” the official confirmed.

“The new Biden administration has a lot on its plate. It has internal problems to resolve, it has to come up with a policy about the Iran nuclear deal and restore its relationship with China and the European Union,” the Israeli official stated.

Abbas is afraid that any delay in the peace process could give Israel the chance to perpetuate the current situation – expanding settlements and building new ones.

This message, according to the official, was sent by Abbas to Washington through the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, with whom Abbas met in Doha.

Israeli-PA talks stalled in April 2014 when Israel refused to stop settlement construction and release a batch of veteran Palestinian prisoners.

Despite Arab recognition and normalisation: the “Israeli” entity is temporary! رغم الاعتراف والتطبيع العربيّ: الكيان «الإسرائيليّ» مؤقت!

**Please scroll down for the English Machine translation**

رغم الاعتراف والتطبيع العربيّ: الكيان «الإسرائيليّ» مؤقت!

د. عدنان منصور

 قد يتصوّر كثيرون في العالم، وبالذات المهرولون «العرب» للاعتراف بالكيان الصهيونيّ، ومَن يقف إلى جانبهم ويروّج للتطبيع مع العدو، أنّ القضية الفلسطينية، وحقوق الشعب الفلسطيني طويت الى غير رجعة. وأنّ عهداً جديداً بدأ يسود ويطغى في عالمنا العربي، وفي منطقة الشرق الأوسط، ليدخلهما في «العصر الإسرائيلي الجديد».

 لا يريد العدو «الإسرائيلي» منذ تأسيس كيانه غصباً، أن يقتنع بمنطق التاريخ وحركته، أن لا قوة تستطيع أن تلغي شعباً من الوجود، يتمسّك بأرضه وتراثه وجذوره، وإنْ توفرت لها مؤقتاً عوامل إقليميّة ودولية للحفاظ على وضعها الشاذ، وحكم الأمر الواقع.

لا يريد الصهاينة ومَن معهم، ان يقتنعوا بأنّ مقاومة الشعب الفلسطيني للاحتلال، لا تنتهي بالاتفاقيات والتسويات والصفقات على حسابه. وأنّ الوضع غير الطبيعي في العالم العربي لن يبقى على حاله للأبد، وأنّ الأجيال العربية والفلسطينية ستظلّ تتوارث المقاومة من جيل الى جيل، وإلى يوم موعود لا مفرّ منه.

 الطغاة المحتلّون، والخوَنة المتخاذلون وتجار القضية، لا يقرّرون أبداً مصير فلسطين وشعبها، ولا يفاوضون عنها وعنه، مصير فلسطين ومستقبلها يقرّره شعبها المقاوم، الذي تجاوز سلوك ورهانات وسياسات السلطة الفلسطينية وترهّلها، وكشف الانتهازيين والعملاء الذين يعملون من الداخل على تصفية قضيته.

السلام العادل لن تحققه «إسرائيل»، وإنْ سعى إليه رئيس السلطة الفلسطينية محمود عباس الذي قال على وسائل الإعلام يوماً: «نريد أن نلتقي مع جيل الشباب في «إسرائيل»، الجيل الذي نعمل هذه الأيام من أجل مستقبله، من أن يعيش بأمن واستقرار في هذه المنطقة» … (!!!) «نريد السلام مع «إسرائيل» أولاً، «إسرائيل» جارتنا، نريد ان نعمل سلاماً معها، ونعيش في سلام معها … (!!!).

أيّ سلام ينادي به رئيس السلطة الفلسطينية محمود عباس، وما هي الخطوات التي تقوم بها السلطة وهي تشاهد يومياً ممارسات «إسرائيل» في تهويد القدس، ومصادرة الأراضي، وبناء المستوطنات، وطرد الفلسطينيين من ديارهم، وإصرارها على فرض سلام الأمر الواقع، المبني على مفهوم القوة والاحتلال، مفهوم ترفضه المقاومة الفلسطينية بالشكل والأساس.

ستتعب «إسرائيل» ولن تتعب المقاومة، التي سيظلّ سيفها مسلطاً على رقبة الكيان، الذي لن ينعم بالأمن ولا بالسلام، رغم كلّ ما ينجزه ويحققه من مكتسبات في الوقت الحاضر… إذ يبقى شعب فلسطين، قنبلة في خاصرة «إسرائيل»، تقضّ مضجعها باستمرار، لن تجعل المحتلين يعيشون بأمان واستقرار. جرثومة غريبة دخلت في جسد الأمة لن يكتب لها الاستمرار والبقاء مهما طال الوقت، وأياً كان الرهان.

كيان غاصب لم يعد يقتنع باستمراريته، رغم قوّته، حتى العديد من الساسة والإعلاميين الصهاينة. إنه صراع مستمرّ بين إرادتين، لن يتوقف الا بانكسار إرادة الاحتلال.. ستبدي الأيام للصهاينة وأعوانهم، أنه على الرغم مما حققته «إسرائيل» من «إنجازات» واعتراف وتطبيع مع بعض «العرب»، فإنها لن تستطيع أن تقضي على القضية الفلسطينية وتنهي حالتها، وتؤسّس لوضع جديد ملائم لها في الشرق الأوسط.

 إنّ الإرادة الفلسطينية في نهاية المطاف، ستكسر لا محال شوكة المحتلين.

 إنّ الصراع طويل، ولن يتوقف بين المقاومين والمحتلين. الفلسطينيون على أرضهم صامدون، صابرون، متربّصون، مقاومون، ينتظرون الساعة، والصهاينة سيظلّون يعيشون هاجس الأمن، والسلام والاستقرار والبقاء.

فأيّ استقرار وبقاء وأيّ أمن هو هذا الأمن الذي يتطلع إليه نتنياهو الذي قال: «في الشرق الأوسط يتقدّم الأمن على السلام ومعاهدات السلام، وكلّ من لا يدرك هذا، سيظلّ دون أمن ودون سلام».

 «إسرائيل» وإنْ وقّعت معاهدات سلام مع بعض العرب، إلا أنها بكلّ تأكيد، لن تحقق الأمن والأمان والاستقرار للمحتلين الصهاينة، طالما هناك شعب مقاوم مُصرّ على انتزاع حقوقه بالمقاومة والقوة.

 أبراهام بورغ رئيس الكنيست «الإسرائيلي» الأسبق، وأحد أبرز الوجوه الصهيونية يكشف في كتابه: هزيمة هتلر، واقع ومأزق «إسرائيل» وقلق مستوطنيها ليقول: «إنّ دولة «إسرائيل» التي كان يتوجّب عليها، توفير ملجأ آمن للشعب اليهودي، أصبحت بالنسبة له المكان الأكثر خطورة… لنغمض أعيننا، ولنحاول أن نسأل أنفسنا، أيّ مكان أكثر أمناً للعيش: في القدس، مدينة مقدسة ومتفجّرة؟ في الخليل، مدينة الثلاث أسباط للأمة الممزّقة بين مختلف المتحدّرين من إبراهيم؟ أم في نيويورك رغم هدم البرجين على يد الأصوليّة؟ يبدو لي أنّ كثيرين سيجزمون أنّ نيويورك هي أكثر أمناً على المدى البعيد من الدولة اليهودية ولو أنها مدجّجة حتى النخاع بالقنابل الذرية»…

«إنّ حضور الموت الذي لا يتوقف في حياتنا المرتبط بحروب «إسرائيل»، ـ يقول بورغ ـ، لا يؤدّي إلا إلى الإكثار من المجازر والدمار والإبادة التي يتلقاها شعبنا. لهذا فإنّ الأموات في هذا البلد لا يرقدون أبداً في سلام، إنهم دائماً نشطون، دائماً حاضرون، دائماً ملازمون لوجودنا التعيس… لقد ربحنا كلّ الحروب، ومع ذلك، نحتفظ بشعور عميق بالخسارة… إنّ الحرب لم تعُد استثناء لنا، بل أصبحت قانوناً، وطريقة عيشنا، طريقة حرب تجاه الجميع…».

 إنّ صراع الإرادات وحسم الأمور يتمّ في الميدان، سيحدّده ويرسم طريقه شعب مناضل حيّ، آل على نفسه أن يصمد ويقاوم، ليسترجع بالقوة حقوقه المشروعة وإقامة دولته على أرضه، واستعادة ما خسره على مدى قرن من الزمن.

 متى سيقرّ الصهاينة في تل أبيب، بعد 72 عاماً من تأسيس كيانهم الغاضب، أنّ فلسطين ليست أرضاً بلا شعب، وأنّ الفلسطينيّين ليسوا في وارد نسيان وطنهم وأرضهم، وتاريخهم وحقوقهم القومية!

سيأتي اليوم الذي سيقرّ به الصهاينة، إنّ زجّ المقاومين في السجون، والمعتقلات، والقيام بممارسات الإرهاب، والتخويف والتعذيب، وهدم البيوت، والحصار، والقمع والتجويع، لن يوفر لهم الأمن ولا السلام الهشّ الذي يمنحه لهم بعض المهرولين العرب، ولن يمنع المقاومين من الوصول الى عقر دارهم وتصفية الحساب معهم.

أيّها الصهاينة، اعلموا جيداً، أنكم تواجهون أصلب وأقدر وأصعب وأشجع شعب، وأكثر صبراً وعزيمة في تاريخ النضال الوطني للشعوب الحرة في العالم، لذلك سينتصر عليكم الفلسطينيون ومعهم كلّ أحرار الأمة، وستُهزمون، ولن يفيدكم في ما بعد، دعم الطغاة في العالم لكم، أو اعتراف أو تطبيع أو تطبيل جاءكم به مرتدّ من هنا أو هناك.

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*وزير الخارجية والمغتريين الأسبق.

Despite Arab recognition and normalization: the “Israeli” entity is temporary!

Dr. Adnan Mansour

 Many in the world, particularly the “Arab” smugglers to recognize the Zionist entity, and those who stand by them and promote normalization with the enemy, may imagine that the Palestinian cause, and the rights of the Palestinian people, have been extended forever. A new era is prevailing in the Arab world, and in the Middle East, to bring them into the “new Israeli era”.

 The “Israeli” enemy does not want since the establishment of its entity, forced to be convinced by the logic of history and its movement, that no force can abolish a people from existence, clinging to its land, heritage and roots, even if it temporarily has regional and international factors to maintain its abnormal status, and de facto.

The Zionists and their allies do not want to be convinced that the Resistance of the Palestinian people to the occupation does not end with agreements, settlements and deals at their expense. The abnormal situation in the Arab world will not remain the same forever, and the Arab and Palestinian generations will continue to pass on resistance from generation to generation, and to a promised day.

 The fate and future of Palestine will be decided by its resistance people, who have gone beyond the behavior, bets and policies of the Palestinian Authority, and exposed the opportunists and agents working from within to liquidate their cause.

A just peace will not be achieved by Israel, although sought by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who once said to the media: “We want to meet with the younger generation in Israel, the generation that we are working for its future, from living in security and stability in this region.” (!!!) “We want peace with Israel first, Israel is our neighbor, we want to make peace with it, and live-in peace with it… (!!!).

Any peace advocated by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and what steps the PA is taking as it watches daily Israel’s practices of Judaizing Jerusalem, confiscating land, building settlements, expelling Palestinians from their homes, and insisting on imposing a de facto peace, based on the concept of force and occupation, is rejected by the Palestinian resistance in form and basis.

Israel will tire and the resistance will not, the Resistance sword will remain on the neck of the entity, which will not enjoy security or peace, despite all the gains it achieves at the present time… The people of Palestine will not make the occupiers live in safety and stability. The Zionist strange germ into the body of the nation will not continue and survive no matter how long it would take, and, whatever the bet.

A usurped Zionist entity despite its power, and many Zionist politicians and media are no longer convinced of its continuity. It is an ongoing conflict between two wills, which will only stop until the will of the occupation is broken. The days will show the Zionists and their associates that, despite Israel’s achievements and recognition and normalization with some “Arabs”, it will not be able to eliminate the Palestinian cause and end its situation, and establish a new situation suitable for her in the Middle East.

 The Palestinian will, after all, will inevitably break the thorn of the occupiers.

 The conflict is long, and will not stop between the Resistance and the occupiers. The Palestinians on their land are steadfast, patient, lurking, resisting, waiting for the hour, and the Zionists will continue to live with the obsession of security, peace, stability and survival.

What stability, survival and security are the security that Netanyahu aspires to, who said: “In the Middle East, security is advancing on peace and peace treaties, and anyone who does not realize this will remain without security and without peace.

Israel, although it has signed peace treaties with some Arabs, will certainly not achieve security and stability for the Zionist occupiers, as long as there is a people who are resisting and insisting on taking their rights with resistance and force.

Abraham Burg, the former Speaker of the “Israeli” Knesset, and one of the most prominent Zionist faces reveals in his book: The Defeat of Hitler, the Reality and Dilemma of “Israel” and the Concern of its Settlers to say: “The State of Israel, which should have provided a safe haven for the Jewish people, has become for him the most dangerous place… Let us close our eyes, and try to ask ourselves, where is the safer place to live: in Jerusalem, a holy and explosive city? In Hebron, the city of the three-tribe city of the nation torn apart among the various descendants of Abraham? Or in New York, despite the demolition of the towers by fundamentalism? It seems to me that many will be certain that New York is safer in the long run than the Jewish state, even if it is heavily loaded with atomic bombs.

«The unceasing presence of death in our lives, Linked to Israel’s wars, says Borg only leads to the many massacres, destruction and extermination that our people receive.

That is why That is why the dead in this country never rest in peace, they are always active, always present, always attached to our unhappy existence… We have won all wars; however, we retain a deep sense of loss… War is no longer an exception for us, it has become law, and our way of life is a way of warfare towards everyone

The conflict of wills and the resolution of matters takes place in the field, will be determined and charted in the way of a living militant people, who have had to stand up and resist, to regain by force their legitimate rights and establish their state on their land, and to restore what they have lost over a century.

 When will the Zionists in Tel Aviv, 72 years after the founding of their entity, recognize that Palestine is not a land without a people, and that the Palestinians are not in a position to forget their homeland, their history and their national rights!

The day will come when the Zionists will admit that the concentration of the resistance in prisons, terrorist practices, intimidation and torture, house demolitions, sieges, repression and starvation will not provide them with security or the fragile peace that some Arab smugglers give them, will not prevent the resistance from reaching their homes and settling the account with the occupation.

O Zionists, know well that you are facing the hardest, most capable, hardest and bravest people, and the most patience and determination in the history of the national struggle of the free peoples in the world, so the Palestinians will prevail over you, along with all the free people of the nation, and you will be defeated, the support of the tyrants, recognition, normalization from here or there will not benefit you later

ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ

*Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates.

When the People Rose up: How the Intifada Changed the Political Discourse on Palestine

December 16, 2020

December 8 marks the 33rd anniversary of the First Palestinian Intifada. (Photo: File)

By Ramzy Baroud

December 8 came and went as if it was an ordinary day. For Palestinian political groups, it was another anniversary to be commemorated, however hastily. It was on this day, thirty-three years ago, that the First Palestinian Intifada (uprising) broke out, and there was nothing ordinary about this historic event.

Today, the uprising is merely viewed from a historic point of view, another opportunity to reflect and, perhaps, learn from a seemingly distant past. Whatever political context to the Intifada, it has evaporated over time.

The simple explanation of the Intifada goes as follows: Ordinary Palestinians at the time were fed up with the status quo and they wished to ‘shake off’ Israel’s military occupation and make their voices heard.

Expectedly, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) quickly moved in to harvest the fruit of the people’s sacrifices and translate them into tangible political gains, as if the traditional Palestinian leadership truly and democratically represented the will of the Palestinian people. The outcome was a sheer disaster, as the Intifada was used to resurrect the careers of some Palestinian ‘leaders’, who claimed to be mandated by the Palestinians to speak on their behalf, resulting in the Madrid Talks in 1991, the Oslo Accords in 1993 and all other ‘compromises’ ever since.

But there is more to the story.

Thousands of Palestinians, mostly youth, were killed by the Israeli army during the seven years of Intifada, where Israel treated non-violent protesters and rock-throwing children, who were demanding their freedom, as if enemy combatants. It was during these horrific years that such terms as ‘shoot to kill’ and ‘broken-bones policies’ and many more military stratagems were introduced to an already violent discourse.

In truth, however, the Intifada was not a mandate for Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas or any other Palestinian official or faction to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinian people, and was certainly not a people’s call on their leadership to offer unreciprocated political compromises.

To understand the meaning of the Intifada and its current relevance, it has to be viewed as an active political event, constantly generating new meanings, as opposed to a historical event of little relevance to today’s realities.

Historically, the Palestinian people have struggled with the issue of political representation. As early as the mid-20th century, various Arab regimes have claimed to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people, thus, inevitably using Palestine as an item in their own domestic and foreign policy agendas.

The use and misuse of Palestine as an item in some imagined collective Arab agenda came to a relative end after the humiliating defeat of several Arab armies in the 1967 war, known in Arabic as the ‘Naksa’, or the ‘Letdown’. The crisis of legitimacy was meant to be quickly resolved when the largest Palestinian political party, Fatah, took over the leadership of the PLO. The latter was then recognized in 1974 during the Arab Summit in Rabat, as the ‘sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people’.

The above statement alone was meant to be the formula that resolved the crisis of representation, therefore drowning out all other claims made by Arab governments. That strategy worked, but not for long. Despite Arafat’s and Fatah’s hegemony over the PLO, the latter did, in fact, enjoy a degree of legitimacy among Palestinians. At that time, Palestine was part and parcel of a global national liberation movement, and Arab governments, despite the deep wounds of war, were forced to accommodate the aspirations of the Arab people, keeping Palestine the focal issue among the Arab masses as well.

However, in the 1980s, things began changing rapidly. Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982 resulted in the forced exile of tens of thousands of Palestinian fighters, along with the leaderships of all Palestinian groups, leading to successive and bloody massacres targeting Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

The years that followed accentuated two grave realities. First, the Palestinian leadership shifted its focus from armed struggle to merely remaining relevant as a political actor. Now based in Tunis, Arafat, Abbas and others were issuing statements, sending all kinds of signals that they were ready to ‘compromise’ – as per the American definitions of this term. Second, Arab governments also moved on, as the growing marginalization of the Palestinian leadership was lessening the pressure of the Arab masses to act as a united front against Israeli military occupation and colonialism in Palestine.

It was at this precise moment in history that Palestinians rose and, indeed, it was a spontaneous movement that, at its beginning, involved none of the traditional Palestinian leadership, Arab regimes, or any of the familiar slogans. I was a teenager in a Gaza refugee camp when all of this took place, a true popular revolution being fashioned in a most organic and pure form. The use of a slingshot to counter Israeli military helicopters; the use of blankets to disable the chains of Israeli army tanks; the use of raw onions to assuage the pain of inhaling teargas; and, more importantly, the creation of language to respond to every violent strategy employed by the Israeli army, and to articulate the resistance of Palestinians on the ground in simple, yet profound slogans, written on the decaying walls of every Palestinian refugee camp, town or city.

While the Intifada did not attack the traditional leadership openly, it was clear that Palestinians were seeking alternative leadership. Grassroots local leadership swiftly sprang out from every neighborhood, every university and even in prison, and no amount of Israeli violence was able to thwart the natural formation of this leadership.

It was unmistakably clear that the Palestinian people had chosen a different path, one that did not go through any Arab capital – and certainly not through Tunis. Not that Palestinians at the time quit seeking solidarity from their Arab brethren, or the world at large. Instead, they sought solidarity that does not subtract the Palestinian people from their own quest for freedom and justice.

Years of relentless Israeli violence, coupled with the lack of a political strategy by the Palestinian leadership, sheer exhaustion, growing factionalism and extreme poverty brought the Intifada to an end.

Since then, even the achievements of the Intifada were tarnished, where the Palestinian leadership has used it to revive itself politically and financially, reaching the point of arguing that the dismal Oslo Accords and the futile peace process were, themselves, direct ‘achievements’ of the Intifada.

The true accomplishment of the Intifada is the fact that it almost entirely changed the nature of the political equation pertaining to Palestine, imposing the ‘Palestinian people’, not as a cliche used by the Palestinian leadership and Arab governments to secure for themselves a degree of political legitimacy, but as an actual political actor.

Thanks to the Intifada, the Palestinian people have demonstrated their own capacity at challenging Israel without having their own military, challenging the Palestinian leadership by organically generating their own leaders, confronting the Arabs and, in fact, the whole world, regarding their own moral and legal responsibilities towards Palestine and the Palestinian people.

Very few popular movements around the world, and throughout modern history, can be compared to the First Intifada, which remains as relevant today as it was when it began thirty-three years ago.

 – Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

PFLP: PA Ignores National Consensus as It Returns to Talks with Israel

December 12, 2020

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) announced on Friday that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has ignored national consensus when it decided to return to talks with Israel.

In a statement issued on its 53rd anniversary and sent to media, the PFLP stressed that returning to talks with Israel: “Is a continuation of failed bets on US administrations.”

The PFLP urged the PA to carry out a “critical and comprehensive review for its political and organizational bodies,” stressing that it should consider “the national necessity to correct its national Palestinian track.”

It called for a comprehensive dialogue among “all” the Palestinian factions to agree on a “clear agenda” and reiterate the Palestinian rights, as well as pushing for ending the internal Palestinian division.

At the same time, the PFLP called for maintaining the PLO as a supreme national referee and representative for the Palestinians.

The Palestinian party pressed for achieving social justice and democratic freedom for the Palestinians facing poverty, violence, and exploitation, as well as for reinforcing alliance with the Arab liberation movement.

It also urged extending cooperation bridges with all of the committees and lobbies rejecting the imperialist and Zionist domination on the world, the Arab region, and Palestine.

The PFLP necessitated the need for developing and expanding the solidarity activities with the Palestinians and their rights inside and outside Palestinian, and through the official bodies of the international community including the United Nations and its branches.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

السلطة صمتت عن تطبيع الرباط مع الاحتلال.. وحماس اعتبرته «خطيئة سياسيّة»!؟

البناء

عُمان ترحّب باتفاق تطبيع العلاقات بين المغرب والكيان الصهيونيّ

انتقد الكاتب والمحلل السياسي الفلسطيني هاني المصري صمت السلطة الفلسطينية إزاء التطبيع المغربيّ الذي أُعلن عنه الخميس.

وقال المصري الذي يرأس مركز أبحاث السياسات والدراسات الاستراتيجية (مسارات) في رام الله: «صمت القبور رسمي فلسطيني إزاء تطبيع المغرب، بعد وصف ما قامت به الإمارات والبحرين بالخيانة وطعنة بالظهر وسحب السفراء إلى إعادتهما بعد عودة العلاقات الفلسطينية الإسرائيلية والتنسيق الأمني».

وأضاف المصري في منشور عبر صفحته على «فيسبوك»: «يوجد مكان لموقف وإجراءات بين الخيانة والصمت المريب!».

من جهتها، اعتبرت حركة «حماس» أن اتفاق تطبيع العلاقات بين المغرب والكيان الصهيوني هو «خطيئة سياسيّة».

وقال المتحدث باسم الحركة، حازم قاسم، عبر تويتر: «إن الاحتلال يستغلّ كل حالات التطبيع لزيادة شراسة سياسته العدوانيّة ضد شعبنا الفلسطيني وتوسيع تغوّله الاستيطاني على أرضنا».

وأكد أن «التطبيع يشجّع الاحتلال على استمرار تنكره لحقوق شعبنا، ولا يخدم بالمطلق قضيتنا العادلة ولا القضايا الوطنية للدول المُطبّعة».

وفي سياق متصل، رحّبت سلطنة عُمان، أمس الجمعة، باتفاق تطبيع العلاقات بين المغرب والعدو الصهيوني.

جاء ذلك وفق بيان لوزارة الخارجية العمانية، غداة إعلان الولايات المتحدة والمغرب استئناف العلاقات الدبلوماسيّة بين الرباط وتل أبيب.

وأفاد البيان بـ»ترحب سلطنة عُمان بما أعلنه جلالة الملك محمد السادس عاهل المغرب الشقيق في اتصالاته الهاتفيّة بكل من الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب ورئيس السلطة الفلسطينيّة محمود عباس».

وأضاف: «تأمل سلطنة عُمان أن يعزّز ذلك من مساعي وجهود تحقيق السلام الشامل والعادل والدائم في الشرق الأوسط».

وسلطنة عُمان رابع دولة عربية ترحّب بالتطبيع بين المغرب والكيان الصهيوني، بعد مصر والإمارات والبحرين.

ومساء الخميس، أعلن الملك المغربي استئناف الاتصالات الرسمية الثنائية والعلاقات الدبلوماسية مع الكيان الصهيوني «في أقرب الآجال»، وفق بيان صدر عن الديوان الملكي.

لكنه شدّد على أن ذلك «لا يمسّ بأي حال من الأحوال، الالتزام الدائم والموصول للمغرب في الدفاع عن القضية الفلسطينية العادلة، وانخراطه البناء من أجل إقرار سلام عادل ودائم في منطقة الشرق الأوسط».

وبإعلان اليوم سيكون المغرب الدولة المغاربية الوحيدة التي تقيم علاقات مع الكيان الصهيوني إثر قطع موريتانيا علاقاتها مع تل أبيب في 2010، وهو ما يعتبر اختراقاً صهيونياً لافتاً لمنطقة المغرب العربي.

كما سيصبح المغرب رابع دولة عربية توافق على التطبيع مع الكيان الصهيوني خلال العام 2020؛ بعد الإمارات والبحرين والسودان.

وفي 15 سبتمبر/أيلول الماضي، وقعت الإمارات والبحرين اتفاقيتين للتطبيع مع الكيان الصهيوني في واشنطن، فيما أعلن السودان، في 23 أكتوبر/تشرين أول الماضي، الموافقة على التطبيع تاركاً مسؤولية إبرام الاتفاق إلى المجلس التشريعي المقبل (لم يُنتخب بعد).

وبذلك، تنضمّ هذه البلدان الأربعة إلى بلدين عربيين أبرما اتفاقي سلام مع الكيان الصهيوني، وهما الأردن ومصر.

وكان الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترمب أعلن، أول أمس الخميس، عن تطبيع العلاقات بين إسرائيل» والمغرب في مقابل اعتراف أميركا بسيادة المغرب على الصحراء الغربية.

مقالات ذات صله

‘Long Live the (Dead) Peace Process’: Abbas Prioritizes US Ties over Palestinian National Unity

December 9, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (Photo: File)

By Ramzy Baroud

No one seemed as excited about the election of Joe Biden being the next President of the United States as Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas. When all hope seemed lost, where Abbas found himself desperate for political validation and funds, Biden arrived like a conquering knight on a white horse and swept the Palestinian leader away to safety.

Abbas was one of the first world leaders to congratulate the Democratic President-elect on his victory. While Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, delayed his congratulatory statement in the hope that Donald Trump would eventually be able to reverse the results, Abbas suffered no such illusions. Considering the humiliation that the Palestinian Authority experienced at the hands of the Trump Administration, Abbas had nothing to lose. For him, Biden, despite his long love affair with Israel, still represented a ray of hope.

But can the wheel of history be turned back? Despite the fact that the Biden Administration has made it clear that it will not be reversing any of the pro-Israel steps taken by the departing Trump Administration, Abbas remains confident that, at least, the ‘peace process’ can be restored.

This may seem to be an impossible dichotomy, for how can a ‘peace process’ deliver peace if all the components of a just peace have already been eradicated?

It is obvious that there can be no real peace if the US government insists on recognizing all of Jerusalem as Israel’s ‘eternal’ capital. There can be no peace if the US continues to fund illegal Jewish settlements, bankroll Israeli apartheid, deny the rights of Palestinian refugees, turn a blind eye to de facto annexation underway in Occupied Palestine and recognize the illegally-occupied Syrian Golan Heights as part of Israel, all of which is likely to remain the same, even under the Biden Administration.

The ‘peace process’ is unlikely to deliver any kind of a just, sustainable peace in the future, when it has already failed to do so in the past 30 years.

Yet, despite the ample lessons of the past, Abbas has decided, again, to gamble with the fate of his people and jeopardize their struggle for freedom and a just peace. Not only is Abbas building a campaign involving Arab countries, namely Jordan and Egypt, to revive the ‘peace process’, he is also walking back on all his promises and decisions to cancel the Oslo Accords, and end ‘security coordination’ with Israel. By doing so, Abbas has betrayed national unity talks between his party, Fatah, and Hamas.

Unity talks between rival Palestinian groups seemed to take a serious turn last July, when Palestine’s main political parties issued a joint statement declaring their intent to defeat Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’. The language used in that statement was reminiscent of the revolutionary discourse used by these groups during the First and Second Intifadas (uprisings), itself a message that Fatah was finally re-orienting itself around national priorities and away from the ‘moderate’ political discourse wrought by the US-sponsored ‘peace process’.

Even those who grew tired and cynical about the shenanigans of Abbas and Palestinian groups wondered if this time would be different; that Palestinians would finally agree on a set of principles through which they could express and channel their struggle for freedom.

Oddly, Trump’s four-year term in the White House was the best thing that happened to the Palestinian national struggle. His administration was a jarring and indisputable reminder that the US is not – and has never been – ‘an honest peace broker’ and that Palestinians cannot steer their political agenda to satisfy US-Israeli demands in order for them to obtain political validation and financial support.

By cutting off US funding of the Palestinian Authority in August 2018, followed by the shutting down of the Palestinian mission in Washington DC, Trump has liberated Palestinians from the throes of an impossible political equation. Without the proverbial American carrot, the Palestinian leadership has had the rare opportunity to rearrange the Palestinian home for the benefit of the Palestinian people.

Alas, those efforts were short-lived. After multiple meetings and video conferences between Fatah, Hamas and other delegations representing Palestinian groups, Abbas declared, on November 17, the resumption of ‘security coordination’ between his Authority and Israel. This was followed by the Israeli announcement on December 2 to release over a billion dollars of Palestinian funds that were unlawfully held by Israel as a form of political pressure.

This takes Palestinian unity back to square one. At this point, Abbas finds unity talks with his Palestinian rivals quite useless. Since Fatah dominates the Palestinian Authority, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestine National Council (PNC), conceding any ground or sharing leadership with other Palestinian factions seems self-defeating. Now that Abbas is reassured that the Biden Administration will bequeath him, once again, with the title of ‘peace partner’, a US ally and a moderate, the Palestinian leader no longer finds it necessary to seek approval from the Palestinians. Since there can be no middle ground between catering to a US-Israeli agenda and elevating a Palestinian national agenda, the Palestinian leader opted for the former and, without hesitation, ditched the latter.

While it is true that Biden will neither satisfy any of the Palestinian people’s demands or reverse any of his predecessor’s missteps, Abbas can still benefit from what he sees as a seismic shift in US foreign policy – not in favor of the Palestinian cause but of Abbas personally, an unelected leader whose biggest accomplishment has been sustaining the US-imposed status quo and keeping the Palestinian people pacified for as long as possible.

Although the ‘peace process’ has been declared ‘dead’ on multiple occasions, Abbas is now desperately trying to revive it, not because he – or any rational Palestinian – believes that peace is at hand, but because of the existential relationship between the PA and this US-sponsored political scheme. While most Palestinians gained nothing from all of this, a few Palestinians accumulated massive wealth, power and prestige. For this clique, that alone is a cause worth fighting for.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

فضيحة التنسيق الأمنيّ مع الكيان

سياسيان فلسطينيان: تصريحات عباس خيانة عظمى للقضية

التعليق السياسي

شكّل الإعلان الصادر عن السلطة الفلسطينية بالعودة للتنسيق مع كيان الاحتلال بداعي تلقّيها تأكيداً من سلطات الكيان باعتبار الاتفاقات قائمة من طرفها، صدمة لكل الفلسطينيين والمعنيين بالقضية الفلسطينية. فالسياق الذي قرّرت فيه السلطة وقف التنسيق المشين أصلاً كان من تداعيات التبني الأميركي لصفقة القرن ومن ضمنه إعلان كيان الاحتلال بدعم أميركي للقدس عاصمة للكيان، ولا شيء تغيّر في الأسباب. ومن نتائج قرار السلطة الفلسطينية بوقف التنسيق مع الكيان مناخات وحدة فلسطينية ستسقط مع العودة للتنسيق، فبأي ميزان وضعت السلطة قرارها وما هي عائداته؟

يجب ألا يُخفى على أحد أن المصلحة المحرّكة للعودة للتنسيق هي “إسرائيلية” صرفة، والعائد الوحيد للسلطة هو عائد ماليّ من الأموال المجمدة من قبل سلطات الكيان ومن أموال خليجيّة تموّل العودة للتنسيق، والسبب يتصل مباشرة بالحاجة لعبور شاحنات البضائع المحملة من مرفأ حيفا نحو الخليج بعد التطبيع، في الضفة الغربية، والحاجة لحارس يضمن أمن التطبيع. وهو الدور الذي ستتولاه السلطة وأجهزتها لقاء ما ستتلقاه من أموال.

التطورات الناجمة عن قرار العودة للتنسيق خطيرة جداً. ففيها التنسيق الأمنيّ الذي يلزم السلطة بالتجسّس على المقاومين ومطاردتهم وتسليمهم، وفيه جديد حارس التطبيع، وفيه الانسحاب من التفاهمات الفلسطينية الفلسطينية التي ولدت في أعقاب صفقة القرن وما يعنيه من تعريض للوحدة الفلسطينية من مخاطر قد تترتب عليها انفجارات تصادميّة في أكثر من مكان بين الفصائل.

السلطة ترتضي لعب دور جيش لحد في جنوب لبنان إبان الاحتلال وتُجبر الشعب الفلسطيني على دخول تجربة الانقسام والمخاطرة بأمن مقاومته وتحمّل تبعات حراسة التطبيع، بينما الكيان وجماعات التطبيع في الخليج ومن خلفهما الأميركي لم يقدّموا شيئاً يقول بالتراجع عن سياسات تصفية القضية الفلسطينية.

مقالات متعلقة

«فصائل المقاومة»: سنواجه التنسيق الأمنيّ والتطبيع مع الاحتلال

شبكة فلسطين للحوار
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَىٰ أَوْلِيَاءَ ۘ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

المصلحة الوطنيّة تقتضي عملاً وحدويّاً.. والشيخ يؤكد عودة الاتصالات مع الكيان الصهيونيّ صحيحة

قالت فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية إن «عودة التنسيق الأمني والعمل بالاتفاقيات مع الكيان يمثل طعنة لآمال شعبنا بتحقيق الوحدة».

وطالبت الفصائل الحكومة الفلسطينية بـ«الرجوع عن هذا القرار والكفّ عن ممارسة سياسة التفرد بالقرار السياسي».

وحول البرنامج الانتخابي للرئيس الأميركي الجديد، أشارت فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية إلى أن «الرهان على بايدن في إنصاف قضيتنا هو رهان خاسر وليس واقعياً»، معتبرةً أن المصلحة الوطنية تقتضي عملاً وحدوياً جامعاً على أرض الميدان يعزز الوحدة الحقيقية.

فصائل المقاومة دانت زيارة وزير خارجية البحرين لفلسطين المحتلة، معتبرةً أنها «تعبر عن حال الهوان التي وصل لها المطبعون».

كما دعت «جميع الأحرار في الأمة لتشكيل جبهة عريضة لمواجهة التنسيق الأمني والتطبيع مع الاحتلال».

هذا ووصل أول وفد حكومي بحريني رسمي إلى فلسطين المحتلة، صباح أمس، في أول رحلة طيران تجارية لطيران الخليج إلى تل أبيب، فيما يتطلع الوفد إلى توسيع نطاق التعاون بعد توقيع الاتفاق مع «إسرائيل» في واشنطن وإقامة علاقات رسمية معها في 15 أيلول/سبتمبر الماضي، بحضور الرئيس دونالد ترامب وبرعاية أميركية.

وفي وقت سابق، دانت حركة حماس «قرار السلطة الفلسطينية العودة إلى العلاقة مع الاحتلال الصهيوني المجرم»، معتبرةً أن «هذا القرار يمثل طعنة للجهود الوطنية نحو بناء شراكة وطنية، واستراتيجية نضالية لمواجهة الاحتلال والضم والتطبيع وصفقة القرن، ويأتي في ظل الإعلان عن آلاف الوحدات السكنية الاستيطانية في مدينة القدس المحتلة».

واعتبرت حماس أن «السلطة الفلسطينية بهذا القرار تعطي المبرر لمعسكر التطبيع العربي الذي ما فتئت تدينه وترفضه». وطالبت السلطة الفلسطينية بـ«التراجع فوراً عن هذا القرار وترك المراهنة على بايدن وغيره».

الجبهة الشعبيّة لتحرير فلسطين اعتبرت من جهتها أن «إعلان السلطة عن إعادة العلاقات مع دولة الكيان الصهيوني كما كانت عليها، هو نسفٌ لقرارات المجلسين الوطني والمركزي بالتحلّل من الاتفاقيات الموقّعة معها، ولنتائج اجتماع الأمناء العامين الذي عُقد مُؤخراً في بيروت، وتفجير لجهود المصالحة التي أجمعت القوى على أنّ أهم متطلباتها يكمن في الأساس السياسي النقيض لاتفاقات أوسلو».

بدوره، أكد رئيس الهيئة العامة للشؤون المدنيّة الوزير حسين الشيخ، أن المعلومة بعودة الاتصالات مع «إسرائيل» صحيحة.

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أبو أحمد فؤاد للميادين: ندعو لاجتماع للأمناء العامين بعد تعطيل ما اتُفق عليه

الميادين نت

نائب الأمين العام للجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين اللواء أبو أحمد فؤاد يؤكد أن “العلاقات ذات الطابع الأمني لم تنقطع مع الولايات المتحدة”. ويقول “من يراهن على إدارة بايدن يقع في خطأ كبير”.

أبو أحمد فؤاد: من ثوابت السياسة الأميركية والإمبريالية العالمية دعمها للكيان الصهيوني.
أبو أحمد فؤاد: من ثوابت السياسة الأميركية والإمبريالية العالمية دعمها للكيان الصهيوني

أعلن نائب الأمين العام للجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين اللواء أبو أحمد فؤاد أنه “تم تأجل تنفيذ قرارات اجتماع الأمناء العامين وعاد الخلاف ليبرز مجدداً بين الأخوة في حركتي حماس وفتح”.

وخلال لقائه مع الميادين، قال فؤاد “أضعنا وقتاً كان يجب أن نقوم بخطوات توحيدية باتجاه إنهاء الانقسام وإعادة ترتيب البيت الفلسطيني لمواجهة المرحلة المقبلة”، لافتاً إلى أن قيادة منظمة التحرير والسلطة الفلسطينية كانت تنتظر الانتخابات الأميركية وتراهن على المتغيرات كما النظام العربي الرسمي بغالبيته.

في وقت أكد أنه “من ثوابت السياسة الأميركية والإمبريالية العالمية دعمها للكيان الصهيوني بغض النظر إن فاز الديموقراطيون أو الجمهوريون”.

القيادي الفلسطيني لفت إلى أن العلاقات ذات الطابع الأمني لم تنقطع مع الولايات المتحدة، “بغض النظر إن كانت الإدارة برئاسة الجمهوريين أو الديموقراطيين وهذا ليس أمراً مخفياً”.

وشدد فؤاد على أنه “يجب ألا نذهب للمفاوضات حتى يصبح هناك تغير في موازين القوى المنهارة حالياً لمصلحة العدو والإدارات الأميركية المتعاقبة وانهيار عربي رسمي”، مضيفاً “من يراهن على إدارة بايدن يقع في خطأ كبير فهو سبق أن أعلن أنه صهيوني أكثر من مرة واتخذ إجراءات ضد مصلحة شعبنا”.

وفي حال تسلم الرئيس الديموقراطي الإدارة في الفترة المقبلة، قال فؤاد إنه “من الممكن أن يغير بايدن بمسائل عديدة على الصعيد الدولي، كاتفاقية المناخ أو حقوق الإنسان أو الصحة أو حتى الاتفاق النووي الإيراني”.

كما رجح أن بايدن “لن يغير شيئاً في الموضوع الفلسطيني والإسرائيلي، وسيبقى كل شيء على ما هو عليه كما فعله ترامب”، موضحاً أنه “قد يستكمل ترامب مسيرة التطبيع، ويضغط على السعودية وغيرها ليكمل التطبيع مع الدول العربية، ويتوّجها أثناء وجوده في البيت الأبيض”.

واعتبر فؤاد أنه “يجب ترتيب الأمور لمواجه بايدن وإدارته، فإن لم نكن موحدين سيستمر الضغط علينا وليس على العدو”.

وختم كلامه قائلاً “لا قيمة للحديث عن عودة مكتب منظمة التحرير إلى الولايات المتحدة أو المساعدات مقابل ما يجري على الأرض، والطريق ليس ممهداً لتجاوز الصعوبات التي واجهتها الخطوات التوحيدية، وهناك عقبات بين الطرفين لم تذلل، ويبدو أنها لن تذلل بالحوارات الثنائية”.

Trump’s Middle East triumphs will soon turn to disaster

David Hearst

David Hearst is the editor in chief of Middle East Eye. He left The Guardian as its chief foreign leader writer. In a career spanning 29 years, he covered the Brighton bomb, the miner’s strike, the loyalist backlash in the wake of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in Northern Ireland, the first conflicts in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia in Slovenia and Croatia, the end of the Soviet Union, Chechnya, and the bushfire wars that accompanied it. He charted Boris Yeltsin’s moral and physical decline and the conditions which created the rise of Putin. After Ireland, he was appointed Europe correspondent for Guardian Europe, then joined the Moscow bureau in 1992, before becoming bureau chief in 1994. He left Russia in 1997 to join the foreign desk, became European editor and then associate foreign editor. He joined The Guardian from The Scotsman, where he worked as education correspondent.

Trump’s Middle East triumphs will soon turn to disaster

29 October 2020 12:11 UTC | Last update: 22 hours 22 mins ago

Palestinian demonstrators burn posters of the US president in Bethlehem’s Manger Square after he declared Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on 6 December 2017 (AFP)

Every US president leaves his mark on the Middle East, whether he intends to or not. 

The Camp David accord between Egypt and Israel, the Iranian revolution, and the Iran-Iraq war, launched in September 1980, all started under Jimmy Carter.

His successor, Ronald Reagan, supported then Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein, and went on to witness the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in October 1981; the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the expulsion of the PLO from Beirut in 1982, and the Sabra and Shatila massacres in September of the same year – a period which ended with and led up to the First Intifada.

George H W Bush picked up with the First Gulf War and the Madrid Conference in 1991.

The shadow cast by George W Bush over the region is longer still: the destruction of Iraq, a once-mighty Arab state, the rise of Iran as a regional power, the unleashing of sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shia, and the rise of the Islamic State group. Two decades of conflict were engendered by his decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

The grand deception

For a brief spell under president Barack Obama, the flame of a fresh start with the Muslim world flickered. But the belief that a US administration would support democracy was quickly extinguished. Those who dared to hope were cruelly deceived by the president who dared to walk away . Once in power, Muslims were dropped like a hot stone, as were fellow black Americans.

Two pillars of US policy emerge: an unshakeable determination to support Israel, whatever the cost, and a default support of absolute monarchs, autocrats and dictators of the Arab world

On two moments of high tension – the Egyptian military coup of 2013 and the murder of US journalist James Foley in 2014 – Obama, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people,” returned to a game of golf. 

Obama refused to call the overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically elected president a military coup, and his secretary of state John Kerry would have dipped into the same playbook had Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan not narrowly escaped an assassination squad and the coup there succeeded.

The history of US diplomatic and military intervention in the Middle East was one of serial failure and the list of failed states only grew with each inauguration.

The military retreat that Obama sounded after “leading from behind” in Libya and an “intervention-lite” in Syria resembled Napoleon’s long march from Moscow. Throughout the tumult, two pillars of US policy emerge: an unshakeable determination to support Israel, whatever the cost, however much its prime ministers and settlers undermined peace efforts. And a default support of absolute monarchs, autocrats and dictators of the Arab world.

  US President Barack Obama walks with Middle East leaders in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, on 1 September, 2010 (Reuters)
US president Barack Obama walks with Middle East leaders in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, on 1 September 2010 (Reuters)

Wicked witch

Now enter, stage right, the Wicked Witch of this pantomime.

Trump set about tearing up the rule book on the Middle East, by giving full rein to the Jewish nationalist religious right. This came in the shape of two settler ideologists and funders: Jared Kushner, Trump’s son in law and senior adviser, and David Friedman, his ambassador to Israel.

Trump set about destroying the consensus on the Middle East, by giving full rein to the Jewish national religious right

Under the guise of blue sky thinking, they tore apart the consensus that had powered each previous US administration’s search for a settlement to the Palestine conflict – borders negotiated on 1967 lines, East Jerusalem as capital, the right of refugees to return.  

They erased 1967 borders by recognising the Golan Heights and the annexation of settlements, recognised an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and defunded Palestinian refugee agency UNWRA. This culminated in what proved to be the coup de grace for a Palestinian state –  the recognition by three Arab states (UAE, Bahrain and Sudan) of Israel in the territory it currently occupies.

This meant recognition of 400,000 settlers in nearly 250 settlements in the West Bank beyond East Jerusalem; recognition of laws turning settlements into “islands” of the State of Israel; recognition of a third generation of Israeli settlers. All of this, the UAE, Bahrain and now Sudan have signed up for.

Changing the map 

“When the dust settles, within months or a year, the Israeli-Arab conflict will be over,” Friedman boasted. Friedman’s undisguised triumphalism will be as short-lived and as ill-fated as George W Bush’s was after he landed on an aircraft carrier sporting the now notorious banner proclaiming “mission accomplished” in Iraq.US election: Mohammed bin Salman braces for the loss of a key ally Read More »

I part company with those who consign the Abraham Accords to the dustbin of history.

But they are indeed rendered meaningless when Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs found that 90 percent of social media in Arabic condemned the UAE’s normalisation; the Washington Institute recorded just 14 percent of Saudis supported it.

Plainly on these figures, Friedman is going to have to wait a long time before Arab public opinion arrives in the 21st century, as he puts it.

But the absence of public support across the Arab world for normalisation does not mean that it will have no effect. It will indeed change the map of the Middle East but not quite in the way Friedman and the settlers hope. Until he and his like seized control of the White House, Washington played on a useful disconnect between the two pillars of US policy – unconditional support for Israel on the one hand and Arab dictators on the other.

It allowed Washington to claim simultaneously that Israel was the “only democracy” in the Middle East and thus entitled to defend itself in “a tough neighbourhood,” while on the other hand doing everything it could to keep the neighbourhood tough, by supporting the very ruling families who suppressed parliaments, democracy, and preyed on their people.

These are classic tactics of colonial masters, well-honed by the British, French, Dutch and Spanish sea-born empires. And it has worked for decades. Any US president could have done what Trump did, but the fact that they did not meant that they – at least – foresaw the dangers of fusing support for Israel with support for volatile and revolution-prone Arab dictatorships.

Trump is both ignorant and profoundly oblivious, because all that matters to him in this process is him. An adult who displays all the symptoms of infantile narcissistic injury, Trump’s only demand from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was that he, Trump, alone should be hailed as the saviour of Israel.

Speaking to Netanyahu on a speakerphone in front of the White House press corps, Trump asked: “Do you think Sleepy Joe could have made this deal, Bibi? Sleepy Joe? Do you think he would have made this deal somehow? I don’t think so.” Netanyahu paused long and hard. “Uh, well… Mr President, one thing I can tell you is… um, er, we appreciate the help for peace from anyone in America… And we appreciate what you have done enormously.”

Going for broke

By going for broke, the era of useful ambiguity in US Middle East policy has now come to an end. Israeli occupiers and Arab despots are now  openly in each other’s arms. This means the fight against despots in the Arab world is one and the same thing as the fight to liberate occupied Palestine. Israel’s deals with the Gulf are a disaster for Egypt Read More »

One might think this is of little consequence as the Arab Spring, which caused such upset in 2011, has been committed to the grave long ago. But it would be foolish to think so, and certainly Israel’s former ambassador to Egypt Yitzhak Levanon is not a fool.

Writing in Israel Hayom, Levanon asked whether Egypt is on the verge of a new uprising: “The Egyptian people dreamed of openness and transparency after the overthrow of Mubarak, who was perceived as a dictator. The Muslim Brotherhood are exiled and persecuted. There is no opposition. A change in the law allows Sisi to serve as president until 2030, and the laws make it possible to control by draconian means, including political arrests and executions. Recent history teaches us that this may affect the whole area.”

Another former Israeli ambassador has voiced his concerns about Trump’s effect on Israel. Barukh Binah, a former ambassador to Denmark and deputy head of mission in Washington, observed that the peace treaties Trump signed were with Israel’s existing friends and did nothing to solve the diplomatic impasse with its enemies.

A Palestinian demonstrator holds a sign during a protest against the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain's deal with Israel to normalise relations, in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank September 15, 2020
A Palestinian demonstrator holds a sign during a protest against UAE deal with Israel to normalise relations, in Ramallah on 15 September (Reuters)

“Trump is seen by many as Israel’s ultimate friend, but just as he has done in the US, he has isolated us from the Western community to which we belong. Over the past four years, we have become addicted to a one-of-a-kind powerful psychedelic called ‘Trumpion’ – and the moment the dealer leaves the White House, Israel will need to enter rehab.”

An important lesson

In the Camp David accords, Egypt became the first Arab country to recognise Israel in 1978. In 1994 Jordan became the second, when King Hussein signed a peace treaty at the Wadi Araba crossing. It is one more sign of the lack of thought and planning behind the second wave of recognition that the two Arab states who formed part of the first wave are losing out so heavily.

The new alliance between Israel and the Gulf states has generated other alliances determined to defend Palestine and Muslim rights

One wave of recognition is swamping another. This is not the work of a people who have thought this through. 

Jordan is gradually losing control of the Holy Sites in Jerusalem. Egypt is losing money and traffic from the Suez Canal, which is being bypassed by a pipeline about to transfer millions of tons of crude oil from the Red Sea to Ashkelon. Plans are also afoot to build a high-speed railway between the UAE and Israel. Egypt is about to be bypassed by land and sea.

In 1978 Egypt was the most powerful and populous Arab state. Today it has lost its geopolitical importance. It’s an important lesson that all Arab leaders should learn.

Some regional leaders have understood these lessons. The new alliance between Israel and the Gulf states has generated other alliances determined to defend Palestine and Muslim rights. Just watch how close Turkey is getting to Iran and Pakistan. And how close Pakistan is to abandoning its long-standing military alliance with Saudi Arabia.

The lesson for Palestine

Nor is the West Bank any less volatile than Egypt is. As part of their efforts to coerce Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, to accept the deal, Arab aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) had dropped by 81 percent in the first eight months of this year from $198m to $38m.

The PA refuses to accept taxes Israel collects on its behalf, since Israel began deducting the money the PA spent on supporting the families of dead Palestinian fighters. If the PA did accept Israel’s deduction, it too would be dead on arrival. The EU has refused to make up the shortfall.

Abbas would not be minded to suppress the next outbreak of popular discontent, as he has done consistently in the past

With most security co-ordination frozen, and nightly Israeli arrests in the West Bank, the enclave is a tinderbox. Abbas would not be minded to suppress the next outbreak of popular discontent, as he has done consistently in the past. 

Palestinians waited a long time after the creation of the state of Israel to get serious about forming a campaign to regain their lost land. They waited from April 1949 to May 1964, when the PLO was founded to restore “an independent Palestinian state”.

They have now waited even longer for the principle of land for peace to deliver their land back to them. Trump, Kushner and Friedman have pronounced it dead, as they have the two-state solution. The two words they were careful to avoid in all the conferences and presentations of their plans were “Palestinian state”.

 Once again, Palestinians are on their own and forced to recognise that their destiny lies in their hands alone.

The conditions which recreated the First Intifada are alive and kicking for a generation of youth who were yet to be born on 8 December 1987. It is only a matter of time before another uprising will materialise, because it is now the only way out of the hellish circle of Israeli expansion, Arab betrayal, and international indifference, which remains open to them. 

Recognising Israel does not work. Nor does talking. 

This is Trump’s legacy. But it is also, alas, the legacy of all the presidents who preceded him. The Abraham Accords will set the region in conflict for decades to come.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

Related

European Hypocrisy: Empty Words for Palestine, Deadly Weapons for Israel

October 21, 2020

Palestinian PM Mohammad Shtayyeh makes a speech via video conference at the European Parliament Committee meeting on Foreign Affair. (Photo: via WAFA)

By Ramzy Baroud

In theory, Europe and the United States stand on completely opposite sides when it comes to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. While the US government has fully embraced the tragic status quo created by 53 years of Israeli military occupation, the EU continues to advocate a negotiated settlement that is predicated on respect for international law.

In practice, however, despite the seeming rift between Washington and Brussels, the outcome is, essentially, the same. The US and Europe are Israel’s largest trade partners, weapon suppliers and political advocates.

One of the reasons that the illusion of an even-handed Europe has been maintained for so long lies partly in the Palestinian leadership itself. Politically and financially abandoned by Washington, the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas has turned to the European Union as its only possible savior.

“Europe believes in the two-state solution,” PA Prime Minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, said during a video discussion with the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs on October 12. Unlike the US, Europe’s continued advocacy of the defunct two-state solution qualifies it to fill the massive gap created by Washington’s absence.

Shtayyeh called on EU leaders to “recognize the State of Palestine in order for us, and you, to break the status quo.”

However, there are already 139 countries that recognize the State of Palestine. While that recognition is a clear indication that the world remains firmly pro-Palestinian, recognizing Palestine as a State changes little on the ground. What is needed are concerted efforts to hold Israel accountable for its violent occupation as well as real action to support the struggle of Palestinians.

Not only has the EU failed at this, it is, in fact, doing the exact opposite: funding Israel, arming its military and silencing its critics.

Listening to Shtayyeh’s words, one gets the impression that the top Palestinian official is addressing a conference of Arab, Muslim or socialist countries. “I call upon your Parliament and your distinguished Members of this Parliament, that Europe not wait for the American President to come up with ideas … We need a third party who can really remedy the imbalance in the relationship between an occupied people and an occupier country, that is Israel,” he said.

But is the EU qualified to be that ‘third party’? No. For decades, European governments have been an integral part of the US-Israel party. Just because the Donald Trump administration has, recently, taken a sharp turn in favor of Israel should not automatically transform Europe’s historical pro-Israel bias to be mistaken for pro-Palestinian solidarity.

Last June, more than 1,000 European parliamentarians representing various political parties issued a statement expressing “serious concerns” about Trump’s so-called Deal of the Century and opposing Israeli annexation of nearly a third of the West Bank. However, the pro-Israel US Democratic Party, including some traditionally staunch supporters of Israel, were equally critical of Israel’s plan because, in their minds, annexation means that a two-state solution would be made impossible.

While US Democrats made it clear that a Joe Biden administration would not reverse any of Trump’s actions should Biden be elected, European governments have also made it clear that they will not take a single action to dissuade – let alone punish – Israel for its repeated violations of international law.

Lip service is all that Palestinians have obtained from Europe, as well as much money, which was largely pocketed by loyalists of Abbas in the name of ‘State-building’ and other fantasies. Tellingly, much of the imaginary Palestinian State infrastructure that was subsidized by Europe in recent years has been blown up, demolished or construction ceased by the Israeli military during its various wars and raids. Yet, neither did the EU punish Israel, nor did the PA cease from asking for more money to continue funding a non-existent State.

Not only did the EU fail to hold Israel accountable for its ongoing occupation and human rights violations, it is practically financing Israel, as well. According to Defence News, a quarter of all of Israel’s military export contracts (totaling $7.2 billion in 2019 alone) is allocated to European countries.

Moreover, Europe is Israel’s largest trading partner, absorbing one-third of Israel’s total exports and shipping to Israel nearly 40% of its total import. These numbers also include products made in illegal Jewish settlements.

Additionally, the EU labors to incorporate Israel into the European way of life through cultural and music contests, sports competitions, and in a myriad other ways. While the EU possesses powerful tools that can be used to exact political concessions and enforce respect for international law, it opts to simply do very little.

Compare this with the recent ultimatum the EU has given the Palestinian leadership, linking EU aid to the PA’s financial ties with Israel. Last May, Abbas took the extraordinary step of considering all agreements with Israel and the US to be null and void. Effectively, this means that the PA would no longer be accountable for the stifling status quo that was created by the Oslo Accords, which was repeatedly violated by Tel Aviv and Washington. Severing ties with Israel also meant that the PA would refuse to accept nearly $150 million in tax revenues that Israel collects on behalf of the PA. This Palestinian step, while long overdue, was necessary.

Instead of supporting Abbas’ move, the EU criticized it, refusing to provide additional aid for Palestinians until Abbas restores ties with Israel and accepts the tax money. According to Axios news portal, Germany, France, the UK and even Norway are leading the charge.

Germany, in particular, has been relentless in its support for Israel. For months, it has advocated on behalf of Israel to spare Tel Aviv a war crimes investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC). It has placed activists, who advocate the boycott of Israel, on trial. Recently, it has confirmed the shipment of missile boats and other military hardware to ensure the superiority of the Israeli navy in a potential war against Arab enemies. Germany is not alone. Israel and most European countries are closing ranks in terms of their unprecedented military cooperation and trade ties, including natural gas deals.

Continuing to make references to the unachievable two-state solution, while arming, funding and doing more business with Israel is the very definition of hypocrisy. The truth is that Europe should be held as accountable as the US in emboldening and sustaining the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Yet, while Washington is openly pro-Israel, the EU has played a more clever game: selling Palestinians empty words while selling Israel lethal weapons.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is http://www.ramzybaroud.net

History Will Show No Mercy for Arab Traitors to Palestine – Hamas Leader

History Will Show No Mercy for Arab Traitors to Palestine – Hamas Leader

By Staff, Agencies

Head of Hamas resistance movement’s political bureau Ismail Haniyeh has once again condemned the US-brokered deals that the United Arab Emirates [UAE] and Bahrain signed last month to normalize ties with ‘Israel,’ warning that history will show “no mercy” towards the Arab states that betrayed fellow Palestinians.

In an interview with the Middle East Eye [MEE] news portal published on Monday, Haniyeh said that the Arab countries that normalized ties with ‘Israel’ will be losers as the occupying regime will eventually threaten them.

“The Zionist project is an expansionist project. Its objective is to create a greater ‘Israel.’ We don’t want to see the Emiratis or the Bahrainis or the Sudanese being used as vehicles for this project. History will show no mercy, the people will not forget, and humanitarian law will not forgive,” he said.

In mid-September, US President Donald Trump presided over the signing of the normalization pacts between Tel Aviv, Abu Dhabi and Manama. During a ceremony at the White House, Trump said “five or six” other countries were close to making similar agreements with ‘Israel,’ but did not name them.

Meanwhile, reports suggest that Sudan and Oman could be next in line to normalize with the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime.

“We know ‘Israeli’ leaders better than them. We know how they think. We would like to tell our brothers in the United Arab Emirates that they will lose as a result of those agreements because ‘Israel’s’ only interest is to seek a military and economic foothold in areas close to Iran,” Haniyeh said.

“They will use your country as a doorstep. We don’t want to see the UAE being used as an ‘Israeli’ launchpad,” he added.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Haniyeh stressed that Hamas had been vindicated by the collapse of the 1990s Oslo process between the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] and ‘Israel.’

“From the day it was announced, Oslo bore the seeds of its own destruction… Oslo was a failure from day one because it was a security agreement, not a political one,” he said.

Additionally, Haniyeh enumerated the factors that had forced Abbas to rethink his approach towards the resistance group and deliver a “positive response to the initiative by Hamas.”

Moreover, the Hamas leader said the resistance group was prepared in case of any ‘Israeli’ attack on Gaza, warning that any future war would be costly for the Tel Aviv regime.

Israel And The Emirates Sign The “Abraham Accords”

Written by Thierry MEYSSAN on 25/09/2020

The situation in the Middle East has been blocked since the Oslo Accords signed by Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat in 1993. They were supplemented by the Jericho-Gaza Agreement, which recognizes certain prerogatives of the Palestinian Authority, and the Wadi Araba Agreements, which concluded peace between Israel and Jordan.

At the time, the Israeli government intended to separate definitively from the Palestinians. It was ready to do so by creating a Palestinian pseudo-state, devoid of several attributes of sovereignty, including an independent army and finances. Labour’s Yitzhak Rabin had previously experimented with Bantustans in South Africa, where Israel was advising the apartheid regime. Another experiment took place in Guatemala with a Mayan tribe under General Efraín Ríos Montt.

Yasser Arafat accepted the Oslo Accords to derail the process of the Madrid Conference (1991). Presidents George W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev had tried to impose peace on Israel by removing Arafat from the international scene with the support of Arab leaders.

Despite all this, many commentators believed that the Oslo Accords could bring peace.

In any case, 27 years later, nothing positive has limited the suffering of the Palestinian people, but the state of Israel has been gradually transformed from within. Today this country is divided into two antagonistic camps, as evidenced by its government, the only one in the world to have two Prime Ministers at the same time. On the one hand the partisans of British colonialism behind the first Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanhyahu, on the other hand the partisans of a normalization of the country and its relations with its neighbors, behind the second Prime Minister, Benny Gantz. This two-headed system reflects the incompatibility of these two projects. Each camp paralyzes its rival. Only time will come to end the colonial project of conquering Greater Israel from the banks of the Nile to those of the Euphrates, the comet tail of an outdated era.

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States has implemented the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy aimed at adapting the US army to the needs of a new form of capitalism based no longer on the production of goods and services, but on financial engineering. To do this, they began an “endless war” of destruction of state structures throughout the “broader Middle East” without taking into account their friends and enemies. In two decades, the region became cursed for its inhabitants. Afghanistan, then Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen are the theater of wars presented as lasting a few weeks, but which last indefinitely, without perspective.

When Donald Trump was elected president, he promised to put an end to the “endless wars” and to bring US soldiers home. In this spirit, he gave carte blanche to his special adviser and nevertheless son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The fact that President Trump is supported in his country by Zionist Christians and that Jared Kushner is an Orthodox Jew has led many commentators to portray them as friends of Israel. If they do indeed have an electoral interest in letting this be believed, it is not at all their approach to the Middle East. They intend to defend the interests of the American people, and not those of the Israelis, by substituting trade relations for war on the model of President Andrew Jackson (1829-37). Jackson managed to prevent the disappearance of the Indians he had fought as a general, although only the Cherokees signed the agreement he proposed. Today they have become the largest Native American tribe, despite the infamous episode of the “Trail of Tears”.

For three years, Jared Kushner travelled through the region. He was able to see for himself how much fear and hatred had developed there. For 75 years, Israel has persisted in violating all UN resolutions that concern it and continues its slow and inexorable nibbling of Arab territory. The negotiator reached only one conclusion: International Law is powerless because almost no one – with the notable exception of Bush Sr. and Gorbachev – has wanted to really apply it since the partition plan for Palestine in 1947. Because of the inaction of the international community, its application if it were to happen today would add injustice to injustice.

Kushner worked on many hypotheses, including the unification of the Palestinian people around Jordan and the linking of Gaza to Egypt. In June 2019, he presented proposals for the economic development of the Palestinian territories at a conference in Bahrain (the “deal of the century”). Rather than negotiating anything, the idea was to quantify what everyone would gain from peace. In the end, he managed, on September 13, 2020, to get a secret agreement signed in Washington between the United Arab Emirates and Israel. The agreement was formalized two days later, on September 15, in a watered-down version.”

Press in the Emirates
The press in the Emirates does not have the same version of the events as that of Israel. None of them has an interest in expressing itself frankly.

As always, the most important thing is the secret part: Israel was forced to renounce in writing its plans for annexation (including the territories allegedly “offered” by Donald Trump in the “deal of the century” project) and to let Dubai Ports World (known as “DP World”) take over the port of Haifa, from which the Chinese have just been ejected.

This agreement is in line with the ideas of the second Israeli Prime Minister Benny Gantz, but represents a disaster for the camp of the first Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Not having read the secret part of the agreements myself, I do not know if it clearly indicates the renunciation of annexing the Syrian Golan Heights, occupied since 1967, and the Lebanese Shebaa Farms, occupied since 1982. Similarly, I do not know whether compensation is provided for the port of Beirut, since it is clear that its eventual reconstruction would be detrimental both to Israel and to the Emirates’ investments in Haifa. However, the Lebanese President, Michel Aoun, has already publicly evoked a real estate construction project instead of the port of Beirut.

In order to make this treaty acceptable to all parties, it has been named “Abraham Accords”, after the common father of Judaism and Islam. The paternity was attributed, to the great joy of Benny Gantz, to the “outstretched hand” (sic) of Benjamin Netanyahu, his toughest opponent. Finally, Bahrain was associated with it.

This last point aims to mount the new regional role that Washington has granted to the Emirates in replacement of Saudi Arabia. As we announced, it is now Abu Dhabi and no longer Riyadh that represents US interests in the Arab world Other Arab states are invited to follow Bahrain’s example.

The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, has not had harsh words against the Emirati “betrayal”. He was taken up both by those who remain hostile to peace (the Iranian ayatollahs) and by those who remain committed to the Oslo Accords and the two-state solution. Indeed, by formalizing diplomatic relations between Israel and the new Arab leader, the Emirates, the Abraham Accords turn the page on the Oslo Accords. The palm of hypocrisy goes to the European Union, which persists in defending international law in theory and violating it in practice.

If President Trump is re-elected and Jared Kushner continues his work, the Israeli-Emirati agreements will be remembered as the moment when Israelis and Arabs regained the right to speak to each other, just as the overthrow of the Berlin Wall marked the moment when East Germans regained the right to speak to their relatives in the West. On the contrary, if Joe Biden is elected, Israel’s nibbling of Arab territories and the “endless war” will resume throughout the region.

Relations between Israel and the Emirates had long since stabilized without a peace treaty since there was never a declared war between them. The Emirates have been secretly buying arms from the Jewish state for the past decade. Over time this trade has increased, especially in terms of telephone interceptions and internet surveillance. In addition, an Israeli embassy was already operating under cover of an intelligence agency.

In addition, an Israeli embassy was already operating under cover of a delegation to an obscure UN body in the Emirates. However, the “Abraham Accords” challenge the dominant Arab-Israeli discourse and shake up internal relations in the entire region.

Source: Voltaire Network

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