Sunday, August 7, 2011

THE ONLY HOPE: A Palestinian Revolution

By: Gulamhusein A. Abba

From what has appeared so far in the media and on blogs, it appears that all that the Palestinian leadership intends to do in September is approach the UN for recognition of a Palestinian State with 1967 borders and give it full membership. Such recognition and membership, important though they are, are at best purely symbolic. In and by themselves, they cannot advance the cause of the Palestinian people, much less end Israel's illegal occupation. Nor, judging from past performance, can one expect much from the UN.

It is time all of us, especially the Palestinian people and their leaders, grasped and accepted some bitter truths, spoke out about them and took some positive and meaningful action.

First, it must be understood that the Oslo agreement was a big mistake. The signing of it by Arafat was an act of a desperate man trying to end his exile, return to Palestine and recapture his leadership which was fast slipping into the hands of those carrying on the Intifada from within Palestine. More than anything else, this millstone round the neck of the Palestinian people needs to be removed and thrown out.

The current Fatah leadership is more intent on retaining the privileges granted to them by the Israelis (like going unhindered through checkpoints with VIP cards, getting a monopoly to import essential goods like Dahlan importing gas _ and being able to travel around the world without any hindrance) and the US and some other Western countries (sumptuous and ego boosting State receptions and financial aid) than in obtaining for the Palestinians their just demands.

The Fatah government is, to a large extent, dependent on the aid given to it by the US. It is, therefore, subservient to the US which, in turn, notwithstanding the periodic rhetoric from Obama, cares not a whit for the aspirations of the Palestinians or the injustices being heaped on them by the Israelis. The US is committed to supporting Israel unconditionally. This has been proven time and again by the veto used by the US in the UN whenever a resolution was sought to be passed condemning Israel, and by the failure of the US to get Israel to even stop, temporarily at that, their illegal land grab, demolitions and settlement building activities.

Any strategy that envisages negotiations with Israel or US will yield nothing. Such negotiations are a waste of time and serve only to provide an opportunity to the Israelis to confiscate more Palestinian land and expand Israeli settlements.

If the PA is really serious about pressing the cause of the Palestinians, it should, instead of merely seeking recognition and membership of the UN, announce its rescinding of the Oslo agreement and throw the whole question in the lap of the UN, insisting that the UN live up to its responsibilities and get Israel to vacate its illegal occupation in its entirety and faithfully carry out its duties as a member of the UN.

The PA should urge all the member states of the UN to hold Israel accountable and boycott it, divest from it and impose sanctions on it till it confirms to internationally accepted and agreed upon rules of conduct by civilized nations.

More likely than not, judging from past history, neither asking the UN to take any action against Israel nor asking member state for BDS support will receive the desired response, but, they will be on record and show up the hypocrisy of those who do not respond.

Internally, the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank and in Gaza need to bury their differences, put aside personal ambitions and agendas, and present a united front, creating a truly unified and representative party representing all the Palestinians.

The Palestinian leaders, instead of depending on support from outside, should go to their people, identify themselves with their people and draw strength from them. Unless they do this they will, sooner or later, meet the fate of Hosni Mubarak.

The PLO should stop being the agent, tax collector and policeman of Israel (by abrogating the Oslo agreement and directing the PA to dissolve itself) and reclaim its original role as a revolutionary organization, opposing the occupation and leading the fight for justice, freedom and independence by the Palestinians.

Those Palestinians who seem to have fallen into a stupor and come to accept their subjugation in return for a loaf of bread from Israel need to stir themselves up, and, all Palestinians, irrespective of their faith and ethnic divisions, must unite to launch massive, non-violent civil disobedience.

At the same time, those able to do so should step up lobbying, PR work, using the social net-works and making available to the media resources to cover what is being done in Palestine and get their word out. Once the common people of the world come to know the true facts, there will be a swell of support for the Palestinians. Already many from countries all over the world are beginning to be supportive of the Palestinians and critical of Israel. These include Jews in Israel itself and those living outside. Even Zionists of long standing are speaking out against the actions of the Israeli leaders.

Bottom line
: The Israelis are robbing the Palestinians of their land, their homes, their dignity, their rights. The international community, unfortunately, has washed its hands off the whole problem and is content to treat it as a dispute between two peoples and leave it to the Israelis and Palestinians to resolve their differences through negotiations! The Palestinians have no option but to take matters in their own hands and obtain their rights through their own efforts (aided by the brave activists in Israel itself and spread throughout the world), much as the Indians did in making the British quit India, as the Tunisians and Egyptians did.


  1. Dear brother Gulamhusein

    I totally agree with most of what you said in your article, except for two things:


    I believe that Palestine is not just a Palestinian problem, rather it is a concern for EVERY Muslim and EVERY decent and conscientious human being; therefore, I believe that maybe the type of Resistance that we need is a global Intifada in which people will march to Palestine from ALL corner of the world in their millions, if a peaceful solution is to have any meaning or effect


    I do not rule out the right of any oppressed people to DEFEND themselves when their lives and their communities are threatened with extermination... They are the only ones who can judge what kind of tactics to implement, what strategy and what shape can their resistance take, no one else who sit comfortably away from it all have the right to dictate or moralize with those under the iron fist.

    Much respect to you and appreciation to your efforts

  2. Thank you fpr your response. I am glad that you "totally" agree with most of what I have said in my article, except for two things.

    You are absolutely right. Palestine is not just a Palestinian problem, nor a matter of concern just for Arabs or Muslims but a concern for every conscientious human being who believes in justice and rule of law.

    That is why I, though I am not a Palestinian nor an Arab, am so passionately involved. And there are thousands, if not miillions like me, spread all over the world.

    A global awakening is already taking place and more and more voices are being raised in support of the Palestinians and against the violations of international laws and human rights being committed by Israel so blatantly.

    Not only voices are being raised but concrete steps are being taken, often at great risk. The international flotillas to Gaza are one example. Organizing and holding protests, lectures, talks, art and film shows -- all this is Resistance and it is happening all over the world. And, a number of internationals did descend on Tel Aviv airport, openly stating that they had come to take part in the protests being held by the Palestinians in West Bank.

    As for your second point, I fully agree with you that oppressed people have a right to DEFEND themselves when their lives and their communities are threatened with extermination. Not only that, but I go further and say that the occupied people have every right to resist the occupation to the fullest.

    You are so right when you say that those who sit comfortably in thir homes far away from all the death and destruction being rained on the Palestinians have no right to tell the Palestinians what strategies to adopt. But, as friends of Palestinians eager to help them, they can and should express their opinions and, one hopes, the Palestinians keep an open mind and judge any suggestion that may be offered on its merits.

    In that spirit, I would like to point out that there is a thin line between defending one's self and being on the offence. In my humble opinion, it makes no sense for Palestinians to use violence against Israel as a form of resistance (as opposed to using it as defense). There is no comparison between their respective forces and arms. Using such violence as a from of resistance is counterproductive. It only plays into the hands of the Israelis who effectively use it as propaganda against the Palestinians. I remain convinced that a far more effective form of resistance is massive non-violent non cooperation and civil disobedience within Palestine and aggressive and sustained BDS outside.

  3. Dear Brother - I loved your article; I have seen it a while back but did not file it away. Everything you said is true. The PLO and cronies know exactly what they are getting - just money and privileges, and they must concentrate on the more important things.
    Thanks again on a great article