Palestinian leadership must rethink its grave mistakes – OpEd – Eurasia Review
To judge US President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Israel and Palestine as a “failure” in terms of activating the dormant “peace process” is simply a misnomer. For this statement to be accurate, Washington would have had to indicate even a nominal desire to push for negotiations between the Israeli government and the Palestinian leadership.
Political and diplomatic platitudes aside, the current US administration has done the exact opposite, as Biden’s words and actions indicate. Alleging that America’s commitment to a two-state solution “has not changed,” Biden dismissed his administration’s interest in trying to achieve such a goal, saying “the ground is not ripe” for negotiations.
Considering that the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly announced that it is ready to resume negotiations, one can only assume that the process is blocked by Israeli intransigence. Indeed, none of Israel‘s main leaders or parties advocates the negotiations, or the so-called peace process, as a strategic goal.
However, Israel is not the only party to blame. The Americans, too, made it clear that they were completely out of this political sham, which they had invented and subsequently nurtured for decades. In fact, the final nail in the coffin of the “negotiated solution” was driven by the Donald Trump administration, which simply supported all Israeli demands, thus avoiding all legitimate Palestinian demands.
The Biden administration has traditionally been blamed by Palestinians, Arabs and progressive voices within the Democratic Party for failing to reverse Trump’s damaging decisions in favor of Israel: for example, moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv in Jerusalem, the closure of the American consulate in East Jerusalem, accepting unfounded Israeli claims regarding its jurisdiction over illegal Jewish settlements built on occupied Palestinian land, etc.
Even assuming the Biden administration is capable of undoing some or all of Trump’s illegal actions, what good would that do in the greater scheme of things? Washington was, and remains, Israel’s greatest benefactor, funding its military occupation of Palestine with an annual donation of $4 billion, in addition to numerous other programs, including a massive and growing budget allocated to the Dome of iron from Israel.
As horrific as the Trump years have been in terms of undermining a just solution to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, Biden’s policies are but a continuation of an existing pro-Israel American legacy that has been carried on. by previous U.S. administrations for several decades.
As for Israel, the “peace process” has served its purpose, which explains the infamous statement by the CEO of the council for Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, known as Yesha, in 2018. “I don’t want to brag that we’ve won, he said. “Others would say it looks like we’re winning.”
However, Israel’s so-called “victory” after three decades of a fraudulent “peace process” cannot be attributed to Trump alone. Biden and other senior US officials were also very helpful. While it is widely accepted that American politicians support Israel out of sheer self-interest — for example the need to appease the influential pro-Israel lobby in Washington DC — Biden’s support for Israel stems from an ideological underpinning. The American president was not shy when he repeated, upon his arrival at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport on July 13, his famous declaration: “You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist”.
Therefore, it may seem confusing to hear Palestinian officials calling on the United States – and Biden in particular – to pressure Tel Aviv to end its 55-year occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.
Mohannad Al-Aklouk, the Palestinian representative to the Arab League, for example, repeated the same cliché and unrealistic language of expecting the United States to “exert practical pressure on Israel”, “prepare the ground for a process equitable policy based on international law,” and “to fulfill its role as an equitable sponsor of the peace process. Strangely, Mr. Al-Aklouk truly believes that Washington, with its dismal record of pro-Israel bias, can eventually be the savior of the Palestinians.
Another Palestinian official told The New Arab that PA President Abbas was ‘disappointed with the results of Biden’s visit’, as apparently the Palestinian leader ‘expected the US president to make progress. in the peace process”. The same source went on to say that Abbas’ Palestinian Authority is holding meetings with representatives of “powerful countries” to replace the US as sponsor of the formerly US-sponsored negotiations.
Abbas’ political position is confused. The “peace process” is, after all, an American invention. It was a unique and self-serving style of diplomacy that was formulated to ensure that Israel’s priorities remained at the center of US foreign policy in the Middle East. In the Palestinian case, the “peace process” has only served to entrench Israeli colonization of Palestine, while degrading or completely sidelining legitimate Palestinian grievances. This “process” was also constructed with the aim of marginalizing international law as the political and legal frame of reference for the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Instead of questioning the entire apparatus of the “peace process” and apologizing for the strategic mistakes of pursuing American mirages at the expense of Palestinian rights, the Palestinian Authority still clings desperately to the same old fantasy, even when the United States, together with Israel, has abandoned its own political farce.
Even if, supposedly, China, Russia or India would agree to be the new sponsors of the “peace process”, there is no reason for Tel Aviv to engage in future negotiations, while she is able to achieve her colonial goals with full American support. . Moreover, neither of these countries currently has much influence over Israel, and is therefore unable to sustain any significant pressure on Tel Aviv to respect international law.
Yet the PA still stands, simply because the “peace process” has proven to be very beneficial in terms of funds, power and prestige enjoyed by a small but powerful class of Palestinians who were largely formulated after the accords. of Oslo in 1993.
It is time for the Palestinians to stop investing their political capital in the Biden administration or any other administration. What they need is not a new “powerful” sponsor of the “peace process”, but a people’s struggle for freedom and liberation starting at home, a struggle that galvanizes the energies of the people Palestinian himself. Alas, this new paradigm cannot be achieved when the priorities of the Palestinian leadership remain fixed on handouts and political validation from Washington and its Western allies.